Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: Living Loved - A Simple Truth that Will Transform Your Relationships

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Living Loved - A Simple Truth that Will Transform Your Relationships

Typically I don't really know what I want to write, I just simply sit and write it. My life on the inside makes its way to the outside, and on the outside it looks way different than it feels more often than not.

All that to say, there's only one thing that I'm trying to communicate today, and I oddly know what it is: LIVING LOVED.
Mainly, I'm speaking in context of community and spirituality. But living loved is crucial to transforming the community we live in and transforming our relationship with the Lord. And once you see it, you'll wonder why you haven't before.

This wasn't something I thought up. I attended a leader's retreat last weekend where the guest speaker spoke a bit on community. Your team in ministry becomes a lot like your family, and if you have ugliness in your heart, it comes out around family.

But where does this ugliness in your heart come from?
What is the poison to community?
We discussed several things: a consumer, "feed me" mentality, jealousy and comparison, misplaced identity, competition...

We also discussed the horrible feeling of needing to earn the Lord's grace by being "better", or having the best ministry in town, or working harder and harder to please Him.
It is difficult to realize we don't have to earn this.

We are naturally ugly, selfish, sinful people.
But, get this: we're also completely loved.
What does this change?
Well, it should change everything.

If I'm living in the confidence that I'm completely loved, am I worried about comparing myself? Am I sad about being left out? Am I struggling with putting my identity in the opinions and judgements and affirmation from the people around me? Am I consumed with a competitive spirit that insists I have to come out on top? Not in the slightest.

When I know I am completely loved, it doesn't change the fact that I'm a sinner with an ugly heart that is going to be seen every now and again (and probably more than I'd like).
But it transforms how I see others.
It changes how I see myself around them.
And I don't try to earn love in the same ways I did before.

I'm completely loved even when I'm don't fit into a certain group, or when someone's gifts out-shine my own, or when I realize I have ten new zits on my chin and I'm paired up with the pretty girl for prayer teams. I'm no longer seeking my identity in others because it doesn't matter where I fit or what they think of me or how insecure I am. I AM LOVED. Completely, irrevocably and eternally. It can't change, be taken, or even ever diminish.

When this hits your heart, you'll find the freedom to embrace who you really are, and also have the confidence to interact with others without insecurity of feelings of inferiority. You'll also find the freedom to have joy in your relationship with the Lord again, because it doesn't matter how great your ministry is or how long it's been since you swore, nothing can change His love for you. It could never increase; it could never decrease. You are covered in the absolute limit of 100% of God's love 100% of all the time. What a relief. We are, after all, "dearly loved children," (Eph. 5:1). Maybe we should believe it...

Seriously, though. It's so cool to me that everyone in the world could think I'm the dorkiest gal in the world with nothing to offer and it would never matter because I know I'm loved by Someone whose opinion means more than anyone else's ever could. And even cooler that I could be the sinner of all sinners or the saint of all saints and the Lord's love would stay the same.

Think about this a bit and let me know what you think.
Love, Case

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