Recently a friend confessed to me that she fears that God does not want her.
She fears that God does not want her.
I don’t think it was easy for her to tell me this. She might never have said it, except that she’d already told me that she needed my help. When we sat down together, I asked her, “How are you?” She stared at me and I could see the debate in her eyes. You know what she said? “I don’t want to lie to you.”
She actually debated telling me that she was hurting! But that didn’t surprise me. In my experience, people often cover up their real feelings and just say that they’re okay. ”I’m fine,” they say. “I’m fine.” I’m not talking about routine exchanges at cash registers or the car wash. I’m talking about people who should be able to confide in each other, but instead they say, “I’m fine.” Ask your friends, “How are you?” See how many of them say, “I’m fine.” How often do they lie to you, covering up their fear and everything else because they don’t know grace — or think they don’t deserve it?
How often do you tell the same lie?
We’re not even comfortable being honest in church. Hurting? Confused? Frightened? In pain? No one wants to say it. Just say you’re fine. What do you hear at church when people ask each other, “How are you doing today?” You hear people say, “I’m fine! I’m blessed!” Seriously, no one is having a bad day? No challenges? No disappointments? Not even a headache? No one?
“I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.” That’s what you hear, even though I think that many people in church feel exactly like my friend does. Maybe sometimes, like her, they debate telling the truth. But when they get asked, they end up telling the same old lie. “I’m fine.”
My biggest question to the church is why? Why should I have to debate whether to tell somebody the truth when I’m not okay? We’re expected to wear masks and pretend that we’re fine, and it makes me angry. It makes me angry because people in pain are trying to get through life without ever being honest about it. And so they die. They die. They think God is disappointed in them, but they don’t want to tell anybody.
A lot of people, a lot of people, dealing with tragedy and wounds from the past, tend to project the lessons of those wounds or tragedies onto God. Maybe they were hurt in the past when a human being has failed them, and they fear the same from God. “Well, that person rejected me, so God will reject me.” Right? It’s really common to project our views of life onto God.
And so I think people are afraid to share their issues in honest dialogue because they are afraid to disappoint people. They take that human disappointment and they project it onto God. When we see that someone is disappointed in us, we think, “This is how God sees me too.”
No. Unequivocally, no. That is not how God sees you. When you called Him Almighty God, He called you holy and righteous. When God looks at you, that’s what he sees: His precious child, holy and righteous. And nothing could ever make Him stop wanting you.
I told my friend a story that helped me, and I think it will help you too. I’ll share it next time. See you Monday.