Last time we talked about how feelings about our physical appearance can make us feel unworthy of the time and effort it takes to follow through on our resolutions, so we don’t stick to them. If you missed Resolutions Part 1, make sure you check it out. In today's post, I’d like to share how wrong thinking about God’s love contributed to my own feelings of unworthiness. In the final post on worth, we’ll get into how hidden sin, or issues we haven’t dealt with make us feel unworthy and sabotage our goals.
One of the main things that has plagued me my whole life is this feeling of being unworthy to be loved by God. Now, I know that none of us earns God's love; He loves unconditionally. What I am talking about is convincing yourself that there is no way God could possibly love or care for you personally. Have you ever thought that you are the lowest of the low, and that God basically just puts up with you? The idea kind of reminds me of when I was a teenager hearing my mom say, "I have to love you, but I don't always have to like you.” I wondered if God was saying something like, “I will let you into heaven, but that doesn’t mean I love you."
Growing up, I knew in my head that God's love is unconditional. I learned it at an early age, and later even led bible studies and talked to others about it. I reassured people that God loved them no matter what they did or who they were, but deep down in my heart I really did not believe that about myself. Please don’t think I am saying that because God loves everyone in the world that means everyone is going to heaven. The only way to heaven is by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior. Please read and know this for yourself from John 3:16 and 17. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."
So even though I believed in Jesus and knew I was going to heaven, I still couldn’t believe He actually loved me. Think about it like this. My parents sent me to a private school where they had to pay tuition in order for me to be admitted and study there. But just because the tuition was paid and I was admitted, that did not mean that I could sit with the popular kids at lunch. That's how I thought about heaven. Jesus paid the price for me to get into heaven with His life, and I will go to heaven when I die. But I was not counting on sitting at the popular table there. No, I was not going to be able to chit chat with Moses, Elijah, or Peter over lunch. I imagined that I would be relegated to the back of the room with the thief who just made it into heaven by believing in Jesus with his dying breath. I knew that logically it didn't make sense to feel this way, but feelings are not always logical.
After my surgery, and as I started to draw closer to God through daily devotions and prayer, the truth finally started to sink in. I think it helped that I was not always in pain and depressed from the extra weight I had been carrying. I was able to focus; my mind and heart grew open to hearing the words Jesus had been repeating to me for years. I no longer just tuned him out. Read Psalm 139:13 where it says, "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb." He knew me before I gained a single pound, before my nose was formed, before I got that birth mark on my face that people stare at, before I sinned once, He knew me and chose to love me. But remember John 3:16? He loves everyone in the world, including you. He knows all about us, and He has chosen to love us. How great a love is that!
1 John 3:1 says, "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” We are His children, just as Christ is His child. He loves us and cares for us. He hurts over our hurt and wants to have a relationship with us. God doesn't want to be an absentee parent in our lives. He is just waiting for us to reach out to Him.
To make real changes in our lives, no matter what they are, we need to first believe that we are worth something to God, to ourselves, and to others. They best way to begin believing and acting on the fact that God finds you worthy of His unconditional love is to read what He says for yourself. Take time each day to read from the bible. Find an easy devotional to give you some extra insights. I have started a Bible reading program at www.mission119.org. It is a way to read through the bible and get 10 minutes of audio commentary each day. Plus, there are notes and extras if you have time to do them.
Pray, pray, and pray some more! Ask God to take away your doubts and show you positive things about yourself. Ask Him to send someone into your life you can share your insecurities with, who will protect your privacy and give you godly wisdom. It may not happen overnight, but if you truly pursue a relationship with God, He will give you peace and strength to overcome all your insecurities. He will help you know that you are a person of worth.
This week answer the following questions for yourself. Have you ever considered that God loves you unconditionally? How does the fact of His unconditional love make you feel about yourself now? What steps are you going to take this week to learn more truth about God's feelings for you? What, if anything, keeps you from believing that God loves you? What stops you from allowing that knowledge to work in your life?