If you have ever been privileged to attend a church, live close to a church or have a passionate brother or sister in Christ come and preach the gospel to you about accepting Jesus into your life as your Lord and Saviour, then you would have heard them, in their bid to convey the message of God’s love, say something like ‘You know God loves you the way you are but he doesn’t want to leave you the way you are’. You’ve heard that before, right? Of course you have. You’ve probably even preached it to someone before. Now that statement, on the surface actually
sounds like it makes sense but on further rumination, I realized that just like many other prevailing notions in our churches society, it’s far from that.
Now before you start venting and rolling your eyeballs at this, just be patient and reason with me for the next few minutes. Imagine you won a car in a contest. The car of your dreams: a metallic black Bugatti Veyron (relax, I said imagine you pessimist!). You’re about to totally freak out and perhaps, faint in disbelief but then there’s a little problem. Not actually a problem but a slight glitch; the car is green. Like chlorophyllous green,and shiny. Now it’s still a Bugatti, right? And still very much as valuable but still the point is, your dream car was a black Bugatti not a green one. In fact, you hate the colour green. Luckily for you, the organizers of the show hear about your displeasure and eventually agree to change the colour of the car to black (still plausible since it’s an imagination). Now you’re ecstatic! You totally loooove your new car! Okay, end of imagination.
Now look at the story again, and using your church mind(no pun intended),would you say you loved both cars the same? The green Bugatti vs the metallic black Bugatti. You really don’t think you loved one more than the other do you? Of course you do. And that’s my problem with that statement. If God loves me the way I am, why doesn’t he want to leave me the way I am? Why does he want to change me from my green Bugatti into a black Bugatti? I thought he loved his Bugattis green? Or in any colour they come? Or is it really that he doesn’t love me the way I am but he loves the potential of what I can become? (which are both two different things by the way). It’s like clay vs a beautiful pot. Seems God loves the beautiful pot but clay is the means to that end so he kinda has to love the clay too, although the pot is his real dream. And I am clay at the moment. Now this is the message people who make that statement actually convey but they don’t know and perhaps wouldn’t even want to admit it because then, it contradicts the point they’re trying to make; which is that, God loves me.
But I dare say that if that indeed is the message they are trying to pass across, then the message should just end at God loves me: the way I was, the way I am, the way I’ll be. So am I saying God’s love shouldn’t seek to change us? Yes! May we be changed by the knowledge of his love? Definitely! But those are two different things. The aim of love shouldn’t be to change but to appreciate and cherish. After all, his love is
meant to be unconditional, right?