It happened again. Someone unexpectedly bought my lunch today. The last few months people have spent money on me, given their time to being with me, and shown they value me in many different ways.
This is good, right?
Well, yes. It’s wonderful.
But there’s something wrong.
What is this thing that rises up in me whenever someone blesses me unexpectedly, or pays for my lunch, or gives me gifts? What makes my insides say “No…” when someone wants to love me? What makes me run when someone really does love me, and I didn’t do anything to make them love me?
…It’s a problem I have. I don’t know how to be loved. I don’t know how to receive. It makes me squirm when I get something that I did nothing to deserve.
For some reason it feels wrong to be blessed at the expense of someone else. It feels wrong to gain something because of another person losing something.
Something about being loved turns you upside down. It’s uncomfortable. It makes you confront your heart issues. You face head on your pride, reluctance to receive, fear of being loved, and everything else that is hidden under that queasiness you get when someone is loving you.
I’m learning that my reluctance to receive is really rooted in how I see myself. I somehow don’t believe that I am worth being loved unless I have earned it.
If I’ve blessed you, or given myself for you, love me.
But if you love me just because you love me, I’m not okay with that. I didn’t give you anything. I didn’t earn your love. And that must mean…that you love me for who I am. And I’m not okay with that.
Why? Because I don’t love myself for who I am, and I don’t believe that God loves me for who I am. This really comes down to how I view God. I secretly really believe that I am only lovable because of what I do, what I can achieve, and how much I have to offer. I believe that God loves me because of what I do for Him, and how much I serve Him. I don’t really believe that God loves me just because that’s who He is.
This is the mentality that destroys relationships. The mentality that causes constant striving to earn love, and never being able to receive it. This mentality will destroy your life. You will end up tired, burnt-out and still not believing you are loved, never feeling the reward of your ‘service’ or ‘labor’. It’s endless striving.
What I, and everyone else who struggles with this needs to know and grasp, is that we are loved, period.
WE ARE LOVED. PERIOD.
We will never escape the fact that God loves us, simply because He loves us. His character is to love us. Even if we backtrack and lose all the ground we’ve covered through our ‘service’, and completely rebel against Him, trying everything to make Him not love us, HE WILL STILL LOVE US.
We are loved because we are worth something. We are worth something because Someone paid for our lives with the most valuable thing there ever was or will be – His own life.
God determined our worth in the garden when He created us in His image – IN HIS IMAGE – think about it. That fact alone means that we are worth far more than we will ever know.
God determined our worth on the cross when HE PAID THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE PRICE TO GET US. That cross forever screams and echoes our value to the earth and the cosmos and the kingdoms and principalities, and everything created.
We are worth THE VERY LIFE OF GOD. God- the One we can not even fully know because He is so Holy and other-than. YAHWEH. We are worth HIS LIFE.
If I could understand how truly valuable I am because HE set the bar, He decided how much I am worth, I would know how to be loved. I would be able to receive. I would not strive to earn love.
I so easily pour everything at His feet, which is the right response when one sees His worth. But it’s a fight to get me to let Him lavish love on ME. I don’t want to let Him love me, because I don’t feel worthy of that. In a small way I rob Him of HIS heart’s desire…to love a Bride.
My goal is to get the place where I can receive love without that uncomfortable feeling in my heart. Where I can be loved without fighting it or running away from it. Where I let someone wash my feet without arguing why I’m not worthy for this to happen or why they shouldn’t do this for me. Where I let someone buy something for me, just because they want to bless me.
It all starts with revelation of the love of Christ: ‘That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the width and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ Ephesians 3:17-19
I’m thinking that all this having my lunch paid for and things along those lines is God calling me out and teaching me how to receive. I think it’s time I grow in this. Maybe next time someone loves me just because, I’ll be one step closer to receiving well, and being loved well. Maybe I won’t run away when someone tells me they love me. Maybe I’ll not argue with Someone who wants to wash my feet, and I’ll let Him do it, just because He wants to. Maybe I’ll let myself be loved.