George Strait has a song entitled “You Know Me Better Than That.” It is a song written to an old girlfriend about his new girlfriend. This new girlfriend “She thinks I’m perfect, I swear, She likes my body, my class and my charm. She says I’ve got a confident aire… Oh, she tells her friends I’m perfect, And that I love her cat.” This troubles our friend George as he shares, “But she’s in love with an image time is bound to see through.” We’ve been there haven’t we? We are in a new relationship whether it be with a new girlfriend or even at a new job, and we are wondering will they really love me when they really me know me. That’s where George’s song to his old girlfriend really sinks in, “But you know me better than that, You know the me that gets lazy and fat. How moody I can be, all my insecurities. You’ve seen me lose all my charm, You know I was raised on a farm.”I’ve heard it said that all good humor has a least an ounce of truth in it, and I think that this song speaks of great truth. We were talking to a friend yesterday, and he plainly said, “Everybody no matter what culture wants to be known fully and loved anyway.” Isn’t that true? One of our greatest fears is that when people find out who we truly are, they won’t love us. However, our desire is to be fully known and loved anyway. This is precisely what God has done as Paul tells us in Romans 5:8, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God who knows our even our very ugliest thoughts loved us fully. If we have a message to the not-yet Christians, it is this, that the God who knows all things bright and beautiful, knows all things dark and dreary in each of us, and Loves Us Anyway!! Praise be to God.
One of the things that bothers me is that God expects us to be like Christ. This bothers me because I like to keep my bar of expectations at a height that I can jump by myself. God, however, sets the bar just high enough that we can never jump by ourself, but only with the help of God’s divine love. We need to love one another just as they are, especially those that we are closest with. We need to know others fully and fully love them. This is the only way we can be an authentic community.
Asbury College has a t-shirt design that I have seen frequently says this, “Come just as you are, leave different.” This is how we are to be relationally. We are to love one another just as we are, and to encourage transformation of each other. To not love somebody just as they are, is a conditional love. To not encourage holiness is not love because by definition love wants the best for the other.
I know that my wife Heather loves the Aaron who leaves shoes scattered amongst the house, talks about football too much, snores, and at times acts downright selfishly. Her love calls me to live a transformed life where my shoes are picked up, I talk more than Mike Gundy, and I care more about her needs than my own. The snoring she’ll just have to continue to love.