“I love you, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is an award-winning show on Broadway. I haven’t seen the production yet, but I can imagine the story line. The title resonates with us because it’s often what we do to each other. We love people because they are a bit different than we are, respect those differences, and then hope like crazy that they choose to become more like us. It’s more comfortable that way. If they keep going along marching to their own drummer, we might have to listen more closely to what our own drummer is playing. They may actually be getting it more right than we are. Oh, dear! Relationships are so tricky.
In a romantic sense, we probably can’t help being somewhat this way. We “fall” for another person, choose them, and then hope we can mold them into our own image. I suspect we often do the same thing to God. We “fall” for him, recognize how perfect He is, and then hope that somehow we can convince him to adapt to the way we do things. We hope that He’ll overlook our quirks and idiosyncracies and simply accept us as we are. We may even hope He’ll change to be more like us. Of course, that may not be a conscious thought, but it’s perhaps close to our own sense of reality.
The fact is, that God could well use this phrase for us. He absolutely says to us. “I love you.” He clearly believes that in Him, we’re perfect. He hopes most sincerely then that we’ll change. He doesn’t need us to change so that we can be loved more. He doesn’t need us to change so that we’ll be more perfect. He simply needs us to change so that we can see him more clearly, recognize His hand in the things we do. He wants us to become so close to Him that we become a reflection of His love. The changes He hopes for in us are all about giving us the most intimate, the most rewarding, and the most beneficial relationship we can ever have. That’s the one that comes with perfect love, the one that overcomes all fear.
I love the thought that God’s mercy is made new every morning. That means that no matter how much of a screw up I might have been yesterday, He starts the next day with a clean slate. He says all over again “I love you, you’re perfect…now change.” His desire for you and for me to change is only a desire to have a more complete relationship with us. He doesn’t want to be our distant cousin, our fringe relative, or our Sunday morning God. He wants to be our friend, our Redeemer, our strength and our steadfast Father. You can count on Him. Whether you change or not, you can count on the fact that He always loves you.
Wonder if we can do that for each other.