Does God love you "Just the way you are?" Yes or no?
Now apply that question to your best friend. Would they love you just the way you are, even if you were to forget about them? Would they love you no matter what, even if you were to walk up and spit in their face? Do they love you despite your selfish moments, and have no desire that you become more generous?
When we say we are loved "just the way we are," we usually mean that our lovable qualities are all-in-all greater than our defects. Such that a friend is willing to accept us as we are, without needing us to change.
With God this is not true.
He doesn't check us out, and determine to love us anyway. He doesn't calculate the balance of good and bad qualities, good and bad decisions, vices and virtues. He doesn't opt to love us after getting to know us.
So NO, God does not love me just the way I am. Rather, he loved me into existence. His love - life, growth, protection, guidance, grace, forgiveness - does not depend on HOW I am. His love is a given, no matter what.
His is a love that does not depend on me and that will always push me to become more like him. This is what we mean when we say: "God is love."
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