I have noticed in my decades as a pastor that more people than not have a troubled relationship with God. Rather than experiencing God as love and loving, we experience God as judgmental and judging.
This dramatically impacts how we live, whether we realize it or not.
A couple quotes got me thinking about this.
AW Tozer said, "Whatever comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you."
David Benner encourages this thought experiment, "Imagine God thinking about you. What do you assume God feels when you come to mind?"
Aren't these incredible? The first asks us to consider how we think about God and the second asks us to consider how we think God thinks about us.
Have you ever stopped for a moment and pondered these things?
David Benner is a spiritual director and psychologist. Out of his vast experience with people he writes this:
" ... a surprising number of people say that the first thing they assume God feels [about them] is disappointment.
Others assume that God feels anger.
In both cases, these people are convinced that it is their sin that first catches God's attention."(David Benner, Surrender To Love)
What if your sin, failure, weakness, flaws are not the first things that captures God's attention?
What if the first thing that capture God's attention is your beauty? Your strength? Your history of overcoming life's hurdles? Your unique gifts?
What if what God sees is your wounded heart?
What if what God feels is love, pure love?
What if what God sees is the person God created you to be?
What if what God feels is joy, admiration, hope?
What if what God sees is all the ways you have loved others, served others, poured your life out for others?
What if what God feels is a sense of deep pride in you for that?
Friends, the image of an angry, disappointed God will crush your soul. It will not draw you to the Divine. It will not give you a sense of lightness, a sense of freedom, a sense of living in the power of grace and forgiveness. It will only give you a sense of dread, of fear, of shame. It will only make you want to run and hide.
When God created the universe, God declared it all good. And when God created humanity, God declared it VERY good. That includes you. And me. We were created and called very good.
God loves you from the very top of your head to the tips of your toes. Does God see your sin and does it break God's heart? Of course.
But God doesn't see your sin first. God sees you first in all your human glory, and God calls you very good.
Live in that truth for awhile and see how that mindset alters your way of life.