By April Gilbert
This month we are looking at the first session of the mentoring course which is also titled 'Be Loved'.
We think that working through how we feel loved, how others around us feel loved and ultimately how our Father God loves us, is a great place to start. April explains more....
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
(Bill, English teacher in “Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chobsky)
Charlie is talking with his English teacher after class. He can't quite understand why his sister is in a relationship with a guy who treats her so bad, after witnessing his violence towards her. Bill delivers one of the most memorable quotes in the book to Charlie, which has always stuck with me.
What kind of love do we deserve? If we know our self-worth and value, then that should give us some idea that we deserve love from friends, family, relationships that offers respect, forgiveness, kindness and support.
What about when it comes to God? Truly speaking, we don't deserve God's unconditional love. It's hard to come to terms with, I know. But as we are sinners, we couldn't receive God's love. But thank God for Jesus! Thank God for His sacrifice on the cross, where the veil in the temple between the Holy temple and the Holy of the Holiest was torn, and a way was made for us to come to the Father's love. Thank Jesus that he took away our sins, past, present and future so that we could be with God.
As we've come from a place of receiving love that we don't deserve, how can we be like God in our everyday interactions and relationships? Are there people in your lives that you feel like shouldn't receive your kindness or love because they've been rude or mean, or tend to push you away? Or people in society who are ignored or treated badly? Could it be that, as we know what it's like to receive love, even when we didn't deserve it, we could do the same for people in our towns, schools, streets& homes?
“We love because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
Our calling is to love others, because we know first what it's like to be loved by a forgiving, unconditional love. And loved when we didn't deserve it, but because of God's son, we can now receive it. Imagine giving that sort of love to someone, to a bully, a person in school who normally is left out, an elderly person on your road who seems grumpy but actually is very lonely. You could change someone' s life!
“Freely you have received; freely give”
1. Spend some time praising and thanking Jesus for the love you can now receive from His Father, because of His death on the cross.
2. Reflect on what does God's love mean to you. What does it feel like to be loved unconditionally and wholeheartedly?
3. What love do you think you deserve from others? Why do you think that? Do you need to be reminded of what God thinks of you, so you can know your worth and value?
4. Pray and ask for God to show you several people that you can show unswerving love to, even if it feels like they don't deserve it. What can you do to show them this love?
April is a young adult, born and living in Bristol. She enjoys music, food, travelling, being creative & the odd reality TV show! For years she has worked with young people & students in and outside of church, supporting them through the teenage years & encouraging young Christians' walk with God. Her passion is to see young people live the life described in John 10:10- an abundant one!