God does not “tolerate” you. Nor does He just “accept” you. No, God absolutely cherishes you and celebrates every fiber of your being. He is mad about you, and wants you for exactly who you are (not “despite” who you are).
Sometimes I hear believers say things like, “God will take you how you are, but He won’t leave you how you are. Can I get an ‘amen?’” Generally speaking, that kind of messaging really doesn’t sit well with me. It is true that God won’t leave us wallowing in dysfunction and oppression. His love is radically transformational, to be sure. Nevertheless, when He comes alongside us to lift us up, build us up, and empower us to live a more flourishing life — He’s calling the gold out in us the whole time.
We don’t necessarily have to view God as trying to “change” or “fix” anyone. He molds and shapes our futures with us without treating us like we’re mere projects to be improved upon. He crafted us in His beautiful image, and whether we see it in ourselves or not, that is the image within that Christ has successfully redeemed (see Ephesians 4:24).
God also sees our failures and our mess, for certain. Yet He is well able to differentiate who we are from all of that garbage. He will help you learn, grow and course-correct where needed, without ever treating you like there is something intrinsically wrong with you. You are not your own worst thoughts or behaviors, your untamed egotism, or your own self-righteousness (Romans 6:11). Further, your growth (or lack of growth) is not indicative of how utterly treasured and esteemed you already are in all of your uniqueness — to your very core. (Psalm 147:11, Psalm 149:4, Isaiah 62:3-5, Zeph. 3:17, Psalm 139:13-14)
There is no hoop you have to jump through for the Lord to like you, and no authentic part of who He made you to be that you can’t bring to His table of fellowship. As for any guilt, shame, or bondage that interfered with you knowing Him and His favor… He has already addressed and overcome it through His own self-sacrifice on the Cross, once and for all time (Hebrews 10:10).
You are simply and thoroughly desirable to Jesus. Even now He says to you, “You have absolutely captivated my heart, with merely one glance” (Song of Solomon 4:9). Continue reading Do you have even the slightest clue how much your very existence overjoys God’s heart?