Helping Others Live Loved

These two words, “living loved” have come to express the passion of my heart and the sum of how I hope my life encourages people through writing, podcasts or in conversations. For me, living loved is not a mantra or a theology to espouse. At it’s simplest and most powerful, it is a reality to live in.

And I love how much God is sharing that with the world today. There are many voices talking about the love and grace of our Father and how the coming of Jesus changed everything about how we get to live in him. I love that no singular human is leading this parade and that many brothers and sisters are coming to discover it together.

What does frustrate me most, however, is knowing that some who can write or speak in eloquent terms about Father’s love, even moving crowds to tears, do not reflect that love in how they treat others. Living in the freedom of Father’s love shows up in your relationships—and not just those who benefit you, but those you consider the least or the last, or even those you presume to be your enemies. I am convinced that the depth of our character is most demonstrated by how we treat those who disagree with us when we’re most sure that we are right. Do we treat them gently, give them the opportunity to engage, and offer them the same grace we talk about with others? As Jesus said, it is wholly inconsistent for those who have received great love and forgiveness to grab anyone else by the throat and demand their satisfaction.

What I love about living loved as opposed to just talking about it, is that it is transformational. Those who are well-loved, love others well in good times and bad always valuing the relationship above their own perspective. This is not something you can learn by principle, but by embracing God’s affection at the deepest place in your soul. Until you know you are loved you will be sucked into every religious activity and performance treadmill that exists, hoping against hope that you can do the right thing to merit that deep affection from the heart of the Father.

But you already have his affection! The great lie of the universe is that you are not loved by the Creator of all. The question is only do you realize how loved you are? If not, that’s where the journey begins. He wants to teach you that and in the process untwist in you what has distorted his love or has blinded you to it.

I’m off this week to upstate NY to spend a weekend with some dear friends and to share about living loved. But this week we’re going to add something that has been growing in my heart over the last year and that is not just to spend time helping people learn to live loved, but also to spend some time equipping people who are already learning to live loved, to help others learn as well.

I am meeting more people on this journey who are living loved who also have a heart to help others. But if they are not writers or speakers, how do that do that? Since many have thrown out all the conventions often associated with organized religion, they are unsure how their passion to equip others applies outside the box. We’re going to spend part of Friday talking with some people who want to have that conversation. I’m excited about what may come of that. There is a need for far more workers in the fields helping people embrace the reality of living loved.

Surely the best way to equip people around you is by the example we live when we’re not trying and the conversations we have with people who are struggling to discover what it is to live loved. But there is also the need to help equip others with the instruction that sustains that walk and the encouragement to dive in and sample its wonders, without reducing it to principles and boring lectures.

If you’d like to join us in Lowville this weekend, come ahead! I know it’s late notice, but I’ve been heavily distracted by the unfolding circumstances of life. If not, let’s look for more opportunities to have that kind of conversation as I travel about and deal with others.

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34 Comments
  1. Amy April 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Consider Fresno as a place to have that conversation in the future if Father leads! Great thoughts today Wayne. Longing for that transformation to show in my ugliest of moments! 🙂

  2. Amy April 27, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Consider Fresno as a place to have that conversation in the future if Father leads! Great thoughts today Wayne. Longing for that transformation to show in my ugliest of moments! 🙂

  3. kent April 27, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Love this Wayne and I love how Father has been working this out in my life over the past several years. I drove down into the city Sunday morning to meet with a young lady who had got my name through another friend from out of town. When this friend found out she was moving to St Louis he gave her my name and encouraged her to contact me. I had no idea how the time together would go. But 3 1/2 hours later all of that had been answered. It was a lovely time. I think she was able to see a little more clearly that this journey is more about living loved and loving others with that love and us having no precocieved ideas about how that works out from day to day than it is about finding the right group or the right program to set in place and follow. Turns out the Spirit we are to follow is more like a flowing tide.

