By Meli’sa-Kaye Robotham
I remember when I heard a popular Christian author and speaker declare that God isn’t surprised by our faults and shortcomings; that God isn’t surprised by us. It blew my mind! It wasn’t a new idea, but I hadn’t actually considered it before.
We should not overlook the depth of her statement. So many people all over the world are desperate for acceptance; so many long to be truly understood; so many yearn to be loved. So many people tragically choose to end their own lives because they believe that these sentiments are out of their grasp. At times, it’s challenging to find these in our everyday human relationships.
Nearly all of us belong to communities; we have families, colleagues, neighbours, friends, etc. At times we’re obligated to contend with the ideas these individuals or groups may impose on us. They may expect or demand so much of us! They may want us to conform to their standards and to hold their ideals. We may even be required to change our personalities completely. Unfortunately, some of us discover that the people around us can only offer conditional love. We may realise that those people who praise us highly, do this because of what we can offer, or because all they see in us are opportunities for their benefit. These or similar circumstances may show us what it is like to be lonely in the midst of a crowd.
If we’ve been fortunate enough to encounter people who sincerely enjoy our company and accept us for who we are, then we know how rare and indescribably wonderful this is!
While this is not grounds to justify our shortcomings, it’s refreshing to know that God accepts us as we are. It is reassuring that we neither need to attempt to earn God’s love by our good deeds, nor fix ourselves before coming to God. It is awe-inspiring that God is well aware of those aspects of ourselves which we try to hide from the world, those things of which we are deeply ashamed, and yet still loves us! (But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. NIV)
The most remarkable thing is not that God loves us because of our redeeming qualities, after all, how challenging is it to love those who are ‘good’? However, it is astonishing, that our Creator loves us, in spite of our weaknesses. Even more astounding, is the fact that Christ seeks us in our flawed state! (Luke 5:32; Mark 2:17)
It's comforting to know that we're not automatically subjected to complete rejection whenever we miss God’s mark. God waits for us to earnestly confess our wrong words, thoughts, and deeds so that we can be forgiven.
- Are we fully aware of God’s unconditional love, our own ability to love others unconditionally, and what both entail for us?