Monday, February 18, 2013
We Accept The Love We Think We Deserve
A few nights ago, my wife and I rented a movie. The main character, throughout the movie, witnesses those he loves being hurt by the ones they “love”, and yet they stay in the relationships. This saddens and confuses the young man and leads him to ask his teacher why people choose to be with those who are bad for them.
His teacher response...
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
This phrase is repeated several more times throughout the movie.
I have found that it is sometimes really hard to convince others that God loves them... I mean REALLY loves them.
The kind of love that doesn’t demand anything in return. No “if’s”, “and’s”, or “but’s”... just unconditional, unmerited love.
Once upon a time, I too, wasn’t convinced. See i grew up believing in something called “Original Sin”, and i believed (as I had been told) that I was born a sinner. I was born into this world condemned to hell, and wasn’t good enough to be in fellowship with God. For only after I would “accept Christ as my personal Savior” would God be able to forgive me.
If i doubted or messed up, i always had the feeling I couldn’t go to God. For God was angry and became abusive if He didn’t get what He wanted. Yet, for the longest time I devoted my life to that god, trying my best to please Him and meet His every need. I would fail, be separated from god, and then finally make my way back to Him. Then repeat the cycle.
I must confess that I no longer believe in that god anymore. A while back i began to realize that the god i had been so desperately trying to please/appease didn’t resemble the God revealed to us through Jesus.
However, when we are told our whole lives that we are no good, dirty, rotten sinners, sooner or later we are going to believe it to be true about ourselves.
And who could ever love someone like that?
We accept the love we think we deserve.
Could it be that we have a hard time accepting that God loves us unconditionally because we are told over and over again that we don’t deserve God’s love, and that we aren’t worthy of it? And so we settle for the god we think we do deserve.
The one that demands something from us in exchange for His love.
The one that gets angry and distant when we screw up.
The one who gets abusive when He doesn’t get what He wants.
We do screw up.
We do sin and fall short of the glory of God.
That's not who we are.
For God said that we are good.
God thinks you are good.
Good enough to save.
Good enough to forgive.
Good enough to love.