So…after much debating I’ve decided to change up the “song of the week” series for a bit, meaning that until further notice that series is going on a vacation (to some place tropical, I imagine!). For the time being, in its place I’ll be starting a new series on Wednesdays (since that seems to have become my “series” day). Though I don’t yet have a catchy name for the series (I’m thinking the Break Up series…) the premise behind it is this: the same lame, crappy and cheap excuses in relationships (especially in break ups, hence the name) are the same lame, crappy and cheap excuses we use with God. Got a crappy break up line or reason? Send it to me and I’ll work on including it in this series! In this series I’ll talk about the line and why it is lame, crappy and/or cheap and why it doesn’t really work on God…and, hopefully, how to move on once you’ve tried to break up with God. [Besides, I think deep down we all know that you only ever try to break up with God…He, thank goodness, never breaks up with us.]
Break up excuse: Its not You, it me.
Why it sucks in human relationships: I’d quite frankly like to go back in time and punch any guy that ever used this on a girl. Its a cop out. Man up and be a better man. On the one hand, good for you for actually admitting your short-comings, but on the other hand you probably should have worked those out before entering a relationship where you could possibly (and probably) break a girl’s heart. I could go on, but at the end of the day using this line to end a relationship is about a big a cop out as they come.
Why it sucks when using it with God: Because its true. Its still a cop out, but its still true. God is perfect, and we are not. Its probably the easiest line to use with God. “God, You are perfect, loving and merciful. Its not You, its my imperfection that keeps me from a relationship with You.” It is as if we are trying not to break God’s heart. His heart is perfect, His heart is love itself…love as infinite, good and perfect as His can’t be broken.
Why this excuse doesn’t work on God: It sucks because its true, but do you really think that means that God loves you any less? No way. He, after all, created you and He knows your imperfections and your short-comings far better than you do. Which, by the way, is a bit scary, no, a LOT scarier…we think that we are SO aware of our sins and yet there is a God who is more aware of them? But wait, He loves us anyway? Wow. This excuse doesn’t work on God because He loves us more than our imperfections, He loves us in spite of them and He invites us to a perfect relationship with Him in Heaven one day and on earth now, despite our imperfections.
Sometimes we don’t realize we use these excuses with God, sometimes we do, but the fact remains that whether or not we realize it, we all use excuses with God. We are afraid to trust Him, we are unsure that He loves us just as much as He says He does, we don’t have the eyes to see yet, or the heart to trust that everything, every single thing He says is true. Sure, some of it is true and we can believe that…but everything? Surely He must have been telling a tall tale some of the time. Wrong. We tell Him, “its not You, its me” because its easier to believe that we aren’t worthy, that we aren’t perfect, that we aren’t holy and that we can get out. Its scary to admit that someone loves you completely and totally for exactly who you are at this moment, because if that love existed we would be challenged and invited to love back, to return vulnerability for vulnerability. Even when He makes the first move, when He lays His heart on the line (or the Cross), we fear being that open with Him…what if He realizes how crazy we are and decides not to love us? Its easier for us to be at fault, to walk away, than to stay and risk being hurt or let down. But guess what? God doesn’t leave. Jesus doesn’t get down from the Cross. The Holy Spirit never leaves His children.
How to move on: You can’t break up with God. You can try (He knows I have), but He never leaves. I was watching a documentary on the life of Blessed Pope John Paul II and when the media was questioning whether or not he should step down from the papacy near the end of his life a Vatican official said, “we have a saying in the Vatican…you don’t get off the cross.” With the obvious exceptions of Mary and Jesus, no one is perfect, and yet we are all called to stay on the Cross. We know our imperfections…God knows them better and loves us anyway. Won’t you open your heart to His? It was literally pierced for us as He hung on the cross. He’s not asking to pierce our hearts…He’s only asking that we open our hearts to His.
Lord, help us to love you despite our short-comings, but more importantly, help us to know that You love us even in our sin and our filth. Help us to feel and know Your unending love more and more with each passing moment. Every breath we breathe is a gift of love from You. AMEN.