“I don’t care what you think you can or can’t add to this friendship. Value is intrinsic, not external.”

When I received that text message, I felt stripped to the core. I slid to the floor and leaned against a kitchen cabinet. Tears came and my breaths came even faster as I stared at my heart shattered on the floor. Until that moment, I never realized just how misplaced my sense of self-worth was. 

I didn’t realize it until I was confronted by someone who didn’t need me as much as I craved being needed by them. I wanted to earn love. I viewed relationships as a transaction. But they aren’t.

“God, I’m so, so sorry. God, I’m so, so sorry. God, I’m so, so sorry.”

Viewing our relationships as transactions is not only harmful to us; it spits on the love the other person offers us. When we do this to God, we commit a sin by trying to do for ourselves what only Jesus can do for us.

Jesus sacrificed himself for us when we couldn’t. He loved us despite ourselves, not because of anything we do to earn it. I know you know this. I thought I knew it. But it is so easy to let ourselves get trapped by the lie that we have to earn his love, even when we know that’s not how love works.

Today, let yourself be held by God. Let yourself be loved by him and his people without trying to repay them. It’s good to love them back. But love isn’t a transaction.

_Lord, thank you for your unconditional love for me. It is truly amazing. Help me to accept it joyfully. In your name, amen. _ Throughout this day: Remind yourself often that all is of grace, and there is nothing to repay. All that God has given to you has been freely given in love. Then invite God to use you to spread that love to those around you in the Spirit’s power.

Tags: Daily Devotional Romans 5
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