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God Says... "I am loved."

By Nick (My Experience As...)

I think there are two lies which cut deeper than any other, that quite simply break us and make us doubt ourselves, doubt humanity, and doubt God. “You are bad” and “You are unloved.”

I work with teens on a near daily basis, and I see them in broken family situations, and self-destructing.  It seems these two lies are the ones that destroy them the most.  I want to consider the second “You are unloved.”  It seems to start early on. Maybe parents are too busy, or fight, or divorce, or … but they don’t get told just how loved they are at home.  Then every slight or perceived slight just reinforces this lie.  Someone says something mean to them, the teacher grades harshly, or that special someone dumps them. It doesn’t take much and suddenly they start dwelling on how unloved they are. It turns into a rapid downward spiral that ends in self destruction.  I’ve worked with teens that turn to all sorts of things to either feel loved or deaden themselves to feeling unloved.  Casual sex, drinking, drugs, smoking, cutting … the list goes on and on, but it all seems rooted into this lie.

Funny thing is, I see the same thing in many adults. The feeling of “unloved” causes them to throw themselves into their work, killing themselves and cutting off the ones that should be most important to try and gain the love and respect of those same people. They turn inward and self destruct, destroying their marriages, and ultimately spreading this lie of “unloved” like a virus.

The unloved virus can be stopped, but it is very hard.  Let me share a couple of stories.  My pastor was in a very bad place when I took the youth pastor position.  The church was splitting and some of the people closest to him were stabbing him in the back. His heath had been failing, but emotionally he was being broken as well. The lie “you are unloved” was growing in him and he was struggling.  This is a very bad thing for anyone, and doubly so for a pastor. I felt God tell me to build him up every day. To call the pastor and his wife to tell them they are loved and appreciated. I spent a few months calling literally every day just to tell them “You are loved and appreciated.” Sometimes we would talk “shop” but more often than not I just said “Just touching base to let you know you are loved and appreciated,” or something to that effect.  The process took months, but I began to see a change in him.  His health became better. He still struggles with the chronic migraines, but he is more able to cope. He went from weeks at a time of not being able to preach, to weeks at a time of being able to preach every single service.

About the time that his health started to turn around I felt God telling me to build up my students too. I started telling them “you are loved” at every opportunity. A few weeks ago one of my students confided that she didn’t really feel God in her life any more, and I felt God prompt me to tell her that every time my wife and I showed her love, it was God showing His love to her, every time we said she was loved, it was God tell her just how much He loves her.  She told me later just how much this helped her, to know she is loved.

Of course, this is a LOT of work, but the benefits are pretty amazing. Still, I know there are many that need to hear they are loved right now, so here this, “You are loved.”

I probably don’t know you, so you may be reading this thinking, “You don’t know what I’ve done, how I’ve failed, who I disappointed …” Ok, you are right, but this is just a small part of what God has to say on this matter:

"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love." (John 15:9)

"Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39)

"But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:4-6)

"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." (1 John 4:10)

"We love each other because he loved us first." (1 John 4:19)

Nick is a husband and father to four children all of whom he loves dearly. He is also a youth pastor to over 50 students, a great writer and a whiz with computers. He has a fabulous blog where he shares his Experience as a Husband, Father, Youth Pastor, Geek and Jesus Freak. Be sure to go check it out.

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Reader Comments (1)

Nick...that is so the Father's heart. He is saying "You are loved and appreciated" all the time...I pray that we all listen closely to those words and spread them around! Bless ya bro'

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJay Cookingham

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