Freedom From Performing: Grace In An Applause Driven World
Discover Your True Belovedness
God is indeed a wonderful Father who longs to pour out His
mercy upon us and whose majesty is so great that He can
transform us from deep within.
Teresa of Avila
Many of us believe that our belovedness is rooted in how well we perform. These feelings often originated in childhood, with parents who offered conditional love and acceptance.
At one point in His earthly ministry, Jesus asked, “Which of you if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish will give him a snake?” (Matthew 7:9-10). Even though Jesus is suggesting something outrageous, this is how some of us were treated by our parents. Instead of nurturing us, they gave us the stone of emotional coldness. Instead of giving us gifts that would feed and nourish our souls, they gave us biting criticism, or even abuse, which poisoned our spirits. As a result, we internalized the belief, “I can never be good enough, or do enough, to be loved by you.” Sadly, that belief system follows us into adulthood, and subconsciously, we try as hard as we can to find approval and be loved. Jesus knew that if we were going to internalize God’s love, He would have to paint a different portrait of God than the picture we have in our heads of our earthly parents. This is exactly what He did in the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11-32). My prayer for you as you complete this chapter in our study is that you will get a glimpse of just how deeply the Father loves you and that you will dance in the security of knowing you are His beloved daughter.
The Parable of the Lost Son
If you haven’t already, read Luke 15:11-32. Read the story and imagine what it would be like to be the younger son and be so ticked off at your Father that you demand your inheritance and leave home. Then read the story again and focus on the Father’s love. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart so that you might experience God’s love to the core of your being.
The grace glimpse taught in this parable is:
I am God’s beloved daughter,
No matter how well I perform.
A Portrait of God’s Heart
On pages 151-152, I describe God’s heart as portrayed in this story…
- God is brokenhearted when we reject His love.
- God is full of compassion toward us when we mess up.
- God is affectionate.
- God is extravagant.
For Next Week
- Read Chapter 8 in Freedom From Performing and complete the Daily Dose of Grace.
- Write this week’s Grace Glimpse on an index card and tape it to your mirror. Every time you look at it remind yourself that you are God’s beloved daughter no matter how well you perform.
- Fold a piece of paper in half. On one side make a list of characteristics of your earthly father. Then on the other side of the paper, make a list of characteristics of your Heavenly Father. Then spend some time journaling your reflections.
Group Discussion – Answer one or more of the following questions and leave a comment.
- Read over the list found on pages 153-154 comparing the characteristics of a servant with the characteristics of a daughter. Are you living more like a servant of God or a beloved daughter of God?
- In what ways have you struggled to internalize God’s love?
- Read over the section called Baby Steps. Which step would be most helpful to you in terms of internalizing God’s love and why?
- What was your favorite part of this chapter, and how did God use that in your life?