Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cherished by: @EmilyLaney

Photo Credit: Valerie Everett (creative commons)
  For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 119:13-16

The scripture above is one of those passages I feel like I need to mediate in on a regular basis. How humbling and empowering to know that God KNOWS us. He knew us before we were even conceived. He knit us together in the womb. We are fearfully and wonderfully made! Wow, what amazing truth! Our identity is based around the love God has for us. It’s easy to forget, but this verse serves as an amazing reminder of the value people have in the eyes of our Father. 

When we embrace our identity and truly accept that we are loved, cherished and valued by God, this truth is reflected in our relationships and our interactions with people. I notice that when I feel insecure I tend to talk too much out of nervousness, then later on in the day I second guess every word I said in conversation. I can see a difference in my attitude and my interactions with others when I feel insecure in my identity in Christ. Jealously and resentfulness are much more common and prevalent when I’m not focusing on my identity in Christ. But when I’m truly resting in the promises of God and am secure in my identity and relationship with God, then there’s very little room for insecurity. My thoughts are captivated by doing the work that I feel called to do for the glory of God.

It can also be easy to forget that other people are cherished in the same way by God. The verse above applies to you and me, but it also applies to people who we may struggle to love. God cherishes all of his children and all of his creation. My attitude changes when I remind myself to look at others as cherished creations of God. The guy who cut me off on 285- cherished by God. The clients at my job who yell and are rude- loved by God. The friends in my life who are just really hard to love- God has no difficulty in loving them. We can keep others at a distance through social media and other arenas that sometimes makes it easier to de-humanize them. But God loves them, just like he loves you and me.

The bottom line: You are loved and cherished by God, as are your neighbors, friends, and people who you just don’t like. There are people across the street from you and halfway around the world who are deeply loved by God. We are all cherished by God, and our relationships are strengthened when we first embrace this truth in our own lives. When we are secure in Christ and are living in the spirit, we can view others in the eyes of our Father.

What spiritual disciplines do you practice to stay focused on your identity in Christ?

How does embracing our own identity in Christ improve relationships with others?

Emily Laney is a social worker, educator, and justice seeker.  She has worked with vulnerable populations in the United States and abroad and loves to help startup nonprofits reach their goals.  She is a Passion City Church door holder and leads a team of abolitionists at Not for Sale Georgia.   She loves her husband Brent and their rescue pup Biscuit. Sunsets and Sushi make her happy. 

You can connect with Emily on twitter @emilylaney or on her blog 

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