Lately I'm noticing a big gulf between how I pray and some of the prayers and worship I hear others sharing. I don't think I've ever begged God for His mercy or declared myself unworthy of His love and forgiveness. I know that I am lost without God but I don't feel the need to self-flagellate or grovel at His feet. Not because I think myself better than that, but because I believe God is above that.
As a mother, I cannot imagine my child relating to me in this manner. I want my children to feel loved unconditionally; never to consider themselves unworthy. I believe in a Father who loves me beyond measure, who would give His life for me because He values me that much. If I met a child who felt compelled to sit at her father's feet proclaiming how worthless she was, that she didn't deserve his love, I'd have to conclude that she had suffered some severe psychological abuse or neglect.
Do we really need to build God up by tearing ourselves down? Does my self-loathing gratify God? How could it? I am God's beautiful creation; I belong to Him and I am part of His family. He deemed me worthy when He called me into existence. I am not perfect but I can kneel before God with respect and humilty without presenting myself as wretched, worthless trash.
Do I deserve God's love and forgiveness? You bet. But not because I did something to merit His favour; because I am something that merits it. I am His.