You Got The Wrong Kid

I’ve been thinking over the past couple of days about people who truly struggle with God’s forgiveness, with the fact that He loves us. My pastor spoke two Sundays ago about how, when we have fallen, that we almost want to avoid God with guilt, but how in fact the safest place in the world to be when we’ve messed up is in God’s presence. I’ve encountered this over and over and over again in ministry, and, honestly, I’ve never really gotten it. I’ve really searched when people approach me with this problem, because I truly don’t get it. And I’ve often wondered why.

So I began to correlate that, often, people who struggle believing that God loves them are people who had maybe abusive family backgrounds, or broken or neglectful families. I’m not saying that’s always the case…I’d be naive to make that generalization. I think, though, that there is validity to the correlation.

I guess that’s what caused the proverbial lightbulb to come on with me this weekend. See, I’ve been blessed with an incredible family. My parents are still together, and they have always been completely loving and supportive of me in every way. I know unconditional love…it’s been patterened for me here on earth. I can see how, if that were lacking in my life, that I would have difficulty wrapping my brain around the concept. Great intellectual conclusion, right?

Well, here’s the lightbulb.

I’ve gone to the opposite extreme. I’m a spoiled only child. My parents love me unconditionally, yes. Thank God for that. And because of that, I got anything I wanted. And I never doubted that, however I screwed up, I would be forgiven by them. They would, ultimately, still love me and accept me. Even bailed me out of a few jams in my less mature days. And because I know that they will always love me and shower me with that love over and over again, it’s been on my heart since just before Christmas that I’ve become snobbish about it. Kind of like the kid in the movies who has rich parents that will hire high-priced lawyers to get him out of whatever trouble he manages to get into. Except I’m the emotional version of that kid with my parents. I’ve been trying so hard no to be that guy the past few months.

The lightbulb, though, is that I’m also the spiritual version of that kid.

I screw up, I screw up, and I screw up, and just flippantly expect Him to forgive me. He said He always would, right? So I take advantage of that. I walk on His blood, I spit in His face. How dare I? How dare I forget what He went through?

I said in my last post that I’m truly in awe of Him, for perhaps the first time in my life. Well, I just got more in awe of Him. I’m in awe that He hasn’t just taken me out and been done with it. I’m in awe that He hasn’t put me on an express train to hell for my attitude. I’m in awe that He not only forgives me of my consistent betrayals, but that He then blesses me in addition to that forgivenes.

Jesus, I’m so sorry. I am so in awe of You.

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