“Why Does God Hate Me?” Have you ever been asked a question like that? Maybe from someone who is a skeptic about Jesus? Or what about, “So, are you one of these hyper religious people now?” How would you answer these questions?
Just a week ago, I got hit over the head like a sledge hammer with these honest questions from an honest skeptic. This happened at a local Hardware store while trying to get an estimate on a remodeling project I am working on. The young lady who asked me these questions was someone I had known from my previous career in construction, and I had developed a friendly acquaintance with her. Little did I know, Jesus had a whole other rebuilding in mind.
LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
Before I get to her asking these questions, it would be helpful to know a little about her. I had known her since 2009 and she had been actively and vocally engaged in a homosexual relationship from day one. This is in part why I could tell by her overall tone of voice when she found out I had a career change to ministry that she is not a fan of people who are “hyper religious.” I could tell she seemed almost disappointed in me. She even went on to tell me how she knew when she moved to Kentucky, that this was a city of “hyper religious people” so she had to lie to people about her homosexual marriage in order to be “accepted.”
After a few minutes in our conversation, I soon realized we weren’t going to be talking about remodeling a house; and all 6 people waiting to meet with her were going to have to wait a while because this lady was wounded and looking for answers. I quickly realized by her openness that I may have been the first “religious” person to ever treat her with love and respect. She began to break down and share her story of hateful religious people, losing her family, being rejected, and feeling alone. She shared how her ex-wife left her, took away their adopted child and “found religion” to which her ex called her and told her God hated her and God doesn’t want her to have a relationship with their child. She was hurt deeply.
She then began asking me about my story and I shared my testimony. I shared how I also felt like I had to hide my sin and live a lie to the world, and how I lost many of my own “religious” friends because of my choices in the past and how I also had a child that I didn’t get to see for 13 years. She couldn’t believe that we had so much in common. This is when she looked at me with tears in her eyes and she said, “Why does God hate me?” She went on, “I thought this God they talk about is supposed to be a God of love, and yet I am told he hates me.”
At this moment, what is the right response? I am fully convinced that scripture is clear that actively engaging in homosexuality is a sin. I am also fully convinced that Jesus loves her and died for her and her partner. I know God hates the sin but loves the sinner. So, what do I share with her? That is when these passages hit me.
THIRSTY FOR LIVING WATER
Matthew 13:44 says,
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
The man in this parable didn’t sell everything he had until AFTER he found the treasure of Jesus. Once he realized what finding Jesus is worth, THEN he was joyfully willing to give up everything else that is holding him back.
John 4:13 says,
“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Like the man in the field and the Samaritan woman, this young lady doesn’t realize that God not only doesn’t hate her, but wants to give her water that would make her no longer thirst again. No doubt she needed to stop sinning — but she needed to understand WHY he is worth it! Jesus is worth giving everything up for! Jesus is worth the surrender! I think we can get so caught up with telling people to put their wasteful drink down instead of telling them why they should want to.
So instead of concentrating on the sin, God blessed me with 45 minutes to explain to her the evidence of God’s existence, His love for her, His plans for her, and His desire for her to come into a relationship with Him. It was an amazing conversation that led to her giving me a big hug and thanking me. I now pray that God leads her and her partner to my small group in the near future and eventually towards a surrendered relationship with Jesus.
My challenge to you is simple: open your heart to sharing WHY Jesus is worth following even to those who seem like they don’t want to hear it. Deep down, they are all thirsty just like we are. They just don’t know there is an ocean in Jesus waiting for them.