  4. kent April 27, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Love this Wayne and I love how Father has been working this out in my life over the past several years. I drove down into the city Sunday morning to meet with a young lady who had got my name through another friend from out of town. When this friend found out she was moving to St Louis he gave her my name and encouraged her to contact me. I had no idea how the time together would go. But 3 1/2 hours later all of that had been answered. It was a lovely time. I think she was able to see a little more clearly that this journey is more about living loved and loving others with that love and us having no precocieved ideas about how that works out from day to day than it is about finding the right group or the right program to set in place and follow. Turns out the Spirit we are to follow is more like a flowing tide.

  5. Theresa April 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Good stuff Wayne. Like Kent, I find connections popping up here and there. (For us, it’s more with parents who have kids with learning differences.) It is a WAY fun journey and full of twists and turns. Lots of opportunity to share the wonderful message of freedom.

    Any chance you may write about “the helping others to live loved” talk? (Like a Lifestream article? Or any possible book topic?)

  6. Bones April 28, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Ditto on Theresa’s request! I’d love to be in on this conversation, and helping others learn to lived loved is much on my heart, and I know that in the process, my own learning will only deepen!

  7. Laurie April 28, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Wayne
    You have so often coined the phrase “living loved”, yet I struggle to understand what that really means. Yes, I know how much Father loves us, and that we love others because we know His grace to us—we can therefore extend grace to others. However, it seems that Jesus, during His time on earth was not always characterized by what most of us would call “love”. He was quick to challenge people and point out sin in their lives, and not very “gracious” to those who would not listen. He was pretty tough on those Pharisees and others like the rich young ruler! He wanted all His hearers to confront their own sin and repent from it, or “change their hearts and their ways”. His words were sharp, and were not always embraced.

    When we speak with others who are buried in their own sin, patting them on the back with comments like, “I love you, it’s ok, I support you, I accept you the way you are, just keep being honest” doesn’t seem like something Jesus would do. He’d say things like, “you suffer because you haven’t turned from sin—you need to change your heart and your ways—until you do you will not experience Me.” Yes, He forgives, but then He says “Go and sin no more” (stop doing that). Today, when sin is exposed and we suggest the need to repent from it (change), we are accused of being judgmental and unloving. It really is love!

    John 8:31-32: said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. THEN you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    John 14:23: Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

    His yoke IS easy, and His burden IS light, but only when we submit to it. That’s “living loved”. When we don’t submit to His yoke and walk alongside Him where He leads us, the yoke can be very uncomfortable and difficult. When you speak of “living loved and loving others”, the implication on the surface is that we merely accept people as they are and coddle them. It sounds very warm and fuzzy. The whole message is not conveyed by those two words, “living loved”, and that part of life in Christ is confronting the sin in our own lives and then helping others confront theirs. How do we do this in a loving manner, yet direct enough so that the need to repent and change is heard without accusations of being unloving and judgmental?

    Perhaps a book or article on the full message of “living loved” would be helpful!

  8. Wayne April 28, 2010 at 10:49 am

    To Bones and Theresa, yes this conversation will grow over time and it will certainly creep out in other venues as God allows. It’s still growing in my heart, however, and one I want to explore in conversations with others before committing it to print. This is not a new lecture I want to give, but a new conversation where we discover what God’s heart is on the subject.

    To Laurie, reading your comment, I think we may view love very differently. I never talk about love as coddling people with empty encouragements. To me love is not only warm and fuzzy moments, though they certainly can be an expression of it. If God is love itself, then Jesus is the very example of love. Love is never divorced from truth and loving someone means you will often be up in their grill giving them the difficult truths, but you’ll know when to do it and only when you have a relationship of love that allows you to do it. I think everything Jesus did was marked by love, including his invitations to repentance, his confrontation with the Pharisees and his difficult words to the disciples. People who rejected him or walked away in anger continued to live in their unlove. Love is a reality not a methodology. But I do think he loved the Pharisees in a way many don’t understand and see his harsh words as an attack, rather than an act of love. I know when I’ve been rebuked by someone who truly loves me, and I know when I’ve been rebuked out of someone’s anger or selfish ambitions. It’s not the words we use but the heart they come from. I do believe Jesus was loving ALL the time, and that love in the face of self-destructive behaviors can become quite firm with people. But it is love motivating it not fear, or the anguish of feeling like the victim of someone else’s behavior. I hope that helps.

