We DO Deserve Love!
Hello friends! This post right here has been one that I have been itching to write about. I made an episode on my podcast about this topic (titled: Self Worth in Christian Culture) a couple of months back; and in that episode, it was mostly just my raw thoughts about this concept with mainstream Christian Culture. I have taken some time to ferment my thoughts and I believe that now I can better accurately express how I was feeling in that moment of recording my podcast.
For most, if not all of my life, I have struggled with issues surrounding self-worth. Because of the way I was treated by those around me, I felt I couldn't measure up to the standards that people placed on me. I lost a lot of friends and family over the years just for being who I was, and that caused me to have severe wounds that affected my self-worth. During the time when I recorded my Self Worth podcast episode, God was pulling on me to address the wounds I had in those areas. And it had gotten to the point where I had just begun to get tired of being so abusive to myself in my own mind. I was sick of hearing my brain come up with the insults that I had hurled at me by the people who hurt me. I was just so tired of the toxic routine, so I finally decided to actively take steps to make a change so that I could finally make me feel better about myself.
The steps that I made when I first heard this message, was to fill myself with sermons that spoke about self-worth and to listen to gospel music. But unfortunately, to my dismay, I found that many sermons and gospel songs reverberate an echo that was similar to the self-hate that I spoke over myself so intensely before. I would look up things that (I thought) would have been supplements to the words of affirmation that God was speaking over me; but unfortunately, I was met with words that came against my self-worth, and righteous standing in God's eyes. I saw things that claimed that God's children, the apple of His eye, His precious ones, were unworthy of His love, undeserving of His grace, and essentially likened to disgust by Him. It was really tough, and hard to hear so many children of God speak in this manner, especially in sermons and songs that are supposed to tell others about the way that God sees us. When I saw all of this, it made me really disappointed to see it because I felt like my self-worth was already so hurt and wounded, and when I wanted to get some peace from it all, I would see people beat themselves up even in Christian spaces. I found that not very many people spoke about the goodness of God, and how He sees us, so I will be bold and speak about what He told me. For some time I kept this message within me because a piece of me was fighting with myself about whether this was blasphemous to say. But God has continued to tell this message to me over and over, and I realize that those feelings of blasphemy was the enemy trying to stop me from releasing this information. So please listen to this, pray about it, and allow the words to enter into your spirit.
So the first thing that God showed me when I was battling through feelings of low self-worth, was that EVERYONE, His children who claim Him, and the ones who don't, have INHERENT WORTH. We are ALL made in the image of God and we ALL have a special place in His heart. We all have inherent value, and that can be proven through Jesus's sacrifice on the cross and through His miracles that He performed while He was walking on the earth. The bible says that while we were SINNERS, Christ died for us. So this means that before we even knew God, He saw us as valuable and worthy enough to die for. We didn't have to do anything for Him to want to make the sacrifice. Our mere existence was enough for Him to go to the cross. Also, the bible shows our inherent worth through the many miracles that Jesus performed during His earthly ministry. Jesus healed and helped every single person who wanted a miracle from Him and He never asked Him if they believed in Him first in order to decide whether or not He wanted to do it. He simply did it for everyone because He loves us all that much, and we ALL are valuable to Him.
The second thing that God showed me is that we are worthy of and deserving of love. And let me tell y'all that this concept was really hard for me to swallow. This concept is one of the biggest things that so many Christians claim we don't have. So many songs claim that "we aren't worthy" and "don't deserve love" but like we literally do? And are? Like we are children of love. Not the embodiment of love, or an example of love, we are LITERALLY the children of pure LOVE. Clean, pure, unadulterated, love. Not a derivative of, but THE love that's flowing in the entire universe. Like when people say they love their moms, or pizza, or their pets, they are talking about God, because God quite literally IS love. We are absolutely deserving of love because we were created with it. God said that we are made in His image. And His image includes His character. So we as human beings are LITERALLY small versions of love. And we are inherently deserving of love because love is the basis for being a human being that was created in the image of God.
And that is why God tells us that we should always live our lives in love. That everything that we do should be done in love. That we should love even our enemies and those that hurt us. That it doesn't matter what someone has gone through or seen; that they should be loved too. God has been telling us this entire time that we are inherently deserving of love. That nothing we can do (good or bad) can remove the love He has for us. And you can even see the effects in people's lives when they are devoid of love from those around them and haven't yet accepted the love of God for themselves. You can see how much turmoil, and sadness, dysfunction enters into people's lives when they don't access love. Love is VITAL to the human experience and is essential to people's happiness and function. So because of that, God gives us an everflowing and unrelenting love, that lasts throughout every circumstance. And because of that love, we can then give it out to everyone else, because He first loved us!
I understand that this message may be hard to swallow for some people. But the reason that I can say this message with certainty is because I've lived out the false message of believing that I was unworthy and undeserving of God's love. And I've seen all of the toxic and harmful fruit of believing that lie. So many people see that God's word says that there is no way to earn God's love, but they interpret that (incorrectly) as us never being worthy enough to have it, and that God was so graceful enough to get over His disgust of us to love us anyway. But I believe that Him telling us that we couldn't earn His love, was a way of Him telling us that we couldn't earn it because it was already attached to who we are! We can't earn it, because we are already made through it! We exist BECAUSE of love, not in spite of it. So we are absolutely deserving of love!
So my friends, this is why it is so important that we learn to accept God's love for us in fullness. Many times when we go through trials, our circumstances try to steal our joy and make us think that God doesn't love us. But our trials help us to see that God still loves us no matter what we have gone through, and no matter what we have done. They show us that God will still step in and help us, in it and after it happens! There is nothing that can separate us from God's love, and He will always be there for us! Because He absolutely and unequivocally loves us completely!
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:7-8 GNT
Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another.
1 John 4:11 GNT
See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children—and so, in fact, we are. This is why the world does not know us: it has not known God.
1 John 3:1 GNT
11 The message you heard from the very beginning is this: we must love one another.
1 John 3:11 GNT
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.
John 3:17 GNT
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 NIV
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 NIV