’m pretty much the poster-child for the extreme left-brained. I look at the world in such an analytical way. I love to figure out how things work, so I try out theories in my brain to find the point of failure in any given thing. Chalk it up to my days studying engineering. The focus was always on figuring out what would fail first–that critical weakness that, though initially small, would ultimately, given the right circumstances, cause a chain reaction that would bring down the whole building. In short, I see flaws. I spend time analyzing the flaws in something I’m building. It’s as if my brain is able to shine a spotlight on them. I analyze them, trying to figure out how to correct them. Once I’ve satisfactorily fixed one, I re-analyze and find the next failure point. And on and on. So everything I build is over-engineered to at least double (but usually significantly more) than the most demanding circumstance it will ever have a chance of encountering. It makes for solid furniture, sturdy structures, and essentially future-proof electrical and plumbing.
So far this probably sounds like a good thing, right? Who doesn’t want over-engineering, bulletproof reliability, and future proof things?
The downside comes when I apply these same analyses to myself. I’m never good enough for myself. By default, I hunt down personality flaws, work on the ones I can, and dwell on the rest, trying to figure out how to mitigate them. But that, in itself, though it’s a bit unhealthy, isn’t the worst of it. The worst part is that, because I struggle to see myself as good enough, I believe that God sees me the same way. How could the all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent God of All, who is infinitely able to know me, my intentions, my heart, (and yes, EVERY. SINGLE. FLAW.) see me as good enough? How could I ever measure up? How could He possibly not be disappointed in me? How could He not see me as a failure? These are questions I’ve struggled with for a long time.
Do you struggle with these same thoughts? Do you struggle to believe that God loves you just as you are, flaws and all? It is so easy to constantly question the unconditional, rock solid love of God. But to question this means that we don’t fully believe His truth and His word.
Over the past few years, I’ve spent time studying who God says we are.
Here’s what I’ve found:
- We are His–we’re children of God
- We are Free–He paid our ransom for us
- We are chosen
- We are loved
- We are fearfully and wonderfully made
- He is for us and rejoices over us
- We are part of His plan
- God will never leave us
- God’s love for us is never-ending
- Nothing can separate us from God’s love (not even ourselves)
- He created us in His image
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
God calls us His children. Not slaves, not even servants, but children. That is the highest honor He could offer us in His family.
“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:15)
We’re no longer slaves to sin, fear, or death. Christ paid that price for us on the cross, and by accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, we are FREE
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4)
He didn’t just stumble onto us. We’re not an accident. We’re not leftovers from a greater project. He chose each and every one of us before the creation of the world.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Could a greater love be given? Most parents would gladly sacrifice themselves to save their children. The amount of love for all of humanity the Father would have to have to sacrifice His only Son is incomprehensible. He loves us that much.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 139:13-15)
We are made for Him and by Him. Every cell has His signature. We are His masterpiece.
“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
God Delights in us. He rejoices over us with singing. What happier celebration could there be? If God sings with joy because He’s so happy with us, how can we be down on ourselves?
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” (Jeremiah 29:11)
He has plans for us. You and I are part of His plan. That’s HUGE. He wants us to prosper and have hope and a future. Not fail, be hopeless and die.
“The LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6b)
He will NEVER leave us. No matter what we do. In our greatest moments and our lowest lows, He is with us. He loves us, and he will never write us off or deny us. God is, by very nature, love.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)
Not only will He never leave us, but He will love us forever. In this life and the next.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
No matter what we do, He loves us. Regardless of our success or failure, our looks, our wealth, or our intelligence. We can’t perform well enough to get any more love or poorly enough to get any less. We simply have all of it.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
He created us to crave relationship with Him. To want to love. To want Him. If God is perfect, and He created us to be like Him, to criticize ourselves is to criticize His masterpiece and His nature. That’s not what He wants for us.
Now, knowing all of this, and believing it to be true, I still struggle believing that I’m good enough for God’s love. It’s a daily correction of my mind, and I suspect that it will be for quite some time. But I’m learning, and I keep trying to apply His truths and believe them in new ways. If we can view God this way, I’m sure that it would relieve a lot of the pressure for us to be perfect or put on an image of perfection. God doesn’t love us in spite of our flaws. He loves us with our flaws. He knows that we are sinful. He knows that we are broken. He loves us FULLY and COMPLETELY.
If we don’t fully embrace God’s love, this can impact how we relate and respond to our spouse’s love. To learn more about how to work on our own perspectives–and how to relate well with our spouse–join us in Radiant Marriage Academy, a 12-month course designed to help you set your marriage on a solid biblical foundation.
How would embracing these truths help you to live your life differently and more confidently? Leave us a comment with your thoughts–we’d love to hear from you!