What Will You Gain?

What will you gain when you lose?”

I’d read that particular slogan many time before, and always thought, “What a great slogan! That’s so true! Wow, what we gain when we lose…weight!”

And that’s how I was thinking, once again this morning, when God broke in – “What will you gain when you lose…when you lose your fear of man?”

You see, God’s been dealing with me on this for awhile now. Not in a harsh, demanding way, but in a loving, gracious, inviting way. Not a I can’t believe you care more about what people say than what I declare about you, but a I know who you are, because I created you – and I love you like crazy, sort of way.

And slowly, I’ve been getting it; it’s been sinking in: God loves me. God loves me! God delights in me. He smiles on me. He rejoices over me with singing!

But…

But, there’s still something in me – a little place of hold-out inside that says, “Ok, well I don’t need everyone to like me. I don’t need everyone to love me. I don’t need everyone to smile on me. But, there’s still a few people…there’s still a few…and I surely want them to like me! I want them to love me. I want them to delight in me and smile over me!

But in that – as much freedom as I’ve gained, as much freedom as I’ve been walking in and enjoying, as much as my countenance has changed and my gait has changed and everything about me has changed…I’m still not totally free.

So, what will I gain when I lose? When I lose, really use, the fear of man? Freedom! Pure, joy-filled, wide-open, full-on, “lift my hands and spin around” freedom!

The freedom to laugh, cry, sit, stand, speak, be still, run, dance, whisper, shout, do, not do, go, stay, work, rest, sing, play – anything and everything – all without the fear of what others think. All with knowing that God, that Jesus, has declared me lovely and loveable. That He rejoices over me with singing. That His face is radiant – smiling and shining bright – rejoicing and delighting in me! That the God of Heaven – the One who created me, formed me, knit me together in my mother’s womb, the One who fashioned my eyes and my smile, the One who formulated the tones of my voice and hand-crafted my laugh, the God who loves me unconditionally, the One who can never love me any more or any less than He does because He loves me “all-the-way, all-the-time” – that God – the One, true, living God – is cheering me on?! That He’s not standing there with arms crossed, fuming, “Why aren’t you getting this?” but He’s smiling, jumping up and down, shouting, “Yes!! Yes, Sandy, you’re getting it!! You’re getting it!” Now that’s freedom!

Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…” And today, a little bit more than yesterday, I’m choosing freedom!

Will I be perfect? No. But even in that, there’s freedom! Jesus doesn’t stand over me laughing and pointing, snickering and rolling His eyes when I stumble. He doesn’t say, “Ha! I knew you’d never get it, so why’d you even bother trying?” He stoops down, lifts my chin, wipes my tears and brushes the dust off of my knees. He takes my hand, lifts me up, and with love-filled eyes and a smiling face, He says, “I just love you!!” And…we walk…and talk…and laugh…

So – what will you gain when you lose?

I’m gaining freedom–and friendship. A friendship like I’ve never known. A friendship with the God of the Universe and His Son, Jesus. Won’t you join me?

What will you gain when you lose?

-“What Will You Gain?” by Sandy, 01/13

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