That's right, I said it. God isn't in love with you. I've seen this phrase used over and over to comfort someone who's feeling worthless, or to assure someone that everything will be okay, or to encourage someone to come to the cross, because God is in love with them.
Now, don't burn me yet. I'm taking this thought a step further.
First of all, let me define what I believe to be the widely accepted definition of being "in love," just to make sure I'm not throwing anyone for a total loop. As it appears to me, at least, "In Love" is a state of mind--and often, body--that signifies a significant attraction towards another in a way that magnifies their goodness and downplays their faults. It is experienced by the person "in love," and is demonstrated by actions or commitments, or even an overall rose-colored view of a person.
I'm sorry, but that's just not how God sees us.
We are not his highschool sweetheart. He doesn't want to take us to prom, he doesn't want to scream to the world how perfectly wonderful we are, He doesn't want to embrace everything we are. He doesn't need us to be happy. God does not look at us and get super warm and fuzzy inside because we make Him feel good.
We sin. We fall short. We make God angry, because while He is up there loving us, we're running around with all the wickedness and sinfulness that He hates.
Wait!, you say. You just said God loved us! Make up your mind!
There's a big difference between this concept of a God that loves everything we are, that is infatuated with our beauty, that accepts our sin and rebellion, and a God that actually loves us.
See the difference: Love is action. Love is a choice to acknowledge faults and still choose someone. Love is a devotion to a person, Love is selfless. Love has open arms despite the risk of being hurt again. Love is experienced by the person on the receiving end, who is known in all their weakness and still given Grace.
God. Is. Love.
God sees the way we rebel against Him, our sinfulness, our nonchalant view of Him, and He pursues us, because He loves us.
He is Holy, and because He is holy, sin separates us from Him. As you might imagine, because of His love for us, he hates our sin. He wants us to repent, to be in fellowship with Him. Because He's not going to just embrace our sinfulness. He's going to open His arms and call His people to Him, but that also means calling them away from the sin He hates.
A God "in love" with us doesn't have to be Holy. He could just open up and adore us despite all our choices that show a lack of love for Him.
A God that "Loves" us is Holy, desires us to run to Him, sacrifices Himself to give us that choice.
We are not His highschool sweetheart-- We are His bride. He knows us completely-- he is not blind to our sin-- but He still wants us.
He still loves us, even when we bring nothing to the table but weak attempts at goodness. He asks us to spend eternity with Him, and He asks us to repent.
He is there for us when we fall, to pick us back up out of the dirt He hates, and to wash us clean and help us try again.
So you are not worthless, but your value is found in a God that loves you, not in all the amazing qualities that made Him fall "in love" with you. Everything will be okay, because you can repent and be in fellowship with Him, no matter your circumstances. And you can come to His cross, because, even though God hates your sin, he absolutely, completely, sacrificially LOVES you.
God is so much more than "in love" with us.