Jonathan's Perspective  

Feb 6

'Why is it Hard to Receive a Gift?'

We Christians proclaim the good news of God’s love of humanity, His desire to heal all our brokenness and His offer to give us a full and fulling life. Jesus beautifully presents God’s loving intentions. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17) God initiates a relationship with us then offers the gift of healing and life. But why do so many people have a hard time receiving that gift? 

People experience their own unique little hells on earth. People have been damaged from hearing others say their name with anger, ridicule, and belittling. They have been the butt-end of jokes, given the cold shoulder, slighted, and rejected. All of this demoralizes us and makes us wonder if we are good enough or worthy of love. We are blessed if we have more loving input than negative. Even so, the scars left by hurtful speech and actions remain. They mar our psyche and sometimes wound us in ways that affect us for the rest of our lives. We struggle to feel that who we are is enough. Not only are we scarred, but many also begin destructive downward cycles. Bitterness, anger, frustration and resentment warp our spirits and minds. We make honest attempts to improve ourselves. In the end, when all our best efforts are played out, we realize we need help from the outside, from God. Only God can heal us and begin the virtuous cycle of renewal.

God didn’t come because we had our acts together and we ‘measured up’. He came precisely because we didn’t have it together and needed His help in the core of our being. 

I have had many people come to me throughout the years who felt like they had done things or been caught up in things that were unforgivable. They were broken, feeling unlovable and irredeemable. They thought that God would have nothing to do with them because they knew that what they had done was wrong, evil. They struggled to receive God’s gift. It is in those times that I share with them the message that Jesus proclaimed, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17. Their countenance brightens, and like a weight taken off, they can lift up their heads in gratitude for God’s loving gift of life.

Are you struggling to accept God’s love? Do you think you have to be better or prove yourself to receive God’s love and approval? The good news is that God has come to you precisely because of your hurts and hang-ups. He wants to get right in the difficulties of your life to bring you a better life. 

Blessed to be a blessing,

Jonathan

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