Yesterday I asked my 2 year old son what God was like. His answer was simple, “God likes me.” What a beautifully profound answer, and to think it came from a 2 year old. Clearly he didn’t quite understand the question but isn’t this something that we all need to hear. One of the struggles with our society is the sense that what we have is never enough. Think about it, we all feel like we need a better car, a newer smart phone or a fashion makeover. It seems that we are never satisfied with what we have. I believe these sentiments go much deeper. My suspicion is that many people struggle to really accept who they are.
The spiritual life is not immune to this. How often do we strive to make ourselves better? It is a common mistake for Christians to believe that if they only pray more or have more faith, God will answer their prayers. For some reason it is all too tempting to feel as though we need to earn God’s love. This may just speak to my own insecurities but I suspect that I am not alone in this. At the heart of the problem is the perspective I take. I am all too aware of my own faults and this can make it difficult to like myself, and if I can’t like myself then how could God?
But there is another viewpoint. The answer my son gave me says more about God than it does about me. What if we were to ask God how he feels about us? Nathan Foster asks this very question in his book The Making of an Ordinary Saint. Writing about the problems of self-hatred, he notes the struggles of trying to maintain a legalistic religious life. Is this the best that the Christian life has to offer? Foster confronts his struggles with legalism by purposefully creating time and space to hear from God. During this experience he pens this poem.
It speaks volumes about the character of God. He is accepting of people. He desires relationship with people and pursues it even though it would cost the life of Jesus. He is graceful and loving. What is God like? My son’s answer captures the heart of who God is. God likes me.