“It’s not that you ‘deserve’ to be loved, it’s that you were ‘designed’ to be loved. If it feels unnatural for you to be cherished and treasured it’s because someone/something lied to you. And you believed it. I’ve heard single friends or unhappily married friends say this for years, “I deserve to be loved.” And it always hit me funky. When I had that ‘aha’ in NY about God’s love is when it hit me: We’re not deserving of love, we’re designed for it. Deserving has an opposite: undeserving. But design has no opposite — you can’t be ‘undesigned’ for something. If we operate in the identity of our design, our whole paradigm — and life — changes.” – Stacey Robbins
It is interesting to see the difference between “deserved” and “designed”. Yes, unlike “deserved”, “designed” has no opposite.
I think this is perhaps where the grace revolution falls short because it emphasises on undeserved favour. While it has its place in dealing with self-righteousness and overcoming condemnation by telling people they don’t need to do anything to deserve favour, it unwittingly creates in people’s mindset a sense of unworthiness about themselves. They see themselves as originally sinful and flawed; hence, they find it hard to love and accept themselves wholly and fully.
But the gospel of inclusion, if I may call it that, goes deeper. It says we are all included in the original design and creation, and our true and perfect identity has been redeemed. We only need to awaken to our innocence and realise we are designed to be loved and to love. Love is who we are. There is no room for self-hate or self-loathing when we realise this. Instead, there is peace and harmony within our soul.