The One Statement That Will Change the Way You Think About Religion
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
– 1 John 3:1
Have you ever read an Instagram post or blog that just shook you to your core? One that challenged your disbelief, expanded your heart, or just made you feel like someone out there has experienced a story similar to yours? That’s the way I felt (and continue to feel) when I read one particular quote card posted by Meshali Mitchell (@Meshali), a photographer and Christian-content creator on Instagram.
Religion: “I messed up, my Dad’s going to kill me.”
Sonship: “I messed up, I need to call my Dad.”
These words typed out in white font on a plain, beige background made me question everything I thought I knew about how I should be viewing the Lord as my heavenly Father. For years I’d been viewing God as an authority figure I had to trick into thinking I was good, only letting Him into the areas of my life that I was “qualified” to show Him. I genuinely thought if I didn’t talk to Him about my sin or the ways I was wrestling in my faith, I wouldn’t have to face it (“it” being the consequences I thought would be waiting for me since I’d screwed up.) All the while the Lord was patiently waiting to show me that He was trustworthy to know me fully, not just halfheartedly or with my stonewalled discretion.
As I wrote about last week, it’s hard for us to think of God as our Father because as great as some of our dads might be, God is greater. Not only is God’s love perfect, but He is also the actual definition of love!
Needing some context? Think of it this way; God’s not sitting up waiting for you to come sneaking in after curfew, counting down the minutes until He can punish you for your missteps. Nope. God waits by the phone to make sure you’re alright, and when you finally do come tiptoeing in, He wraps you up and tells you how happy He is that you’re home safe. And while the consequences for our actions may come, we can be so consumed with the love He has for us that we find peace from our repentance and grow from any discipline we may receive.
So, what happens when we start viewing ourselves as Daughters, and our Lord as our caring Dad? What once might’ve felt like manipulation and deception can now feel like freedom. In the instances when we might’ve hidden our sins and mistakes from God, we now celebrate the fact that we have a trusted, loving confidante we can run to in our weakness.
We are no longer slaves to fear because we are children of God!
Jantzen Jolly-Miller is a small business marketing professional and freelance faith writer who is on a mission to help women get real: real with themselves, with their business, and with their relationship with God and His church. In addition to being the lead content writer for Wheat and Honey Co., she blogs about personal takeaways from her life and faith walk to help women create positive change in their everyday routines at JantzenJollyMiller.com