January 12, 2018

Fueled By Love

By: Hannah Beaven [Newburgh, IA]

I often watch the nightly news with my family.

Their favorite news segment is “Inspiring America,” which highlights ordinary people acting in charitable, generous, caring, and heroic ways. Although I am refreshed by the optimism of these stories, I don’t always feel as inspired as the rest of my family; I feel intimidated. Seeing the compassionate acts of others makes me painfully aware of my own shortcomings in loving and serving as Jesus did. Watching their success makes me feel as if God loves me less, and I experience a surge of competition for God’s favor.

[The Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Gradually, I am coming to understand that God’s love is a gift, not a reward. God cares less about impressive deeds or a tally of the people affected than about the genuine love fueling our actions. When I struggle with resenting the benevolence of others, 2 Corinthians 12:9 gently reminds me that God can use me in spite of my imperfections. I don’t have to compete for God’s love; God loves each of us abundantly.

PRAYER: Dear God, when I feel the need to compete with others for your love, remind me that you have more than enough love for all your children. Amen.

Act On It

Next time you feel competitive, pause for a moment to consider how you can lift up God’s name and share God’s love rather than competing only for personal glory.


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