I’ve learned a lot about Greek and Hebraic thinking in recent years. I know, I know, I have written about it quite a bit, but it really does affect many things, ranging from our belief about God and Scripture to life and to teaching a teenage son. One aspect of Greek thinking is that two opposite things can’t both be true–if Thing A is true then Thing B is false. Greek thinking has resulted in many church debates and denominational splits over the centuries as people argue(d) about things like “Does God choose us OR do we choose God?” or “Is God sovereign OR do we have free will?” “They can’t both be true!” Hebrew thinking, on the other hand, believes that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than our ways and there is room for mystery. Two seemingly opposite things can both be true. God chooses us AND we choose Him. God is sovereign AND we have free will. The Jews believe “these, also, are the words of God.”
Not long ago, a friend on a forum shared a difficult situation he was going through, and I told him what I learned through a similar situation in an attempt to encourage and help him. After hearing his story, I thought, “Wow, next to his suffering, I’ve hardly suffered at all.” Then he wrote that after hearing my story, he felt that next to my suffering, he had hardly suffered at all. We laughed about that.
Today I thought I’d tell you the true story of how God taught me how much He loves me.
I began attending church when I was 2 years old when a neighbor took me. I honestly do not remember a time when I did not love God and want to walk with Him. If anyone had asked me if I knew that Jesus loves me, I would have exclaimed, “ABSOLUTELY!”
For many years, I struggled to believe that God really loves me. I grew up hearing that He did, and I thought I believed it, but I didn’t REALLY believe it deep down in my spirit. It comes from growing up with conditional love. Because I didn’t really believe He loved me, I was scared whenever I “failed” God that He would be disappointed or angry with me. And any time something bad happened, I thought God was punishing me for something. Recognizing that this was a problem, about ten years ago I began to pray Ephesians 3:17-19 for myself: