As a kid, I learned that when I behaved well I received praise. In my mind, the affirmation and positive interaction I received was equivalent to being worthy of love.
So when I didn’t behave well, I decided that I was less than lovable and was, in fact, a downright disappointment. I developed a performance-based mindset that didn’t come from my parents. Rather, it was my own interpretation of what it meant to be loved and lovable.
That interpretation colored how I understood God’s love for me. I reasoned that if I did what was pleasing to him, then he would love me. And when I fell short — and I was sure that happened more often than not — I was convinced that I was a huge disappointment to God and therefore less likely to be loved by him.
With such a strong performance-based mindset, it took me a long time to understand and embrace the truth that God loves me just as I am, right now — not who I think I should be, or even who I want to be.
Scripture tells us over and over about what it means to be loved by God and to love him in return. 1 John 4:10 says, “This is real love — not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (NLT). And earlier in 1 John, we are encouraged by this truth: “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him” (3:1).
God’s love for me isn’t based on my performance — on whether or not I think or feel like I’m particularly “lovable” at any given time. He loved me before I understood what a broken mess I am, and he loved me long before I “got my act together.”
You and I have that wonderful news in our language! But there are millions of people around the world who have no knowledge of God’s love for them. Join me in bringing the knowledge of God’s love to people around the world through Bible translation!
Together, we can share the love of God that is rooted in Christ Jesus and his grace with men, women and children around the world.