Love sees the person in front of you and desires their good even at its own expense; love motivates a man to risk reputation, or to risk rejection and the degree to which love is the motivation the man's risk will be worthwhile or not. The seed once planted, flowers eventually.
Knowing I am loved is the key to how I live. I can live my life in such a way that I am craning for validation, or I can live my life from the position of already being validated and approved. The same act can be noxious or sweet according to the driving force behind it.
In Christianity I see that it's not just an act but it's intention and motivation that matters. The right act for the wrong reasons is no good, it rots and dies in the very doing of the thing. A bad act but done for the right reasons and with the right motivations can be life giving and result in a harvest of good fruit.
Living consciously aware of my life-giving Father's love for me and approval of me means that whatever I do has the potential for far greater impact than I could ordinarily expect. My Father's arm is the strong arm that draws back the bow enabling me to sore high and penetrate deeply into the enemy's camp. A life lived under God's loving approval is a generous, open-eyed and encouraging life; it is able to give little thought to its own reputation and instead can see, truly see, the people in front of it.
I am loved. The bow is drawn back.
He loves me. The bow is drawn back.
I lack no good thing. Further.
I know he cares about me. Further still.
I am his and he is mine. Taught and fully extended the arrow can be released.
Or in more familiar terms: abide in me and I will abide in you. If you abide in me you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.
Knowing he loves me and approves of me gives me what I need to leave familiarity and walk toward uncertainty. Knowing he loves me and approves of me makes it possible for me to approve of others, give life to others and look to do and give genuine good to others. The important thing for the world then is that the saints sit often enough under his approval to allow it to flush out their insecurities and fears long enough that they may be effective.
I know that when I am starved of love I'll snatch at any approval I can. I'll play manipulative games for my approval, I'll give in order to receive, I'll self-promote, I'll build my own kingdom, I'll withdraw from the world and isolate, and instead of crucifying my flesh I'll feed it. Being love starved makes one meagre with encouragement or dishonest and manipulative with it. Being love starved makes one fearful and afraid of others, it rejects others or keeps them always at a distance.
Only his love can draw life's bowstring back far enough to make the unexpected possible.
I see it, I long for it. I must sit often enough and walk often enough and meditate often enough in his love that it becomes not an idea on a page or the theme of a song, but the strength and vitality of everything I do.
Because of his great love we are not consumed. His compassion never fails.