Have you ever had the thought, “if you really knew everything about me you wouldn’t like me”? I think most of us have. Humor writer Dave Barry admitted this in a recent book saying he uses humor to “wrap myself in a protective barrier…because I fear that if they did know me they wouldn’t like me, because deep down inside I am still the geeky, deeply insecure glasses-wearing kid I was in fourth grade”.
Ironically, we all want someone who will love us and accept us for who we are, but we do not let them know who we really are. We put our best foot forward, or have a protective behavior like Dave Barry. We need to be freed from this.
Billy Joel wrote and sang a song “I love you just the way you are”. This is actually true of God: He loves you just the way you are—the good, the bad and the ugly. He sees everything about us and still wants to have a relationship with us that is real. That is why He sent Jesus—to heal us and to bring us to Himself. This is the meaning of Christmas. He sent us a Savior. The word save means to be made whole—forgiven and restored from your brokenness.
God wants a relationship with you, and this requires a response from you. He is reaching out to you, and you need to reach out to Him. Many of us believe in God the way we believe Charlie Baker is the governor of Massachusetts: we know who he is but we have never met him. We do not know him. I actually met Governor Baker at a fundraiser, but I still do not know him. This kind of shallow knowledge is inadequate and unfulfilling.
Knowing God involves being forgiven of your sins which stand as a barrier between us and Him, just as it does in human relationships when we offend each other. Jesus paid the penalty of our sin on the cross.
The prophet Jeremiah about 600 years before the birth of Jesus prophesied that God would make a new covenant which would be written on our hearts and characterized by this: “They will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, for I will forgive their wrongdoing, and their sin I will no longer remember.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
How does it feel when you know you hurt someone, and you go and apologize, and they forgive you? It feels wonderful. This is just as it is with the Lord. You can go to Him and apologize for your sins. He wants to forgive you so that you know your wrongs are not held against you. You can be certain! He wants to make you whole so you can simply be yourself. He loves you just the way you are—that is the good news of Christmas.
I met Jesus in a real way at age 14, and at age 63 it is still the best thing that ever happened to me. I want you to know Him too! Will you take some time to be yourself and talk to Him?
Merry Christmas with love!