“He got this very serious look on his face after I told him, and he said something to me I don’t think I will forget this semester or ever. ‘Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
What is it that you deserve?
If the adds on my Facebook newsfeed are to be believed, I deserve plenty! A vacation, a new car, and any number of charming little items from the online window shopping I enjoy indulging in…it’s all on sale! The algorithm knows what its doing; these adds are trying to get into my head and override rational thought with “oh yeah….I want that…I work hard…I shouldn’t worry about spending extra money because I deserve it!”
But what about love? The world isn’t so sure that I deserve that (and would probably like to sell me something that promises to fix that).
We all long for acceptance and love. These things may not literally keep us breathing but they are essential to feeling alive. We are so desperate without love that we try to use the same rules that apply to material things to get it and don’t understand when we fall short. We get frustrated after working so hard to achieve, we often settle for second best or good enough because we are tired of trying. We may end up settling for what is easy, but we deserve so much more.
In our time on Earth we are many things: parents, leaders, lovers, entrepreneurs. Sinners and saints. But God sees us as only one thing: His beloved child. (1 John 3:1) We might believe that consciously if we hear it often enough but, even so, many of us struggle to really know it. Deep down we believe the voices telling us that we’re not enough, that we need to do more and be more to be worthy.
On the surface it feels pretty logical and fair, doesn’t it? Do the work, reap the reward. We understand that transaction pretty well; it’s the rhythm of the human world that we live in. And that line of thinking isn’t entirely wrong; there are certainly many wonderful milestones that we can reach by doing. But don’t be fooled: there is nothing that you can achieve that makes you more or less worthy of the love and grace of God.
When you feel tempted to settle for less than you deserve – for less than you have already been given – instead of praying for some kind of transformation that you think will make you compatible with something or someone, pray for the ability to see yourself the way that God already does: a beloved, perfectly imperfect masterpiece; a living miracle of love.
God made you on purpose.
You do enough, You are enough.
Allow yourself to love. Allow yourself to be loved.