This is what I tweeted when I got home from church last night. But I feel it’s worth more than 140 characters – because it really is such a wonderful thing! It’s something we all need so very deeply, and so often don’t get. We crave unconditional love – but fellow human beings let us down.
Just as we let others down.
Jesus is the only one who never fails. He is the only one who absolutely totally gets me, 100%. With him there’s never going to be the worry that I might say something he can’t get his head round, or something he’d be so shocked by that he won’t want to be friends with me anymore. He already knows everything about me! He’s known me and loved me since long before I knew him!
The people in my church who show me love? They do it because they’ve received his love! Just as the love I show them is a love I get from him. In my own strength as a human being I couldn’t love all these people – and I had to smile as I was typing this now on my phone and the predictive text on the keyboard suggested “annoying” after “love all these”… Because that’s exactly where it gets difficult, when people behave in a way that you find annoying. That’s when I need God’s help to be loving, patient, gentle, kind…
I don’t always live up to that. Nobody does except for Jesus. But generally I’m doing better at it than I used to, because Jesus has been gradually changing me from the inside, so it’s coming more naturally than before he started working on me.
And being loved and accepted by the people in my church is part of how he’s been working on me. There is something very precious about being loved as you are – it’s like a delicate plant placed in a greenhouse, allowed to be the delicate plant that you are but also being given the warmth you need so that you can become stronger. And one day you realise you’ve changed, and it wasn’t through people pressurising you with their expectations – quite the opposite!
There’s plenty of religions out there that work on the pressure to be good enough, to do enough good deeds, to say the right prayers, to please their deity through good behaviour and somehow earn your way to heaven.
I’m so so thankful for Jesus, who died and rose again so he can take me to heaven without me having to somehow qualify! It’s this love that enables me to let him gradually change me – knowing that he already loves me anyway!
If you don’t have this yet, please take him up on his offer now! You’re missing out on the best thing ever!