This is the 2nd of our 14-week program, where we provide Lesson #2, Having to Earn the Love of Others. So here are some questions to consider:
- When growing up, do you remember times when performing well made you feel more loved?
- Or how about when you failed at something or perceived that you failed, did you feel less loved?
- Although you don’t do it intentionally (none of us do), do you treat people differently based on their performance, i.e. your kids, coworkers
The most glaring example of this issue in my life was winning the high school football championship my senior year. No matter where my teammates and I went, we were treated like heroes, like gods. Regardless of whether it was the school administration, our teachers, and classmates, or family…parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins, the media, friends outside of school, or the broader community…we were celebrated for our successes individually and collectively.
Having come from an incredibly loving home, the above made me feel more loved based on my success, us winning. Think about it in your own life. Based on my research, I’m quite sure you’ve experienced it.
No Malice Intended
It’s not done intentionally or with malice. Most of us had good upbringings. That said, most also grow up believing, based on our lived experiences, that we have to excel to be loved. Stated another way, we fear that if we don’t perform well, we won’t be loved. And at a fundamental level, we all want to be loved; we all want to be accepted.
As we’re going to learn in future lessons, believing that we have to earn the love of others isn’t a good thing. It drives behaviors related to our own self-development, in addition to the way we treat others, that aren’t healthy.
As indicated, there are no “quick” fixes to anything in life, including feeling the need to earn the love of others. That said, as we move through these 14 lessons, I’m going to give you things that helped me in my life.
Specific to this lesson, I would suggest:
- Think about the following questions. Take them to prayer. Reference Daily Dialogue with God at this past blog for guidance. We can only understand an issue if we identify it. Ponder (think/pray) the following:
- How did “earning the love of others” occur in your life?
- How are you seeing it occur in others’ lives?
- What do you think the impact was then?
- How has what occurred then impacted you now?
- We need to learn to separate our role (carpenter, banker, electrician, dietician, teacher) from our identity (loved children of God). Think and pray about the following:
- God does not call us because we are worthy, but because we are wanted.
- God does not call the qualified; He qualifies the called.
- St. Augustine wrote, “God loves each of us as if there was only one of us to be loved”.
- During your morning prayer routine (from last week), in addition to taking your worries and stresses to the Lord, asking for His peace, also bask in His love. You can meditate on each of the phrases just above, in addition to “I am a loved child of God”.
- Watch this Friday’s video on this same subject….it will be emailed to you.
Please join us next Wednesday for Week #3 when we talk about lack of self-love. As always, please feel free to get to me with questions, comments, or concerns at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!
Week #1 – Being Overwhelmed
Week #2 – Earning the love of others
Week #3 – Lack of self-love
Week #4 – Fear
Week #5 – False gods, False happiness
Week #6 – Life’s Tragedies
Week #7 – Wounds, Resentments
Week #8 – Discovering God’s Love
Week #9 – Forgiveness and healing
Week #10 – Becoming the best Possible You
Week #11 – Path to Peace
Week #12 – Finding your Purpose
Week #13 – You were made for Greatness
Week #14 – True Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment