If You Really Knew Me, You Wouldn’t Like Me!
By: Al Robertson
“If you knew about me what I know about me, you wouldn’t listen to another word I say.”
Those words are etched in my memory, but for the life of me, I can’t remember when and where I first heard them. But how true they are. If we are honest, we all have that secret compartment in our minds and hearts that absolutely no one is allowed to peek into. You know, the place where concealed greed, jealousy, lust, and wicked temptation live. Most of us figure that if anyone found out what was hidden in that dark and evil dungeon, they wouldn’t love us. Shoot, they probably wouldn’t even speak to us.
Perhaps it’s this fear that our secret place will be exposed that hinders us most in our relationships with others. It certainly can impact our relationship with God. I might be able to hide the inner me from you, but it’s irrational to suppose that I can conceal the secret place from God. Yet, my heart is so deceitful that I can convince myself that I’ve covered what’s in my mind so well that not even God can see it. But check this out:
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind… (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
Trust me when I tell you that God knows – everything! You and I don’t have secrets. Not really!
This is the bad news for anyone who thinks that full confession before Almighty God is going to marginalize us in his presence. However, since God already knows, you aren’t revealing anything new to him as if he would say, “Gee, I’m sure glad she told me about that because I didn’t know.”
The good news is that he not only knows, but he loves us in spite of what he knows about us. He’s fully aware of even our secret thoughts, yet he fully loves us. This is the beauty of the Gospel: that a holy and righteous God who is perfect in all his ways could pour out his affection on disgusting sinners like you and me.
If you doubt me, just take a gander at the Bible characters who were held up as examples of radical faith. Lot selfishly chose the good pastures with plenty of water even though the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were right in the midst of the land. Because of his self-centeredness, he put his family in peril, ultimately costing his wife her life.
Abraham twice lied about his wife, telling Pharaoh and Abimelech that she was his sister in an effort to keep the kings from killing him in order to take Sarah as their own. Isaac, as an example the old adage, “the apple don’t fall far from the tree,” did the same. David committed adultery and murdered Uriah. Peter denied (with cursing) that he even knew Jesus. Rahab was a prostitute, for goodness’ sake.
Yet God chose these sinful people, some with secret passions and sins that they planned to keep hidden, as the people through whom the message of the kingdom would come. They were fully known and fully loved, and they didn’t even know it.
Far from restricting us, there is freedom in confessing that we are wicked people before God. There is also tremendous comfort in knowing that in spite of our own moral failure, others have failed too, yet God holds them up as examples of faithful men and women. Fully known, yet fully loved.
So, my story, the story of the Gospel, is to stop listening to the lies of the Evil One who demands that we define ourselves by our failures, and instead listen to Jesus who defines us by our love for God, by our belief that his blood is enough to eradicate our guilt and make us presentable to God. It’s not about you and me – it’s about the finished work of Christ who washes away our guilt and shame and presents us to God. Come to think of it, it isn’t our love for God that defines us at all, but God’s love for us. My love for him may wane, but his love for me never fails.
Fully known, yet fully loved. That’s the story.