By Madeline Kalu
15 Minute Read
We live in a broken world which judges success based on appearance, relationship status, financial worth, and consumer wealth. In order to fit in, we strive to always show the best version of ourselves: We put filters on our social media photos, we run ourselves down to the brink of burnout in order to keep up with the demands of a job we don’t even like, and we answer “How are you?” inquiries with “I’m good”, because who wants to know how we’re really feeling?
And for what?
To look like we have it together for people who don’t even truly care about us and to hide our failures, our pain, and our regrets from society.
Consequently, this mindset of presenting our best self poses a threat to our faith life. We want to have an intimate relationship with God, however, we don’t want Him to see our messy, imperfect selves. We’re haunted by the ghosts of mistakes past and we’re ashamed of the daily temptations and behavioral patterns that currently hold us captive. The thought of disappointing God with our flawed characters and fallen lifestyle fills us with dread: In fact, we convince ourselves that God might even stop loving us if He knew our true identity – the one that we painstackingly try to hide from the rest of the world.
Therefore, we console ourselves with the assurance that after we have cleaned up a bit and swept our guilt under the carpet, hidden our addictions in the cupboard, and run the hoover around to suck up any lingering mistakes, that we can then invite God into our lives. We convince ourselves that God will only want to be in our presence once we present our best and shiniest self to Him.
However, nothing can be more further than the truth.
God knows you.
He sees your mess.
And He still loves you – unconditionally.
God knows everything about you: your strengths and weaknesses, your good qualities and bad – after all, He made you.
Addtionally, He knew the slips and blunders you were going to make before you even made them, and He still chooses to love you and fill your life with purpose and blessings.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Therefore you don’t need to change or try and be a better version of yourself before you can enter into a relationship with God.
God wants to be with you in your mess. He doesn’t care if you haven’t tidied up in donkey’s years or if there is a thick film of dust on your shelves: He just wants you to let Him in. The bad decisions you made in the past, the sickness, the failed marriage, the addiction – God will take care of all of that with His perfect timing. However, for now, He just wants you to know that you are loved, you are precious to Him, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You, my friend, are God’s child and He delights in you (Psalm 149:4).
And if that doesn’t still convince you that you don’t have to keep God at arm’s length, the following are
6 reasons why you can come to God exactly as you are.
1. You Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
We’ve already discussed that God loves you unconditionally: No matter what you say or do, it could never be so bad that God would stop loving you.
Additionally, did you know that when God looks at you, He doesn’t see you the way you see yourself? Whereas you may judge yourself by all of the times you have failed in life, In God’s eyes, you are unique and precious. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.”
2. Jesus Chooses the Unqualifed
When Jesus selected His disciples, He chose 12 ordinary men and made them extraordinary.
“Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.”
Four of the disciples were fishermen: Simon (called Peter); Andrew his brother; James the Elder and his brother John. Matthew was a tax collector and Simon was a political zealot. Judas was Jesus’ traitor.
These men made mistakes during their discipleship with Jesus. They failed at certain challenges He set for them and they doubted themselves.
And yet Jesus, knowing their weaknesses and lack of qualifications, trained them and sent them out into the world after His resurrection and Ascension as His Apostles, to spread the good Word.
In the eyes of the world, these men would not have qualified to be the chosen scholars of the Savior; however, that didn’t matter, for Jesus qualified them.
In the same way, the world may sees us as unqualified because we don’t meet society’s expectations. But God qualifies us. In fact, He purposely chooses those that the world reject in order to do His greatest works through them.
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”
3. Jesus Died on the Cross For Us
Jesus willingly died on the Cross of Calvary to pay penance for our sins. He bore the false accusations presented against Him, the violence and humiliation subjected upon His person, and the entire weight of our trespasses – past, present, and future – in order that we may be saved from eternal damnation. He bought us back from Satan with the shedding of His precious blood.
This Jesus did, because God loves us so much, that He gave up His own Son, disowned Him and left Him alone on that Cross to die, so that we may never be separated from Him again.
“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.”
If God sacrificed His precious Son in order that we may have eternal life with Him, how happy it must make Him when we seek Him and desire Him to be an integral part of our lives.
4. Jesus Came to Heal Us
“When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
The parable of the doctor healing the sick refers to Jesus being the Healer of our spirit. Jesus is referred to as the Great Physician, because He came to heal imperfect people such as you and l and offer us freedom from our burdens through His gift of Salvation.
Jesus was dining at the house of Levi the tax collector when He spoke Mark 2:17. The Pharisees in attendance, who knew the Scriptures and upheld the Jewish covenant law, despised and shunned Levi and his guests, who consisted of other tax collectors, Jesus’ disciples, and those who didn’t follow their lifestyle and beliefs, who they called Gentiles.
And yet, Jesus preferred the company of the so-called Undesirables over the Pharisees, because He loved them. Jesus knew that the lost and broken were the ones who need to hear God’s Word the most: They needed to experience the freedom of salvation, which only He could give.
Therfore, don’t think that your history or past misdemeanors determine who you are. You have the right to sit with Jesus at His table and dine with Him!
5. God Always Defends us
We’ve all experienced it: judgement, criticism and condemnation. However, where people may be quick to find fault with you, God will always be on your side.
Consider the biblical account of the adulterous woman, who the Pharisees brought to Jesus in John 8:1-11.
According to Mosaic law, it was commanded that this woman be stoned to death; nevertheless, the Pharisees brought her case to Jesus’ attention, in order to trap Him. In making a controversy out of whatever Jesus said, they hoped to collect sound evidence in their favour, in order to accuse and descredit Him.
However, Jesus saw through their scheming by stating:
“Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Well, what could the Pharisees say to that? Nothing. So they all went, and left the woman alone. Jesus spared her life and forgave her of her sins.
As you can see, Jesus will gladly take one on the chin for you. Therefore, don’t you want a friend like Him constantly in your corner?
6. You Already Have the Gift of God’s Grace
The principal of grace is fundamental in understanding God. It is His favour given to us, when we haven’t deserved it or earned it.
Ask someone you know who is a Christian, and they will all have an experience to share with you of a time when God showed them mercy in a situation, where they had not deserved it.
Why does God give us His unmerited grace? It is simply a part of who He is. His character is such, and it has not changed, nor will it ever change.
The epitome of God’s grace is shown through the redemption we receive through Jesus: His coming to earth, living as man did, and then dying on the cross for our sins.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.”
You already have the gift of God’s grace – all you need to do is accept it!
We may see what is wrong with us, but God sees what is right. Therefore, stop running away from your Heavenly Father, stand still, and invite Him into your mess. Because that’s the only place He wants to be.
Madeline Kalu is a Christian writer and the co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog. She was born in England, was raised in Australia, and currently lives in Germany with her husband Solomon. Madeline is in recovery from burnout, chronic depression, and anxiety. She believes that God can take life’s adversities and work them out for His good; hence, she uses her writing voice to raise awareness of mental illness, as well as to spread the light of God’s love to those who are mentally trapped in the dark, and provide them with hope and encouragement.
Do you have questions or doubts regarding your faith walk, or you need someone to talk to? Write us an email with the Heading “Faith” or leave a comment below. Your fellow readers and the team at Jacob’s Ladder will be happy to encourage and support you!
Want to Know More About This Topic? Here Are Some Resources That May Help You
The following resources provide great insight for deeping your understanding of how you can come to God as you are.
“God Won’t Leave You in Your Mess | TBN”, Max Lucado.
“God is in the Hard Stuff”, Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz.
“Run To The Father (Official Lyric Video)”, Cody Carnes.
“God’s Not Done With You (Official Music Video)”, Tauren Wells.