As you know, it is written “In the beginning… God created them male and female… and it was very good.” God created us good. We have become broken and warped, and that is a tragedy. But we are fundamentally still valuable, there is still something good about our fundamental nature. And God loves us—God desires us—because he made us good. To say otherwise would be to say that God isn’t a very good God—if we say that he created something bad or if we say he loves something completely bad or with an entirely evil nature. Yes, we are broken and twisted; we’re confused and mistaken in many ways, and none of us live fully as we were designed to. We can’t fix ourselves by ourselves. We can’t fully live on our own. We need the life of God within us to restore us. But God’s foremost feeling toward us is desire—he wants us to be restored to our intended place in his family. Too often we’re given the message that we’re worthless, wholly evil garbage, and that God’s primary feeling toward us is disgust, repulsion, and anger. We’re told that if we pray a prayer, make a confession, go to church—in other words, if we can clean ourselves up some, then maybe we can pass a test so that we can hide behind Jesus. God won’t even see us, so we can sneak into heaven! Let me be clear, this view is more pagan than it is biblical. The message of the bible (especially the new testament) isn’t “try harder and you might become good enough for God”. No, the message of the bible is that we’re blind, confused, and turned around backwards. We couldn’t see God or heaven even if they showed up on our doorstep. God sent prophets and then Jesus—because he loves us and desires us—in order to turn us around, open up our eyes, and to straighten out our thinking (though not necessarily answering all our questions). It’s through God Spirit that we are transformed, if we choose to accept his apprenticeship.