Monday, April 30, 2012


I had been in therapy for over a year when my therapist looked at me and told me I was worthy of love, and that God loved me. The words choked me with discomfort and disbelief, tears welled in my eyes and my emotions where so overwhelming I wanted to leave the room. I was in seminary, I had decided to be a Christian when I was 4, based off the belief that God loved me, I decided again when I was 13, and again when I was 18. I had pretty much decided that responding to God's love was the most important thing in my life, and I had decided it 3 times. These words shouldn't have been hard to hear. I was a chaplain. I told crying girls that God loved them nearly every day. Still, I choked on the words, my eyes welled with tears and I became uncomfortable. I didn't believe I was worthy of love and it felt uncomfortable. I wasn't sure I even wanted it. She repeated these words a few times, and I tried to let them sink in 'I am worthy of love.'

Maybe it is the 4 years I have spent in therapy, the many books/articles I read on self worth or good/bed theology, but while I was once uncomfortable with the idea that I was worthy, I now become uncomfortable when I hear Christians state that we are unworthy of God's love. I  have a hard time because for most of my life I would have agreed with them completely, and I can rattle off about a billion Bible verses that would back up the argument.

When Job questions God, God does a pretty good job letting him know he is small, but still the fact that God is speaking to him at all is a pretty huge statement that God thinks his complaint even warrants a response. David goes to God with the question of 'who am I... that you have brought us this far". David is a man after God's own heart; I am pretty sure that despite his HUGE mistakes, his attitude toward God is generally one I should aspire to imitate. Most of the book of Romans does a pretty good job establishing that as humans we are small. The entire Bible is rampant with sin and shame and terrible choices by humanity, and I am in no way superior to my fellow humans. I could go one for a while making an argument to prove that humanity is unworthy of God's love, but I am still somehow very uncomfortable with the idea.

I guess the conundrum for me is that, I want to say, above all, I believe the Bible is the source of truth, and I believe that the Bible is consistent in its overall message, and I feel that part of overall message is that humanity is loved, and simply by God's choosing to do it we are made worthy of it. I don't think I deserve forgiveness, or that I deserve to have God take on flesh and live and die and be resurrected for me, but I believe that for some reason or another God did deem us worthy of love.

If God has deemed us worthy who are we to disagree with God?

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Sarah, this was great. I wonder if the intensity of your emotional response to the therapist's assertion has to do with how much you value and respect your therapist. Hearing old and true words spoken about you in a trustworthy voice can do that to a very disarming.

PS excited for the gifts of imperfection! I am bringing it to Stockton this weekend to read during the boring segments of my little brother's college graduation ceremony :D

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