A Beloved Child of a Gracious Father (#704)

They begin by revisiting their previous podcast about life traveling at the speed of relationships, through the letters of other listeners who are finding the same joy in that reality. Then, Wayne and Julie take a look at the pitfalls and dangers of trying to find our identity in anything other than resting in the joy of being a beloved child of a gracious Father. If not, we will try to find it in something else that can never fill that need—our spouse, our children, our success, our vocation, our gifts, or in other people. It happens even when we are unaware of it and puts pressure on us and others in ways that destroy relationships rather than celebrating them.

Podcast Notes:
Email Julie
Previous podcasts with Julie
Parenting Resources:  Parenting by Paul David Tripp and Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk
If You Can Help Us in Kenya


  1. Hi Wayne,
    I was interested in your soon to be released book ‘Language of Healing’
    I went to the preorder site and ordered 2 copies and cost was $29.98!
    Continued to checkout and my delivery cost made the charge $101!!
    Ok so I expected a delivery cost as I’m in Australia but not that much! I did not proceed!
    I enjoy listening to your conversations!

    • Hi Brigit. I’m sorry you got such a crazy price for shipping. It’s of course wrong. We always tell international orders to email our office before ordering online. The shipping cart doesn’t work well on foreign addresses. So please email us at office@lifestream.org for a quote and we only charge what our actual shipping costs, which ARE exorbitantly expensive. Then you can order off our estimate. We can usually ship four books to an International destination for the same price we can ship one. I’m sorry for this complication, but it cannot be helped and I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

  2. Hi dear people

    It’s really nice to feel how Wayne und Julie come into a great drive together.

    I wanted to add some thoughts to this so deep “love without agenda” … this is for me probably one of the hardest things to learn, even though I know that love is the target of it all (1 Tim. 1,5). Serving God meant to me manipulating people, in truth. But love cares what people think and feel, and wants them to be honest and sceptic, I learn. What became clear to me is that evangelizing with words alone, trying to convince people to Jesus without true wonders from God is wrong at all (1 Cor. 2,4-5). So when God isn’t doing it, guess we need to find Him more deeply, become more honest about ourselves.
    I mean the disciples were also a long time just with Jesus and got to know Him better and learned directly from Him, before they somewhen got a call and the divine power to serve.

    But (yes there is a but) to “love who is in front of you” … to me, from little experience, it seems to me that it also can be something like a trap with worldly people, only loving where it’s easy … it can feel good, but in the world it is all selfish, I think it is an illusion to have divine relationships with people from the world. It became clear to me that Jesus, Paul, John and also Peter put the brotherly love first before loving people in the world. We are of course not perfect too, but we can find true acceptance from Jesus in our weaknesses.

    Yet I wrestle with a sentence Wayne said since years, and yes, I believe we are not depending on each other in a way to fulfill each others emptyness, it is much more a chance to find more in Jesus, if we are honest.

    I wish you all the best

    • Regarding the last sentence, sorry I got a bit offtopic, but I am still unsure if we depend on brothers and sisters or not.

      Wayne it would be great to hear what you learned meanwhile regarding that.

      I just don’t know if we are probably meant to depend on each other, if it is a god-given desire for deep relationships with brothers and sisters, maybe He does not even want to satisfy these desires any other way, also not in the relationship with Him, but these two seemingly belong together, strenghten each other (Phil. 2,1-4, 2 Peter 1,7-8).

      Yet it seemed to me right that we depend only on Jesus – the thought of it gives me a free, independant feeling, but I am now not sure anymore if it is really meant to be this way, maybe the Lord wants us with these desires to seek even more the kingdom of His love, those deep relationships with brothers and sisters, which is true church to me.

      • (From Wayne): Hi Jo. I’m not sure what you want my comment on here. Do I think brothers and sisters have a call to care for each other? I do. Does that mean they would take more care for brothers and sisters than they care for others in the world? I don’t know why these would be in competition. The Spirit of God in us leads us to love whoever God has in front of me each day. I can’t care for everyone, but I can for those he’s nudging me towards.

        The relationships I have with brothers and sisters is a deeper fellowship because we share a journey in common, but for those who do not know him yet, they are on a journey, too, as Father is revealing himself to them. I don’t recall ever having to choose between one or the other. We will have plenty of time and resources for everyone God leads us to.

