I’ve been reading a book by Donald Miller, called Searching for God Knows What. In one of the chapters he talks about how everything we do as humans is to compare ourselves to others. From football games, to sitcoms and reality tv, we are constantly seeking approval of others. We want to know that we are “better” than others.
But why is this?
When the fall of man happened, it cut off our direct link to God. Our access to abundant love and glory from a Father who tells us we are important and worthy of His love. So when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, we started looking to others for approval. It wasn’t until they ate the fruit that they noticed they were naked. They suddenly became aware of their vulnerability to the other person. So they covered themselves up. They were afraid of what the other person would think.
So for thousands of years we have been comparing ourselves to others in order to feel validated. We want to know who is the best at cooking (Master Chef), we want to know who is the most attractive and “lovable” (The Bachelor(ette)), we want to know who is the most athletic (The Olympics and all other sports), we want to know who is the funniest (Last Comic Standing), we want to know who can sing the best (American Idol, The Voice, etc)… the list goes on! Everything we do, whether we are aware of it or not, involves us comparing ourselves to others.
But what if we had access to God again? What if the flow of glory and love and belonging could be reconnected?
What if it doesn’t matter if you’re better at singing than other people? Or if you’re worse at singing? What if it doesn’t matter that you have the best sense of humor?
What if despite all of your qualities, good and bad, God loves you and thinks that you are worth dying for?
God sent Jesus Christ from heaven, down to us on earth, because He loved us so much that He couldn’t bear to see us live without Him. He loved us so much that Jesus came from heaven, the most incredible, fulfilling, love filled place, to Earth just to show us that he thought we were worth it. We are worth getting His hands and feet dirty. We are worth being spat on and beat. We are worth getting nailed to a cross and left for dead.
He didn’t do it for the people on the top of our invisible hierarchy. This hierarchy is something we as sinful humans completely made up ourselves. Satan put the thought of being equal to God in our ear, and we listened. We thought we should be able to access the knowledge of good and evil. If God can, why can’t we?
We feel that we are threatened if we are not the best at something. If we’re not the most good looking. But God doesn’t see that. God doesn’t see a hierarchy. He made us each in His image and He loves us despite the flaws we have here on earth. He doesn’t even SEE the flaws. In His eyes, we have no flaws. We are just a child of God who got caught in the web of sin. We are innocent because Jesus came here to redeem us. Jesus came and died for the sins of the entire world so that we wouldn’t have to- if only we choose to trust Him. He came to die for my sins- my lustful thoughts, my selfish desires, my unwholesome speech, my carelessness, – HE DIED FOR ME, so that I wouldn’t have to. God thinks that I am worth it!! God has slathered me in grace so thick that he can’t see my flaws. He doesn’t see my unwholesome thoughts. He sees an innocent child suffering to get through this life where sin abounds and he wants to GRAB me and lift me up. He wants me to trust that there is nothing I could possibly do that would make Him love me any less. He wants me to trust that even if I didn’t trust in Him, even if I didn’t believe in Him, He still would have sent Christ to die for me. He wouldn’t have done anything differently, because He always acts in perfect love. And perfect love doesn’t wait to know the outcome. Perfect love does. Perfect love does, and doesn’t look back. Perfect love knows what we need and gives it whether we will accept it or not.
God doesn’t see me as “better” than a prostitute. He doesn’t see me as “better” than a druggy or an alcoholic, a homosexual, or a garbage man. He doesn’t see me as “worse” than a lawyer or a professional football player, or a movie star, a firefighter, a preacher or Mother Theresa. He sees me as His Child. And perfect love doesn’t see one child as better or worse than another. He just sees me. He sees me and He loves me. Just like he does you, or that prostitute, or the firefighter, or the homosexual. He loves us abundantly and His love doesn’t waver. He’s not waiting for us to “get better” so that He can love us. He loves us how we are, and we should live and thrive in that truth.