How can God love us when we consistently fail to follow His Word?

Written By Douglass M. Bailey

Very possibly God's love is even greater for us at the point where we do fail to follow God's Word and way. God's love for me, for each and all of us, is not based on my or our performance (Thanks be to God), but on the revealed nature of the heart of God. Another way of saying this is in a one-liner I often use: "God does not love me because I am good, but because God is good."

In terms of our failures, the deep awareness of God's forgiveness is often the tap root of one's spirituality. Forgiveness breathes new life over and over into the life of the one forgiven. God, the Great Forgiver, embraces each of us in our darkest failures.

—The Rev. Dr. Douglass M. Bailey

At a weekend spiritual retreat, I heard something that spoke directly and deeply to this question. The topic was Grace, God's Grace — the fact that God's love is abundant and complete. Nothing I do could cause God to love me one bit more, or one bit less.

Grace is what God does for me. I can't earn it. It is a gift. My humanness is God's dwelling place. He knew I was not perfect, so he gave me Grace. I think God wants me to say, "help me," not, "I can do that myself." Through the Grace of God, I will always get another chance to choose a life that is closer to the heart and the purpose God has in mind for me.


I believe God loves us but hates sin because it separates us from Him. He loves us because we are created in His image. We are created to be with Him. We are not complete without Him, and in a very real way, He is not complete without us. We really are His children. Just as a family is not whole when the parents are apart from the children, neither He nor we are complete without each other.