        In the end, however, I don’t think I’d say we “depend” on each other. We put our trust in Jesus not in each other. It was said of Jesus that he didn’t “entrust himself any man, because he knew what was in all men.” (John 2) If we depend on others, then we will set our expectations in a way that will disappoint us and warp the relationship. That’s not to say there are people I can trust because they have demonstrated time and again that they will lay down their lives for me. But that is the result of years of relationship, not a responsibility they have from God.

  3. Thanks Wayne for your answer!

    “there are people I can trust because they have demonstrated time and again that they will lay down their lives for me. But that is the result of years of relationship, not a responsibility they have from God.”

    That’s finding the kingdom of God to me! I’ll just get back at this, but first …

    To be guided by love … I just don’t know if this only means to love what’s in front of you.

    I mean we could spend a lifetime caring only about problems, loving only one way people and even christians and doing good to them, caring for them but never find the true kingdom of Jesus. The kingdom of His love (Col. 1,13) – I am so sure now this is not in one way loving, not in one way doing good to people or serving them, but where the love is mutual (John 13,34-35), with people who also have the desire to live in the love of Jesus together with each other, for each other (Phil. 2,1-4), caring each others burdens (Gal. 6,2), making each other happy (Mt. 7,12-14, Gal. 6,10). Seeking this is seeking His kingdom in my understanding now. And this above all else.

    Doing good to others and loving them one way, as we have the desire (not duty!) for it in our heart (as Wayne calls it “nudging”), is surely not bad, but the kingdom of living in His mutual love with each other is first and foremost, and this is also good for the health our souls. In this is also transformation (1. John 1,7), plus we get to know Jesus better (2 Peter 1,7-8), which transformes us even more (2 Cor. 3,18), but yes it starts in this, that Jesus accepts and loves us (only?!) unmasked how we really are, selfish, superficial, desiring praise of man rather than love, desiring person-exchangeable lust without mutual love and trust … becoming honest about ourselves, realizing how unholy and love-unworthy we really are … with all this trying to be better than we are we do not trick Jesus, only ourselfes. But Jesus accepts us when we become real and true about how we are and what we truly desire (1 John 4,19), so that we can find a home for our whole self in His love.

    He has given it all on the cross so that He can accept us the way we are (1 John 4,10). To be with us … and in this we can find a life in total freedom, a life only living from the inside out from the good desires He writes into our hearts and teaches our minds how to live them in ways of true life in His love (Hebrews 8+10). And in my sight this also includes to love and enjoy life itself in clean and inner peaceful ways. But its the Lord then … the Lord of freedom.

    Greetings and much love

  4. Dear Wayne

    Regarding your comment: “In the end, however, I don’t think I’d say we “depend” on each other.”

    I came across two verses from Peter and Paul on which I really want to shine a light on:

    “Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it.”
    In 1 Peter 4

    “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does.”
    In 1 Cor. 14

    Yes, I quoted it from the Message, but Peterson is no dumbass and secondly, I have the Message Study Bible in leather which makes it feel more reliable (joke).


    • Which is not the same thing is it? It’s one thing to love as if our lives depended on it and another to expect someone to love you as if their life does. I like to keep my dependence on God and love others lavishly. That’s not to say there aren’t people I depend on, because I do, but not because they identify as “Christians”, but because they have demonstrated the depth of their love over time. The greatest betrayals I have endured have all come from so-called followers of Christ who professed love for me but had not a clue what it meant to be honest, kind, or even faithful to promises they themselves made to me. In John 2, John writes that “Jesus entrusted himself to no man because he knew what was in all men.” I love when relationships grow to the point of living out integrity, faithfulness, graciousness and following through on a promise even if they regretted making it. That’s how I try to live my life, but I don’t expect others to do it back. Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.

  5. ” I love when relationships grow to the point of living out integrity, faithfulness, graciousness and following through on a promise even if they regretted making it. That’s how I try to live my life, but I don’t expect others to do it back.”

    Thanks! To me, as said, this is seeking the kingdom of Jesus’ Love … but I begin to realize that love is unplanable, unprogrammable, it’s life evolving … we can explain to someone how a life in love looks like, which is done in the bible, but when the person does not have the desire for true love in his heart … faking it … obligations … duties … with no divine life … as you’ve said “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.” … because all people who do not personally know Jesus are in deepest truth nothing but egoist. I once thought that I could love others to life … but now it seems to me that only when we personally find Jesus and Him accepting us whilst we recognize how egoist we really are, and its only His spirit who can convict us that deeply, God seems to change our innermost desires to love. Lol, I may pray more that God convicts me of how bad I am.

