Ruined for Love
I don't know if I should even write this. It's burdened on my heart to share. However I don't wish to be extreme or contrarian simply for the sake of it.
Yet something in me could care less, about caring about, what others think about me.
Hear my heart...
I care about others, deeply. I care about what others think, plenty. But about what others think about me? - well it used to consume me. Not at a conscious level much, but a soul level, heaps.
The deep parts of me were dominated by what the Bible would call "the fear of man." Funning language for this day and age.
Think of it this way... whose opinion validates me? Who have I permitted to affirm my worth and purpose. This is (in part) the fear of man.
Don't get me wrong, being validated is significantly important. Philosophers and psychologist understand this. The Bible teaches this.
Yet, here's the big deal as I see it ----------------- broken, fragile, selfish, finite humans (myself include here) ---------------- do we think we are capable of validating the worth of another person?!
To be frank, IT'S PREPOSTEROUS!
Me, myself, I, on my own... am wholly incapable and unqualified to tell YOU how freaking amazing you are designed to be. My human eyes can't see it. My mind doesn't comprehend it. My heart doesn't believe it.
The word of God says you are of infinite WORTH!!! So valuable in fact, the INFINITE CREATOR GOD stepped off his throne to pay the required price of his Sons blood to purchase you back as his own.
The LORD God almighty | He and He alone | is even remotely capable of validating who we are.
He made us.
He's the only one who truly knows us, every part, and still says, without an ounce of hesitation, "I choose to love you still!"
He is LOVE, and love is the only thing which validates our worth, so his LOVE is our validation.
Learning to let the "fear of the Lord" replace the "fear of man" has been one of my life's most extraordinary and painful journeys.
Painful?! Yes, brutally... "ouch, don't touch that spot!" kind of pain.
See... to the extent other peoples opinions have been my validation, is the extent I am defined by them. Who and what I am to them. Who and what they are to me. Good or bad. Pretty or ugly. Right or wrong.
The definitions my soul, my heart, has adopted as true about me ----- they are the deepest essence of who I am; or so I've learned to believe.
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18)
John's point is about realizing you are not under punishment when God's love covers you. Punishment ultimately meaning the eternal judgement of sin equaling Hell. But we experience aspects of Hell here and now. Call it a stretch, I think one of life's greatest punishments is the fear of being invalidated - my soul realizing who and what I believe I am to others, isn't true.
If this person knew everything about me - who they believe I'am - would be invalid. "Ouch, don't touch that!"
Letting these finite (human) versions of my validation, my soul-level definitions of who 'I am', be discovered as not accurate, not real, not true - it hurts!
WHY??? Cause my soul, my heart, my essence, is now left void; a giant, screaming hole inside, now filled up with an unanswerable question.... "WHO AM I? what I thought I knew, I no longer know."
I'd argue this is one of the deepest wrestle of a persons life. How so?
We were created for worship; to idolize the greatest thing in all of existence. It's our sinful nature to place this worship on myself; to idolize the a false version of myself who I so desperately want to be validated.
How does it end? Where it started.
The GREAT I AM. The one who is LOVE. He create you and I in the first place. His love moved Him to create us so He could have relationship with us. Designed by his love. Marked by his love. Surrounded by his love. Led by his love. Enjoyed by his love. This is his greatest desire!
I can't truly love you - on my own that is. You can't truly love me - on your own you can't.
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God." (1 John 4:7)
Any real love we have toward each other is his love in us. It's Him loving us through each other.
Any real validation of who we real are is his love defining us. It's Him, our designer, erasing the false definitions of who we are from off the surface of our heart, cutting out those broken, false-soul-defining opinions of who I am.
Let us lay ourselves down at the foot of the cross, at the foot of his throne. Let's give Him our false self. Let's permit Him to pour his pure love into us.
I've tasted it. It's sweet. It's good, true, and beautiful!
It's ruined me.
I'm ruined for LOVE!
The real kind. The only kind. My soul longs for it. I was made for it.
Thank you Jesus for offering it to us. Not just once, but constantly, continuously, infinitely!
I say yes. Again and again, yes and amen!