Don’t Believe Lies, Dear Sister

Don’t believe lies.

1) “I can’t meet the standard of Andy’s behavior. That standard is too high.”

This is an absurd lie. It actually isn’t that hard, especially these days. I’m more or less bumbling my way through seminary, working a few jobs that are actually pretty dang easy, but everyone in our family thinks I’m great for some reason. I guess that’s because that’s how I portray myself sometimes. In point of fact, though, I’m an arrogant, self-centered asshole, and all you have to do to meet the standard of my behavior is stay out of trouble, do your work, and facebook a lot. While you’re at it, treat people around you like dirt, and you’ve pretty much nailed it. It’s pretty damned easy, to be honest. In fact, minus the “stay out of trouble” part– and possibly the “facebook a lot”– I daresay you’re doing a pretty good job at meeting my standard of behavior already.

2) “I must meet the standard of Andy’s behavior to be loved.”

This is a powerful lie. It is powerful because there is truth to it: There is a standard that you must meet to be loved. It is a lie because the standard that you must meet to be loved is not the standard of my behavior. It is the standard of God’s behavior. The problem with people holding you to the standard of my behavior is not that it is too high. The problem is that the standard of my behavior is far, far too low. Abysmally low.

3) “I am not loved.”

This is a lie from the pit of hell.

You are loved. More than you can ever possibly know.

Although you have not met the standard of God’s behavior, God became a man in the Person of Jesus Christ to meet the standard of God’s behavior on behalf of all who would put their trust in Him. For all who put their trust in Him, God loves them in exactly the same way that He loves Himself. No, more: God loves all who put their trust in Him with the very same love with which He loves Himself. This is what it means to be united with Christ. If you have put your trust in the God Who became a man, Who lived the life that we should have lived, and Who died the death that we should have died, then God loves you every bit as much as He loves Himself.

That love is infinite. As such, finite human beings can never fully comprehend it. It is eternal. As such, it precedes your very existence and extends beyond the limits of time itself. And it is unchangeable. As such, it can never be lost or diminished. If you have put your trust in the God Who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, you are loved with a love that is beyond your comprehension, beyond the limits of time, and can never be lost or diminished.

You are loved. More than you can ever possibly know.

And I love you, too.

Mom and Dad piss me off sometimes, too, but you need to be eternally grateful to God for them. You will never know the terrible pain of growing up fatherless, and you will not know the hardship that Mom has endured for your sake until you have children of your own. Mom and Dad both love you, even though you may not recognize it and even though they’re both bad at it. They are probably frustrated because they want another child who will reflect well on them and through whom they can live vicariously. You are frustrated because you don’t want to be their vicar. (Imagine how Jesus Christ must have felt being our vicar!)

But anyway, they love you. If they didn’t love you, I guarantee you that they wouldn’t be together. It takes a lot to hold a marriage together, and believe it or not, their love for you is one of those things.

As for our brothers, I don’t know what to say.

…except that they need to get their shit together even more than I do.

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