Known and Loved

I often remind leaders of the importance of cultivating their most central relationships, continually deepening their ties with those who “know you best and love you most.” When you know with certainty that you are loved and celebrated by those closest to you, then you have strength to sustain any winds that seek to blow you off course. When you are confident of faithful commitment that stands the test of time, then you receive courage to withstand any predators that come to tempt you, and shared wisdom to avoid any rocks that emerge to trip you up along the pathway of life.

However, there are far too many who exist daily without such support. They continually seek the approval or applause of others, but within their heart they may never discover how empty and shallow are such attempts. They want so much to be recognized and affirmed, they will do almost anything to garner basic life support and cure the relentless emptiness deep within. They don’t have those who know them well and love them in spite of themselves. As a result, they are left with full and busy lives, but not nearly as fulfilling as they desire.

This is the spectrum: those who know they are dearly loved on one end, and those who can’t imagine why anyone would know them as beloved on the other. Most of us are somewhere in between. Regardless of where we are on this continuum, we all long for the very same thing: to be known and loved.

During Lent we remember the temptations of Jesus and we experience our own. We recognize our rapidly escalating expectations for a hope beyond this life, and we wait longingly for Holy Week. In and through it all we are led into the security of one great truth that’s a stake in the ground by which no stronghold can conquer: Jesus Christ knows us best and loves us most. The love of the resurrected Jesus is our only sure repose during the days when we don’t feel loved or lovely whatsoever. Jesus knows us intimately, unconditionally, lavishly. In Him and through Him and by Him and because of Him we are known and loved.

Rest well dear friend in the reality of Christ’s redemptive love. No matter the heartache of your past or present circumstance, be assured of this one thing: Jesus loves you. On this one simple truth your life and mine is transformed.

As you craft your personal rule of life, remember always the fragrance of love and be held and sustained by the scent. Join the journey of building and growing healthy relationships at

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