Stuck in God’s unconditional love
By Bishop Gary Mueller
There’s something going on in United Methodism right now that concerns me. It’s the fact that there are signs we are stuck focusing only on God’s unconditional love instead of emphasizing the fullness of God’s love that is unconditional, but it is also invitational and transformational.
So why am I concerned? It’s because the consequences are staggering. First, we fool ourselves into thinking God’s love is all we will ever need. Then, we end up focusing far more on what makes us comfortable than we do on God. Most importantly, we miss out on the fullness of the love God offers us.
Of course, God loves us just the way we are. But, God loves us so much that God wants us to be more than the way we are right now. God longs for us to experience a deeper, richer, and more intimate relationship with God through Christ that begins right now and continues into eternity. God yearns for us to become new creations in Christ who have the heart and mind of Christ.
I need God’s unconditional love because I need to know I’m loved not just when I’m perfect, but right in the middle of my imperfection, mess-ups and mistakes. I also need all of God’s love to become the kind of person I long to be. Sure, it’s tempting to stay stuck in God’s unconditional love because it feels so good. But, it feels even better to have a new relationship with Jesus Christ and become a new creation in Christ.
I wonder if it might be time to stop proclaiming, “God loves you just the way you are––and that’s good enough” and instead begin boldly, gracefully and joyfully proclaiming, “God loves you just the way you are––but God’s not finished with you yet!”
Bishop Gary Mueller, vice president
General Commission on UM Men