The way we view ourselves, our successes and our failures can influence how we relate to friends and family. Unintentionally, we can create a checklist of who we ‘should’ be. We can inadvertently put walls around ourselves when we don’t like who we are or what we have done. We can see friendship and love as having to be earned. This is not how God sees us. God does not have a checklist for us. He does not make us ‘earn’ His love. God loves us so much His Son died for us.
Engage with God’s Word
Consider Matthew 7:9-11.
- Is God’s love hard for you to accept sometimes? Why or why not?
- Some of us write a checklist for ourselves. What is on your checklist? Why are those things on the list? Take a moment to acknowledge that this is your list, not God’s.
- Consider a moment when you have been forgiven for something ‘bad’, perhaps when you disobeyed your parents or upset someone. What did it feel like to still be accepted or loved by that person or people? Remember the anxiety, hurt and frustration being lifted when you were forgiven. Now take something off your list, something you put there.
- Parents and grandparents have rules and boundaries for children they care for. These rules are meant to protect, provide guidelines and ensure people don’t get hurt. Children will regularly push boundaries and even break rules, yet parents and grandparents love them still. Galatians 3:26 says we are ‘children of God’, therefore we are loved. How have you experienced God’s love in your life?
Even though we know God loves us, day to day and week to week we can lose sight of how tangible that love is. We can forget how much He has provided us with, how much He forgives, how often he is quietly encouraging us. Instead we can get caught up in getting things right, pursuing success, climbing the ladder and doors opening or closing. Take a minute each day this week to write down something you are grateful for and how you have felt or seen God’s love. Share these thoughts with someone.