We often read survey results which indicate what we think about God. There is no shortage of polls telling us, ‘How many people believe in God’, ‘How many people regard Jesus to be God’, and so on. It seems to me, however, that what is, at the very least, an equally important question is: ‘What does God think about us?’….More pointedly, what does God think about me?
Admittedly, there are a few layers to how we could answer that. King David, in Psalm 139:14, declares that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” This is most positive! But, since the Fall, there has been a highly negative side to our natural state. Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord explains that our heart is deceitful (Jer. 17:9). And, through Isaiah we are told that our best deeds are tainted like filthy garments (Isa. 64:6). The apostle Paul, referencing the Psalms, repeats the declaration that none of us, in our natural state, are “good” in God’s eyes (Rom. 3:10-12). We’re not even looking for God, is what we’re told.
The report card then, is not stellar. Perhaps this is why we don’t often ask, ‘What does God think of me?’ Could it be that we are fearful of the answer?
I concede that this is bad news…dreadful news. I’m regret to say that this is just a sampling of how the biblical text answers the question posed in this post. Quite simply, our natural tendencies, our default settings position us in a predicament that is nothing short of dire.
I get that this is negative stuff. But I’m delighted to report that there is a way out of this predicament. And the way is not self-sufficiency. The way is not trying harder. The way to God’s favour is outside of us. Thankfully, God does not relish being at odds with His creation (Eze. 33:11), and so He bridges the gulf by giving us another’s righteousness (see Romans 3:20-26).
This righteousness, first of all, changes our standing before God and, subsequently, the way He thinks of us. But, this is not God’s ‘end game’. God seeks to do much more than ‘clean us up’ and make us presentable. Amazingly, God wants us to represent Him. He wants to demonstrate His love and compassion through us.
I may not like how the story begins (with my sin), but I cherish how the story ends when I embrace the kind of life that God offers. And, I’m so thankful that, when applied rightly, the love of God becomes a blessing to not only me, but also to those I interact with on a day-to-day basis. This past Sunday, I addressed this theme at St. Giles Kingsway and The Well in a message, entitled ‘You’re Not Good Enough’. What begins with a negative declaration ends with a declaration of hope and expectation. I invite you to listen. I’d love to hear your feedback.