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Why Do We See God As So Small?

One of the greatest barriers to understanding the love of Jesus is shame. Shame is a painful emotion caused by a belief that you are inferior or unworthy of affection or respect because of your own actions, upbringing, circumstances or experiences. All of us can look back at our lives and see things that we are sorry for, feel embarrassed about or that can bring about a feeling of shame when we are reminded by others or we simply remember.

I believe that shame is the number one reason that so many do not understand the love of Jesus or simply cannot accept it. It is the reason that, for most of us, our God is so small. By that I mean, our perception of His LOVE is so small.

Allow me to explain. I am reminded of a story of a man who died of cancer. In his final days and weeks, his son waited on him. The roles were reversed. Now the son was reading to the father and feeding the father and helping the father to the bathroom. Every night the son would read a novel to him so as to help him get to sleep. The father would keep his eyes on the son and the son would often have to tell the father to close his eyes in order to fall asleep. The father would comply but would sneak a peak at the son with one eye.

The son knew that the evening ritual was because the father could not take his eyes off of his son. How much more is God unable to take His eyes off of us?  So much so that He has no time to worry about any disapproval. You see, shame, is clearly a work of the devil to keep us from seeing what God sees in us. “You are my beloved…”

I think we settle for less intimacy with God because of our own perceptions of self, not what God perceives. The desire of God’s heart is immeasurably larger than our imaginations. Understanding and accepting God’s love is merely dependent on our willingness to cooperate with God’s unlimited love, devotion and His relentless pursuit of our love. Father Gregory Boyle says it this way, “It is precisely because we have such an overactive disapproval gland ourselves that we tend to create God in our own image.” Disapproval is simply not a part of God’s DNA.

Where you and I stand is holy ground in God’s eyes. That sounds strange but it is the best way I can explain the expansive love of God. In all of our mistakes, embarrassments and shame is holy ground. It is where God has chosen to be intimate with us and pursue us. God is smiling at us and not able to take His eyes off of us despite our efforts to hide. As Greg Boyle so aptly explains, “When the fastness of God meets the restriction of our humanity, words can’t hold it.”

God’s delight in us is blind to disappointment and disapproval. Not measuring up is simply not in His vocabulary. God’s joy is like a father who can’t take His eyes off of you. He is like an old man walking into a dance hall and every woman there wants to dance with him cheek to cheek. It is like a child who looks at his grandfather who is visibly worn and maybe a bit smelly and the child merely smiles his approval and love.

The God of the Bible is one who cannot contain His joy in us and wants only to pour rose peddles on our heads. He is wagging His tail to see us each time we come into the room and does not remember any wrong doing or misstep of the past.

Marinate on that vastness!!

 

 

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joe-sturnioloBy Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.

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