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Friday, January 27, 2012

He Loves Me Anyway

*  This post is a HUGE departure from my normal posts.  However, sometimes...  When you feel something, you just have to write.  I have been overwhelmed lately at the injustice of what I see happening to Christians at the hands of their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ...  Things I have witnessed via my personal Facebook account and in personal life recently.  So, without further ado, I'll get up on a soap box of my own.

I have been many things in my life.

I have been filled with lust.

I have been filled with pride.

I struggle with my enviousness and my greed.

I have a wicked temper.

I dabbled with drugs in my youth and my escapades would make the woman at the well look like a saint.

I have been selfish to the detriment of those I love.

And years later, I still struggle with the guilt of all I have been.

All the things that I am may surprise you.

But you know who isn't surprised?

My Heavenly Father.

I am a sinner.  And not only am I a sinner, I am the biggest sinner.

And you know what?

He loves me despite me.

In my past sin, my present sin, my future sin...   He STILL loves me.

And you know what?

He DIED for people like  ME.

And even though I'm sure I break His heart every single day, He will KEEP loving me.

He knows my doubts, my fears, my failings, my horrible guilt...

And He uplifts me in my darkest moments.

He knows my hopes, my dreams...

And He wants them for me.

He knows my victories...

And He rejoices with me.

He knows my pain over my past and some things happening in my present...

And He cries with me.

Why?

Because He LOVES me.

Why?

I have no idea.  
Sometimes I wonder at His mercy.

How do I know?

He tells me so.

There are Christians that sit up on the throne of their morality and look down on people like me.  They say, "Do as I do" while they pat themselves on the back.  They say, "The Lord has blessed me for my obedience" while they judge that He has not done the same for others because they have problems in their lives.  They hold up a mirror and say, "Look!  I will show you your sin" while not looking at their own reflection.  They say, "I will help you" and then list their stipulations.  They say, "I am there for you" until you make a mistake.  They say, "I love the sinner because God calls me to do so" and then heap judgement and scorn upon their heads when they sin.  Where is Christ in that?

Let me tell you a little bit about MY God.

My God loves the sinner in the midst of his sin.

My God loves the drug addict through the haze of their clouded minds.

My God loves the pregnant and unwed.

My God loves the drunk passed out in a stupor in the gutter.

My God loves the cusser.  He loves the drinker.  He loves the abuser.  He loves the gambler.  He loves the adulterer.  He loves the perpetual wrong choice maker and He loves the ones that reject him repeatedly.  He LOVES them.  ALL.

I would go so far to say that He loves them MORE.  Why?  He loves them because He feels their hurt, their pain,  their anguish, and the guilt that causes them to make the same mistakes over and over and over.  He loves them DESPITE their sin.  And He loves them and hurts for them and He cries for them.

Did Jesus judge the woman at the well?

Did Jesus give up on Saul?

Did Jesus turn His back on Mary Magdalene?

In the end, did he even reject Judas Iscariot?

No.  No, he didn't.  He loved them.

And you know what?  Despite the way I made mistake, after mistake, after mistake in the my past, He never gave up on me.  He saw every single thing that I did and He loves ME.  Little ol' screwed up, messed up ME.

While there are some that pass judgement on those whose sins are public...

Who take joy in pointing out their own righteousness in the face of  other's UNrighteousness...

Who withhold their love, help, or friendship from or give up on those that keep messing up...

Who heap more guilt on those that already know they are guilty...

Let me remind you of this:

He came to be friend to the friendless.

He came to help the helpless.

He came to love the unloveable.

He came to take the punishment for the guilty.

He was Savior to those deemed unworthy by the Pharisees.

He wasn't the sent for the Righteous.  

He was sent for the Unrighteous.

And while I have failed a lot of tests in my life and struggle often with the guilt of my past transgressions and the repercussions my past selfishness has created, I am still thankful that I have had them.

Why?

That's the whole thing about having the tests so you can have the testimony.

Because of my past... 

I have a heart for youth that are making wrong choices.

I have compassion for the young girl that finds herself pregnant and alone.

I am sympathetic to those who reject Him and can understand their anger.

I have empathy for the wife that is being cheated on by her husband and even for the husband that is cheating on her.

My heart hurts for the alcoholic that keeps falling off the wagon, and the drug addict that makes the choice to take another hit.

And because of my past, I find that I love them DESPITE it all, instead of rejecting them because of it.

That's what he calls us to do.

Not to judge, ridicule, castigate, or reject.

Yes, there are those that have a wonderful relationship with the Lord and call themselves blessed because they have lived a "good" life.  But I have a wonderful, personal, in-my-face relationship with my Father because I have not always lived "good" life.  And I consider myself just as blessed.  And I am oh, so very thankful.

In everything I have been through in my life, I have realized one thing.

He's loving me through it.

He's loving me despite it.

And nothing I have done, am doing, or will do, is going to stop His love for me.

Because through His grace, I am saved.  He sent His Son for me and for you.  Our imperfectness is made perfect through His death on the cross,  by His love for us.  For His love for me and for YOU, no matter what we've done in the past or what we'll do in the future.

How awesome is that???


But...


You can take all this with a grain of salt, because who am I to be sprouting these platitudes?

I am the unwed teenage mother.  

I am the promiscuous twenty-year old.  

I am the divorcee.

I am the wife that has been cheated on by her husband.  

I am the mother of a drug addict that blames herself.

And He loves me anyway.










9 comments:

Heather said...

He loves you indeed. But not in "spite of" but because when He looks at you, He only sees you through the eyes of what Jesus did on the cross for all of us.

You are not just a "sinner saved by grace" you are the bride ;)

This post is a great reminder for all of us to "judge not". Thank you!

Nicole said...

The Sanders Family said...

Preach it girl! Well said! Praise God that He loves us not for what we've done but because of who He is! And, one of my favorite groups right there! LOVE Sidewalk Prophets!!

sonia said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this entire testimony Laura- you are truly a beautiful representation of what He wants from us on a daily basis - to admit our sin and failures, but turn it all over to Him, repent, and know that HE will always be there to walk alongside us in everything we do, if we ask Him to. Thank you for sharing your heart with us :)

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