  9. Laurie April 28, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Thanks, Wayne. That’s helpful. I don’t think we view love differently, I just think that the way the phrase “living love” has been tossed around might make some people misunderstand. I’ve known people who think it is unkind and unloving when they think we don’t understand their sinful behaviors. They are the ones who coddle and stop with “hang in there we love you”. I just haven’t heard the full message of what you mean by “living loved”.

    I suppose the difficulty is in knowing when & how to act, and what to say. When my husband and I have spoken with a motivation of love, it has been misunderstood. A few people just whine and think we don’t understand them. Then they walk away and stay harbored with other Christian friends who will enable them to continue in their own self-destructive behavior.

    I guess it’s a balancing act to know when the relationship has reached the love point to allow us to move on more deeply together. It’s difficult to remain at the surface for very long.

  10. Wayne April 28, 2010 at 11:55 am

    That it is, Laurie. Thanks for your response. Sometimes love does hold someone struggling with sin in the arms, knowing that the reason they sin is because they don’t have a clue what love is. I think that’s what Jesus is doing to Peter even before the denial. “I know you’re going to fail me, but I’ve already prayed for you that your faith doesn’t fail and that you come back to strengthen your brothers.” And I do think love can be misunderstood by those we might be honest with, but I also know that a lot of religious confrontation goes on in a destructive way because it comes from a person’s own hurt rather than their compassion for the person they are confronting. So, yes, this is something we all grow in.

  11. Theresa April 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Good stuff Wayne. Like Kent, I find connections popping up here and there. (For us, it’s more with parents who have kids with learning differences.) It is a WAY fun journey and full of twists and turns. Lots of opportunity to share the wonderful message of freedom.

    Any chance you may write about “the helping others to live loved” talk? (Like a Lifestream article? Or any possible book topic?)

  12. Bones April 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Ditto on Theresa’s request! I’d love to be in on this conversation, and helping others learn to lived loved is much on my heart, and I know that in the process, my own learning will only deepen!

  13. Laurie April 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Wayne
    You have so often coined the phrase “living loved”, yet I struggle to understand what that really means. Yes, I know how much Father loves us, and that we love others because we know His grace to us—we can therefore extend grace to others. However, it seems that Jesus, during His time on earth was not always characterized by what most of us would call “love”. He was quick to challenge people and point out sin in their lives, and not very “gracious” to those who would not listen. He was pretty tough on those Pharisees and others like the rich young ruler! He wanted all His hearers to confront their own sin and repent from it, or “change their hearts and their ways”. His words were sharp, and were not always embraced.

    When we speak with others who are buried in their own sin, patting them on the back with comments like, “I love you, it’s ok, I support you, I accept you the way you are, just keep being honest” doesn’t seem like something Jesus would do. He’d say things like, “you suffer because you haven’t turned from sin—you need to change your heart and your ways—until you do you will not experience Me.” Yes, He forgives, but then He says “Go and sin no more” (stop doing that). Today, when sin is exposed and we suggest the need to repent from it (change), we are accused of being judgmental and unloving. It really is love!

    John 8:31-32: said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. THEN you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    John 14:23: Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

    His yoke IS easy, and His burden IS light, but only when we submit to it. That’s “living loved”. When we don’t submit to His yoke and walk alongside Him where He leads us, the yoke can be very uncomfortable and difficult. When you speak of “living loved and loving others”, the implication on the surface is that we merely accept people as they are and coddle them. It sounds very warm and fuzzy. The whole message is not conveyed by those two words, “living loved”, and that part of life in Christ is confronting the sin in our own lives and then helping others confront theirs. How do we do this in a loving manner, yet direct enough so that the need to repent and change is heard without accusations of being unloving and judgmental?

