“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’”
This is perhaps why God can have such amazing and authentic relationships with us, because he knows even more than what we know about ourselves. We know what our heads know, but sometimes, we are confused about what our hearts feel. However, God looks on and into our hearts. Because of this, God actually knows our intentions as well as our actions, and this makes all the difference.
I am constantly surprised by people. Truly, when someone does something that I am not expecting, it surprises me. I have been married to Sara for over 27 years now and I am constantly surprised by her thoughts, her observations, and her wisdom. I shouldn’t be. I’ve known her for a long time and she is amazing. But sometimes she still surprises me!
I don’t think that God gets very surprised. I think that God knows our intentions, even when our actions make it seem like our intentions are different than they might actually be. So God’s knowledge of us is probably even deeper than our knowledge of ourselves. This may seem scary, but it shouldn’t be.
Even though God knows all this, he loves us, and loves us a great deal. So much that he wanted Jesus to come and lay down his life for us. That is a lot of love. And while we probably don’t surprise him, I bet there are times that we do make him proud, and probably times he wishes we would have gone a different way. All of this does not seem to diminish his love for us in any way!
If God loves us this much, even with all this authentic knowledge, then shouldn’t we give ourselves a break now and again? Shouldn’t we give the grace to ourselves that we have also been asked to give to others? We are sometimes the least graceful with ourselves, and we need to give ourselves at least some of the grace that God has been giving to us. He loves us, shouldn’t we love ourselves a bit more too?
Why do you think God loves you so much? Do you think it's because you were made exactly the way that he wanted you to be, for a particular purpose in this world? You know, there is something that you can do that no one else can at all. There is something that you have been called to that no one else could do. Whether it is to a particular person that only you have influence over, or if it is a particular decision, or word, at just the right time that only you can make or share.
I guess what I am saying is that it is important that you are in the world. God wants you here, and so do we. Thank you for being you, and stay that way!
- Have you ever been afraid of someone knowing the authentic you?
- What have you done to try and hide it?
- Does the realization that God loves you because you are you make any difference?
- What would you tell someone who is trying to hide their true selves away from God?
I think it is not only important to know and feel it is important that we are in this world, but it is equally important for us to share this same thought with the people we love.
I love this message, and Dan, what a great thought. We really need to love ourselves first before we can adequately demonstrate love for others. How powerful for the message of belonging!