“We are not unworthy because of how unloving a response might have been anymore than we are worthy because of how loving we have been. God sees us worthy regardless to our responses because His love does not depend on anything we do or don’t do, but is consistent and faithful regardless to how we respond in life.” Pastor Jenine Marie
Just like most people with a conscience, I like to think that I am a loving person and my responses follow that loving desire. I like to put my best foot forward, after all, it is better to love than not to love. Sometimes I fall short of that though. Things get to me! Some days are not as easy as others, and some people are not as easy to get along with.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty truth here; sometimes people just plain tick me off! One time I was in the store shopping and some woman comes by in the other direction and rams her cart into my finger and it got pinched between her cart and mine. I squealed in agony! Then she looked at me like I was the inconvenient one, rolled her eyes, and kept on going. As my finger quickly began to turn purple and blue, I turned around and I think I said, “YOU STUPID JERK!” (I could have called her something a lot worse than that because I sure was thinking it!) Ok, so either way, it would not have been the best “Christian response”, right?
After my anger calmed down, I felt bad. As my finger throbbed I thought about how Jesus says to “turn the other cheek.” I wished I could have bitten my own tongue and just let it go, but my agony took over and the worst of me came out. I had felt a little twinge of unworthiness at that moment. My head reasoned, “but Lord, look at what she did to my finger, and she did not even care!” I felt bad and still angry at the same time. I felt even worse that I tried to justify my response.
Ever Encounter That “Bad Driver” In Traffic?
Let me give you an example you might really identify with. What about when someone cuts you off in traffic and almost causes an accident? As your heart pounds, a certain hand gesture comes to mind just to make a point to the offensive driver. After all, it could have been a real disaster, right? I’m not advocating that gesture, but I do want to say that God knows our response even if its inside of us and never comes out. He knows our heart as well. In the heat of the moment when something has just occurred I know none of us really feel like smiling and saying, “have a nice day!” That might even seem a bit awkward considering the circumstances, but that’s not really the point I’m making here.
God sees us as worthy no matter how we respond. Maybe something came out that should not have but He knows our heart and His grace is there with us when we are not quite as loving as we would like to be. His love is not conditional, nor His acceptance of us. He accepts us just as we are, mistakes and all. Even if that mistake is a responsive hand gesture! Don’t get me wrong here. We are to present ourselves as those who are the salt of the earth and a light on a hill. We are an unusual people. We are called to a higher form of living; Godly living. Yet, when we fall short of that there is no need to feel less than what we are either. We are still God’s beloved!
Our calling as a Christian (and we are all called) does not depend on our responses one way or the other. God counts us worthy anyway because He looks at us through the eyes of a loving filter that can not help but be faithful in that love and acceptance. Sometimes we forget that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” This is by no means a reason to challenge God’s grace, but a comfort when we are less than all we could be.
Aren’t you glad when you realize that God counts us worthy even when we are unloving and that worthiness does not depend on our responses? He does not abandon us because we make a mistake, but in fact, He draws more near. Humans tend to move away from us and recoil when we do things that are offensive. Not God! He is right there in the middle of our stuff and on top of that, He likes to be there!
I don’t know how you feel, but for me, it is such a comfort to know that when my responses are less than loving, I am accepted anyway. What is even better, is He does not argue with me! He waits, until I can be loved back into His grace. God is patient beyond patient. I know He has certainly waited on me for a lot of things! The honest to goodness truth is that His love never ends and His acceptance of us is as faithful as eternity is forever.
Join me in a sigh of relief!
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry
800-421-1765 for prayer