You Are Pre-qualified

Our beautiful Methodist church is just off the town square and there are many local businesses within walking distance.  Before the pandemic I would frequently visit these local restaurants or businesses.  Because I wore my church name tag, people who worked in area businesses would frequently ask me about the church.  The conversation would almost always come back to their own spiritual life.  Frequently this took the form of a confession.  After some small talk about church, these lovely people would usually confess to me the shortcomings they felt in their relationship with God.  Almost all these confessions revolved around their feelings of unworthiness and what they needed to do to “get right with God.”  I could hear the pain in their voices during these conversations and my heart went out to them.  I wanted desperately to let them know that God loved them and was eager to have a relationship with them.  God was not waiting for them to improve or to change their lives.  What I usually managed to say was something like, “God loves you and knows where you are.”  I wanted to communicate to them that they were not far from God.  That they didn’t have to be perfect.

Recently, I received a letter from a local business that announced I was “pre-qualified.”  I would not have to do anything, I was already approved for a large loan.  Of course, I knew that this was a marketing ploy to get me to come to this dealership and shop for a new car.  However, the idea of being pre-qualified struck me as a great way to express the idea of the love and grace of God.  While the term “pre-approved” doesn’t appear in the scriptures, the idea made me think of this scripture from Ephesians 2:10.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

When I read this scripture, it tells me we are all precious to God and that God delights in us.  We are made for good works.  When we feel unworthy of the love and grace of God, we should know that we cannot earn this love and grace.  Dear brothers and sisters, I am happy to say that, as far as a loving God is concerned, we are all pre-qualified.

Grace & Peace,

  1. Ray Wheeler Ph.D.