I was talking to a friend the other day about what we struggle with in regards to our relationships with God.
She mentioned how she feels that while she believes she’s forgiven, she doesn’t necessarily always feel loved. She says it is because of how her parents always said they loved unconditionally, but it was when she acted a certain way or got a certain grade, that she felt she was loved better.
I, on the other hand, feel loved unconditionally and forgiven, but not always worthy. I was blessed with a family that has always loved me unconditionally, so that’s not what influenced my relationship with God, but rather living in a society that always picks on the different. My history in Special Education and the way ‘typical’ people treated those in the program has influenced me to the point where I believe God doesn’t always see me as worthy.
Other friends say that they struggle with God’s love because their father disappeared from their lives, or due to the abuse they survived at the hands of their mother. I’ve heard of some people who struggle with God’s love because of how someone sexually abused them or terrorized them in a different way.
The thing the really strikes me about this observation though, is not that God’s love is hard to accept, but rather how our broken relationships affect our spiritual relationship with our Father. We put on God all of the brokenness that others have placed on us.
Our relationships with other people influences how we see God.
Horrible acts, indifferent attitudes, unreachable expectations, all done by another human, paints God in the same color we see those who do us wrong.
Because we feel the brunt of the actions in this physical realm, we expect God to do the exact same thing.
This is how sin disrupts our relationship with God.
Because of “Bob’s” abuse, “Sally” doesn’t trust men. God is spoken about as a Father. Sally doesn’t trust God because he is a man.
Because of “Mr. and Mrs. Johnson’s” legalistic way of running their home, “Billy” thinks God is only a judge and never loving, that he expects you to follow all the rules and to never do anything wrong.
Because we have men and women who profess love in God, but condemn one another, non-believers think God hates everyone.
Our sin is the barrier that hurts our ability to fully trust God’s character.
What do you struggle with in regards to God’s character? Do you know?
I think we really need to be honest with ourselves and to take a deep look at how outside relationships have hindered our ability to fully rely on God.
The next question we need to be honest with ourselves in regards to is, how do we help muddle God’s love for those who are watching us?
Our actions will always affect another.