Happy to welcome my friend Lysa TerKeurst to the blog today. Years ago, Lysa encouraged me to write without showing even a hint of doubt that I could. She believed in me before I had the courage to believe in myself. I’m thankful for the way her kindness, generosity, and courage has shaped my own work. Pleased to share her words with you here today.

A few years ago my friend challenged me with this question: Are you doing this because you are loved or so that you’ll be loved?

Her question is a great one.

Doing something so that we’ll be loved is a trap many of us can get caught in. When I do something because I’m trying to get someone else to notice me, appreciate me, say something to build me up, or respect me more, my motives get skewed.

I become very me focused. I put unrealistic expectations on myself and the other person. And I can get so very hurt when I don’t feel more noticed, appreciated, or respected.

I think one of the greatest contributors to relationship breakdowns and breakups is when we hold people hostage to expectations we refuse to express.

I can get all twisted up and take my frustration out on myself and that person in an unfair way.

But, doing something because I am loved is incredibly freeing.

I don’t view the relationship from the vantage point of what I stand to gain. Instead, I look at what I have the opportunity to give. I am “God focused” and love directed. I keep my expectations in check. And I am able to lavish the grace I know I so desperately need. I live free from regret with clarity of heart, mind, and soul.

So, how do I know if I’m doing things because I’m loved or so that I will be loved? See how easy or hard it is to apply these Biblical truths:

Because I am loved, I can humble myself.
When I’m trying to be loved, I must build myself up to look better.

Because I am loved, I can cast all my anxiety on Him.
When I’m trying to be loved, I cast all my anxiety on my performance.

Because I am loved, I can resist Satan and stand firm in my faith.
When I’m trying to be loved, I listen to Satan and stand uncertain trying to rely on my feelings.

Because I am loved, I know God will use this to make me stronger – and I want that.
When I’m trying to be loved, I don’t want to be made stronger – I want life to be easier.

Yes, I want to pursue life, relationships, and the goals I set from a healthy and free vantage point — because I am loved. Doing things because you are loved can be difficult if you struggle with believing you truly are loved.

These aren’t just good life principles, they’re God’s life principles:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5: 6-10 NIV)

5151DYyK3pL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Discover how to live from the abundant place that you are loved with Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. You can find out more and order your copy here.

Lysa TerKeurst  is the New York Times bestselling author of The Best Yes, Made to Crave and Unglued as well as 16 other titles and a speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ.

As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has led thousands to make their walk with God an invigorating journey through daily online devotionals, radio programs, online Bible studies, speaker/writing training, and more.