Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. (1 Peter 4:10)

What Does God Think of Me?

That question — “What does God think of me?” — crossed my mind as my watch chimed the 10:00 a.m. prayer reminder this morning. To your Father, you are worth many sparrows. Cf. Luke 12:7. Yes, Father, I know…I am worth more than many sparrows, but what do You think of me?

The thing is, just lately I have found myself in a place where I’m more or less constantly wallowing in regret for my old sins. I’ve been quite open, here in my “spiritual garden,” about the fact that for a significant number of years I did not live a good Christian life — in fact, got about as far from it as I could, given who I am.

Life is good these days. I have what I need to care for myself physically, and I have the love and support of family and friends and church to sustain me. My needs are simple, and I feel that I am where God wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do. These days, I live a spiritual life that I never would have thought possibly even a few years back.

And yet I will find myself looking back on the “bad years” with a sense of shame and regret. How dare I walk around pretending to be this good and spiritual person when I have these awful sins in my past? In the worst and darkest moments of this funk, the question even becomes “How dare I put myself in front of God in prayer when I am obviously so unworthy?”

It does not take a spiritual rocket scientist to figure out where such thoughts come from. I know where they come from, I know who authors them and hangs them out there to tempt me, and because I know that, I reject them….only to see them reformulate themselves into doubts and questions about the nature of God’s mercy and forgiveness and love. And so another round of rejecting such thoughts and turning myself once more to God….

That’s why the question that came to me when that prayer reminder chimed is so huge and so important. The answer to that question is central to my ability to overcome such ugly temptations to doubt and despair.

What does God think of me? 

For starters, He created me because He loves me. He created humans in His own image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-27). After he created humans and finished all the work of creation, He “saw that it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). And when his first human creations, exercising the free will He had given them, separated themselves from Him by sin, there began His great quest for a means of redeeming His sinful creatures.

The entire Old Testament tells the story of a God Who, having created us in His own image and likeness, thus thought so highly of us that He searched constantly to bring us back to His heart. Time after time, He draws His people into a covenant relationship with Him; time after time, His people break the covenant; and God yet again reaches out to His people again.

What does God think of me? God loved His people so much, and so greatly desired them to return to Him and love Him back, that He became one of us in order to finally create a new covenant that would be unbreakable. His love is so great that it could only be fully expressed in His birth, His miracles, His teaching, His passion and death, His resurrection, and His return to heaven to make a place for us.

Those doubts, those fears, those temptations to turn away — all of those are nothing in the face of such love. All of those are merely another reminder to turn to my Father constantly, again and again and again, throughout each day; all of them are powerless in the path of the love He has for me and the love He calls forth from me.

What does God think of me? He kept loving me even when I sinned my biggest sins; He kept waiting for me to return to Him; He rejoiced when I finally started listening for His voice again, and He leans down to care for me ever so tenderly while I make my way through this world. He thinks so highly of me that He sends His angels to watch over me. He has already forgiven those long-ago sins, and He wants me to remember the forgiveness and mercy more than He wants my regret and guilt and shame.

We have that love around us and in us every hour and minute of every day. All He asks is that we open ourselves to receive it and listen for His voice.

What does God think of me?  Suddenly I realize — He loves me even more than I can love myself. He’s not going to stop loving me. And with that kind of love, I can overcome all.


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