Saturday, March 2, 2024

He More Than Get Us

[Originally published in the Monroe News on March 1, 2024]

We all enjoy having relationships in life with someone with whom we could say “he/she gets me.”  We look for people who understand us, who think like us, who enjoy the things we enjoy.  We long for friends and companions.

Author C.S. Lewis in his book “Four Loves” once described the very basics of friendship as being able saying to someone “What? You too? I thought I was the only one…”   We know the little quirks and idiosyncrasies that we each have.  We know the silly interests we hold.  How many parts of our lives do we think that we must be the only person on this earth who does that or who likes that. Until we find another.  A new friend.  Someone who gets us.  

If that phrase “gets us” rings a bell in your ear it is probably because you’ve seen the TV commercials being aired during major sporting events over the last couple years. They give depictions of Jesus and people of this world in various situations seeking to depict the Christian life and its maladies and then the slogan “He gets us” is used to as the overall message.  

I’ve been trying to make sense of that slogan and whether it really describes the right relationship between us and God.  Is that what the Christian faith and life are all about, to know that God gets us?  I mean we do know that God knows all things. He knows everything about us.  Is that what it means to say “He gets us”?  We also know that because Jesus became man He became just like us.  He knows what it is like to live a human life. He can be the sympathetic Savior.  Is that what it means to say “He gets us”?

There is another connotation to the phrase “He gets us”.  We use this phrase to describe someone who not only understands us but affirms us and everything about us. It describes one who accepts everything about me and is “cool with it.”  While this can be a good thing in our human-to-human relationships it is not an accurate depiction of our relationship with God. He doesn’t “get us” in an affirmative way. He doesn’t look at how we are and say everything is fine. He didn’t come down from heaven to earth to leave us in our brokenness. He came down to save us. 

God’s love for us is inclusive and welcoming.  Jesus did die on the cross for every soul in this world.  That is some wonderfully inclusive love!  But His love for us doesn’t affirm us and leave us as we are.  He doesn’t “get us” just to leave us as we are. His love for us doesn’t leave us in a state in which we are sickened by sin and destined to die forever.  It's the same way a doctor does not love and care for their patient by leaving them in their illnesses. Can you imagine a doctor approaching a patient with an infected limb and telling them “That’s a mighty fine infection you’ve got going on there, let me affirm your choice to keep it and live with it, it's perfectly fine.”

Rather, a true doctor welcomes their patient by accepting them into treatment and then helping them to get better.  I need my doctor to care for me by telling me an illness or an infection is not okay and it needs help the same as I need my Lord and God to come to me and tell me my sinful life is not okay, and it needs a Savior. That’s how God loves us. We might be able to say he accepts us and loves us as we are. But he certainly doesn’t affirm us or “get us” to keep us as we are.  

Author Randy Alcorn in his book “The Grace and Truth Paradox” offered an excellent thought on this issue writing: “Grace without truth breeds moral indifference and keeps people from seeing their need for Christ.”  He makes the point that constant affirmation and “getting” of wrong and of sin is a false grace and exists apart from truth. It doesn’t do anyone any good.  And if we don’t live in the truth that we need Christ we only make matters worse.

To say God gets us is misleading. Rather, let us say God delivers us or God saves us.  Or my favorite, God restores us.  That truly describes the bliss and joy of a relationship with God. He doesn’t “get us” in order to tell us we are just fine as we are. He doesn’t leave us in our brokenness. He has something far better in store for us. Out of His great love for us He desires and acts to restore us. He calls us away from our sin.  He pays the price for our sin. He offers us His mercy and grace. He works to return us to a state that is far better than anything we’ve ever known.  To restore us is to return us to that state that Adam and Eve were created into in Paradise, and more. Fully forgiven.  Complete grace received. The perishable puts on the imperishable. No more sin, no more suffering, no more illness, no more dying. I want God to restore me to that and not just “get me”. 

To God be the glory.

Mark Witte is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church.
You can contact him at

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