So I am trying to kick my blog off with a new design, and with yet another attempt at updating it weekly. No idea how that will go, but let us see. This here post is in response to a few things some friends have said/written and inspired me. It may be a bit of a ramble, as I didn’t write it near as soon as I should have, so the thoughts are not as organized as they ought. But I will do my best…after another cup of coffee…*gets up and refills cup*
Just to tickle your interest, here are the Four Thoughts I will touch on:
1) God is Love/Love is God
3) What is Good/Evil?
4) Walking The Walk
Anyways, if you think through I John 4:8 to it’s conclusion…passages about love can be used to describe God. A lot of people use I Cor. 13 as the example for this, but I’m gonna be radical and different. I will use the Love Passage from Romans 12:9-21 since no one ever does. It is all about love in action which describes God pretty well. Here goes (make sure to read this as about God not Love:
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary:
‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Pretty interesting eh? It really does describe God/Love in action. But to be honest, while this passage can be used to describe God, it’s purpose isn’t to do that. Its to explain to us how He wants us to live. Which is love, love, love, and more love. And it says to leave the dirty work (vengeance) to Him. Which brings me to my second thought…
God has many sides to Him, He is not just Love. He is also Just. Hence the part about Him taking vengeance in the passage above. However, it is interesting that He asks us only to love.
Why is that?
Well think about it: God made us in His image. However, whereas He would be a mural on the Great Wall of China, we are merely a postage stamp. We have many of His attributes, but in much smaller ways with smaller capacities to carry them out. And then after The Fall, our ability to live up to His Image was hampered even further. God knows we have the ability to carry out vengeance (just watch the news every day). But also knows that our smaller capacity and the easily corruptible nature of vengeance will fail to get the job done satisfactorily. It takes a lot of wisdom and knowledge to be Fully Just.
However, to love does not require that. Yes, our capacity for it is smaller than His. But love takes a lot less wisdom and knowledge (have you seen how well a small child loves?) and is not as easily corruptible (at least in the way vengeance is). You just love. That’s it. Go back and read that passage again. Only this time, don’t read it as about God…read it as about how you are supposed to live.
Now think on this: we are supposed to let people know about God. (Matt. 28:19-20) How do I mean this to be done?
verb (used with object)
3. to make clear or evident to the eye or the understanding; show plainly: He manifested his approval with a hearty laugh.
4. to prove; put beyond doubt or question: The evidence manifests the guilt of the defendant.
We should live in such a way, that God is made clear to people’s understandings, beyond a doubt! And since the best way we are able to reveal God’s image in us, according to our abilities and capacity, is to love…THEN LOVE! Read the passage above often. Read I Cor. 13 often. This is how we manifest God in this world. Let God take care of the rest, as He has the wisdom and knowledge and power to know what/how to do the rest. Loving? Manifest it. Live it. The more you work on being love in action, the more God will enter into your moment to moment life. May we all be so dilligent.
So…yeah…Not as organized as I’d like. But it kinda spilled out. :) Hope it makes you think. Comment and let me know what your thoughts are! Share links on your facebook for others to read! Subscribe as well please. Thank you!
P.S. Yehuda: my answer to your question of what is good/evil may already be evident to you by now. But let me succinctly summarize it: Anything of God, of Love (in action) is good. Because it reveals God in this fallen world. Anything not of God, of Love (in action) is evil. Because it veils God in this fallen world.