  6. Dear Wayne, I just had an impression which belongs to what we were writing about.

    I saw these monkeys in Japan in deep winter holding each other, so they don’t freeze in the night. I felt it’s just like that. To keep each other warm against the cold of the world. But the warmth, the life inside of us is from God, yet it multiplies together. Many were not strong enough to survive alone. It just makes so much sense to me, and it also seems to be what God tries to teach me in life, that’s it’s not the thought to have a relationship with God and that’s enough. That relationship with God does anyway not work well, is not satisfying, when we don’t seek the kingdom of His love in our lifes with others, because He does not want these things to be separated from each other. Maybe in some situations, when we have to learn things that are difficult for us to learn. But even then I guess, love is the answer to all questions (1 Tim. 1:5).

    • Today knocked some accusing doubts regarding what I wrote two days ago, but then I came across a verse that seems to verify just that, at least in my eyes:

      “And that’s about it, friends. Be cheerful. Keep things in good repair. Keep your spirits up. Think in harmony. Be agreeable. Do all that, and the God of love and peace will be with you for sure. Greet one another with a holy embrace. All the brothers and sisters here say hello.”
      2 Corinthians 13:11-13 (MSG)

      I mean not in an omnipresence type of presence, but in an accessible type of presence – try it out for yourself.
      But in this, as you say it soooo well Wayne, the “love without agenda” is so important, can’t be overstated possibly, which I am still learning, I even had a hard time beliving it, but I found it recently beautifully explained in Romans 14,1-2 (MSG):

      “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.”

      Thanks, one!

      • But this must be said, without the following all written above would possibly be nothing but a bunch of rules and not real life:

        “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God.”
        2 Peter 1:3 (MSG)

        What Wayne so often states, to personally find Jesus.
        In this, He gives us all we need for a life in love together, which then in return even enhances the personally knowing of Jesus (2 Peter 1:7-8), which transforms us more and more into His image (2 Cor. 3:18). In finding Him He also gives us the desire for true love with Brothers and Sisters (new covenant: Hebrews 8+10), also wonderful ideas, desires from heart, not duties, how to life this love with others who also want this life of love together, how to make each other happy (Eph. 2:10, 1 John 3:18, Gal. 6:2, Phil. 2:1-4). Oh I can see that’s a beautiful life (1 John 5:3).

  7. Ok, I admit, the dependance on other people can be a substitute for truly knowing God. As it possibly is with me. The recent post was probably more for myself than anyone else. I realized so much was just learned about God and maybe logic, but when I am absolutely honest, I don’t feel safe to trust Him. It seems to be true that we can only trust someone when we really know this person. Over the years this simple truth somehow slipped and I thought I must just trust like a rule, just trust in His love. That it somehow is meant to be so. But I really want to know the living Jesus, how He is. Apart from 2 Peter 1:3 also Jeremiah 29:13 helped me to have that hope again, that it is possible to personally know God, when even in the old days God promised, that when they would seek Him with all their hearts, He will let them find Him, how much more is truly knowing God for us. And there is also 2 Cor. 3:18.


    • Ok, to anyone struggling with these questions (as I did), I endorse (now) to read Romans 8 and 10 in The Message. I discovered that we simply can trust in God, that He is in our lifes when we have invited Him. Easy.

      I wish Wayne would more often quote direct scriptures from The Message to underlay His (good!!) statements, because it was often very hard to almost impossible for me to only trust in what Wayne said without scriptural reference. But now I find most of it in The Message, Galatians 3 or Romans 14 is also excellent, and I discovered that I can trust that translation, I think out of his many yrs of experience Peterson actually understood the meaning of what He translated, in contrast to most other translations I guess.

      • I know I have almost spammed the comment section of this episode, sorry about that, it reflects some difficult ways of me learning to let go of all the principles, but to live with the living God. I believe God showed me the answer to the difficult question I had with Wayne above, whether we depend on each other or not or solely on God. Aah, it’s so simple, God wants to give us all we need, also the love with other people, them and us. We can relax and just follow the beautiful life He gives into our hearts.

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