A priest was walking down the road and found a monk praying on his knees. He stopped the monk and said, “You must be very close to God.” The monk replied, “Yes, God is very fond of me.” 


My initial reaction to this story is how self-centered and off base the monk is to respond that way. I thought for sure the next commentary in my book on servant leadership would be something about how he was self focused and needed a reality check… BOY WAS I WRONG!! 


Instead, the author (Greg Ogden) suggests that in order for us to really be servant leaders as Jesus was we need to know how much God loves us already, regardless of performance, regardless of all the good things we do to further his kingdom, regardless of how much we pray or how little we seem to screw up… God loves us, that is why we love others. 

Its simple right? You may be thinking, “Traci, this is not rocket science 1 John 4:19 says we love because he first loved us; John 3:16 says for God so loved the world that he gave his son… there are many other passages that describe this same thing, what is so special about this realization?”


My answer is, I have known all of those verses and have studied and incorporated them into my life over the years in many different ways, but as I am working with our church and trying to empower people to use their gifts and think about serving I have been challenged. I recently read an account in John 13 where Jesus washed the disciple’s feet. This passage was prefaced with Jesus knowing that all things had been given to him by the father and the assurance that he had about returning to be with him. 


Jesus probably wouldn’t have gone to the cross if he didn’t have that assurance. Guess what, we have the same assurance! In our fears and failures, we have the love of God and have been called his children as well. There is no need to strive and get acclamations for our gifts or our deeds.  We serve a God who is very fond of us. 


Do you believe, deep down, that God is fond of you?