Ever wonder why people like you? Ever wonder if people like you? Ever wonder if the only reason some people (or even scarier, all people) only like you (or maybe just tolerate you) for what you can do for them?
Those questions rushed over me. I was sitting listening as a speaker shared about overcoming those things that were consistent struggles in our lives. Sharing his experience through the process he was suggesting he made a side comment about his wife. Now, some perspective, he framed his course addressing the idea that we have “made an agreement with a lie about who we are.” So I’ve got that swirling in my head and then he says, “My wife is the kind of woman that throws amazing parties, but she wonders if that is why people love her.” Out of no where my eyes filled up with tears.
I used to throw parties. We used to have people over all the time. This season of our life has made that very rare and difficult the last several years (#kidsbaseballislife), but that statement still struck me. I may not throw parties any more but I do so many other things so people will love me. I have a love/hate relationship with the fact that we are designed to be in community. I love relationships when they are fun, safe, true, real, rooted, grounded, secure…I hate it when I twist things, use relationships as a substitute, or manipulate things to fill gaps in my life.
Genesis 1:31 says, “God saw ALL that he had made, and it was VERY GOOD.” This is after everything in nature culminates to mankind and right before God rests.
What do you think makes you “very good”? What makes you “good enough” for others? What makes you “good enough” for God? I think the reason that statement at the conference grabbed me was because I struggle living life loved and being at peace with the thought that God already declared me good. I realize theologically this could spark about a million conversations about original sin, soteriology, etc., but for now let’s not chase those rabbits and just wonder…when was the last time we felt good? Like, very good. I think those emotions that overwhelmed me for that moment was my spirit’s way of trying to wring-out some of that “I’ve gotta be good enough”. I understand this man’s wife. My glassy eyes were a reminder that God holds me very close and loves very much…parties or not…already enough. I can’t earn that kind of love. But when I choose not to live life in a way that reflects the fact that I am already good enough…I miss out. I hurt. And sometimes I hurt others.
How do you seek to earn love or approval? As part of God’s creation, what would God speak over you right now?