Every morning I watch the sun rise (weather permitting). The beauty of it demands a response. More often than not, the conversation below ensues:
Me: Wow, Father God, that’s just…breathtaking. You’re amazing.
God: I knew you’d like it. Do you know I love you?
Me: Yes, I know you love me. I love you too.
God: Do you know how much I love you?
It is at this point that the conversation takes one of three paths.
I quickly evaluate how I’ve done over the past several days and determine that I’ve managed to put together a good streak of things I think will please God.
Me: You love me quite a bit, God, I’ve done…(this, that, and the other).
God: Put away your scorecard. That’s offensive to me. My love for you is not based on your performance. That’s what the Pharisees did and it got them nothing. Your righteousness is like filthy rags to me.
I quickly evaluate how I’ve done over the past several days and realize I’ve messed up. I have not lived up to a “good Christian” label.
Me: Um, you’re probably struggling to love me, God, I’ve done…(this, that, and the other).
God: Put away your scorecard. That’s offensive to me. My love for you is not based on your performance. My love is everlasting and my mercy endures forever.
I start to fill out my scorecard with the things I’ve done recently and then I catch myself. I remember that God’s love for me is not based on my performance.
Me: You love me so much that Your only begotten Son was tortured and killed so that I could have the opportunity to approach you and fellowship with You.
God: Yes, that’s true, but in the here and now, do you realize how much I love you?
Me: Probably not. I want to know more. How much do you love me?
God: I love you with the same passion and intensity that I love Jesus.
Me: But…Jesus was/is perfect, and I am definitely not.
God: My love is perfect. It’s unwavering. It’s unconditional. I know you desperately want to mature and grow, but you’re going about it all wrong. You’re trying to manipulate your outward actions without the inner fuel that will influence those actions. Ask me more about my love. Seek more intimacy with me. Knock on the doors of greater revelation regarding who I am and who you are in relationship to me. I will answer, you will find, and the doors will be opened. That’s where true victory starts.
Me: Thank you, Daddy. Thank you. Thank you for your perfect love. I will think of this sunrise throughout the day today as I remember how much you love me.
My book Rude Awakening was written to address this Scorecard Syndrome in my life. It was written to an audience of one – me. By God’s grace, I am learning to walk Path 3.