On a recent podcast I heard John Eldredge ask this question, “is that even a category you think in?” As I listened, I thought about categories. Or as Dan Allender would say, our assumptions by which we see the world, or operate in our world. In the world of spiritual transformation there are some categories which are important for us to understand, but often we give little attention to them, if any.
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Let’s take the category of being God’s beloved sons. The idea we followers of Christ are fully loved by God. Here and now. Without any measurements or conditions relying on what we have done. Most of us cannot allow ourselves to actually accept a love like that. Or we can’t really believe it could be true of God, or of us. But all through the scriptures we find the examples of how much God loves us and how he does not withhold any part of his love waiting for us to get things straightened out.
What if we could believe a love like that? How would that change things? Would it enable you to see the connection between your worthiness in the world and being fully loved by God?
What if you no longer had to prove your worthiness, but you could simply begin to trust in the worth and value God says you have because he loves you. That would be something.
And here’s another piece of that puzzle. If God is not waiting for us to finally pull it all together in our life and our behavior – maybe we could invest that time we have been putting into “getting my mess together” into a deeper walk with Him, with Jesus. We could think about taking steps to be closer to God, quieter before God, learning about God, instead of worrying about not doing enough for God. That would be something too.
And lastly, we could give up the nagging search for our validation as men. We could stop looking in all the fruitless places for the affirmation that we are men, and we can get the job done. That affirmation would originate in our belovedness, our status as beloved sons of God. If that became more and more true about us, we could spend that time and emotional energy working on our love for God. And there is a lot we could do.