To those who've felt that God looks at you in a certain way and all you can think is "How am I now?"
Ever since we could remember from the first time we could talk, we've been involved in a thought tug-o-war where we can just look at ourselves and wonder if we're good enough. I could remember it when I was young, how I would think what others would think of me and I would wonder if I am good enough for them.
Isn't it weird how we humans can think such thoughts? I mean, we see our parents and friends around us and yet we wonder "am I good enough for them?" Some may think that they don't have that problem but I think all of us had this encounter in our relationship with God. "Am I good enough now, God?", "How about now?"
I mean you keep on thinking that God would look at you with angry or disappointed eyes and no matter how hard you try, you just can't get close to God. Even as a child of God knowing that His Son payed for your sins, you still wonder if you're good enough.
I was out with my aunt and her husband one night to buy pizza and I just couldn't help but think that God is angry with me for some reason, and if He was, He had every right to be because I am still sinning and doing things that He doesn't like. So I stood outside the pizza place looking up into the night sky, with the chilly wind blowing over my body and thinking "How do I always manage to end up in this situation?" For years, this constant nagging of how God is disappointed or angry with me had driven me to total and complete outbursts of anger and head-banging frustration where I would yell at myself saying "You fool, you idiot! You can't do anything right!" (etc.) and time would go by when I would feel so close and loved by God that I can just say "Wow, You're amazing God! I want to be with You!".
I've read books, listened to MP3s, praying to God and crying over this issue many times and for many months and still I sometimes wonder "why?"
So WHY do I feel this way? Am I the only one who feels like God isn't proud of me or that He will only allow me close to Him if I do well enough? (no matter how hard I try)
I had to look at a few things to answer that question and it came to me not as a quick and straight answer. It took months before I finally realized that it's a simple and important issue. The questions ultimately is "Who am I?" or rather it should be rephrased (for those who're born again) "Who am I in Christ?"
As I am writing this post, I still feel like what I'm writing and I think that as my fingers stroke over the keyboard, some old thoughts begin to wake up to remind me of what I learned and experienced. Yeah, it has been a dramatic beginning of this post but I feel that sometimes you need to go the extra mile to demonstrate your point.
You see, the people who think so lowly (or even highly) of themselves, are either reading the Bible on a casual basis where its just "Oh! That's interesting to know" or on a duty basis "OK, I read it, lets go on". I do both at times and its basically as good as not doing it at all. But there are so many good things in the Bible that we're missing and we just don't know how to take it in or we don't realize the importance of it or we just don't bother.
A few months ago, I started to read Colossians 3 where Paul said "Since you've been raised to new life with Christ..." I din't realize the importance of it. You know, it's all "blah-blah, yeah I know this stuff since I was born again, so what?" but allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me I read it again, and again, and again... I even followed some of the advice given to me from some authors of a META-YES article that I would say out loud "I have been raised to new life with Christ! YES! AMEN!" and after a while something in my mind would CLICK! All the books I've read, sermons I've listened too, etc. finally made 1 connection point in my mind! Colossians 2:20 talks about "You have died with Christ" and then Colossians 3 "you've been raised to new life with Christ". See the picture? You died and you got raised. I had to realize this.
So then I questioned the way I thought about myself before, how I would condemn myself over every stupid small little thing. Why do I do it? That's how we were before Christ. Now we died (when we accepted Christ as Lord and Savior) and got raised to new life with Him. We're new! Brand spanking NEW! The old messages don't hold anymore! I don't have to feel so condemned and sad anymore. Did this message sink in the first time? NO! I am still (months later) going through this concept because I still feel like God can get angry and disappointed at me. I also struggle to go through this every day. But this has changed my perspective about the Gospel and this is a basic thing that needs to be known by all Christians, otherwise you will continue to condemn yourself.
Our reverent once preached a message about "Praise be to God! How great am I". He said that if he was one of the people listening to this message even he would leave the church but this is something that God revealed to him in Psalm 139. The Psalm writer starts with God knowing everything including everything about us. Then he writes about wanting to run away that you can't escape God. Then he talks about how God created him. Then he says "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made". Then he talks about how great God's thoughts are.
He said that the reason why we can't accept the fact that we can be seen by God (in our whole being) as great is because we don't understand the baptism. And that was just a confirmation on what I was going through myself. We don't realize the importance of the death and resurrection power of Christ.
I write this not because I wish to preach to anyone but I had the need to write it down for myself and maybe even for someone else. God really, really loves (and even likes) us all! May God lead you into realizing the power of the death and resurrection of Christ!