September 5, 2016
Moving Into a Better Measurement
“As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love.” John 15:9 (HCSB)
For a checklist-loving girl, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as feeling you’re getting nothing accomplished.
In fact, for much of my life, here’s how I processed my days: No check-marks. → No progress. → No worth.
I determined my value by what I produced. Consequently, I often bore the soul-crushing weight of my own disapproval. Times like:
- When I used three-fourths of a day to feed and care for an infant without even accomplishing a shower.
- When my toddlers dismantled the house faster than I could put it back together.
- When I moved to a new place and the phone stopped ringing and my calendar remained empty.
Those periods were a struggle because when I didn’t do enough, I thought I wasn’t enough. I let my work define my value. Maybe you’ve been there too.
Young mom, you love your children madly, but life’s joy drains out of the holes you poke in yourself.
Single friend, you know there are upsides to singleness, but it feels like a trap that keeps you from building the future you’d prefer.
Newbie neighbor, instead of seeing new possibilities in your new home, you feel stuck in grieving the old one.
Sick sister, your body needs rest, but you feel like a failure as you lay on your bed.
But the saddest part happens when we start believing God views us with the same disappointment we view ourselves. After all, we even express our spiritual life in terms like “faith walk” and “journey,” which implies forward movement. We start to view Him as the One pushing us along and measuring us by our work — a divine Project Manager in the sky. That belief left me wrongly feeling like His laborer instead of His daughter … His friend.
In today’s key verse, John, the beloved disciple, records this instruction from Jesus: “As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love” (John 15:9). In this verse, the word “remain” can also be translated dwell orabide. Reflecting on these definitions made me realize how wrong my beliefs had been.
We want to move on, but Jesus invites us to move in.
Remain, abide and dwell — these words revealed how I evaluated progress and growth, and they helped me understand God’s approval in a new way. We don’t have to produce or create forward movement to earn God’s love. Instead, He asks us to move into … to settle … to be still in His love.
This idea changes everything. As a wise friend once told me, “You don’t work for God’s love. You rest in His love.”
God doesn’t measure our worth by our works. He establishes our worth by His love. Although I tend to calculate value by external things, God gauges value by internal things, and love is an internal work.
I invite you with the same invitation God extends to each of us: Remain in God’s love.
Move in all the pieces of your life. Every thought, emotion, gift and flaw.
As we say in the South, “Sit a spell!” In other words, dwell and bask in the love of God. You are worthy because of God’s gift of love, not the checks on your to-do list.
Lord, I’ve been so prone to evaluate my value in terms of what I produce. I’ve believed wrong things about how You see me, keeping me from being as close as You desire. Today, I surrender. I move in to dwell permanently in Your love. I choose to rest and abide. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 84:1-2,10a, “How lovely is Your dwelling place, Lord of Hosts. I long and yearn for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God. Better a day in Your courts than a thousand anywhere else.” (HCSB)
In her book, Breaking Up with Perfect, Amy Carroll shares many more lessons she’s learning about God and the truth of how He sees us. Purchase a copy today to begin moving out of perfectionism and into God’s love.
Visit Amy’s blog to watch a short video about practical ways to change your mindset and to move in to God’s love.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you believe you have to earn God’s love or do you live in His unconditional love?
Do a word search for the word “love” in an online Scripture reference website. What new truth do you learn about God’s love for you?
© 2016 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.
Originally published Monday, 05 September 2016.