Question: What is it about you that God delights in?
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Transcript of Video:
I think what is so central to our identity as Christians is the fact that we know that we are loved by God, and that our chief identity, our main identity, is that we are beloved children of God. And I think this is crucial to our sense of who we are in the world: that our identity does not depend on external things and people’s approval or on degrees or status or success or possessions or wealth, but our identity is found within. It’s the fact that we are known and loved by God. So our chief identity is as of a beloved child of God.
And I think this makes all the difference for us, because when we have that as the core of our identity, then we’re free to be free in the world, not to have to impress or please or do anything else to earn our identity. We have this secure identity that can never be taken away from us. And as the first letter of John says, “We love because He first loved us.” And I think we become people of love once we know that we have been loved. We become able to forgive once we’ve experienced being forgiven ourselves. We become able to bear with other people when they realize that God has been lovingly patient towards us. So I think it’s crucial to our identity.
Second part of that phrase, “We love because God first loved us.” That second part is the work of prayer. And we need to give ourselves some time and space to take in this love, day by day, and to know ourselves to be loved and to reaffirm that part of our identity. To really make it the core of who we are and allow it to shape how we function in the world.
So how we do that? We do it in prayer. I once said to a group that I was working with in retreat that, “You’ve made so many sacrifices on behalf of the Gospel, but have you ever allowed God to express God’s appreciation to you? Have you ever received God’s thanks for the sacrifices you’ve made?” And for many of us, that’s a strange idea, but to open ourselves to the love that God wants to give to us and wants to affirm in us, day by day, I think is very crucial.
-Br. David Vryhof