I think we’ve simplified God too much. We’ve made the main thing about him be his love and forgiveness.
But he is not soft like a plush stuffed heart. He is also hard and heavy like a sledge hammer, a steam roller. He is equally hard on our wrongdoing and injustices we cause. Not only a vengeful insult to my brother on the phone, or little dishonest manipulation to pay less taxes, or indulging in lust at an image on my computer, or being unfaithful to a wife or walking into a night club and shooting eleven people. But even just this tendency of a nice, moral person like myself to live as if I were the center of the universe and deserve things from him.
I am tempted to say that in the end the reason he is hard on us for doing wrong is because he loves us and knows this whole world is made less beautiful when we do. And his stern correction is because he longs for us to live in a beautiful kingdom.
And that is true in one way. But I think if we were to see God, and finally get a glimpse of all he is doing in the expanses of history, on earth and in heaven, we would realize it is really just a lot less about us and what we think we deserve.
He is not mainly loving toward us because we are so freakin lovable and we deserve it. His expansive love and equal disdain for wrongdoing and so many other qualities we have sort of overlooked, they all wrap us and all of creation up to Him just because of who He is.
He loves us, but I think we would understand all of this existence far better if we realized that everything we do is a lot less about us and a soft loving God who owes us love because we deserve it. He’s not just a buddy that owes me all the feels during my lunch break on a Tuesday. Ya know?
I need to remember that whenever I feel like He does visit and bring me insight or overwhelms me with glimpses of beauty or love, it’s not because of who I am, but because of who He is.
And because of his love, which is also very much like a sledgehammer-steamroller.