Jesus said that the greatest commandments were to love God with all that we are, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We are called to BE Jesus, to commit entirely to the Father, to embody His message of love, to make them known to those around us.
I don't think I've ever comprehended what that means, exactly. In light of my recent revelations about how I have failed to love myself, the fact that I haven't understood what it meant to love God with all I am, and especially to love my neighbor as myself, isn't all that surprising. What is surprising is how my newfound love of self, and my newfound reliance on God, has translated to loving Him and to loving my neighbor.
I have a number of people in my life who were recently in need of a listening ear. I was lucky: every time, I was able to say, without regret or stress, that there was nothing pressing that I needed to do. I was able to sit and listen.
With every person, I quickly found myself praying, "Lord, give me the words to say. What does this person need to hear? Let me be Your voice in this moment. I am ready and willing to do what you want me to do and say what You want me to say."
In the wake of my recent realizations about myself, I was shocked to realize that so many people need to hear similar things. We need affirmation. We need love. We need to know our true value.
Are you doubting yourself?
Are you in need?
Are you feeling alone?
This is what God wants to say to you, what He wants you to hear:
God loves you.
You are amazing.
You are impressive.
There is nothing you have done, or will do, that can separate you from His love and grace.
You are never too much, too needy, too broken, too easy, too…anything.
You are not alone.
He is ready and willing to meet you where you are.
He has created you uniquely.
He has a plan for you, a plan that is for you and no one else.
He wants you. Turn to Him.
John 3:16-17 (The Message)
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.