God Loves You — But Did You Know He Also Respects You?

Christ died to offer you salvation, but he’d never force it on you.

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, “Christ Healing the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda,” ca. 1667
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, “Christ Healing the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda,” ca. 1667 (photo: The National Gallery, London / Public Domain)

This video originally appeared at Real Life Catholic and is used with permission. Sign up for Chris Stefanick’s email list here.

“Jesus loves you, this I know.” But did you know he also respects you? Think about what that means. God respects your freedom. As mighty as he is, the one force in the universe he’s chosen not to be able to overcome is your will. He died to offer you salvation, but he’d never force it on you. If you were there when he walked to the Earth 2,000 years ago and he came to your door, he’d ask, “Is it okay if I come in right now?”

And even though he could do all the work of spreading the Kingdom and helping the poor all by himself, he chose in his plan of salvation to need YOU. If you don’t say Yes, if you don’t fulfill the work he gave you to do, it might never get done. So God humbly asks, “Will you follow me? Will you help me?” 

He respects your body. In the Eucharist, your flesh becomes a tabernacle, a dwelling place of God. His touch healed people. It was gentle. It wasn’t forced. It was never uncomfortable. It was like a good dad raising his daughter up. And if he touched you, he’d probably first ask, “Can I take you by the arm?” 

He respects his relationship with you. Jesus said, “I call you friends.” He doesn’t just call us sinners in need of salvation or damsels in distress, in need of a hero. He’s gone further than that. God, the maker of all things, has raised you up to the status of friend. He wants your friendship! And he asks, “Will you be my friend?” 

You are sacred, unrepeatable. The creator of the universe respects you. I think maybe you should start treating yourself with some respect, too. 

 

Cuzco School, “The Enthroned Trinity,” ca. 1730

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Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890

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Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890

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“The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events …” (CCC 303)

Horace Vernet, “The Angel of Death,” 1851

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