Have you ever tried to go somewhere with only half a map? Have you ever tried to assemble a BBQ with basic picture prompts but instructions that were in a different language?
If so, you’ll know that having some of the information isn’t the same as having all of the information.
That’s what I think happens with the statement “God loves and accepts you just as you are.” It’s true; but it’s not the whole picture. Here’s what I mean.
God does love and accept you just the way you are. It’s like how a parent loves and accepts a child unconditionally. There’s nothing my child could do to make me love them less. It isn’t something they earn; they simply have it because they’re mine.
But that doesn’t mean I condone everything they do. Loving someone doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with every decision they make.
Well, that’s like our relationship with God. Just because God loves us, that doesn’t mean he condones everything we do.
Following Jesus involves transformation and life change. As he says in Luke 9:23 (NIV), “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” In other words, we need to go from being self-centred to Christ-centred. It involves taking biblical, God-honouring teaching and doing our best to sacrificially apply it to ourselves.
So yes, God loves you as you are. But God loves you too much to leave you as you are.
Don’t use God’s love as an excuse for stagnancy or disobedience. Accept it for the free gift that it is. Be thankful. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, grow and mature as you become less self-centred and more Christ-centred.
God loves you as you are. But God loves you too much to leave you as you are.
By Matthew Ruttan
- Today’s “Up!” is based on Part 1 in a new series I’m teaching called “Oops! – Half-truths we believe, how they hurt us, and how biblical truth can get us back on track.” Listen in here.