Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Accepted, Flaws and All -- Hope Chronicles 76

Yes, it is Tuesday and that means it's book day at Lelia's. First, though, I must apologize for wigging out on it last week. Honestly, I read it but didn't have time to do much more than come home, feed the cats, go to my second job, sleep, and do it all over again the next day. That's my excuse, but I've got time tonight.

Flaws. I've got them. I'm heavier than I would like to be. I struggle with depression. I can be snappish and mean at times. I get caught up in everything going on with me. You get the picture. There are a few things that might make me seem a bit unloveable and definitely unacceptable.

Lisa writes, "The depth of God's love for us is hard to comprehend. So are the height, the width, and the breadth of His love. our human minds will not allow us to process the greatness of the love of our Father because we are programmed by the world's view of love, which has great limitations." Limitations. Isn't that the truth? The world says, "I'll love you if . . . ." God says, "I'll love you in spite of . . . . I'll love you when you shine and I'll love you when you're down. I'll love you all the way around the world, to the moon and back again. I cannot love you less."

The truly amazing thing about God's love is that He does love in spite of. He knows all of my flaws and failures. J. I. Packer writes in Knowing God:

. . . There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on a prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me.

God's love is utterly realistic. Because of that, I can find great comfort. God loves me in spite of knowing the worst about me.

But He also is always inviting me to grow.

The hard part, I think, is that in knowing this fact, God also expects me to try to love others in the same way. This is a growth point for me. Can I love you if you snub me? Can I love you when you hurt my feelings? Can I love you when you let me down?

Asking those questions are convicting. It makes me think of a couple of people at church I've kind of written off because I felt like the friendship was more important to me than to them. And they let me down one to many times. But maybe God is calling me to go back and love them, accept them, flaws and all.

And it that, I may pass on hope.



KMTM1970 said...

I liked what you said about our loving on others the way God loves us. I think sometimes we try to make more of what God wants us to do. He wants us to love on people not fix them...that's His job. Since I'm a fixer, that has been a hard lesson...to love and let God.

Thanks for your post.


WildSunflower said...

Oh Amy! This is awesome. Why don't you copy and paste these for our other place. I sure would like to recommend this one! What a reassurance for me....knowing that despite my flaws, God still loves me!
(((HUGS))) Have a super day!! Meg

Cindy said...

God's love...inviting us to grow.

What a concept!

Thank you for sharing. How can we learn to love others in our lives if we have not truly accepted God's gift of love to us?

Blessings, Cindy

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

I have been soaking up the concept of His love but you are right, we are called to demonstrate this type of love back to others. Now that is convicting!

In His Graces~Pamela

Carol said...

Hi Amy,

Great post. How funny you talk about two friends at church. I have these two ladies, and honestly through this study God revealed my envy and jealousy of them so I starting praying to have him remove it. And just this Tuesday at our family night they both came and sat on either side of me. God is amazing in His love.

I also love how you put "The world says, "I'll love you if . . . ." God says, "I'll love you in spite of . . . . I'll love you when you shine and I'll love you when you're down. I'll love you all the way around the world, to the moon and back again. I cannot love you less."

I'm so glad he loves me in spite of me. Great post.

In Him

Anonymous said...

It is so hard to love people who don't really seem to love us back isn't it?? But that is what we do to Jesus when we don't spend time with him or turn our backs on him AND HE STILL LOVES US!!! I can hardly "wrap my mind" around it!!


Lisa said...

Love this insight, friend. And loved that quote by Packer. "Utterly realistic" is a phrase I won't soon forget!

I love how you are considering to go back and love some people you have written off. That thought makes me take inventory of my own heart this morning. Thanks for sharing.

Much love,
Lisa :)