My husband says I’m a terrible mind reader. I think I can tell what he’s thinking by the look on his face, but I’m usually wrong. I project too many of my own emotions and insecurities unfairly onto him. This can be a dangerous pattern in any relationship because I’m assuming that others think as poorly of me as I sometimes do of myself.
Too often, I try to make God more like me. When I find a behavior pattern or mistake annoying, in myself or others, I think God must feel the same way about me. I find myself frustrated with my kids and wonder how God tolerates my constant childishness and irresponsibility. I worry about extending too much grace; that somehow unconditional love and unlimited forgiveness will discourage changed hearts.
But this is not the character of the God I serve. Jesus blood is enough to cover any mistakes we make. We can return and ask for forgiveness again and again. The Father never turns us away. He doesn’t withhold his grace because we have just sinned one too many times. I’ve said this before but I truly doubt Jesus ever turned to his disciples and said “I need you to get out of my face, you are really annoying me right now.” (Or at least he did, it was in a much nicer way).
But I don’t have to wonder what God thinks of me. He has named me. He calls me friend. I am his beloved child. The world around me constantly emphasizes what I am not. But he tells me who I am. Chosen. Redeemed. A New Creation. I don’t have to be identified by my worst traits and choices. I have been given a new name.