    Perhaps a book or article on the full message of “living loved” would be helpful!

  14. Wayne April 28, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    To Bones and Theresa, yes this conversation will grow over time and it will certainly creep out in other venues as God allows. It’s still growing in my heart, however, and one I want to explore in conversations with others before committing it to print. This is not a new lecture I want to give, but a new conversation where we discover what God’s heart is on the subject.

    To Laurie, reading your comment, I think we may view love very differently. I never talk about love as coddling people with empty encouragements. To me love is not only warm and fuzzy moments, though they certainly can be an expression of it. If God is love itself, then Jesus is the very example of love. Love is never divorced from truth and loving someone means you will often be up in their grill giving them the difficult truths, but you’ll know when to do it and only when you have a relationship of love that allows you to do it. I think everything Jesus did was marked by love, including his invitations to repentance, his confrontation with the Pharisees and his difficult words to the disciples. People who rejected him or walked away in anger continued to live in their unlove. Love is a reality not a methodology. But I do think he loved the Pharisees in a way many don’t understand and see his harsh words as an attack, rather than an act of love. I know when I’ve been rebuked by someone who truly loves me, and I know when I’ve been rebuked out of someone’s anger or selfish ambitions. It’s not the words we use but the heart they come from. I do believe Jesus was loving ALL the time, and that love in the face of self-destructive behaviors can become quite firm with people. But it is love motivating it not fear, or the anguish of feeling like the victim of someone else’s behavior. I hope that helps.

  15. Joni April 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Ok well its been a year since our first Living Loved Conference in Edmond Oklahoma and we are open to another visit with you anytime brother Wayne anytime!!!Y’all come back!!! (yes said in southern drawl)
    Seriously, we would so love to be in on this conversation. I have some ideas of how to expand the conversation without you and Sara flying all over kingdom come.
    Living Loved for us has meant, doing just the next thing He has asked and leaving EVERYTHING else in His hands. In our community of Edmond Oklahoma we built a small space for conversations, even named it Conversations, we opened this week and lo and behold guess what???? We are having conversations all the time with some close friends and total strangers. The conversations have NO AGENDA. Kind of the like the way Wayne is when he flies on airplanes. Sometimes we get to share the message of the most Amazing Father and Son and their special gift the Holy Spirit. That message is Love wins. Truth spoken in the absense of Love is not truth, it is just harmful and hurtful. He reminds me daily “speak the truth in Love speak the truth in Love…”
    This is from Renee and is a great summary of where we are in this conversation of how to help others live loved.

    I’ve come to see that the purpose of life’s journey is to live relationally with God so that His Love can be poured into us, by the Holy Spirit. We were created by Love, for Love and to Love. So let’s make it our goal to live loved and love well, because, in the end, love wins!

    God is love.
    When we take up permanent residence
    in a life of love,
    we live in God and
    God lives in us.
    First we were loved,
    now we love.
    He loved us first.
    1 John 4:17, 19

  16. Laurie April 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks, Wayne. That’s helpful. I don’t think we view love differently, I just think that the way the phrase “living love” has been tossed around might make some people misunderstand. I’ve known people who think it is unkind and unloving when they think we don’t understand their sinful behaviors. They are the ones who coddle and stop with “hang in there we love you”. I just haven’t heard the full message of what you mean by “living loved”.

    I suppose the difficulty is in knowing when & how to act, and what to say. When my husband and I have spoken with a motivation of love, it has been misunderstood. A few people just whine and think we don’t understand them. Then they walk away and stay harbored with other Christian friends who will enable them to continue in their own self-destructive behavior.

    I guess it’s a balancing act to know when the relationship has reached the love point to allow us to move on more deeply together. It’s difficult to remain at the surface for very long.

