“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12 (NIV)
God has had many conversations with me this past year about relationships and their importance. God is all about relationship – so much so that He sent Jesus to earth to form relationships with us, humans, in order to introduce us to Him, Our Father (His Father) and to provide an example of how to be in relationship with Them for all eternity.
God has also been teaching me about His unconditional love. I’ve always known about it, have understood it in the form of head knowledge, but have had difficulty allowing it to reach my heart and settle there like a cuddly blanket on a cold night. It’s easy to feel loved when things are going well and I’m succeeding at life. It’s a lot harder to feel loved when I’m making mistake after mistake after mistake… or even harder yet when I’m deliberately choosing disobedience.
However, God loves us just as much when we’re succeeding at life as when we’re failing. His love isn’t dependent upon whether or not we mess up. Unconditional love means we don’t earn it… in fact, we can’t earn it. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. He loves because that is God. He loves us because He is God.
When we become His children, He starts to see us through the lens of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Not because of anything we did. Because of all He did. When we make the choice to be His child, we receive His unconditional love through the sacrifice of Jesus. He still loves us just as much before we choose to become His child through accepting Jesus as our Savior… but until we make that choice, He still sees us through the lens of sin because we haven’t asked Jesus to remove it from us yet.
I’ve had many a conversation this past year that starts out with… “There’s no judgement. When I’m perfect, then you can worry about me judging.” By that I mean this: It’s not my job to judge your choices and your decisions. That’s between you and our Heavenly Father. My privilege is to point you toward Him so that you and He can have that relationship He so desperately wants to have with you. He loves you unconditionally. He wants to take the mistakes that you make and remove them completely through the blood of Jesus. He wants to see you through the lens of forgiveness… the sacrifice of His only Son on the cross.
God won’t make that choice for you. It’s up to you to decide how God views you – through the lens of your sin or through the lens of forgiveness, the sacrifice of His Son to allow you to spend eternity in Heaven sharing a relationship with our Heavenly Father. There’s no judgement from me… but ultimately everyone will face judgement before our Heavenly Father. What’s your choice?
© Cheri Swalwell 2017