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“Make your home in me, and I will make my home in you.” – Jesus

EXPLORATION 42 | Beloved

Spiritual Direction

We have a panel of “judges” sitting in constant scrutiny over all we do. Panels consist of people long removed from daily life, including family, teachers, coaches, church leaders, peers, even the media, yet their influence continues to shape our self-worth. The judges on our panel measure our value based on a host of silent oughts and shoulds: “Why aren’t you married yet?” “Your brother made the Dean’s List.” “You’ll never be good enough.” Even the best-intentioned can be ongoing critics on our panel.

As our relationship with Jesus matures, his voice begins to drown out the opinions of our panel. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”[1]


It is notable that as Jesus was baptized, before he had given a single sermon or performed a miracle—before he had accomplished anything— his father calls out his true identity. “. . .and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'”[2] Similarly, our true identity is not based on our accomplishments, appearance, or possessions.

All I want to say to you is, ​’You are the Beloved,’ and all I hope is that you can hear these words as spoken to you with all the tenderness and force that love can hold. My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being — ​’You are the Beloved.'[3]


How might your life be different if you could live every moment in the reality of being the Beloved of God?

  1. John 10:27.
  2. Luke 3:22.
  3. Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved, 8. See,