AUGUST 15, 2019
Identity: “I am a beloved child of God.”
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1
I’ve yet to meet a Christian who is oversaturated in the love of God. Satan, our critics, certain family members, old friends, and our flesh rails against this most basic truth spoken over every believer.
You are a beloved child of God. Self-hatred often hides in the same hearts who simultaneously believe that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” For me, personally, this has been my biggest struggle throughout my faith. We can be so hard on ourselves as our unrealistic expectations pummel us into the ground. Others get grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love, but we withhold these things from ourselves. Jesus calls us to self-denial (Luke 9:23-24) but never to self-hatred. To spurn your soul is to spurn that for which out of love, Jesus died. To reject self-rejection and to “accept that we are accepted” (Tillich) is an incredible demonstration of faith in “the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, or popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can, indeed, present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection…As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking: “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.”… My dark side says , “I am no good …. I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the ‘Beloved.’ Being the Beloved constitutes the core of our existence.
— Henri Nouwen, You Are the Beloved: Daily Meditations for Spiritual Living, 12.