Monday, November 10, 2014

Does God Really Love Me?

Sometimes I wonder if God notices all the stupid, sinful stuff I do.  I know He does, so my second thought is, how can He still love me when I screw up so much.  I think these things because I'm stuck in a performance trap.  If I do good, then I will be loved and rewarded.  If I am a good worker, I'll do fine, if not then bad things happen and I'm looking for a new job.  If I'm a good friend, then I have friends, if not then I'm alone.  If I'm a good husband, a good father then my family will be happy and well.  If I mess up, then things will be destroyed.  If I'm a good Christians, God will love me. . . . .

In life, we are judged by our performance.  I use to get a review that rated me by the way I looked among other things.  We get it in our heads that God must use the same standards and if I mess up, He won't love me.  After all, He did punish the Israelites, right?

In the movie Evan Almighty the character of God, played by Morgan Freeman says "Everything I do, I do because I love you".  We sometimes miss that what God did for the nation of Israel was to save them from themselves and put them in a place to be able to bring Christ to save them.  In the same way, even the bad things in our lives come from God's love in order to do mighty things in our lives.  May be hard to see, but bad things have good purpose.

So, here I am, still stuck in the performance trap.  I look at the realities of my life, my sin and my struggles and think "does God really love me"?  The answer is "of course He does", so then the question becomes for me, how do I allow myself to experience that love and grace?

First, I let myself experience the peace and rest that comes from nature.  There is healing and great rest that comes from God's creation, and He did it that way on purpose.  I read the Bible and I let the words of scripture remind me of His truth.  I worship and draw close to God, knowing that He loves me infinitely more than I love Him, and knowing how much I love Him brings peace and reassurance.  I still struggle with the performance trap, and I still struggle with how God can love me when I screw up so often.  I strive to find His peace and rest.  I try to sin less but know I will never be loved more.  His love for me is complete.  He loves you too, completely even as you struggle in your walk and life.  To answer the question, yes, He really loves you.

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