Mike’s note: The following guest-post by Chuck Ammons is excerpted by his heart-felt exploration of abundant living, Life in the Overflow – a Speakeasy selection. If you review books for your blog, podcast, or are an Amazon/Goodreads superstar, there are a limited number of review copies remaining here.
Our core problem isn’t that we want to be loved or that we want to be valuable. Every fiber of our being, every single delicate detail of what makes us who we are — spirit, soul and body, all of it — was hand-knit while we were held in the loving embrace of the One who could have called himself anything but chose to identify himself as our Father, our Daddy. So, I repeat: our problem isn’t that we want to be loved. Our problem is simply that we keep drinking from polluted wells that dried up long ago and will never quench our thirst. When we look to find our worth from popularity, beauty contests, our physique or our performance, we’re just drinking from muddy puddles in the bottom of an abandoned well. As long as comparison is your measuring stick, you will never measure up or be enough. Someone will always outperform you.
But we’re missing the point. The cry of our heart to be enough has already been met. We don’t need to exhaust ourselves chasing it or worry any longer that we will miss it.
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father” Romans 8:15 – Emphasis added.
The longing within you to be wanted was placed there. Your spirit — the real you — is crying out to be enough. To be understood. To be loved. The “cry” might look vastly different from person to person but don’t mistake it: on every continent, in every era, the cry of our heart to be wanted echoes. It’s why bullies become bullies and why kids who are bullied are so devastated. It’s why we marry and why a broken marriage shatters our hearts. It’s why we sacrifice to go to college and why we stubbornly work more hours than are asked of us. It’s why we’re obsessed with selfies and why we criticize our reflection in the mirror at the same time.
We want to be enough, but we fear we are not. We want to do enough but feel the clock of life working against us while our dream of significance seems to drift just out of reach. We are all crying out because we were made for love — to be loved by the Almighty and to love him with everything in return. We cry out because our lives were created to be a song of love that we sing and dance with our Creator and until we find our worth in his arms, we will always be chasing something or someone else.
You are either crying out a song of slavery or one of sonship. The harsh voice of the bully’s bravado is, in reality, a dissonant cry of grave insecurity. The cry of the jilted lover is a dirge of rejection. The cry of the middle-aged businessman, sacrificing another weekend for a job that holds no meaning, is the slave song of the hamster wheel, running in place with all that he has in the hopes that he will eventually arrive somewhere worthwhile.
A thousand different songs of slavery have rung through every one of our lungs. We’ve served foolish things and taken desperate measures just to be noticed. But when we come to Jesus, something remarkable happens. He changes our song. Our heart still cries, yes. That’s what a living heart was made to do. But now the song is hopeful, alive — a song of emancipation as sons and daughters to our “Daddy!” That’s what the word, “Abba,” really means: it is our heart screaming in ecstasy that we’ve found the embrace of the one we belong to: our Daddy! It is the sound of shackles falling off, of grave clothes being cast aside. It is the sound of someone who has slaved their whole life to be loved, learning that they never had to do a single thing to earn it except to simply receive it. You want to be loved because you were made to be.