“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
– 1 John 3:1
If you know me at all, you know that I live and lead by a creed that I wrote many years ago called The Creed of the Beloved. Today, I want to give you a little bit of background on how the creed came to be. Years ago, I really loved the writings of a Catholic priest named Henri Nouwen. He died in 1996 so I started reading his books well after he passed away. One day I was in the office of one of my mentors and I saw a VHS tape of three sermons Henri Nouwen had preached on the Hour of Power. I had never seen him and I didn’t even know what he looked like, so I asked if I could have the video. As I watched, my respect for him grew deeper, and I was surprised that he spoke on the same principals that had touched me in his writings previously; that you are not what you do, you are not what you have, and you are not what people say about you. Those thoughts captured my attention so fully that I wore the tape out.
From his words, I was inspired to write a prayer that ultimately became the The Creed of the Beloved. As I started praying every day that I’m not what I do, what I say or what I have, I did better things, became a more moral person and had more true spiritual wealth. It’s ironic, but as you and I abandon the things that we do, the things that we have and the things people say about us and simply pursue the heart of God, we do more, we have more and we say better things. Today, you can be a person who rests securely in the great love that the Father has lavished on you, apart from any of your own effort. Isn’t that good news?
Jesus, thank you for loving me just as I am and not as I should be. Today, I receive your unconditional love.
Do you tend to define yourself in terms of what you do, what you have or what others have said about you? If so, how can you rest in God’s love and grace?
Henry Nouwen had a great influence on Fred Rogers.
Henri Nouwen is considered one of the most humble disciples in the Catholic Church who took his writings and inspired the world to discover what is real. His three sermons preached at the Crystal Cathedral are available now to everyone at the web site below. Thank you Bobby for calling these sermons to our attention. I did not know that they even existed. They are truly timeless. May many blessings arise from this knowledge to a whole new generation.
I can rest in the love be if GOD’s Live & Grace knowing that I’ m his beloved daughter of the most High Jesus Christ & he loves me just the way I am all of the time! For that I ‘m not defined by my career / employment as much for that I do know that my family & friends, my faith , & GOD is the most important things to me in my life now always & forevermore !
This creed had given such meaning and hope to clients that I counsel ; particuksrly cluents struggling with severe dyslexia and depression. Speaking this creed at the end of each session as well as throughout their week reminds them daily of their freedom to be who God created/es them to be! Thank you for this wonderful Biblically based resource.
I love most of the “creed of the Beloved” and believe it petically expresses a core of the Gosel – especially the opening segment — it reflectsd a [ersistent theme – in lives for eample of Jacob, Peter, Gideon, womand with Issue of blood, Amaritan woman – we are not what others and even we say about ourselves.
I am disappointed that the only term about Jesus is “MY friend.” That seems to fall far short, way short of not only Christiam doctrine, but our own experience – and doesn’t connect with the opening portion as well as would a term like MY REDEEMER.
Some times we need a friend – one who stand with us – but other times, we need someone beyond and above us – saving, restoring, redeeming, — and the Jacobs of this world need more than a hallmark card friend.