Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. – 1 Peter 5:6
Thought for the Day: Doing something in order to be loved is a trap, but doing something because I am loved is incredibly freeing.
My friend Kathrine Lee once said to me, “The first time I lost weight, I did it so that I’d be loved — and I gained all the weight back. This time around I’m losing weight because I am loved, and it’s made all the difference in keeping the weight off.” The truth of her statement struck me profoundly. And it applies to so much more than just weight loss.
Doing something so that we’ll be loved is a trap many of us can get caught in. When I do something because I’m trying to get someone else to notice me, appreciate me, say something to build me up, or respect me more, my motives get skewed. I become very me-focused. I put unrealistic expectations on myself and the other person. And I can get stinkin’ angry when I don’t feel adequately noticed, appreciated, or respected. But doing something because I am loved is incredibly freeing.
Instead of looking at a relationship from the vantage point of what I stand to gain, I look instead at what I have the opportunity to give. I am God-focused and love-directed. I keep my expectations in check. And I am able to lavish on others the grace I know I so desperately need. I live free from regret, with clarity of heart, mind, and soul.
The apostle Paul wrote,
But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all. If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. – 1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:1
And you want to know what chips away at the security of knowing I am loved? The noisy lies of the enemy. He has no love in him; therefore his voice is useless.
Are your efforts toward your goal hounded by clanging thoughts of inadequacy, fears of rejection, and hopelessness? Reject those clamorous thoughts and replace them with the love thoughts that God has sent our way through the ages:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist Him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. – 1 Peter 5:6-10
Isn’t it interesting how much easier it is to apply Scripture when we’re doing it because we’re loved? Consider how this applies to the passage from 1 Peter:
Because I am loved, I can humble myself. When I’m trying to be loved, I must build myself up to look better.
Because I am loved, I can cast all my anxiety on Him. When I’m trying to be loved, I cast all my anxiety on my performance.
Because I am loved, I resist Satan and stand firm in my faith. When I’m trying to be loved, I listen to Satan and stand shaky in my feelings.
Because I am loved, I know God will use trials to make me stronger. When I’m trying to be loved, I wonder why God would allow trials.
Indeed, I want to pursue my goals — health and otherwise — from the vantage point of my friend Kathrine. Because I am loved. That’s when my motives stay pure and my heart stays grounded in the comfort and assurance of God’s never-changing love.
Dear Lord, I don’t want my motives to get skewed during my healthy eating journey. Help me to not be me-focused in this process. I long to be God-focused because I am loved by You. Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Made to Crave Devotional by Lysa Terkeurst, copyright Zondervan, 2011.
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Today, embrace how much you are loved. Go for your goals — health, career, relationships, etc. — but realign them within the knowledge that you are loved! Come join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear from you!