Wednesday, August 09, 2006

two sides of love

Christianity is a belief system filled with apparent contradictions, ironies and contrasts. In order to have life, you must lose it. In order to be free (from sin), you need to be a slave (of righteousness). God is love defined, but His nature consists of perfect judgement and unbounded mercy together. When most people think of love, they think of something that is totally non-judgmental, completely accepting and easiest on the object of their affection. The scripture says, the person that God loves, He chastises. It also says the Son (Jesus Christ) learned obedience in what He suffered. To our "live and let live", "do your own thing", "Whatevvverrrr..." society, this is just politically incorrect and harsh.

But I think it is really very necessary to look at love from the standpoint of what it hopes to accomplish. From God's perspective, love brings a human 'round to the place of being righteous, and therefore, happy. It secures an individual in the process, but does what is necessary to save. It seems like humans have it backwards-they start with a finished product. We tend to love things that seem worthy of our good opinion. God loves because it is His nature, regardless of the nature of the beloved. This seems so impossible to me, and yet, He loved our son enough to let him be found out in his struggles. I don't think I could have done what it took, even knowing how much it might cost in the end for the bad.

Many people fear the idea that God is sovereign. That also seems repugnant to us arrogant humans who think we control the world in our own self-importance. The longer I live, the more I trust in the mercy and severity of God to rule His world, and this life, in which I ought to be His slave, but have been adopted as His own daughter. What unfathomable love is God!


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