How often do we hear God is love? It’s no wonder that the world doesn’t understand when bad things happen. If you ask people who are against “religion” why they hate God, one of the first things they are going to say to you is:
“If God really loves me then why isn’t my life perfect? If God is love then why do bad things happen?”
I actually have a couple of unsaved facebook friends that will blatantly post things about how they hate God and love evil and demons and such. Whenever those things pop up on my newsfeed my heart breaks for these people. The Bible says that men love darkness because their deeds are evil. (John 3:19) So the loving of evil things makes sense. For a long time I couldn’t understand why they expected God to just be like a genie in a bottle though, but I think it’s all finally starting to come together. The blame is to be laid at the feet of Christians.
If a person has never been to church or had any exposure to “Christian culture” the only things they know about Christianity is what the media has told them and what they have gathered from kids they went to school with or people they work with. The cliché saying “You may be the only Bible that someone ever reads” is actually surprisingly true.
Why is it then that people who haven’t been exposed to Christianity think that God should be like the genie who only causes good things to happen to them? Who is the God that we present to our classmates and coworkers? Are we so afraid of people rejecting our God that we just go around writing “Jesus loves you” and “Smile, God loves you” on any paper work that is going to be associated with us? We so flippantly say God loves you so everything is going to be okay that all they see is a world in chaos and a bunch of so-called Christians living in some fantasy world where they go around moping about the sorrow in the world but in the same breath say “whatever is going on your life is going to be okay cause God is in control.” It’s sad to say, but sometimes I don’t blame people for thinking that God is a liar because that’s the God that we show people. We tell them that God is love. However we tend to leave about the part that God is also just. We forget to tell them that God doesn’t tolerate sin. “But…but…if we tell them that God punishes sin, then they won’t want to accept Him.” But that’s not entirely true. You have to have the justice and love together to paint an accurate picture of Christ. If you just tell about the love God seems to be a liar. If you just tell about the justice He requires then God seems like a meany! But if you tell about God’s love as it intertwines with the justice He requires it makes since.
God does love us, but because He is a perfect, just God, He cant overlook our sin. The story doesn’t end there either. Because God loves us He wants to make a way for us to be perfected again. That’s why He sent Jesus to take our sins. It’s the perfect combination of love and justice that makes God so amazing. You cant separate the love and you cant separate the justice. You cant pick and choose what pieces you want. It’s the whole story or nothing.
I challenge you to be careful of the Jesus you present to your coworkers and classmates. Don’t try and separate the essential parts of Jesus’ message because you’re afraid of scaring them away from Christianity. Also be careful of going the extreme the other direction only speaking of God’s wrath and just punishment of sin. Let the two intertwine to tell the beautiful story of redemption. Im also curious as to what youre thoughts are on this topic? Why do you think that people think that God should just give them everything they want? What are your experiences in sharing your faith with those around you?
The wonderful way in which God’s plan of redeeming His people is the perfect mix of love and justice!