I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone utter the words of the title of this THOUGHT. There is an element of truth to the statement, but generally the statement is made to justify actions that are ungodly and therefore the statement is false. It is probably more accurate to state that God loves you in spite of the way you are.
The most recognizable verse of Scripture is John 3:16 which states that God loves the entirety of the world. Certainly all that are in the world are not doing that which is pleasing to God. The love of God for the world is not based upon whether one is obedient to the will of God. It is founded in the fact that God is love (1 John 4:8). The love of God is expressed to those who in no way are worthy of it (Romans 5:8). The love of God motivated Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the world that all who would receive Him as Savior would be saved from His eternal judgment on sin. But if God loved the world just the way it is, then the crucifixion of Christ was unnecessary and a tragic waste. But God loves the sinner so that he or she might become a saint.
In the same manner, if God loves the believer in Jesus Christ just the way he is, then why is God seeking to change him? 2 Corinthians 5:17 states that if anyone is in Christ, he is becoming a new creation. Old things have passed away and all things are literally in the process of becoming new. Every person who trusts Christ for salvation is being transformed into the image of their Savior (1 John 3:2). That process of transformation began the very moment they first believed and will continue throughout the entirety of their life (Philippians 1:6). Every day my heavenly Father wants me to be more like His Son than the day before. But if He loves me just the way I am, then there really is no need for me to change.
The issue in life then is not whether God loves someone, but whether someone loves God enough to be obedient to His will (John 14:15). For the unsaved person who refuses to come to Christ and be saved, a day of eternal judgment is coming. For the believer who continually walks outside the will of God, parental discipline awaits (Hebrews 12:6). Because of a lack of love at the love feast, the Corinthians were judged of God and some rather severely (1 Corinthians 11:30).
In Galilee, during His post-resurrection ministry, Jesus asked Peter 3 times whether Peter loved his Lord. Each time the question Jesus asked had a diminished level of intensity to it. The first question He asked was do you sacrificially love me (agape) more than these. The second question was do you sacrificially love me (by implication “at all”). The third question was do you love me with a warm brotherly love (phileo). With each question concerning Peter’s love for his Lord, came the commission to Peter concerning his service for Him. Our ability to serve the Lord is not dependent upon His love for us, but our love for Him. To the degree that I love Him, I will be obedient to His will for my life.
No, God does not love you just the way you are. He loves you in spite of the way you are. The real question is how much do you love Him?