Most of us are able to put on a good face in public, and carry on our day to day lives without any evidence that there’s a seething hurt hovering just below our surface. It doesn’t really become a problem until we decide to let someone else into our lives. The problem is, EVERYONE has someone dying to get close to us. When you meet that person, that’s when you’re suddenly faced with the terrifying decision to either open yourself up to them, or else shut them out, and risk ruining a fantastic opportunity.
Obviously some of us struggle with these doubts more than others, but I don’t think it’s unfair to say that we all secretly worry at some point that we’ll screw up the best relationship that ever happened to us. We’ve all been through things that left us scarred and emotionally broken in some way. The enemy will use these hurts or past sins as ammunition against us, convincing us that we’re incapable of being in a healthy relationship. As we continue to collect scars and commit sins against others, we eventually come to the place where we believe that, because of our past, we are simply unlovable.
May I tell you the painful truth?
You ARE unlovable. We all were, until Christ came into our lives.
The message of Romans 3:23 says that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Every single one of us has done things we’re not proud of and received hurts that we believe we’ll never heal from.
The good news is, even at your most unlovable moment, Jesus STILL chose to die for you. You were broken, disgusting, and depraved, and Jesus still CHOSE to make you his own. Love is a decision. Love is given selflessly. For any loving relationship to continuously function, you have to choose to give it to someone even when they’re not “earning it” in your book.
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” -Colossians 1:21-22
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:6-8
God showed his love to you before you ever deserved it. Before you can show kindness and caring for another human being, you need to understand that Christ showed it to you first, and that you can only give it out in the measure by which you’ve received it from God.
You might have garbage in your past or buried deep inside your heart, and you’re terrified of victimizing someone else because of your own brokenness. Join the club. The one thing that can override any potential damage you might cause to that other person is your commitment to each other and, above all, to Christ. We all have demons. A while back I wrote about how they can sometimes drive you to do great things if you learn to let God harness them. The downside is that without totally relying on God, those demons can sometimes cause you a lot of unnecessary pain and fear. Everyone has stuff in their past. Sometimes the fact that both of you are scarred, scared, and deeply distrustful makes you perfect for each other, because nobody can appreciate what that person is feeling as well as you can.
Be bold. God has already seen you for exactly who you are, and he still loves you. If the person you care about loves God, then chances are they too have been transformed by that same kind of irrational love.