I concluded last week’s posts with this statement: I don’t get why we are so uncompassionate with ourselves.
As I’ve thought about it, I think I do get that one.
When we are alone with ourselves we don’t feel like we deserve kindness, mercy, and grace. We are uncompassionate, self-bashing, and hateful toward ourselves because we don’t really believe we are loved by God.
My answer is directly connected to what I think is a misunderstanding of the gospel. I believe that Christianity in America is generally misinformed and I would dare say the gospel has been hijacked by well meaning people.
As you may know, “gospel” literally means “good news.” But there is great variety and passionate disagreement in Christian circles about what the good news is. While there is great diversity in the details, I find it sadly ironic how many groups spend most of their time and attention on a lot of bad news. It is equally discouraging how often I hear the gospel presented as an elaborate system of beliefs.
Here is the gospel…the good news:
YOU ARE LOVED
- You are loved by the Creator of the universe and yet is concerned with the details of your life.
- You are loved by a Lover who loves the world and yet passionately pursues you.
- You are loved by the One who knows you as you are and yet wants to transform you into who you were created to be.
You will receive opposing messages thoughout the day, both externally and internally. So drive a stake in your journey today. Regardless of what happens, what memories surface, which critical echoes return, what is said, cling to the truth, “I am loved.”
Practically we do this by:
- Taking hold of the thoughts that come to mind. Don’t stew on things that are not consistent with you being loved or lovable.
- Capturing your words before they come out of your mouth. Only say things that are kind, necessary, and true.
- Treating yourself today as the beloved child of God. Do something that you enjoy…even if you have to squeeze it in.
- Remembering that everyone you come in contact with is just as loved as you.