In primary school back in Nigeria I had a teacher Mr. Yeboah. A pessimistic, strict, bald, gray bearded, slender man. He always spoke in parables and never hid his disdain for religion. He could find the negative in anything, even something even as positive as feeding homeless children. Besides the traumatic memories of how strict he was, one of my most prominent memories of him was something he loved to say. “God loves bad boys”.
The primary school I attended was a faith based/ Christian institution. Ironic how a man radically against religion worked in a faith-based institution. Mr. Yeboah loved to criticize Christian principles, and one of his favorite sayings was that God loved bad boys. He used Jacob, Cain, and Saul as his prime examples for why he came to that conclusion. He explained that since God clearly loved bad people there was no point trying to be holy. The standard to earn God’s love was to be bad.
Despite Mr. Yeboah’s cynical outlook on life, some of the things he said held some truth. God does love bad boys, however, that doesn’t mean the standard to earn Gods love is to be bad. In reality there is nothing anyone of us can do to cause God to love us. He loves us just as we are not because of what we do.
Take Jacob for example. Jacob was a swindler… his name literally meant swindler yet in the Bible when the prophets and saints of old (even till this day) referred to God they called him the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. How can a just God be associated with a swindler? In the court of law Jacob should be facing jail time for fraud and identity theft after what he did to Esau. However, God’s love surpassed the Jacobs wrong doings and didn’t stop God from blessing him and making him a great nation. When Jacob called on God in his time of need God answered.
At the tender age of ten, I was radically against the notion that God existed. I wondered where God was when I witnessed certain horrific events. I was angry at the world, angry at God, and even angry at my parents for bringing me into the world. Several nights I would spend time mocking God in anger, sometimes I would even call myself God. One night, I was extremely overwhelmed by something I’d experienced, and I was ready to end it all. I was too afraid to take my own life, so I thought to negotiate with God if he truly existed. I remember clearly saying if there’s a God out there, remove me from existence. That night I shut my eyes hoping never to open them again.
To my surprise, the next day I opened my eyes and I was still here. I was frustrated, angry, and convinced that there wasn’t a God. I made it my mission then and even in high school to spread conspiracy theories about why God didn’t exist. My mother would have to literally drag me by the ankles to church, even then I would be on my phone or pretend to use the bathroom and never come back. My life was spiraling out of control. I began to question my existence again and even though I swore there wasn’t a God, in my heart I truly believed he existed.
I remember picking up my bible one day to see what all the hype about Jesus was. I read it and I couldn’t understand a single thing. The words were in English and I knew what they meant but I didn’t understand them. In frustration I yelled God if you want me to believe make me. A few months later, a beautiful tall lady approached me asking to be my friend. She invited me to her bible study and I had nothing better to do so I came the following week. I attended and that same book I tried to read began to make sense. Over time I began to look forward to her bible study and the more I attended the more I began to understand who God is.
Nearly two years later, this blog is not enough to express how my life has transformed. Funny how the head conspiracy theorist in charge (me) is now preaching the gospel on campus. I used to beg God to remove me from existence but now I would rather cease to exist if I live in a world without God. To think that God sent someone to reach out to me even while I was so angry and disrespectful to him makes me love him even more.
In Romans 5:8 the Bible says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners”. This scripture is mine and other christian’s reality. It doesn’t matter what you may have done or what the world says about you. God loves you. There’s nothing you can do to make him love you less and there’s nothing you can do to make him love you more. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for sins. God loves you as an individual, he not only loves you, he likes you. He knows everything about you, yet his love still runs deep.
Never feel distant or far from God because you did something wrong regardless of the extent of the wrong doing. He loves you and misses you when you run and even if you don’t acknowledge him. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty or unworthy of God’s love. Whether the world labels you as bad or good God loves you. That’s why he has freely given you the gift of salvation and all you need to do is receive.
More on the topic of salvation in the next post. Thank you very much for reading, don’t hesitate to leave a comment, share or reach out. See you in my next article xoxo. Elizabeth