My last post was about learning to accept love, but another thing I’ve learned over the last few months that trying to earn love is really really hard. Recently I’ve gotten a little better at accepting God’s love (though I still have an infinite number of oceans and rivers to go before I accept it well) but in the last few weeks I have noticed that I can still be caught trying to earn the love of those around me. And it is so exhausting. When I’m trying to earn love, I’m anxious, self-conscious, and easily frustrated when I say or do something stupid. I think the reason for this is that we weren’t made to earn love. God doesn’t require us to earn any of His love, and that is the love for which we are the most unworthy, and so why would we need to earn the love of those around us? The truth is that we don’t, we think we do, but we don’t. We think we have to look impressive, to say the right things, to act the right way. But we weren’t made for this, God loves us where we are, and so we should love others where they are, and we should learn to accept love from others where we are. We can lose the insecurity and the need to impress God and the people around us, because God is pouring down love and grace and just invites us to accept it, and it’s that grace and love that changes us, not our efforts to change.
Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making.
Come and rest.