"God is tender and loves us as just as we are, not in spite of our sins and faults, but with them. God does not condone or sanction evil, but he does not withhold his love because there is evil in us. The key to this understanding is the way we feel about ourselves. We cannot stand or accept love from another human being when we do not love ourselves, much less believe or accept that God could possibly love us." -- Brennan Manning, A Glimpse of Jesus
I am currently reading A Glimpse of Jesus by Brennan Manning. I loved Ragamuffin Gospel and every thought I've ever read by this remarkable man. This book is no exception. I read Ragamuffin Gospel relatively quickly because it was so good. While this book is equally as good, I am reading it slowly. In part because I have been a bit busy as-of-late. But mostly because of the subtitle. The whole title reads like this: A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred.
While I don't hate myself, I know it won't surprise my handful of readers to hear me confess that I have difficulty receiving love. From God or anyone, really. I look at others who struggle the same and I cannot understand it. I have no trouble seeing how other people (even ones who frustrate me!) are deserving of love. I just have trouble receiving it myself. And the Lord has (humorously) surrounded me with an unbelievably loving family, loving friends, and companions on this journey. He is desperately trying to show me how he loves me through others. And I know that he does...I just don't know that I know that I know.
I venture to say many of you feel at least partially the same. Or maybe you don't. Either way, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. It is a lingering difficulty in my life. It has been alleviated during brief seasons in my life, but it still seems to loom behind me. I long to be set free of this feeling and I believe that God desires that for me (and you!). But how?
For now, I am learning a lot from this book and what Manning pulls from the Word. I feel layers being lifted and I am loving it, but I have a long way to go!