1 John 4:19
“We love because he first loved us.” (ESV)
I have no research to back this up, but I think that “Jesus loves me” was once a startling and surprising lyric.
Could he reign? Yes!
Could he judge? Absolutely!
But LOVE little old me? Well, doesn’t he have better things to do than get mixed up with my mess?
Maybe this is hard to grasp because, as someone said to me recently, we live in a time of pseudo-positivity. What they meant was that we just heap false praise on everyone because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
A teacher once told a child that “Jesus loves you.” The child responded by saying, “Of course he does, I’m marvelous!”
I’m not saying we should trudge around like self-deprecating fuzz heads. That would be to disrespect the image of God within us. But what I am saying is that to truly love yourself you need to fall out of love with yourself.
What that means is a more realistic picture of ourselves and the world. You and I are not the centre of the universe. Nor are we perfect. Are we created to be special? Yes. Are we made on purpose and for a purpose? Yes.
But are we also flawed people in desperate need of help? Also yes.
In making this point, I realize that some people struggle with the opposite problem. They are so aware of their own flaws that they’re aware of almost nothing else! That too is a problem.
The idea is a more realistic picture in a society where pride is prized, where bravado is beautiful, and where self-reliance is the chief virtue in a dog-eat-dog world.
So with this more “realistic picture” in mind, what we can be assured of is this: That despite our own tainted motives, despite our subtle scheming selfishness, and despite our apathy toward the plight of others…
Jesus loves us anyway.
So the reason you can paint the world with integrity, beauty and passion, isn’t because you’re perfect; it’s because Jesus’ love is brighter than the light of a thousand suns. And he–your Lord and friend–can ignite your soul in ways you never could even imagine on your own.
“Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to him belong,
They are weak but he is strong.”
By Matthew Ruttan