Recently, I came across a Facebook post from someone who declared “God loves me just the way I am.”
You can bet there were loads of comments agreeing with that sentiment.
I think I may have actually done a face palm.
Well, yeah. God does love me just the way I am. Since God is love, He loves all His creatures just the way they are.
All of them.
That is, God loves all of us because we are His creatures. He loves who we are, not necessarily what we are. Because He loves the sinner, he hates the sin. It’s impossible for God, who is love itself, not to love us, any more than it is possible for water not to be wet.
Saying God loves me just the way I am isn’t saying anything except that God loves everybody.
But that’s not what I think the author of that Facebook post intended to say. He implied we don’t have to do anything to improve ourselves, since God already loves us as is. We’re supposed to go on our merry way as if everything is A-OK, since God already loves us.
I find that exceedingly disturbing.
St. Faustina, in her diary, relates that God told her that if she could see herself for what she is without His grace, the vision of such sin and misery would be so unendurable she would die of horror. Goodness, if that’s what a saint is, I have to face the realization that I don’t rise to even that “height.” But that’s what we all are without God’s grace, for everything good within us comes from Him.
I’ve read a lot of other books written by canonized saints while they were still on earth. Of course they said “God loves me.” But not one of them added “Just the way I am.”
No, the cry of saints is “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
So . . . while it’s true that God loves me just the way I am, it’s also true that He loves me far, far too much to want me to stay just the way I am.