Good morning and happy Sunday! I go back to school tomorrow for my senior year and I’m honestly really excited. After spending a month on Work Crew at a YoungLife camp this summer (read the post on my experience here), I feel so inspired and I can’t wait to implement some of the things I learned about loving others in my community at home! Today I’m sharing a little of this in another volume of “Scripture Sunday.” Enjoy!
1 John 3:1a; See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
In everyday life it’s so easy to hear all the negatives and nothing positive about yourself between your peers, the media, and your own thoughts. You hear that you’re annoying, not thin enough, not pretty enough, and so on. These criticisms weigh on us like backpacks full of stones. We become convinced that our flaws define us and in that insecurity it’s easy for us to define others with their flaws as well, even if we don’t vocalize that.
In my time on Work Crew with approximately forty other teenagers from across the country, I got to know some people that are really similar to my friends at home but also some who aren’t. The people that I didn’t think I’d talk to much at all in the first few days ended up becoming some of the sweetest friendships I had at Saranac. We hear “don’t judge a book by its cover” all the time, but maybe we should start judging by a cover; that cover being that the person is a child of God whether they look and act like you or seem perfect from the outside or not.
The verse that we’re memorizing for Wyldlife leader training this week is 1 John 3:1a. This verse says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” In memorizing this piece of Scripture, I’ve started to think about how it means more than just “God loves me.” The verse means that He has given us a really incredible, unconditional, eternal love that we couldn’t ever deserve, but the key word there is “us.” This reminder of the love that God has for me should comfort me in the reminder that my identity is found in being His child, but it should also remind me that this goes for everyone. Something big that I took home from Work Crew is what I like to call my “God lens,” or the intention of seeing others the way that God sees them. Now, when I catch myself thinking something negative about someone else or see a distance between me and someone else just because speaking to them isn’t “comfortable,” I fill my mind with positive thoughts about the way God sees them and pray for the boldness to be kind and loving towards them.
This week, remember what truly defines us. We are children of God! I am and you are, but that girl that’s rude to you and the boy that sits alone at lunch are too. Treat those around you with even a fraction of that reckless love that God treats us with. Remember that He loves us more than we’ll ever be able to comprehend, and we should let our hearts overflow into love for others.
Thanks for reading! Have a blessed week!