“…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NASB).
I was calling a patient yesterday to discuss his blood counts. He was not in but I listened to his answering machine, which ended this way:
“God does not love you because you are good; you are good because God loves you. Have faith in Christ today.”
That’s a gutsy answering machine.
I am amazed at the boldness of this patient’s witness. I suspect the message he placed on his machine evolved from William Sloan Coffin’s commencement address at Willamette College many years ago:
“God’s love does not seek value; it creates it. It is not because you have value that you are loved. It is because you are loved that you have value.”
I have heard no better explanation and defense of the value and demand for justice for all human life than this statement. The value of every person I see, weak or strong, poor or rich, perfumed or odiferous, disabled or fully functional, born or unborn, is not dependent on his or her contribution to society, but on the very love of God.
This man’s answering machine takes Coffin’s statement one step farther, adding truth to truth. God’s love is not dependent on our value, nor is it dependent on our goodness. God loves us regardless, and out from that love came the cross that brings us our goodness.
Dear God,I am unworthy and you still love me. I am not good and yet you have made me so.
Let me see others the way you see me.