by Pastor Mark Jordan
“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.” (1 John 3:18-20, MSG)
I felt a catch in my breath when I read today’s passage, especially the part about how real love helps to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. How do you read it?
I know what it’s like to be crippled by my hyper-critical self-talk; in fact, I am harsher on myself than anyone else could ever be. I think this is true for most of us. There is beautifully good news here that God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. And friend, know this: God loves you more than you could ever possibly know, let alone love yourself.
Our enemy, the devil, wants you to doubt this, though. Satan wants you to think that you are unforgivable, unlovable, and useless. He will even whisper the words in your ear he wants to hear you say about yourself. Don’t listen. Follow the teaching of Ephesians 4:27, and “Don’t give the devil a chance” (GNTA).
This is a time when you don’t need to just pay lip service to love, but live into it with all you have. That is God’s reality, and the Lord wants it to be yours. Live into love. Do you hear that?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for sharing your loving reality with me. Forgive me for the times when I listen to the enemy more than I do you. Help me, by the power of your Spirit, to practice real love in every aspect of my life. I ask this in Jesus’ loving name. Amen.