I’d resented God for a long time.
The God that street evangelists were selling me.
The God that people I disliked told me about.
The God portrayed in fictional stories and movies.
I remember being approached by someone who told me I would go to hell if I did not accept God. And my retort? Okay, I’ll go.
Then there was the obnoxious classmate who told me that my life wasn’t as good as hers because I wasn’t walking the God-given path. Or that I was having problems with my love life because it wasn’t according to God’s will. Needless to say, I disliked her and I couldn’t stand for the God she spoke about.
I wasn’t about to worship a blind and elitist God who would bless someone as awful as her. I wasn’t going to give myself to a God who wanted to dominate me and dictate the choices I make. Frankly, based on what I’d heard, hell seemed more appealing without such an authoritarian and irritating God.
So I sneered at all things Christian. I steered clear of all Christian shops in sight. I refused to attend Christian weddings. I avoided churches like the plague. I couldn’t care less if I was going to hell.
But obviously God cared. He never disliked me. He never avoided me. Little did I know, He’s all for free choice and isn’t keen to control me. And He was just waiting patiently for me to reconsider Him.
Fast forward to now that I’ve embraced Him, I often wonder how misunderstood God must feel. How many people have turned their backs on Him because they’d mistaken Him for being a terrorist? How many more are still misrepresenting Him as distant and unapproachable? How long more will God allow Himself to be misinterpreted as angry and harsh?
Misunderstood. Mistaken. Misrepresented. Misinterpreted. For generations.
Yet God forgives. He even forgets. No grudges. No hard feelings. As soon as we accept that He loves us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
This is real love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us.