“The lesson for us to learn is that God is never about the gift or the blessing. God is always about the relationship. Those with a healthy view of God understand that what is most important to God – and should be the most important to us – is the relationship.”
-Russ Ewell, When God Isn’t Attractive
I remember my heart pounding when I heard my teacher say the most frightening words a 6th grader can hear: “Report cards will be sent home today.” In a split second, I started thinking of all the ways I could beat my parents home to hide my report card from them. I was afraid of what they were going to think of my mediocre grades or the usual comments of, “Talks too much.” Even at such a young age, I was consumed with my performance and looking good, even to the extent of lying about what is actually going on. But when my parents read my report card, I prepared myself for the lecture that was coming. Instead, it was the complete opposite. They supported me, and the conversation was more encouraging than discouraging. My mom and dad showed me kindness, mercy, and compassion. This moment taught me that God is very much the same with us. Today, I can still treat my relationship with God like a performance, that if I’m not performing in school, finances, or work, then God doesn’t love me or won’t care for me. What I fail to realize is how God isn’t about the GPA or what status or title I hold. As important as it is to do well in school and work, God focuses more on the heart than on achievement. However, we can never fully understand what God’s love looks like in our own lives until we understand who he really is.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
This Scripture teaches us that we cannot project or assume what God values based on our own judgments and experiences. God is different than us, he reads in between the lines and sees our hearts, rather than the outward appearance. God wants us to be real and genuine with him, just as he is with us. God becomes attractive in our lives when we see him for who he is and the destiny he has for us. What unhealthy views are you projecting onto God? How have they hindered your relationship with God?
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become a child of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. Here is how God showed his love among us. He sent his one and only Son into the world. He sent him so we could receive life through him.
1 John 4:7-9 NIRV
This passage teaches us that God is love, which means that love itself comes directly from God. What makes God attractive is the way he views and feels about us. When we rely on God’s love, we realize that no failure or flaw is too much for him to handle. The amount of talent or money we have is irrelevant to God. Only God can satisfy our needs. He teaches us that material goods like money are fickle. If we put our confidence in them, we become an emotional rollercoaster, always on edge and unstable. But when we rely on God’s love, he helps us be true ourselves because we are comforted by him.
What empty pursuits are you chasing rather than God? Respond to God today by deciding to pursue an intimate relationship with him that is transparent, so you can fully experience God’s love and destiny for our lives.
To learn more about who God is, read chapter 1, “When God Isn’t Attractive,” from Russ Ewell’s book, When God Isn’t Attractive.