People create our own versions of God and then point fingers of blame at these versions of God.
“He let my sister die. He doesn’t care.”
“He sent a hurricane. He’s cruel.”
“He needs to be number one in your life. He’s such a narcissist.”
But these inaccurate versions of God aren’t real, so the fault isn’t, either. God is not as bad or dead or naive as people think. We’re the ones at fault. God is perfect. We are flawed. We are the problem.
So now what?
Grace. It’s the chief characteristic of God. The big promise. The number one truth he reveals about his will, his plans, his desire to connect.
Sure, we’re flawed and he’s not. As long as we recognize that, he doesn’t point a finger of accusation at us but opens a hand of invitation.
“Come to me” (Matthew 11:28). Like Jesus invited people. Sinners. Prostitutes. Criminals. Tax collectors. Beggars. Ceremonially unclean lepers.
Just as you are. You don’t have to clean up first. You don’t have to take a pilgrimage to the church in the neighborhood first. You don’t have to listen to Christian radio first, or send your kids to a Christian school, or hire a Christian plumber.
Come as you are. Grace can handle it. Grace that is beyond your understanding—it exists in God’s heart while cancer and hurricanes and violence exist in this world. You’ll understand why these happen only when you first let go of creating your own version of God. And let him create you.
He forgives you, extends peace to you, and gives you grace. Gives you himself.
Take 5 minutes this weekend in a quiet place and soak in the song “Come As You Are” by David Crowder https://youtu.be/yjgioXrnEME.
PRAYER: Dear God, your grace doesn’t need to change me before you forgive me, but, oh, how it changes me after I come. Teach me to show the same grace to others. Lead the way for our church to do that, too. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Page through the gospels this weekend. These are the true stories of Jesus interacting with people, as reported in the Bible (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Notice how Jesus invited sinners to himself. Which is your favorite? Why? Tell someone about it. Tell me about it and send me an email, I’d love to hear!