I left a circle of dear friends talking about Jesus and mission while roasting marshmallows and for the first 5 minutes of my drive home I judged myself. I wondered if I had been too much or not enough. Then I had this thought: for you to love well does not mean you have to be thought of as the most awesome.
At first read that probably causes you to either chuckle or be puzzled, yes?
So as I often do I asked God about it. And this is the path I mentally strolled down…
I am wired, created by God, to be helpful and others-oriented. It is a gift. The shadow side of it is that I believe that to be loved is to be needed. I fear that if I’m not meeting a need I won’t be chosen, pursued, loved in friendship. So in the case of this evening with my friends, the lie that threatens to stay in the forefront of my mind is that to be worthy I have to be awesome. And if that’s the standard, then I overanalyze and assume and worry. Which then puts more focus on me and less on the beautiful friends in front of me.
To which God says, you don’t have to be the most awesome to love well, and loving well is the goal.
Perfection is not necessary to love well. Being popular is not necessary to love well. Saying the right thing every single time is not necessary to love well.
It is in my knowledge, believing and accepting of my own belovedness that I love well. It is a scarcity mindset that says I need others to fill my cup so that I can call myself loved. The love of Christ is abundant for me — never-ending and unchanging and more than enough. It is in that belovedness I am free to love well, thinking of myself less and others more. I can see others clearly because my vision isn’t fogged by my own anxious demand to be seen. I can pursue others more sacrificially because my energy isn’t zapped by performance or being impressive.