Confession: Sometimes when I’ve done something I know is wrong—not gray or iffy, but black and white wrong—I have a hard time talking to God afterward. If I go to church, I hold back. I want to give myself some time to put that act of selfishness or cowardice or judgement behind me and then come back after some water’s gone under the bridge. I want to prove to Him that the thing I did was a fluke before I expect Him to hear me again.
I think that’s natural. That’s how it works with people. If you lie to someone, you expect it’s going to take a while for them to trust you again (if they ever do). If you hurt someone or wrong them, it takes time to rebuild that relationship. But it’s not that way with God. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what we hide in the deepest corners of our hearts. Because He knows us completely, nothing is a surprise to Him. He’s not surprised when we sin. And He’s not surprised when we come clean. We don’t need to earn anything back from Him because we never earned it in the first place. He loved and loves us having known everything about us.
Think about that for a minute. Think about the nastiest, most rotten thing you’ve ever done. Maybe you’re the only one who knows about it. God saw that whole scene play out in 4K hi def before it ever happened. He knew that about you when you were a cute little baby—before you ever made the choices that took you down that road. And while that thing you did may have hurt other people, it definitely hurt that heart of God.
And yet, He still loves you. Jesus knew about that terrible choice of yours before He went to the cross, and He still chose to die for you. Friend, THAT is love.
There is nothing to hide from a God like that. No reason to hold back or try to earn His love or prove our devotion. He knows it all, and He loves us just the same.
So if you’re waiting to come back to church until you feel good enough to get close to God, you’re wasting your time. Nothing you can do will make Him love you any more or any less. Like any good Father, what really warms God’s heart is when His children come humbly to Him in all of their dramatic hot mess broken glory and say, “I need You.” Don’t put off coming home to God because you’re working on your stuff. Honestly, that pile isn’t going anywhere without Him. But He can take it from you if you let Him.
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