|Warren Dunes State Park, Michigan (one of my favorite places on the planet!)|
In 1 John 2:7 followers of Jesus are addressed as "Beloved." Which means: dearly and deeply loved by God.
Our belovedness, by God, is independent of our performance, be it good or bad.
God wants to rescue out of our dark attitudes and behaviors. This is how he loves us. We are God's beloved daughters and sons.
The heart-realization that I am beloved engenders self-respect. Self-respect forms the foundation for a humble life. Henri Nouwen writes:
"Humility has nothing to do with self-rejection. You can only be humble if you have a deep self-respect. Self-rejection cannot form the basis of a humble life. It leads only to complaints, jealousy, anger, and even violence. It is a most dangerous temptation. I know this from my own experience. Every time I start to experience myself as worthless or useless, a “nobody,” I know I am on the slippery slope to isolation and dark emotions." (Henri Nouwen, Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life, pp. 26-27)
If you are one who believes in and embraces and follows Jesus, then you are a beloved somebody.
My new book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.