Tonight at church, we spoke about value, specifically self-worth and identity. “Where do you put your value? Where is your identity?” Our youth group is called Identity, so this has been coming up a lot. But tonight, it was a little more personal.
Naturally, the topic of God’s love came up. If your trust and value is in the right place, it’s an unavoidable theme. But my youth leader said something that struck a chord with me:
God delights in you just as much when you are merely existing as He does when you are using all your talents.
“Does He? Does He really?” I asked myself. But then I got to thinking a little more about it. Of course, we all know about His love. It’s endless, limitless, and so deep we can never fully wrap our heads around it. We know that in our heads, but how well do we really know it in our hearts?
The love of God is truly incredible. It’s absolutely unconditional, no strings, no terms and conditions, no fine print. We cannot earn it, and we do not deserve it. But there it is. A sacrificial and eternal love that knows no limits and obeys no human laws. Completely free and available to anyone and everyone. It doesn’t depend on you at all. It doesn’t depend on how smart you are, what you can do, what you look like, how many friends you have. It doesn’t matter if you’re the most popular kid in school or the loner with no friends to speak of. He loves you equally. You are treasured solely because you are His. You are His beautiful creation, His beloved child, made in His image and given a purpose. You are utterly unique and absolutely individual. Even when you feel forgotten by everyone else, you are remembered by God. You are loved by God. Why? Because you are His. He made you, He loves you, and you don’t have to do anything to earn His favor. You already have it. You don’t have to pretend to be anyone else, don’t have to put on a show of talent or intellectual ability. He loves you for who you are – His child.
I don’t know about you, but it’s always been hard for me to really get that. Loved just for… existing? What? In our world today, that’s especially hard to understand. People “love” for what you can do, what they can get from you. People use you to get what they want and leave when they’re finished. Any kind of selfless love is a rare thing in these modern times. But it’s not like that with God. All He wants from you is your heart. He wants you to bring Him whatever’s left of your heart, whether it’s abused and broken or as whole and healthy as the day you were born. He doesn’t need your talents, your brains, your social skills, your connections. All He needs is you.
So what does this mean for you? “Yeah, He loves me. So what?” Well, if you’re willing to trust this love, to put your faith in Someone Who loves you no matter what you do, a beautiful thing happens. Your value and sense of self-worth completely shift focus. You no longer have to ride the Emotional Worth Roller Coaster. Your world doesn’t have to shatter just because your friends decide they don’t like you anymore, or because you lost your job, or because your boyfriend dumped you for someone prettier. Your identity is no longer in worldly things, and you can rest in the knowledge that the One Who holds your heart will never let you down.