A while ago I posted the aforementioned quote to my personal Facebook page and some people had problems with it. Those who had an issue with this post are exactly where I was spiritually a few years ago. Until about 2010 my theology was based solely on what I heard preached, and taught in the traditional black church that I grew up in. The main narrative that I was exposed to in my home church was the idea that I am not "worthy to gather the crumbs under Gods table", because "I'm just a nobody trying to tell anybody about somebody who can save everybody." I was taught that in order to be truly humble I had to understand, feel, and believe that I am less than, unworthy, and substandard in every way, yet at the same time blessed and fortunate that in all of my wretchedness God looks beyond my faults and loves me anyway. Eventually the sermons and sentiments expressed by the countless churches that I visited through my first 26 years of life caused conflict in my spirit. On one hand preachers preached sermons saying, "We are all sinners... We are not worthy... We don't deserve God's Grace/love..." yet conversely proclaim from the pulpit "God don't make no junk... You are a chosen generation.... Yes Jesus loves me/you!" This confused me deeply.
Maya Angelou used to say "words are things." I have always believed that words have power. When we say words or allow people to plant words into our world they sit on the furniture, stick the the walls, and cling to our clothes until they eventually infiltrate our body and either feed or poison our soul. Positive words feed us; negative words poison us. How does it serve God or us to constantly define ourselves by our mistakes, mishaps, or "sins?" How does it feed our souls to continually identify ourselves by our mess-ups? If God is love why should I define myself through sin which is something that is void of love? If God looked at everything that God created and said that it was good, why should I think of myself as essentially bad? If God loves me, made me in God's image, and said that I was good- why should I believe otherwise? Of course people who have problems with what I believe will quote the men in the bible who speak of sin, unworthiness, and our mistakes. For every scripture that they use to validate the "sinner" in us all, I can quote a scripture to validate the love, joy, peace, and beauty in us all. What then shall we say of these things? Choose love! We must constantly make a conscious choice through the spiritual journey that is our life between Love and fear. Love is the truth, belief, understanding, and knowledge that liberates us, builds us, and propels us into God's light. Fear strips us of faith, hope, and love as it leads us to pain, hurt, and self loathing. Calling someone a mistake is different than calling them a person who has made mistakes. Whenever we use a sentence beginning with the phrase 'I am' we must be aware and cautious of the words that follow. There is a difference between saying "I am fat and I should loose weight" as opposed to "I am striving to be a healthier person." One of the aforementioned statements calls our total essence to a higher level of positivity, change, and possibility. The other statement taunts who we are and negatively impacts on our thoughts, actions, and ultimately our destination in life. Those who follow love arrive to a place of hope, joy, and peace. Those who follow fear are destined to a life of hurt, pain, and despair. Beloved in everything you do you must follow love!
As a preacher I feel the tug of the Almighty in every moment that I speak/write calling me to challenge people to strive for a higher level of consciousness through love. I feel called to help people love and accept love with excellence. I am not a sinner because I am a vessel of God's love. I cannot be both. I am a child of God. God smiles on me. Have I made mistakes? Yes. Have I messed up? Yes. Have I sinned? Do I still sin? Do I still do stupid stuff? YES! YES! YES! No I am not perfect, but God's perfect love shines on and through me as it propels me forward. God's love presents me as a beautiful being who is a living testimony of what Love can do. Love can heal, save, protect, feed, and restore. I am an example of God's love. All of us must understand that God is love all the time! Knowing that God is love and that God is inside of me, I must realize and believe that I too am love all the time. Within me is the power to overcome anything through the work of the Almighty in my being and through my life. God Loves ME! God loves me not in spite of my past or mistakes, but simply because God loves All. If God loves me unconditionally who am I to tell myself or anyone else that I am unworthy of that love. God is love. Love is who God is, what God does, and where God lives. I am grateful for love and for the wisdom to acknowledge and accept God's love. I am grateful for ALL LOVE.