To belong to God means I am no longer defined by what I do, no longer defined by my performance. I am defined by his love for me. Whatever anyone else says about me doesn’t really mean jack squat. It is only God that matters.
To belong to God means I am free to approach God with the simplicity of a child. I can share my heart with him the same way I would to my wife or best friend. No prayer is insignificant.
To belong to God means I am no longer ashamed. God heals the shame of my fatherlessness through the dignity of adoption.
At the age of twelve, Jesus, already a great provocateur, disappeared into his father’s house. After a four day journey from the holy city, Mary and Joseph discovered the messianic game of hide-and-seek. Panicked, the couple horse-whipped their donkey in hard-driven hope. Oh the embarrassment of losing the savior of the world! In today’s society, Mary and Joseph would have been arrested.
“You left God where?” The police were sure to ask.
When Mary found her promised redemption, she anxiously ranted (like only a Jewish or Baptist mother could)—“where have you been? I’ve been worried sick!” Jesus could have shirked in shame. He could have wallowed in self-pity, found his identity in being the unwanted bastard son of Nazareth. But instead, he spoke unrestrained freedom.
“Why were you looking for me, didn’t you realize I had to be in my Father’s house? “
Jesus found his sense of belonging within his primary relationship. His esteem was found centered in the directives of God.
Chapter Eight of Fatherless Generation reminded me of this all-too-familiar gospel story. In this chapter, Sowers makes it clear that the hope of the fatherless generation is found singularly and primarily in one relationship. He examines the unconditional love and acceptance found in communion with God. Sowers is living proof, gospel proof, that our ultimate Father brings freedom from “our bitterness, our resentment, and our drive to perform.” (p. 84). When God enters our lives our limitations dissipate and fullness of life is found.
In this chapter, Sowers reminded me that my worth is derived from a singular, holy source. He reminded me that I am more than the sum of my performances, accomplishments, hurts, or shames. He reminded me that I can breathe easy because I belong to the house of God.
And for that, I extend many thanks.
love it. solid.
I grew up in a household being the runt of the pack with an absent father (not totally his fault) and so I only came to understand that Jesus is enough when I reached my thirties. I spent most of my life seeking love and approval elsewhere to my ruin. I wish more people struggling in dysfunctional family relationships could come to understand sooner that Jesus is enough.
That’s a hard place to find, sometimes. I am thankful that by grace folks like John Sowers come along to remind me where my self worth is found.
this is a really good post about where our value comes from. you rock @sethhaines! #fistbump i’ve seen this same transformation in my own life, so i also know first hand what it can do for someone else (especially in a fatherless situation).
thanks for another strong contribution to this conversation… i’m really enjoying this!
There’s this sermon series I’ve been listening to regarding Christ-Esteem. Taught by a friend of mine out of Little Rock. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a bit influential in the tone of this post.
Thanks for this forum Dan. You are a rock star. #fistbumpgiantsquid
I was sitting in Taco Bell with my family tonight when the email popped up on my phone, and I almost blew taco out of my nose when I saw your #fistbumpgiantsquid… I laughed so hard and then did one with my son…
you rock dude!
Good one, dude!
You are too kind T. I think you should take down “Nascardude” and do a parody of the Bibledude site. Just a thought.
your words are very touching…..