Many of us grew up with the doctrine of God’s unconditional love for humanity AND the implied belief (never directly stated but could be inferred from other things that were said) that God is waiting for you to mess up so he can wack you.

Is it “Sinners in the hands of an angry God”? Or is it God’s unconditional love for humanity? Is God waiting and watching for failure or for success.

Does God see us through the lens of our own qualities or does God see us through the lens of something else? Do our mess ups diminish his love and our successes increase it?

Our answers to these questions often come from two things that aren’t the right place to find the answer. First, what we are conditioned to believe about love is often based on how we experience it in the world (the world’s system and values). Second, we base our view on what we hear people say in church about God. These are often well meaning people.

If you want to know whether or not God loves you…if you want to know how your mess ups affect God’s love…if you want to know what it is that truly defines you in God’s eyes you don’t gather evidence from people who don’t know God. You don’t gather evidence from what people say in Bible class (although that is not always inaccurate either). You seek God in the scriptures and allow him to speak for himself.

Imagine if your view of how your spouse loves you could only be based on what other people said about him or her?

When it comes to love we let people speak for themselves. We need to afford God the same opportunity.

Go to the scriptures. Read about the lengths God goes to for his people. Read Hosea. Read the Prodigal son in Luke 15 and the running father. Read John 3. Read the passion of Jesus in the gospels. Read Romans 5 or 8. God has been trying to convince us of the truth of his love for us above all the noise that gets us confused.

God is not just saying this. God is demonstrating his love for you (Romans 5:8). You are loved. You belong. This was true before you were born and it is just as true after you mess us as it is before you mess up. God thinks you are special.

God’s love for you is not tentative or tenuous. God’s love for you is tenacious. “O love that will not let me go!”

Let today be a day where you bask in the unconditional, unequivocal, unextinguishable, unfailable, unfathomable, universal love of God…for you…no matter what anyone else has to say about it.