One of our greatest human needs is to be loved. In fact, we thrive on feeling loved.Why is that?
It’s because it assures us that we have value!
At times, though, other humans—parents, spouses, children, extended family, or friends—may fail to give us the love we really need. Sometimes, due to personal struggles and shortcomings, we even fail to give ourselves that love!
What can aid you to live securely and confidently despite life’s many pressures and anxieties?
What can help you keep the right perspective of yourself and your imperfections?
The answer: The confidence that God’s love for you endures. Love that surpasses that of any human—including yourself!
Live Like You’re Loved – Not Like You’re Perfect
“This perfection you’re chasing is just energy wasted…”
— from the song “Live Like You’re Loved”
Could life be different for you if you sincerely believe that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved just as you are? – Certainly!
Consider how understanding and mirroring the viewpoint of the One who is the very essence of love can help you have the right attitude toward yourself and your life.
Perfectionism is self-defeating
There’s a huge difference between seeking excellence in a healthy way and chasing after an unreasonable ideal. Perfectionism will only lead you to set extremely high standards that cause constant anxiety, stress, and feelings of worthlessness in your life. That approach is futile and blinds you to seeing that you’re already loved.
God’s word reminds us that imperfection is human. That even when you wish to do what is right, you often end up doing what’s wrong. It’s like a constant war inside of you. For that reason, God doesn’t expect absolute perfection from you and, therefore, neither should you! So, be realistic, anticipate making mistakes, and accept them. When you learn to see your limitations as well as your abilities in the light God sees them, you can strive for excellence, but reject perfectionism.
True love is vast and everlasting
Sadly, human opinions and feelings tend to vacillate to the extreme. Far too often, people love conditionally. In fact, you may find your emotions affected by external factors more often than not. Your heavenly father, though, doesn’t have those limitations. His love doesn’t change. It is constant, steady, and unending. It never fails us.
Just think how he demonstrated the magnitude of his love when he sent his son to die for you. Surely, pondering on that single act of surpassing love can help you feel loved, no matter what.
Realizing the tender and deep feelings he has for you can help you see the value you have to him. And, in turn, it can help you love and value yourself and live up to your potential, not anybody else’s.
Forgiveness means putting things behind you
Perhaps there are many things you wish you would have done differently in your life. But dwelling on your guilt and the “if onlys” won’t ever change anything. On the contrary, it’s destructive and will keep you from living a free and purpose-driven life.
The scriptures assure us that while God is very aware of our flaws and mistakes, he does not dwell on them or focus on the negative. And even if you feel you have some genuine reason to feel guilt, he affirms that he is greater than your own heart. He always looks for the good in you, not the bad. In fact, when he forgives you, he does so completely. God doesn’t keep holding mistakes over your head whenever it’s convenient! So why not follow this example and let his deep love, warmth, compassion, and generosity lead you to put your errors behind yourself? Never allow them to shackle you again.
Knowing that God knows you inside out, that he is sensitive to your struggles, and that he loves you—even when you don’t feel worthy of that love—can help you feel secure and confident. It can help you stop trying to measure up to unrealistic standards and freely accept yourself for who you are.
As the song mentioned at the outset pointedly says, “live like you’re loved, walk like you’re free”!