Why is it that the church always belittles our end of our relationship with God?
I was always taught that we were created in God’s image and that God created man for companionship. After creating Adam in the Garden of Eden from dust, and creating a companion for Adam, Eve, from his rib, what did God do? He walked with them through the Garden, companionship.
So where is this all coming from? Yesterday, I was sitting in church listening to the sermon, and the preacher kept repeatedly making reference to the phrase, “We do no deserve God’s love”. This struck a certain chord in me, and I began to think about how that same message had been said to me many times before in many other churches on many other Sunday mornings. I tried to logically think about us, man, not “deserving” God’s love.
Do you have a dog? I do, her name is Maggie. I love her very much. I love her even though at times, she is a bit naughty. She likes to tear things up and get into mischief when no one is paying enough attention to her. Sure, I get frustrated with her at times, but I still love her. I would never want anything bad to happen to her. When my family and I first brought Maggie home, she did not know that she was not suppose to pee on the carpet. But we house trained her. We taught her that outside was the place to pee.
So why did my family get a dog? Well we like the companionship of a dog. Maggie is now part of our family. And now let me ask the big question, does Maggie “deserve” my love?
Now let’s call up God. Ring Ring… Hi God, do you love me? Very much. I love you at all times, even though sometimes you are a bit naughty. At times you fall to temptation and sin. Sure, I get frustrated with you at times (remember that flood incident?), but I still love you. I would never want anything bad to happen to you. When I created you, I also gave you guidance to know right from wrong. I taught you that peeing on the carpet was not allowed.
Are you starting to see where I’m headed. Now of course, it wasn’t God that taught me that peeing on the carpet was wrong (I figured that one out the hard way…) but just hang with me through my silly humor. When God created man, he gave instructions on how to behave. Don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Don’t pee on the carpet.
But I have heard it more than once in sermons, so it must be coming from somewhere, they keep telling me that none of us deserve God’s love. I think I understand where this is coming from, though. God is perfect, and man is not. It is impossible for a man not to sin. But does this mean that because we sin, because Maggie tears apart a napkin, because she eats a Christmas ornament off of the tree, does this mean that Maggie does not deserve my love? That all of us, man, does not deserve God’s love?
God knows all. Past present and future. I am grateful that he gave us the ability to make decisions, even though they lead us down the wrong path at times. But God knew that Adam and Eve were going to disobey. How can God have created us only to tell us that, “you don’t deserve my love”. God is love. He created man to love man. Whether or not we “deserve” God’s love, I do believe that he does love us at all times.
I think it really comes down to the definition of “love” and the definition of “deserve”. But anyways… what are your thoughts?