Go Back to Newsletter

"He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not"

If you have ever experienced the complex emotion we call “love”, you know that there is often a measure of uncertainty that comes with the territory. You’re familiar with the cliché: When a girl is unsure if the cute guy down the road is into her, she finds a daisy and plucks the pedals, “He loves me. He loves me not.” Her hope is that there are just enough pedals that, when the last one is plucked, she finds out her dreamboat actually loves her. Guessing is just part of the game of love. Even that lucky girl who snagged “McDreamy” may eventually find herself wondering if he actually loves her. While men cannot be assured of another’s love, we know that God loves us, right?

Growing up in church, we’ve all heard sermons about the unfailing and unchanging love of God (even if we were struggling to keep our eyes open and our fathers had to thump us upside the head). What?! That never happened to you? How odd! Anyway, as Christians, we can hang our hats on the fact that God loves us. However, we sometimes act as if this were not true. You’ve probably heard the term backsliding. No, it’s not when you dive the wrong way on a slip and slide (I got hurt doing that once). It refers to returning to your former way of life before you were a believer, a life dominated by sin. But some insist that when a person sins, that person loses favor with God and He takes away that person’s salvation. Does that mean when you fudge on your diet by getting up in the middle of the night and gorge yourself on that last piece of chocolate cake, then suddenly slip and fall, hit your head and die, you the next thing you know you’re holding a chocolate soiled fork with Satan laughing at you in hell? Well, maybe that's not a good example, but I think you get the idea. In today’s theologically impoverished climate many Christians have come to believe that we can actually earn or forfeit our salvation by our actions. When we do something bad, just like the starry-eyed girl mentioned above, we’re worried that, “He loves me not!” However, Paul gives us great assurance in Romans 8:31-37:

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Paul’s words are quite clear. No matter how badly we behave God will never let us out of His grasp. Despite the fact that our actions are completely foolish, His faithful hand holds us steady. But let me pause for a moment to address all of you “wild and crazy guys” out there who would use this assurance presumptuously. Just because God has a firm grasp on us it doesn’t mean that we should go nuts and act like children who’ve had too many snickers. Since we are Christians, we are called to be conformed to Christ’s image. We are to act as He would act. I just can’t see our Lord partying like it’s 1999 (my apologies to those who don’t know who the artist who was formerly known as Prince is; or is it Prince again?)

As Christians who still await glorification, we will slip up from time to time. And yes, we should repent when we do wrong. But hey, smile! If you belong to the Lord, He loves with an everlasting love. We don’t have to pick up the daisy anymore and wonder. Oh, by the way, can you do me a favor and not tell God that I slipped up on my diet?

- Jordan McGehee