The Bible describes the Christian as someone who has repented of and renounced their sin, a person who is committed to following Christ and putting to death the flesh and all its sinful lusts, and a person who continually rejoices in the love of God. For lack of a better word, the Christian is described as the ideal person, someone who is on their way to perfection.
Sadly, that’s the only side of the picture that most people see. Because of this, they feel condemned and unacceptable to God.
The Real Deal
Contrary to how some people understand the Bible’s description of a Christian, the Word of God explicitly states that the Christian is someone who was deep in sin but was showered in redemptive mercy; a person who was on their way to death in hell but was snatched by Christ at just the right time; and a person who will never be able to live a Christ-like life without the Holy Spirit empowering them.
Simply put, the Bible also presents Christians as a people who used to sin, but were saved from sinning; a people who thought they were doing well but actually fell short of the glory of God; a people who thought they could do all things but in reality can’t do anything unless they abide in Christ; and a people who used to think they could live without God but discovered the truth that true life is in Christ alone.
Now this brings me to the question posed by this article’s title: can God love me even if I’m so full of bad habits?
Oh yes He can.
Unconditional love that leads to repentance
Unlike the love of man, God’s love is unconditional. You can’t bargain for it, attempt to buy it, or even work hard to earn it. That’s not God’s kind of love.
God loves us so much. Long before we were born He already loved us. Before we fell into sin He already loved us. Before we made that first sinful decision, He already loved us. Even as we were in our bad habits – sinful or not – He already loved us.
In fact, it’s because of His love that we can break free from the bad habits that keep enslaving us:
“While we were yet weak, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Rarely for a righteous man will one die. Yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
Truth is, God loved us so much that while we were still sinners wallowing in the mud of our bad and sinful habits, Christ died for us. His death showed us God’s great and patient love, the love that should make us want to live a life for Him:
“Do you despise the riches of His goodness, tolerance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)
Since God loves me anyway, can I keep my bad habits?
Friend, God’s love is meant to save us from sin, not excuse our sinfulness. His love should make us want to respond in kind: by repenting of our sins, and turning away from them in order to pursue Christ (see Matthew 16:24).
Christ paid the price for us to be freed from sin and be called as God’s children. Let’s respond in kind.