Yesterday a friend was telling me about how her life was shaped by something her mum told her;
‘I love you, but I don’t like you’.
Those words weren’t spoken maliciously or with any intention to harm. But they were verbal grenades – and left a legacy of exhaustion, depression and self-hatred.
So often, this is how I think about Jesus.
He loves me, but He doesn’t like me.
He loves me – but only in a general, ‘it’s my job to love the whole world and I guess that includes Emma too’ way.
Like Jesus is contractually obliged to include me in His promises – but He’s secretly a little grudging. He looks at other believers and He’s Well Pleased. But with me – not so much. In fact, there are a lot of times when He wishes I’d stop bothering Him. The doorbell to heaven rings and He’s tempted to hide behind the sofa.
Jesus loves me – but He doesn’t like me.
I’m annoying. I let Him down. I’m not what He hoped. I keep stuffing up. I keep bothering Him.
The fact is, someone is saying these things. The question is, who?
– Or am I telling this to myself?
The truth is:
No-one is twisting God’s arm.
I am sinful – but I’m not uniquely so. What makes me so special that the Cross deals with everyone elses’ mess, but not mine?
Jesus looks on me and is thrilled, delighted, overjoyed with what He has made. He sees my beauty and my ugliness and He loves me and He likes me too.
Maybe you’re nodding. ‘That’s nice’, you’re saying.
But before you get too comfy, or slip away quietly into the blog hinterland
Before you say, ‘yeah, true for her but not for me’
Before you beat up on yourself and pour despair on the flickerings of your own hope
Jesus loves you and He delights in you.
You. Specifically. Uniquely.
Not because of how much you repent
Not because of how hard you try or much you improve
Whatever you’ve done. Whatever you do.
He loves you. He properly likes you.
His heart lifts when He hears your voice. He looks at you and He smiles.
That’s the truth. And it’s life-changing.