“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” -Timothy Keller
Love is so amazing. When we are loved fully, it is a great feeling. When we are loved fully, we are known fully – all of our quirks, all of our imperfections, all of our weaknesses, all of our insecurities are seen and magnified and still looked upon as beautiful. This is love at its best. This is how God loves us. And this is how we should desire to love and be loved by others.
As I’ve come into my own, as I’ve become more comfortable with all of who I am in Christ Jesus, I have also become more bold about expressing who I am in love. With me, what you see is what you get. Either you like it or you don’t. I am me – unashamedly and unapologetically. There is no fear in me acknowledging the wonderful way in which God has created me. He took His time on me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and I know this full well. I am a unique vessel of the Lord sent to do specific duty for the Kingdom – one that only I can do. But what’s more important than all of this is that I have a huge heart. I love with all of me. I want to help people. I want to give. I want to serve. I want to teach. I want to inspire. I want to encourage. I seriously love with every fiber of my being, and I go to great measures to show it and express it.
In short, my love is real.
Love is my first language. I am fluent in love (and in boldness, intellect, wit, and sarcasm!), but love is my main thing. I am a daughter of the Most High God, the One who is love Himself. So it should be second nature for me to love – and to love as He does.
I appreciate what Tim Keller says in his quote mentioned above: “To be known and not loved is our greatest fear.” It is a fear. This is how we are wired. As image-bearers of God and of Christ, we are wired…we are created for companionship, intimacy, relationship, and love. We want to be known, especially by God. We want to be loved for all of who we are. We want to be fearless in love, not fearful in love. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). This also reminds me of the scripture verse 1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
We are not being punished by God. God is not angry with us. He is a compassionate, just, merciful, and gracious God. He loves perfectly. He loves relentlessly. He loves faithfully. He loves wholeheartedly. When we draw near to Him and abide in Him, He is delighted. He is pleased. And when we mess up, He does not come to us like an authoritarian waiting to condemn us and chastise us. He is coming to lovingly discipline us and transform us – in His perfect way. Be known by God by becoming transformed. Be known by God by bearing the fruit of righteousness in love.
Do not be fearful in love. Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And love your neighbor as you love yourself (Mark 12:30-31). Love perfectly. Love so well that you alleviate (the) fear from your heart and from the heart of others. We grow immensely when we are loving one another as God loves us. Love with transparency. Love with patience. Love with kindness. Love with gentleness. Love with boldness, with zeal, with reckless abandon. Love selflessly, sacrificially. Love abundantly.
We only have one life to live on earth. Live it in love.
God is love. Love is a lifestyle. Jesus lived it, and He’s still living it.
So should we. Don’t you forget it!
With God’s Love,
Porsche R. Armstrong
Founder, Love Is A Lifestyle
Read, reviewed, and reapproved by Love Is A Lifestyle on August 24, 2019 at 4:06pm)