God desires to inspire one life and one heart at a time. Groups can pursue meaningful change but it takes inspired individuals to lead to change the world. God desires individuals who radically treat others as they want to be treated as Jesus lived out. In a complicated world this can be by pursing both mercy and justice in response to evil, which are different aspects of love. Loving parents seek the admiration and respect of their children so they want to follow in their footsteps to make this world a better place. Similarly, knowing and understanding God’s amazing love for us is what inspires acts of selfless love toward others.
Followers of Jesus often put the cart before the horse by insisting on obedience instead of pursuing an intimate relationship with one’s Creator. It is implied we better obey God or burn in hell forever. God has never sought to inspire out of fear but love. The Cross is not about God’s revenge and need for appeasement. Actually, the Cross is God’s attempt to convince us of His unimaginable love for us. God seeks a relationship for our own good. Jesus didn’t die to change God’s attitude toward us. God’s attitude never changes. To suggest God seeks to inspire out of fear than from love suggest humans understand love better than God.
Human parents don’t threaten their children with punishment for the purpose of gaining a friendship. We warn them of evil for their own good in hopes to steer them from destruction. Tough love is simply another side of genuine love. The fear of punishment is meant to deter but doesn’t lead to life transformations. Gloomy uncertainty as to God’s favor does not conquer battles against self-centeredness or long-standing habitual sins in our lives. Fear does not lead to intimacy in relationships which can inspire us to be the kind of person we truly want to be. We often are not invited to understand how much God loves us so a true friendship can develop.
God’s love, not His wrath, was center stage in Scriptures (I John 4:8). The fear of punishment doesn’t prevent one from finding ways to hide their actions. Obligatory obedience doesn’t lead to reflections how to better ourselves, only to reach certain “good” standards. Do we truly love our partner if we are successful 85% of the time? “There is no fear in love. But perfect loves drives out fear… (I John 4:18).” Does God not know what humans know that in perfect love, fear cannot exist?
We all are selfish to some degree but why doesn’t God interfere more with certain horrific evils? But, is one rape any less evil then the raping of women and children of an entire village? God would have to make a total mockery of freedom to control evil. Would you as a parent destroy your child, if they murdered, if you thought they could be redeemed? Would you destroy the murderer of your child if you knew in time they would genuinely repent of their evil and influence others for good? God always cares more about redeeming than destroying. God joined in undeserved suffering through His Son to identify with us and influence us. God surely created the very best world possible, with freedom in mind, to redeem as many of His children as possible.
Mother Teresa had an amazing capacity to love others. Mother Teresa claimed that she was simply responding to God’s boundless love for her and for all of humanity. When one feels extraordinarily loved they simply want to return that love to others. