God Loves Us...Warts and All1
It overwhelms me that God sees every nuance of my heart and despite what He finds there, He still loves me. Even though I can be stubborn, selfish, and insensitive with my thoughts, speech, and actions…
It’s difficult for many of us to understand how much God loves us or accepts us as we are. Scripturally, we are told that God loves us. He loves everybody, doesn’t He? But how much does He love us on a personal level? Does He accept us… warts and all? That’s a much different thought to ponder.
The phrase “warts and all” means: to include features, characteristics, or qualities that others might not find appealing or attractive. It is said to have originated in the 17th century when instructions were given by Oliver Cromwell to the painter Peter Lely to portray him as he truly was, without concealing his facial blemishes.
In Ephesians 1:3–6 we read,“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
Did you see that last part? He made us accepted in the Beloved!
We can rest in these words! With full knowledge of all our faults and failings, the Holy God of the universe says we’re accepted! How incredible!
God’s kindness and His favor have been poured out on us, because we belong to Christ. Here is how it works: His life, His death, and His perfect love has covered our sin. Past, present, and future...we’re completely covered!
We are justified, which is like saying “just-as-if-I’d” never sinned. We are accepted because of Him to whom we belong.
Now, that sets us free to accept ourselves with all our imperfections—to be comfortable just being us! Once we can do that we can begin to accept others as they are, without feeling the need to change them. Listen: “It is God [not you] Who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). When we begin to see “God at work” in others it relieves us of the enormous (often self-appointed) task of playing God in their lives. All of us are insecure in certain areas. All of us struggle with different things, but when we can accept ourselves, then we can begin to accept others, and that’s the first step toward truly loving them with the love of the Lord. Jesus said, “My command is this: love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
He knows us and loves us…warts and all. Isn’t that just amazing?!?