Are you a swifty? I know my fair share of them. A few years ago, they were everywhere! (By the way, a “swiftie” is a fan of country/pop star Taylor Swift) Arguably, her most popular song is called “Shake It Off.” It’s a great song! Dare I say brilliant? Part of the brilliance of the song is that she knows what she speaks to people. She talks about wanting to feel worthwhile and she gets vulnerable about what it’s like when others don’t think she is.
I think this illustrates the idea that we all carry around an invisible suitcase. And sometimes what gets packed into the suitcase is the idea: “I am worthless.” And we desperately want to “shake it off.”
John wants that for us too. He understands how many voices there are that try to assign value to us, whether they’re outside critics, or whether it’s our inner critic.
To all of those daily, loud voices John here adds another formerly unheard voice that’s also calling us something and also assigning us value. He adds the voice of God which says, “I want you to know the kind of value that I assign to you.” In doing so, he bursts onto the scene announcing a kind of value that surprises him just as much as it does everyone else, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we are called children of God!” (v. 1)
He’s the only one who gets to assign you value, and he has. You are called a child of God! So unpack your invisible suitcase! Here’s how: whenever a voice pops up saying: “You are unworthy,” instead of believing it, silence all the other voices and listen to what God has said about you with all his divine authority. Look at Jesus and then say to yourself, “No, I’m worth him. I’m called Go’s child.”
1 John 3:1-2
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.