“You’re screwing up.” That’s the first thing that popped into my mind when my husband asked, “If Jesus were to sit here and talk to you, what do you think he would say?” Instinctively I knew that is not what Jesus would say, yet it is what came to mind. What God loves most has nothing to do with what I do.
Within minutes a hawk landed in our back yard birdbath. I am an avid birder and have been privileged to see a hawk or two in my back yard. This was the first time I’d seen a hawk in the birdbath. Somehow the birdbath seems a bit too undignified for a hawk, even though it was a juvenile Cooper’s hawk.
This hawk stayed in the birdbath for a full 30 minutes, easily long enough for me to grab our camera. The first pictures were through the living room window. Then I took the risk of spooking the bird by going outside for clearer pictures. As I stood outside looking at the hawk at eye level, I felt Jesus saying, “That’s right, that is not what I would say. I love you so much I’m giving you this special gift, so you know you do not have to earn my love.”
What We Do vs. Who We Are
I know that I am loved, that I do not and cannot ever earn God’s love. Yet lurking in the dark place in my heart was the conviction that what I do is more important than who I am. Our culture only reinforces this notion. We applaud athletes, movie stars, TV commentators, politicians, and many others based almost entirely on what they do. One wrong comment or lost trophy and superstars can quickly lose favor.
God has never asked anyone of us to do anything before embracing us with His unending and unconventional love. In order to receive salvation we have to do something; we have to decide whether we accept Jesus as our Savior. However, in order to receive God’s love, we do not have to do anything. God loves us because of who we are, His creation, rather than because of what we do.
What Would Jesus Say?
My husband’s question remains. What would Jesus say if he were sitting next to me? I believe He would look past the faults that loom so large in my eyes and remind me of who I am, that I am created in His image and have much to offer the world. He would remind me that even in the moments I’ve made poor choices His love for me knows no bounds.
How would you answer the question? If your answer is something other than positive and encouraging, I encourage you to spend some time reading Psalm 139. God loves you more than you can begin to imagine and He’s just waiting to show you.