Who Am I? How God really sees you

Does God Like Me? Spiritual Loneliness

Written By Kurtis Vanderpool

I'm a Certified Life Coach working to help people live healthier, happier, and more helpful lives. Whether is deconstructing your faith, navigating a relationship, or just the difficulties of adulting, I have over 10 years experience coaching people to create lives they love!

April 9, 2018

“Definte yourself radically as one beloved by God.

This is the true self

All other identity is illusion.

– Brennan Manning

 

There is a story of a couple.

 

This couple is a Christian couple.

 

This couple had a son.

 

This son was gay.

 

As a conservative, traditional, Christian couple, they believed their son had a sickness that could be healed. They believed his homosexuality was a brokenness due to the consequences of a broken world.

So like a good conservative, traditional, Christian couple they prayed. They prayed for their son to be healed of his brokenness. They prayed this for years.

Eventually, the son left home, got involved with drugs, and cut off communication from his parents.

After some terrifyingly dangerous moments that often come with drug use, the parents had a complete paradigm shift. They prayed more fervently than they ever had for their son, but rather than praying for a straight son, they began praying for a son that was home; brokenness and all.

For them, they realized the truth about their son’s identity was not that he was “broken.” The truest thing about him was how deeply they loved him.

Eventually their son did return home. They were blessed with a little over a year of time with him as their beloved son before he died of an accidental overdose.

Their view of him and their view of everyone in their life will never be the same. Now when they see people, they do not first see their brokenness. They first recognize their belovedness.

 

Because of their son, they learned to love people just because they breathe.

 

Our Story

 

As a Christian I have heard all too often how broken I am, and I won’t deny it. I am well aware how wicked I can be and how capable I am of terrible things. I am ill-tempered, impatient, judgemental, lazy, self-serving, dishonest, and an addict to boot. I have lusted, cheated, lied, stolen, and according to Jesus’ definition of murder-through-hatred I have definitely killed a person or two…or 200.

As a Christian it is easy to believe the root of our world’s problems starts with thinking better of ourselves than we ought. People are prideful, arrogant, and stubbornly stuck in their self-serving, sinful ways. We often believe that if everyone would quit thinking of themselves so much that we could live in peace and mutual love.

However, I do not think this is the root of our problem.

I do not believe that people genuinely think highly of themselves. I do not think we humans have a problem believing we are broken. Any psychologist worth his or her salt will tell you most harmful actions and attitudes stem from a place of great pain, loneliness, fear, or insecurity.

 

We act out because we don’t like who we are, and we don’t know what to do about it.

 

We need a new story. One that is MORE biblically accurate.

 

Yes, we are sinful people (Romans 3:23). Yes, we are broken beyond self-repair (Romans 7:15-20, Galatians 2:21)–so throw away your self-help books. But like the parents who learned to love their son just because he had breath, I cannot believe God looks at us and is blinded by our brokenness. I cannot believe that a God willing to humble Himself, become a human, and die for us looks at us and only sees mistakes. Afterall, scripture also says that Christ died for us when we had NOTHING to offer Him (Romans 5:8).

 

If we were to ask God to describe us in one word, only a disgusted, irritated, spiteful God would choose the word “broken.”

 

No, if Jesus is the greatest reflection of God’s character, then the first thing God sees when He looks upon your face could only be:

“Beloved”

 

Or even better still:

“Mine”

 

We may be broken. Like the son addicted to drugs, we may need to come home and seek some healing from our brokenness.

But we must NEVER forget, that before we were ever broken, we were first beloved by God. He loves us just because we breathe.

To live as one completely beloved by God, no matter the circumstances in which we find ourselves, would change everything. I would no longer fear going home. I would no longer be afraid of the changes I need to make to be more whole, because I would know there was nothing in the world that would keep me from being loved. I could try and fail, I could try again and screw it all up, I could even give up trying altogether

and still I would be loved.

 

That’s inspiration worth chasing.

That’s a home I want to be a part of.

And that’s the truth of Jesus.

He loves you completely, warts and all.

 

 

You are Beloved before you are broken

 

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2 Comments

  1. Doug Hinchcliff

    Hello Kurtis: I have read your words for the past three postings and find them to be hard words for those who fear the angry God. Excuses like “I’ll be still when I have time.” and “All those nice words in Romans (whatever that is) doesn’t change all the hate, violence and death that the Christian religion has done.” I’m the Shoemaker (we met several months ago at Sugar Browns) and I am comfortable with the understanding that the Spirit communicates with each of us constantly, offering gentle nudges that we can ignore or respond to. My focus is helping folks recognize those nudges and willingly respond to them. The world (including you and me) is being created each day as something very good, NOT perfect. The word sin (missing the mark) is just an inherent part of being made a very good human. We won’t always get it “right”. This does not mean we are to be nihilist. Working to actually be the human expressions of the gifts of the Spirit I think of as tweaking, and as we learn to listen to the Spirit better, we will get it “right” more often than not. Note: The Spirit’s nudges are suggestions which we can easily ignore. Please realize my calling is to the “noners” and “doners” who really are spiritually hungry and don’t have a way to deal with their hunger, so my comments are not a critique of your methodology or theology. I see you writing to those who are intentionally seeking a deeper spiritual walk. My focus is on those who are actually running the other way. My 26 years as a trial lawyer and 17 as Methodist pastor made me very aware of those who would never intentionally enter a church or a conversation about God or Jesus, and thus the Spirit led me to create the Shoemaker Society. Plenty to share but lunch is calling. Blessings. Doug (the Shoemaker)

    Reply
    • Kurtis Vanderpool

      Hey Doug!

      Yes I definitely remember you and your sweet wife that day! I totally agree with you. The “nones” are incredibly sensitive to just about any spiritual vocabulary that sounds remotely Christian (even though they are very “spiritual” themselves). I think the “dones” are a little different, however. Most of what we call “dones” still continue in a relationship with Jesus, and statistically 78% of them say they are growing in that relationship!

      As I have written and spoken with people, I am learning that my heart really connects more with the people that long for change in “church.” Most of them are opting out of church because they don’t see the potential for change within it (I myself am leaning toward this category). So, I write mostly to people that are longing for relationship with Jesus, but simply aren’t finding it in church, and helping them see their potential to lead and love the body and the world in a new way of doing church.

      Thanks for your comment and for reading. We will have to connect soon and talk face to face!

      Reply

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