Gospel artist Tasha Cobbs Leonard wrote "In Spite of Me" as a reminder that even though we're all flawed and make mistakes, those flaws don't diminish God's love for us. Let's dive into the scripture and the lyrics to Tasha's recent single, "In Spite of Me" and find out just how incredible God's love for us really is—especially when we mess up.
"I don't cross every T, I don't dot every I/I've got more flaws than a little, and I messed up a thousand times.../You still love me in spite of me/You still choose me, how can it be/Every scar, every flaw/You see it all/You see it all/You still love me, love me, in spite of me"
Our Human Imperfection
"I'm stubborn at heart/I'm quick to put up a guard/I do it all be myself, I won't ask for help/And sometimes my mouth is smart/I can be insecure, counting other people's blessings/And never stop to notice what I got"
I'm guessing it's no surprise to you to learn that people—even Christians—are weak and imperfect. That includes you and me. I don't like the reality of it, but I come face to face with my weaknesses every day. As followers of Jesus, we're all in the same boat. We're sincere in our desire to love Jesus. We want to be totally devoted to Him. But, we're imperfect in how we express that love and devotion to Jesus. We're imperfect in how we treat others and in how we respond to the challenges of life.
Since this is true of all of us, we need to wrestle with this question: how does God feel about us in our weakness and imperfections? How does God relate to you and me when we fall short of His standard?
In scripture, God unapologetically calls every Christian to a life of godliness and spiritual maturity, with the help of the Holy Spirit. You may have heard a fancy theological word in church called 'sanctification.' Sanctification is the process by which Jesus transforms our thoughts, attitudes, and actions, progressively making us more and more like Him. See Ephesians 4:17-24.
Sanctification is both a key component of walking out our faith and a gradual, lifelong journey that won't be fully complete until the day Jesus comes back for us. So, it's vital that we understand God's heart for us in the midst of our growth process and the inevitable mistakes we'll make along the way.
God's Unfailing Love
"Can I get a witness, You didn't give me what I deserve/Love so relentless, got me singing hallelujah.../It's hard to believe, you had a choice/And daily you choose me"
Here's how God's Word answers our pressing question.
Psalm 103:8-14(NLT): The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
How does it make you feel to read this passage? Can you believe our God, who is powerful enough to rule the whole earth, is, at the same time, so gentle with us as His children?
We have a savior who experienced human temptation and trial and overcame them all without sinning. Hebrews 4:14-16 reminds us that Jesus understands our weaknesses. When we humbly and repentantly run to Him with our weaknesses, instead of running away from Him, He meets us with mercy and helps us overcome.
It took me a while in my walk with God to finally start believing that He isn't going to get frustrated with me and give up on me when I mess up. It took me a while to start feeling a level of confidence to believe in His love for me. And, it took me a while to come to Him when I sin and make mistakes. I still struggle with it sometimes. You might be struggling with that, too.
I believe you'll find encouragement in Philippians 1:6 as I did: "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."
God began a good work in you when you cried out to Him and He saved you. He promises in His Word to carry on that good work until it's finally completed on the day Jesus returns. Do you know what that means? Jesus is in this with you for the long haul. He loves you and He's committed to you and to His work in you. He's not giving up. He's not going anywhere.
"In Spite of Me" is an honest reflection of Tasha's—and our—situation. But, it's also a song of praise and thanks to God for the revelation of His unfailing love and faithfulness. May God write the truth of His Word and this song on your heart. Even in your weakness, He is faithful. Even with your shortcomings, you are loved. Even when you stumble, He's there to forgive and help you grow.
Find "In Spite of Me" on Tasha Cobbs Leonard's latest album, Royalty: Live At The Ryman. Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify. Read the full lyrics of "In Spite of Me" here.
NRT contributor Jasmin Patterson is a lifelong fan of Christian music who is passionate about helping others connect with Christ. She lives in Kansas City where she serves in college ministry and runs a blog to help seekers and believers discover and live biblical Christianity.
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