I’m sure you’ve seen various types of fruit, especially bananas, in the produce section at grocery stores. The very ripe ones will always be in an area marked “AS IS”. You may save some money getting these rather than buying fresher ones. You are free to buy the ‘as is’ fruit, no questions asked, right?
Let’s look at another aspect of “as is”. How does it apply to our spiritual lives? We’re all ‘as is’ people, right? We all have different backgrounds, different likes and dislikes. We may not even agree on everything, whether on politics, economics, or religion. We’re people ‘as is’.
Getting back to our ‘as is’ fruit, you may have bought overripe bananas ‘as is’. They were always the go-to for making delicious banana nut bread when I grew up, so I find it comforting to understand that something marked or labeled ‘as is’ can be made into something delicious and beautiful. Do you get my drift?
The father of the prodigal son hadn’t labeled him forgotten and cast away (Luke 15). No, he saw something much more precious in him than the son could see. The father saw what he could be, not what he was. But when the son realized what he had abandoned with his father, he felt he was just an ‘as is’. He condemned himself for his actions. He felt guilty for what he had done, and he wasn’t sure his father would even accept him back. He was willing to feed the pigs just to be back close to his father. In his eyes, he was an ‘as is’, slightly damaged from his choices, and the wear and tear of life on him.
How did his father see him? Did he only see him as an ‘as is’, a worthless, bruised, broken, and maimed son? NO! He saw him from afar and waited for him to return. He embraced his son with love and acceptance. What seemed better to throw away or discard was something worthy of receiving. (Bruised, overripe bananas were about to become delicious banana nut bread!)
I hope you see the connection of how God sees you. You may feel you’re just an ‘as is’ person now, not worthy to come to God, feeling unloved, guilty, even condemned for whatever that’s happened in the past. But God is holding out his arms of love to receive you, to encourage you, to fill you with hope, potential, and His fullness. As you embrace his arms, you’ll feel the guilt, shame, condemnation fall away. He doesn’t condemn you at all. Let him love you ‘as is’ today because the rest of your days will be filled with His goodness and blessings as you grow in knowledge of Him.