A vast research project from the University of North Carolina studied how we, as American culture, view God. Christian Smith, a Sociology Professor at UNC, determined that the most common understanding of God in America aligns to these statements:
- A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth.
- The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
- God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when he is needed to resolve a problem.
Dr. Smith summed up this perception with this statement:
For most of America, we view God as a “Divine Butler”… someone to come and help us when we need Him, but not too involved in our lives.
There’s one huge problem with all of that…
That’s not how it works.
We’re not in charge. (and I’m thankful for that!)
The greatest problem with that perception of God is that we expect God to love us how we WANT to be loved.
That’s not how love works.
Love isn’t about what we want. Love thrives in what we need.
Love isn’t about me. Love is all about someone else.
Love isn’t about my needs. Love meets somebody else’s needs.
Why do we make love about us? It cannot work that way. It will only fail.
The same application needs to be made to how we understand God’s love.
God does not love us how we want to be loved.
God loves us how we need to be loved.
At times, what we need is not comfortable, and I’m afraid that many of us spend way too much time running from God’s loving invitations.
You know that your kids need to eat their vegetables. They’d rather eat candy. You love them, so you force them to eat their green beans and broccoli.
You want to live a comfortable life.
God wants you to live a meaningful life.
So… God convicts you and invites you to change your direction.
Even though its uncomfortable, He convicts you because He loves you!
I’m thankful that God doesn’t love us how we want to be loved.
He loves us how we need to be loved!
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What’s something that you’ve been running from that you realize is a loving invitation from Jesus?