Because I Said So
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we
should be called children of God; and so we are.”
(1 John 3:1, English Standard Version)
And so we are. Something about those words washes over me and brings tears to my eyes. No effort, no merit, no fighting for it required—just the Love of God because we’re His children. He says it’s true, and that’s what makes it true.
I don’t know about you, but that is a real relief for me. I grew up with a lot of religious rules, so learning as an adult that there’s nothing I can do to earn God’s love was a huge weight off my shoulders. But it can sometimes also be hard for me to really believe it’s true.
I know myself, just as much as you know yourself. I know what a mess I am and the (many) mistakes I’ve made. We, better than anyone else, can always give God a whole list of reasons why He shouldn’t love or accept us, can’t we? I regularly find myself trying to tell God why He shouldn’t be so good to me. And He regularly responds that it isn’t up to me to determine His goodness; it’s up to me to trust His judgement and be grateful for what a good Father He is.
He wants the same for you too.
I don’t know you personally, but I know there is an area of your life that induces shame and regret in your heart. I know you’ve made some mistakes, because we all have. I know when you hear songs or sermons about how God loves to be good to His children you think, “Everyone but me.” I know that even when God shows His goodness to you and you begin to believe, even just a little, that it’s because that’s just who He is, a good Dad, you shut down and even sometimes reject His goodness.
I understand all too well.
Religion says that we suck and God knows it and so our purpose is to do as much as possible to suck a little less until (fingers crossed) we make it to Heaven where God will make everything perfect.
No pressure, right?
Religion says to only accept the goodness of God, the gifts He loves to surprise His children with, when you really believe you’ve been doing everything right. That is a lie!
If your physical dad brought you a toy, some candy or just wanted to play with you as a kid, you didn’t automatically tell him all the things you had done wrong that week. No, you hugged him and thanked him and knew that your daddy loved you more than anything. That’s all God asks of us. Not our perfection or performance, just our presence and appreciation. Sure, there are things we do and don’t do as Christians, but when we fail to do those things it doesn’t mean God stops loving us or is disappointed in us, and He certainly doesn’t disinherit or disown us.
Hear me clearly when I say this: You are God’s child. You cannot change that. You cannot become less His daughter anymore than you can become less the daughter of your mother. Whether she gave birth to you or adopted you, you’re hers, end of story. And the same is true of God.
We have to stop complicating it. God is our Father. That cannot be changed. Do you know why? Because God said so.
God calls us His children, and so we are.
God calls us forgiven, and so we are.
God calls us loved, and so we are.
God calls us wanted, and so we are.
God calls us beautiful, strong, free, worthy, important, and so we are.
Not because we can or ever will deserve it; we won’t. Not because we perform well some days and that makes up for the bad days; it doesn’t. Not because we have the right last name, degree, career, income, or church position.
“Who can separate us from the Love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35, ESV)
No one. Nothing. It isn’t possible because God’s word can’t be broken.
“…it is impossible for God to lie.” (Hebrews 6:18, ESV) (Also check out Numbers 23:19 and 1 Samuel 15:29 if you want more confirmation)
God won’t lie to His children. He can’t. He is the Truth (John 14:6), it goes against His very nature and existence to lie. When He calls you His child, His daughter, His beloved, He isn’t lying, placating or consoling, He is speaking what He, above everyone else, knows is true. He calls you His daughter, and so you are. No complication, no further explanation, being born again means being given a new name: child of God.
May childlike faith arise within us to embrace this truth with wonder: God is our Father who loves us beyond comprehension. And when we ask why, in true parent fashion, He simply responds, “Because I said so.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.