“If God is love….what does that make me?”
I’ve made my list of 2014 goals. Most of them are measurable. Like: Work out at least 3 times a week. Or before my counseling day begins – I will take 5 minutes (I use a timer) and be quiet, I will breathe in the grace of that moment.
Those are good goals according to what the ‘goal experts’ recommend. They are specific (work out, create a practice prior to counseling) and they are measurable (3 times a week, 5 minutes). But my main goal for 2014 isn’t very specific nor measurable.
My 2014 Goal: Be Loved.
You may see the problem right away. How is my goal actionable? What exactly are the steps to accomplish ‘being loved’. How do you make ‘be loved’ happen? I know how to ‘do love’; you make casseroles, initiate conversations, offer hugs and adjust your attitude. ‘Doing love’ is action-oriented and often intuitive. You may not want to love, but you have an idea of how to love.
But ‘being loved’ is not intuitive. In fact, it feels foreign, like trying to write with the wrong hand. You know the shape of the letters, but you still can’t make it happen. Now this is very odd because receiving God’s love should be natural to us. It is the core human purpose; being loved is why I was created.
This idea was brought home to me when I heard someone ask, “So if God is love – what does that make me?” I had never heard that question before. It tilted my categories. Somewhere I had gotten the wrong-headed idea that God created people because he needed help – servants, a praise team, missionaries and the like. I had gotten the idea that my main function was to ‘do something’ for God.
But the main function of being human is to be loved by God. You get a picture of this from the beginning, when God ‘breathed into Adam the breath of life’. The first act between God and man was of God giving and man receiving. Adam was loved into existence. Being loved is how it all began and it is still my place. Being loved is my life’s station.
Since God is love… then that makes me the beloved. So there is my 2014 goal: be loved. I don’t know how to ‘do it’, but I have some theories. Next week I’ll post some of my ideas on “How to Be Loved.”
Roger Edwards joined The Barnabas Center in 1991. In addition to counseling individuals and couples, Roger teaches and leads discussion groups about applying the Bible to everyday life. He is a licensed professional counselor, holds a master’s degree in biblical counseling from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana and earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is married to Jean, and they have seven children.