Devotions from James Smith book, Embracing the Love of God

We need to discover our true identity from God’s perspective. So often we put on a mask or play a role we think others will like out of fear of rejection or out of shame. We might feel shame if we don’t have enough money, if we don’t have a prestigious job or if we feel we are too short or fat etc.  We may respond by being good or by trying to anesthetize with pills etc But God sees us as we truly are behind our masks. He sees us as valuable and precious but also full of brokenness and tainted by the Fall.  We are really a bundle of paradoxes.  We are capable of doing good to people but we are also capable of lying, cheating, and using others.  St. Francis of Assisi considered himself worst of all sinners even though he was renowned for his works of charity.  Like the publican’s sense of need and imperfection, he prayed, “God be merciful to me, a sinner”.   When we begin the process of self-acceptance we have to acknowledge our true self. Pretending that we are righteous simply keeps God at bay. The truth is we are weak and broken and imperfect but He loves us and sees us as we are.   It is easier to believe in God’s love in a general sense than to believe in His love personally.  God wants us to quit lying to ourselves and to accept our failures and faults, not excusing them but seeing them as part of who we are. He is able to draw near to us when we surrender to Him and in essence say,” Here I am, God. You know I am broken and weak. “  He accepts us and heals our core of shame and rejection. Because He accepts us we can accept ourselves as we are and hear His voice to our hearts, “Your are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”