The word “beloved” appears in Scripture more than 100 times. That’s a lot of reps, so it must be a word worth remembering. Very often the word was used as a greeting to signify the importance of the people being addressed; God’s people. It was meant to convey the great love the Father had for all the people He created. I have two questions for you today. The first; when was the last time you looked in the mirror and thought, hey, I’m beloved? The second, when is the last time you noticed someone and thought, hey, that is one beloved person? Beloved isn’t a word that takes up much space in my vocabulary but after spending the past few weeks reading and praying with the New Testament letters, I’ve come across the word so many times I decided it was a word I needed to do something with.
It’s a beautiful word but I couldn’t put my finger on what I was supposed to be doing with it. A few nights ago, as He always does after lots of prayer and thought, God gave me the insight to this word I’d been asking for. Unfortunately the message about this word didn’t come in a joyful way. I try really hard to keep my posts light, joyful and inspiring but this day the thoughts are heavy on my heart.
Beloved isn’t just a word. It’s a concept much bigger than seven letters in a row. It’s an action, it’s an attitude, it’s a part of discipleship. I don’t think it’s simply an adjective, I believe it’s a verb. If we act as if we are beloved by our Creator we change. The fruit of that change is that we begin to treat others as if we recognize the same fact about them. This week the students of our local high school are grieving over the loss of one of their own. For the third year in a row the students and families from the two rural communities that make up our high school are learning some of life’s saddest and most difficult lessons. We are blessed to be from communities of very deep faith. Our kids are blessed by a school leadership and staff that love and support them. We are blessed by an army of community faithful who hit their knees immediately to pray for the strength and comfort of God. We are blessed by men and women of Faith who rushed in to lift them up in the middle of the pain and sorrow…again. Once more, there are those all too familiar thoughts of “why” and “if” and “what now”. A thick cloud of confusion and grief hangs, and when it lifts, everyone who was under it will be changed.
As my heart aches for Nick’s family and the friends and classmates, I realize the word we need right now is beloved. We’ll need it next week and next month and next year. If we were each to remember how completely beloved we are to the God who made us, our days would be different. If our days were different we would have a much greater capacity to help others realize how beloved they are. What if we made it a point to treat every single person who crossed our path as if we recognized they were beloved? What if we searched for the things that made people beloved before we searched for the things that made them different? Beloved is friendly, beloved is cheerful, it’s respectful, compassionate, patient and understanding. We have to “do beloved" instead of selfish, judgmental and narrow-minded. Let’s not wait until tomorrow, let’s make “beloved” a way of life starting right this very minute.
A Seed To Plant: Go on a beloved search. Start with a list of the things that make you beloved and then move on to the people you meet today. Find something beloved about every person you cross paths with.
Blessings on your day!
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