  17. Wayne April 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    That it is, Laurie. Thanks for your response. Sometimes love does hold someone struggling with sin in the arms, knowing that the reason they sin is because they don’t have a clue what love is. I think that’s what Jesus is doing to Peter even before the denial. “I know you’re going to fail me, but I’ve already prayed for you that your faith doesn’t fail and that you come back to strengthen your brothers.” And I do think love can be misunderstood by those we might be honest with, but I also know that a lot of religious confrontation goes on in a destructive way because it comes from a person’s own hurt rather than their compassion for the person they are confronting. So, yes, this is something we all grow in.

  18. Joyce April 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Wayen, thank you so much for this blog post. For me, it could not have come at a better time, as I have been trying to share with my son the essence of my journey into a personal relationship with Abba Father.

    I am so looking forward to whatever and however Father will lead you to help others live loved.

  19. Richard April 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Wayne,

    I loved what you said here, “It’s still growing in my heart, however, and one I want to explore in conversations with others before committing it to print. This is not a new lecture I want to give, but a new conversation where we discover what God’s heart is on the subject.”

    A ‘new conversation’ YES! I love how that old archaic word was used in the King James bible, it was an all inclusive word that touched upon all that we were and are, it resonates such life to me my friend.
    I want to put a proposition to you regarding next year, of possibly having some of this developing conversation that is growing in your heart (and in many others as well) here once again in Stratford Ontario Canada.

    Rich

  20. Joni April 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Ok well its been a year since our first Living Loved Conference in Edmond Oklahoma and we are open to another visit with you anytime brother Wayne anytime!!!Y’all come back!!! (yes said in southern drawl)
    Seriously, we would so love to be in on this conversation. I have some ideas of how to expand the conversation without you and Sara flying all over kingdom come.
    Living Loved for us has meant, doing just the next thing He has asked and leaving EVERYTHING else in His hands. In our community of Edmond Oklahoma we built a small space for conversations, even named it Conversations, we opened this week and lo and behold guess what???? We are having conversations all the time with some close friends and total strangers. The conversations have NO AGENDA. Kind of the like the way Wayne is when he flies on airplanes. Sometimes we get to share the message of the most Amazing Father and Son and their special gift the Holy Spirit. That message is Love wins. Truth spoken in the absense of Love is not truth, it is just harmful and hurtful. He reminds me daily “speak the truth in Love speak the truth in Love…”
    This is from Renee and is a great summary of where we are in this conversation of how to help others live loved.

    I’ve come to see that the purpose of life’s journey is to live relationally with God so that His Love can be poured into us, by the Holy Spirit. We were created by Love, for Love and to Love. So let’s make it our goal to live loved and love well, because, in the end, love wins!

    God is love.
    When we take up permanent residence
    in a life of love,
    we live in God and
    God lives in us.
    First we were loved,
    now we love.
    He loved us first.
    1 John 4:17, 19

  21. Joyce April 28, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Wayen, thank you so much for this blog post. For me, it could not have come at a better time, as I have been trying to share with my son the essence of my journey into a personal relationship with Abba Father.

    I am so looking forward to whatever and however Father will lead you to help others live loved.

  22. Richard April 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Wayne,

    I loved what you said here, “It’s still growing in my heart, however, and one I want to explore in conversations with others before committing it to print. This is not a new lecture I want to give, but a new conversation where we discover what God’s heart is on the subject.”

    A ‘new conversation’ YES! I love how that old archaic word was used in the King James bible, it was an all inclusive word that touched upon all that we were and are, it resonates such life to me my friend.
    I want to put a proposition to you regarding next year, of possibly having some of this developing conversation that is growing in your heart (and in many others as well) here once again in Stratford Ontario Canada.

    Rich

  23. Daryl April 29, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Looking forward to hearing a little about what God has been putting on your heart. When experiencing the wonder of Father’s love somehow clarifies enough to describe in words. I appreciate hearing it in words, so along my journey, I go “eureka!” That’s what I’ve been experiencing, and it is so encouraging.

    Thanks Wayne.

