Not long ago, I was leading a small group through a spiritual exercise conversation and ran across an interesting religious conundrum. Does God like you? Do you believe, deep down, that he really really likes you?
Everybody wonders that. I’m a pastor. I’ve been in some sort of professional ministry for nearly twenty years and I wonder that. There are times when it feels like my faith and I are stuck in a Disney Princess bounce house.
It sounds exciting, but how long do you really want to stay in a bounce house? That’s the nature of faith, living into a simple reality that we all need to read aloud:
Jesus Doesn’t Think You Suck
Each of us views Jesus in different ways.
Look at these statements and prioritize them in the order you relate to most to least.
1. Jesus is my Lord.
2. Jesus is my Teacher.
3. Jesus is my Savior.
4. Jesus is my Friend.
Interestingly, in that small group conversation, most of us listed “Jesus Is My Friend” last, myself included. For a while, I pretended that it was because “friend” doesn’t have the majesty, the glory, the weight of his royal awesomeness, but then it hit me; a reality that I’ve been living in ever since.
I’m concerned that Jesus thinks that I suck!
I’m afraid that he doesn’t like me.
If he lived in my hood, he wouldn’t hang out with me.
If Jesus had an iPhone, I wouldn’t be in his favorites.
I’m not ‘Jesus Is My Friend’ material.
He doesn’t want to Be My Co-Pilot.
I know that I’m not so bad, but I do know me. I know me better than anybody.
I know the me that Jesus wouldn’t like. I know the me I’d vote off of the island.
So, here’s the rub. We’re about to celebrate a day where Jesus died to bring me back me to the Father. A day that brought me back me to himself. A day where I was loved, restored and redeemed beyond what I could accomplish on my own. Not only that, but his life was lived in a really peculiar way, “for the Human One didn’t come to be served but rather to serve and to give his life to liberate many people [MK 10:45].”
I’m no surprise to Jesus.
He doesn’t look at me and go, “Oh…what a jerk that guy is. I should have done some research before I took on the whole cross project!” He doesn’t look at you that way either. Instead, he talks to his Father on our behalf saying something like, “Isn’t she awesome? A little rough around the edges, but that’s what makes her awesome! Great work on that one Dad. She’s doing way better than we thought she would.”
Jesus Doesn’t Think You Suck
It’s the truth.
It’s just how it is.
Leave a comment and tell me what you think.
If you had to prioritize that list, what would it look like?
If Jesus had an iPhone, do you believe you’d be in his favorites?
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