Two Questions About God and Me

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There are two parallel questions that people should ask, though only one of them is often asked.  The one that is clearly most on the minds of most people, is most obvious and most often asked when people think about God is, “Do I matter to God?”  It seems to be a consuming question to many.  It is also a reasonable and understandable question.  Behind it are the concerns of significance and purpose, the need for love and our own security.  We all have those concerns and needs.  If I matter to God, then I am significant.  I have the creator of the universe on my side which gives me better hope for security.  If I matter to God, his resources are potentially at my disposal.  If I matter to God, then perhaps I might not simply decay in the ground.  Additionally, if God is love and I matter to him, then I am loved by someone important, the one most important. Psychologists and counselors generally agree that in some order love, significance and security are among the most important and shaping factors in our identity as humans.  They help us feel important and cared for.  They increase our confidence and comfort.  If we are loved, significant and secure, then our relationships are bound to be more mature and healthy.

Yet, the less often asked question should parallel the first.  It is less self-absorbing.  But it must have at least the same degree of play as the first.  That is, “Does God matter to me?”  This is less often asked as many people don’t believe it really matters much what they think of God.  For some reason, many people don’t even see a logical connection between the first and second question.  But, unless God is an inanimate object like a rock or pile of dirt, which would make the first question irrelevant as well, it should matter intensely whether he matters to me or not.  After all, if God is a being whom I care whether or not he cares about me, then it may just be an important concern to think of the role he plays in my life.  “Do I matter to God?” is a concern of most.  “Does God matter to me?” should be the obvious corollary.  Relationships are always two way affairs.  If they are much in the way of relationships at all, they must have a play between the two parties.  If God matters to me, there will be some interest in him.  I feel sheepish about stating the obvious.  But, in many of my conversations with folks, it is not apparently as obvious as it seems it should be.

“Does God matter to me?”  That is not too hard of a question to answer.  It is simply a matter of attention, priority, investment, communication and value.  Answering these provides the obvious conclusions.  If God matters to me, then I think about him, pray to him, talk about him and spend some time investigating who he is and how he works.  If God matters to me, then some time is invested in all of these things.  If God matters to me, I don’t live as though he has no role in my life.  If God matters to me, then his interests become more important to me.  If God matters to me, then my need for love, security and significance also become my desire to return the favor and offer my love and appreciation for the security and significance he provides.  If God matters to me, it shows up in my worship, daily time investments, behaviors and conversations.

The odd, yet understandable thing about the two questions is that most people I know who struggle with the answers to the first, generally are the ones who have not given much thought to the second.  The people I know who struggle with any kind of spiritual assurance are most often the ones who demonstrate that God matters very little to them through their investment of time, life choices, behaviors and beliefs.  The connection between the questions makes sense.  Speaking as a person who asks both questions often, I find the delightful aid of God’s Holy Spirit to communicate a deep, satisfying and profound answer to the first (I do, in fact, matter to God) which propels me to continually make sure that I can answer the second in the affirmative (God does, in fact, matter to me).  He assures me of the first and guides me to live according to the second.

Matthew Thomas
By Matthew Thomas

In my sixth decade of seeing God work simply increases my faith. Born in California, raised in Washington, ministered in Washington, Oregon, Canada, Philippines, Idaho and now all over the world has given me reason to believe and praise. My wife, Marlene and four children (Luke, Mitch, Samuel and Charese) give me reason to give deep thanks. My eight beautiful grandchildren (Jalen, Jordan, Katelin, Andrew, Eli, Callia, Asher and Mikaela) give me reason to see that grace reaches beyond our immediate present into our un-conceived future. Serving with a great team in the Free Methodist Church makes me a blessed person in a blessed place, serving with blessed people.

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