Today I want to talk to you about feeling unworthy before God. Or should we feel unworthy of God?
You know it is a complicated question for me. Here is the reason. I am a free thinker, in the sense that I believe that God should love me, and God should care for me, and God should do everything right for me because in the end I am of God and God has created me. God has a responsibility to take care of me. God must make sure I am successful and blessed in life. So, God can not just sit idle and make me fail. I am worthy to stand before God because God is my father. The list goes on and on.
Is there anyone among you who feel that? Or don’t you think I am telling the truth here? Is there a parent out there who do not want their children to be successful, happy and blessed? If you are, I don’t know what kind of a parent you are. I wish success and greatness for my children. I want them to be the best and most successful.
When my child comes to me saying he is unworthy of my love, I want to shower him with my love and my care. What reminds me here is the story of the prodigal son, and I would call it the prodigal father. The father who lost control and made the return of his lost son into a huge feast. He made him feel worthy again. Father made him a prince in the household while the son thought of himself as unworthy to walk into the house of his father. Somewhere in the back of his mind, the son knew, his father could not spare him his love. All it required is for him to recognize how unworthy he is before the abundance of love.
I have several more examples that come to my mind in the scriptures.
There was a centurion who came to Jesus one day and said, ““Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed.”. Matthew 8:8.
He knew what power meant. He was a powerful man, and he did not have to stoop down before this layman, who does not apparently have any power in the world and seek his guidance. But the centurion says, “I am unworthy of your attention,” could you please.
Don’t we ask our children to say please if they want us to do something for them? Why? We all want the other to have some humility, some grace and some understanding of one another. We want people to recognize our limitation without the help of the other.
To feel unworthy is not a bad thing. It is the right thing to do when we know we don’t deserve all that we say we deserve, if not for the grace and kindness of the other. We get what we get many times because someone else is kind to us and caring for us.
I have a house to live in because you are kind to let me have it. I have a place to work today because you are kind to call me. I can go a long way if I have some humility to work with.
You know where the river flows? Rivers are always in the valley. Am I right? Where the nomads settle? Near the rivers. Why? Because water brings life. Low lying areas have water in them, and they produce fruits and flowers. They make trees grow.
It is humility that makes the Spiritual life meaningful. It is knowing that we are unworthy that makes us beautiful people.
I hate proud people, people who think they know everything and they are everything, and without them, the world will end. Nobody is indispensable. We all can be dispensed with. Let nobody believe we are so important in this world that this world won’t’ be a good place without us. God has a place, and that takes into consideration the totality of the wellbeing of the world. We have a choice to become one part of the story and not the whole story. We only have one role to play, and if we play it right, we will have a place in the puzzle.
The beautiful world we live in a world that looks like a puzzle. If I do not place myself in the right place of the puzzle, then I won’t complete the whole picture. If I think my place in the puzzle is not most important I am wrong. I am important, and I need to fit into the puzzle to complete the picture.
So knowing our place, and our potential is a wonderful thing. But having some humility to know that God can still complete the puzzle without us, is wisdom. You don’t need to come under my room to make a difference in my life, just your thought, your kindness, your love and your look, your smile would all do.
Make someone feel worthy. It can be done with a simple smile, a genuine text, a sympathy card and the list goes on. The spiritual life of worthiness and unworthiness needs to be addressed in the context of who we are in the eyes of God, nothing more and nothing less as St. Francis would say.
Righteous people are those who will ask when did we see you hungry and thirsty. We are unworthy, but you gave us a blessing.
Peter said, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man”. Did Jesus go away? Would you leave your children when they admit they made a mistake? Will you not walk with someone who is aware of his failure and mistake? We will do, and we should all do.
Feeling unworthy is a blessing. Being unworthy is not. We are worthy of God’s love; our being is in need of God to function well. But knowing we don’t work well without God is this feeling of unworthiness, and that is what we call humility. Like Peter who asked Jesus to depart him. Like the centurion who said, do not come under my roof, like John the Baptist who said, I am unworthy to untie the string of his shoes, like Paul who said,” I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle.”
Feeling unworthy is a blessing.
Being unworthy is not.
Feeling unworthy is a start to grace.
Being unworthy is a lie.
Our being deserves God.
Our feeling of unworthiness helps us experience God better.