Friday, December 04, 2009

23 Reasons it Seems God Shouldn’t Love Me (...and Don't Suppose There aren't More)

I was pondering some of the many reasons that it is strange that God could love me, because there are many ways in which I fall short of His glory.

1. I was conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5). I have nothing good in me apart from Him (Romans 7:18).
2. I was an enemy of God (Romans 8:6-7; James 4:4).
3. I think like a sheep (Isaiah 53:6). That means I tend to be stupid and vulnerable, I wander off a lot, I can’t handle anything very complicated, and I can’t see things from a very high perspective. One kindness God has given us sheep, though, is the ability to recognize our Shepherd’s voice (John 10:3-4); another is that He lay down His life for us sheep (John 10:11).
4. I often fail to tap into the amazing power of the Holy Spirit Whom God has given to all who believe in Jesus Christ. This leaves me working in my own strength and acting as if I weren’t a believer at all. I am often, if not always, in some way prideful and God knows exactly what’s going on in my heart at all times (Psalm 139:23; Acts 1:24; 1 John 3:19-21), so it's nothing I can keep secret from Him.
5. I spend time, money, energy, and thought on things that don’t matter. (“It’s all gonna burn,” says our friend Ken Slaker. And he’s right, 2 Peter 3:10.) And not enough on things that do matter.
6. I have often remained silent when I ought to speak and spoken when I ought to remain silent (Ecclesiastes 3:7; James 3:8-11). And then when I speak, I often don't think it through properly first.
7. I often mutter to myself when I have a problem I’m trying to work out. Isn't that a sign of insanity, or mental instability? In that case, I'm insane or unstable. Sorry.
8. I am often inconsiderate and unloving, sometimes to those who I say I love the most.
9. I can be unforgiving and remember things I should have forgotten. This is not Christlike. Thankfully with enough time I tend to forget them, but not as soon as I should, and more because of forgetfulness than goodness.
10. I forget things I should remember (such as so many of the reasons that should be listed here that I forgot—but, that is likely a mercy to anyone who might read this!).
11. I have done evil things that probably any average person would say would be unforgivable, and that God wouldn’t forgive if it weren’t for Jesus Christ giving me grace and faith.
12. I often think of reasons why I shouldn’t help somebody who seems to need help, rather than reasons why I should help them.
13. I’ve left many disagreements unreconciled.
14. I am a pretty messy housekeeper, disorganized, and a packrat (sometimes just out of indecision or unwillingness to spend time on sorting them out). Sorting things out boggles my mind. Our yard’s usually a mess too. Our van usually needs washing, vacuuming, carpet cleaning, and decluttering.
15. I don’t have extreme money sense. Maybe for lack of extreme money; maybe it’s why the lack of extreme money. Maybe both.
16. I am frugal, and fight a tendency to being stingy. And sometimes I lose the fight for not fighting hard enough.
17. I am short, and overweight. Some people think being short in itself is a character flaw. At least I can't take blame for that one aspect!
18. I get PMS sometimes and get cranky without even being able to explain what’s bugging me.
19. My face sometimes breaks out, I sometimes have bad breath, and other such unappealing health facts happen to me. Ask Tim.
20. I’m a slower walker than tall people. Ask Vonna and Brenda.
21. I tend to leave a lot of projects unfinished. Ask my mom.
22. It’s hard for me to think outside of my own life to bring others into it for the sake of witness or fellowship or friendship.
23. I am dismally poor at convincing anyone of anything, even if it’s very true. So…maybe you don’t believe any of this list. Or, I have a feeling, this list will be the exception.

So. If God shouldn't love me, does He anyway? I believe He does. The evidence is in His word...He says He loves me (Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:35-39; Ephesians 3:16-19); He sent His Son Jesus to die (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 4:10), taking the penalties for my sin upon Himself (1 Peter 2:24). He has sent His Holy Spirit to let me know who He is, to change my heart, to understand His word, and to intercede on my behalf (Romans 8:27). Why does He love me? Because He is good, even though apart from Him I am not. He is kind to ungrateful and evil men (Luke 6:35, Matthew 5:44, 45). He gives grace. He takes a new believer and takes his hardened heart of rock and replaces it with a soft heart (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26). It's beyond explanation. I don't know why He loves me or how He originated this whole plan. I'm thankful though to be a part of it in spite of myself. Hallelujah! He is great beyond my understanding.

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

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