Those words made up the first discussion question during Bible study this week. When our leader asked it over Zoom, I silently hoped that she wouldn’t call on me. She did. I had a hard time coming up with an answer, at least one that I wanted to share with the group.
It’s easy to assign to God the feelings that I have about myself.
I see my weaknesses and inconsistencies, my impatience and my lack of self-control. The list could go on, but it’s not a very pretty rabbit hole.
Why do I go directly to the negatives and deficiencies?
When I think about each of my children, my first thought is not to envision their negative qualities. I think of their smart minds, their kind hearts, their fun personalities, their diligence, and every other great quality that makes them who they are. Are they perfect? No. Could I list some negatives? Absolutely.
But as their mom, when I think of each one of them, I go right for the positives.
In Matthew 7:9-11, Jesus compared earthly parenting with heavenly Father parenting:
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
This passage is speaking specifically about how we can trust God to meet our needs, but I wonder if we can transfer the same ratio of “parent care vs. God’s care” to how God views us. If we immediately think of the best in our children, wouldn’t God immediately think the best of us?
This is just my speculation, but definitely something to think about.
So what does the Bible actually tell us about God’s feelings toward us?
Here are just a few verses:
Psalm 139:17-18 “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!”
Zephaniah 3:17 “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
I John 3:1a “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Did you catch those words? Precious, delight, gladness, very much love, masterpiece.
Wow, that's what the God of the universe thinks about us!
So now let's ask that question again.
How does God feel about you?
Did you go to the positives first?
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23