So many of us are walking around with words from childhood still taunting us as adults. We make decisions based on a belief about yourself that maybe started with a few simple words. “You aren’t that smart.” “You are a quitter.” “You don’t belong here.” “You’re ugly.”
Words have power. Power to change a moment. Power to change a mind. Power to make someone believe. Power to numb a spirit.
I don’t have to convince myself. Words that are said out loud can break a heart, can pivot someone’s life. Think about when someone tells really good news, “I said yes.” Or when your child says “I love you, mommy.” Those words mark moments.
Even more so words that you don’t say have even more power. The words that you speak to yourself in moments no one is listening or that your mind speaks to your soul. This could be those words that were spoken good or bad over you as a child.
But as I think of power of words, I know that God’s word carry even more effect. God’s words have the power to move mountains, devastate nations, and part seas. God’s words created the heavens and the earth and then he declared them good. He spoke those words over this earth and us in it. Think about what his words can do for our hearts.
When we speak God’s word over ourselves and others, in those moments of unbelief, doubt, fear or pain, he opens our heart, shakes away the dust so it can beat again.
He was just a guest speaker at church. But in the middle of a sermon that I can’t remember, he started repeating the phrase, “God loves you.” “God LOVES you.” GOD loves you.” “God loves YOU.” He captured our eyes and said it to us, like little children, we soaked up that reassurance from who had lived on this earth longer than us, with more wisdom and perspective. Like a small child with a tear stained face needed to hear precious, kind words with eagerness. Not a single dry eye could be found.
Those words. God loves you.
The words that I need to hear and soak in everyday. I don’t realize that I need them, until I hear myself saying things like:
- “If I could just get my life together.”
- “I just need to be more disciplined.”
- “I should trust God more.”
- “I don’t know where I went wrong to end up here.”
Most of these are conditional statements. That idea that you are more worthy of God’s love if you were just a better person. Or life is better if we just live up to some crazy standard. These are behavioral statements. As if by being more obedient we can make God love us more.
The miracle we experience everyday is that God knows exactly who we are. He knows all of the terrible things we have every thought or done and still said, “I sent my Son to die on the cross, to absorb all my wrath, so that I can be close to you.”
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Rom 5:8
He doesn’t love us because we are his hands and feet. He doesn’t love us because we reflect who he is to others. He doesn’t love us more for following his commandments. He doesn’t love us because we go to church or don’t or vote one way or the other. He doesn’t love us more or less because we make good or bad choices.
No, he loves us because he loves us because he loves us because he loves us.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. – Zephaniah 3:17
As I sit here on a rainy day, contemplating some hard things in my heart, I know that a shift happens in my thinking when I rest in the truth that God loves me. A powerful shift happens in my hopefulness, in my outlook, in my desire for what God calls me to. A shift happens in my heart toward God.
His love unmotivated, unprompted, because that is just who God is. We need to speak those out loud to ourselves and to others. We come to God to hear about how much he loves us, and that love will transform our hearts. Not the other way around.
So what if you told yourself, or someone in your life, that God loves them. Just the way they are, in the mess, in the muck of their life. How many of us need to hear those words over and over again, especially in a world that shouts that we aren’t enough, that we need to hustle harder, that with these 5 steps you can make your life better. Especially in a world that is angry right now, that is divided, that is crying out for a balm for bleeding wounds.
“Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses.” -Proverbs 10:12
What if we were just able to say, God loves me, God loves you, no matter where you are, no matter how far you are, but he loves every single part of you, especially the broken parts.
It feels trite to say, but only if you say it once. Say it again and again and again. Saying it like you are desperate to believe it. Because to be honest, I don’t always. I doubt it, I question it, I stumble over the fact that God loves me. I stumble over the power of those words, that all my mess and brokenness are loved by the Sovereign God of the Universe.