If someone could hear our thoughts (now that’s a scary thought) I wonder what they would say about what is driving us?
Do we believe that God only loves us when we live a holy life or when we are working hard serving him or do we believe that He loves us unconditionally? What we really believe (not what we say we believe) about this question will have a major impact on the way we live. If we believe we have to somehow gain God’s love and acceptance then we are likely to overwork in what we do for him and also to be really hard on ourselves when we make mistakes.
A lot of people who I know who work for churches are often worn out. This may be unconnected to our belief about the love of God but if we are constantly worn out we need to consider what is driving us because it isn’t God.
As I look at Rembrandt’s picture of the prodigal son I am overwhelmed by the love of God the father who loves and accepts his son even though he is in a mess. The father in his finery hugs his smelly, dirty son, how great is the Father’s love for us!
As you look at this picture, how could you doubt that God loves you no matter what you do?
You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by God!
You don’t have to wear yourself out in Christian ministry to be loved by God!
If you are a worn out Christian trying to please God then take some time to look at the picture and remind yourself that you are loved because God is love. We cannot earn and deserve His love.
As we look at this picture it reminds us of the mess we get into when we turn away from the way that God has commanded us to live through his manual for life, the Bible. I want to choose to obey God and live for him not so he will accept me but because it is good for me and because it brings honour to Him.
I do make mistakes but I know I am loved.
I know that I don’t have to wear myself out serving God to make him pleased. In fact when I strive because I want God to love me it breaks his heart.
You can read the story of the prodigal son and the loving Father in Luke 15.