  24. Daryl April 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Looking forward to hearing a little about what God has been putting on your heart. When experiencing the wonder of Father’s love somehow clarifies enough to describe in words. I appreciate hearing it in words, so along my journey, I go “eureka!” That’s what I’ve been experiencing, and it is so encouraging.

    Thanks Wayne.

  25. Tom April 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    To Richard:

    Did yu say Stratford, Ontario, CAN ??

    I live in Cambridge. I’m actually driving to Lowville tomorrow to get in on those meetings / conversations! I’ve never been to any before, BUT i’ve been perusing Wayne’s Lifestream website for a couple of yrs. now, and enjoying this ‘stuff” more & more. Has Wayne been to Stratford before in the past ????

    Tom

  26. Tom April 30, 2010 at 12:28 am

    To Richard:

    Did yu say Stratford, Ontario, CAN ??

    I live in Cambridge. I’m actually driving to Lowville tomorrow to get in on those meetings / conversations! I’ve never been to any before, BUT i’ve been perusing Wayne’s Lifestream website for a couple of yrs. now, and enjoying this ‘stuff” more & more. Has Wayne been to Stratford before in the past ????

    Tom

  27. Richard April 30, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Tom,

    Yes, I said Stratford! Wayne and his precious wife Sara were here with us in July of 2007, we had the most wonderful time. As a matter of fact I’m in the works of putting together a 3 year reunion for all or as many of those who came 3 years ago for an all day get together in July.

    Cambridge, wow that’s just around the corner so to speak from us, drop me a line if you care to, would love to hear his heart in you.

  28. Tom April 30, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Richard:

    Send me your e-mail address if yu like. Mine is tbordignon@295.ca
    I’m off to Lowville in a few hours. Wanna come ?! (ha)

    Tom

  29. Richard April 30, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Tom,

    Yes, I said Stratford! Wayne and his precious wife Sara were here with us in July of 2007, we had the most wonderful time. As a matter of fact I’m in the works of putting together a 3 year reunion for all or as many of those who came 3 years ago for an all day get together in July.

    Cambridge, wow that’s just around the corner so to speak from us, drop me a line if you care to, would love to hear his heart in you.

  30. Tom April 30, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Richard:

    Send me your e-mail address if yu like. Mine is tbordignon@295.ca
    I’m off to Lowville in a few hours. Wanna come ?! (ha)

    Tom

  31. Daniel April 30, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Would love to hear more on helping others to live loved. It can only strengthen my walk with the Father. So if you ever have the desire to come to Northeast Florida we would love to get together and hang out. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
    Daniel

  32. Daniel April 30, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Would love to hear more on helping others to live loved. It can only strengthen my walk with the Father. So if you ever have the desire to come to Northeast Florida we would love to get together and hang out. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
    Daniel

  33. Andy May 1, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    This is “Andy in Japan” but soon to be “Andy in Cambodia.” I’ll be working with kids affected by HIV and with others in slums through a Japanese non-profit we started (bringing Japanese to love and learn in Cambodia).

    I’m actually in California right now, so as I started to read I was hoping you say this gathering was nearby on THIS coast. Oh well. I’m grateful for the two times we got to talk and am still a regular.

    Amy (and Wayne), I’ve got some friends just launching “outside the box” in Fresno who would love to connect with others. If you’d like to help me get them connected, you can reach me by clicking through to my link (click on my name) and then use the “Contact” link on my website. Thanks.

  34. Andy May 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    This is “Andy in Japan” but soon to be “Andy in Cambodia.” I’ll be working with kids affected by HIV and with others in slums through a Japanese non-profit we started (bringing Japanese to love and learn in Cambodia).

    I’m actually in California right now, so as I started to read I was hoping you say this gathering was nearby on THIS coast. Oh well. I’m grateful for the two times we got to talk and am still a regular.

    Amy (and Wayne), I’ve got some friends just launching “outside the box” in Fresno who would love to connect with others. If you’d like to help me get them connected, you can reach me by clicking through to my link (click on my name) and then use the “Contact” link on my website. Thanks.

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