God’s Justice and Grace
The conflict for many Christians is whether God is loving and caring, or just and fiery. The truth is . . . God is both!
Here is an utterly mind-boggling and potentially soul-stirring concept of God that has perplexed humanity since we took our first breaths: God is both just and generous. God can both keep us to our end of the deal and forgive us when we fall short. God holds in one hand the power to wipe out an angry mob, and in the other hand the power to give away the keys to the kingdom.
How often have I missed the goodness and generosity of God because of my distance and preconceived assumptions? Clues to God’s great generosity abound. They surround my life in seen and unseen ways. And yet somehow, I so often miss them.
There is the gift of my wife Jeanne, whom I know better than anyone and yet whose depth and love still surprise me each day. There is the moon at 1:00 a.m., bright and proud and my quiet company on sleepless nights . . . There are things like sex and sleep and food (not always in that order), all of which could be numbingly utilitarian, but God in his generosity created them to be deeply pleasurable. In a world where there is the undeniable presence of AIDS, death, heartbreak, pain, and longing, there is also love, laughter, forgiveness, and friends who light up when they see you. And while I wrestle with understanding God’s role in the former, I should not be confused about God’s presence in the latter.
This is the moral of our story, that in a world filled with pain and fear and confusion, there is a God who is more good, more generous, and more full of grace than we could possibly imagine. And as wildly as he offers himself to us, so should we offer ourselves to him, no longer living in the risk-free distance of all our assumptions, but up close and personal, so we can see just how good and generous this King truly is.
>>BRING IT TO LIFE:
Do you find yourself limiting God? Do you tend to overemphasize one of his character qualities over another? God is multifaceted in the way he relates to and interacts with us.