Saturday, April 01, 2006

Who Knows You Best?

Somewhere in the world, there is a wooden coffee table with three provocative words scribbled in pencil on the underside. I know because I wrote them when I was about six.

I scooted on my back under that table with a big fat pencil and wrote, “I hate Donnie.” Guess who Donnie is. He’s my brother, who absolutely drove me crazy most of my life. He had a way of just looking across the room at me that would set me off—only you who have big brothers know what that look is and how it irritates every nerve in your entire being. Right now, if he’s reading this, he is panicking. He doesn’t know what his sister might say next!

Siblings know almost everything about each other, which makes the other easy prey. After all, you eat together, share the TV and sit next to each other on long road trips, so there’s always opportunity, motive and means for driving each other nuts. Interestingly, even though most siblings don’t like to admit publicly that they’re related, genetically speaking, they have more in common with their siblings than they do their own parents!

There is someone who knows you even better than your siblings do, though. He knows all the mistakes you’ve made, your most embarrassing moments, and even your secret thoughts. That would be God, of course. You can’t hide who you really are from God, even if you scoot under a coffee table or pretend to be somebody else to fit in, or put someone down to make yourself feel better.In fact, in 1 Samuel 2:3b, the Bible says, “The Lord is a God who knows your deeds,” and Psalm 44::21b says, “He knows the secrets of every heart.” If you’ve ever messed up, that’s scary because it sounds like you’re in big trouble. But there is good news.

Someone once said, “The one who knows you best loves you most.” It seems unbelievable, but the same message occurs over and over in the Bible—that in spite of your flaws, God loves you deeply. Jesus had a way of looking right past a person’s words, of looking into their lives and then looking even deeper into their hearts, where he could see all kinds of truths, but he never, ever said, “You are just too bad for me. I can’t stand being around you.” He basically said, “You need me, and I love you, so we’re a good match.” You can read a whole story about when Jesus related that way to someone in John 4.

Jesus’ mission on the cross can bring you and God together, the way it was meant to be. I can tell you from personal experience that it feels great to know that God doesn’t hold those embarrassing, wrong things you’ve done against you. Back to the sibling thing--there’s hope for you who feel like you’ll never get along with your siblings. I don’t feel that way about Donnie anymore. In fact, when I see him, my heart beats a little faster with joy. He is the funniest person in the world, and he has a very tender heart. I guess this is a good time to apologize for the coffee table incident. After all, he is my brother, and I love him. There—I said it, “I love Donnie.”

Pretty good lookin' for 51 yrs., I guess.

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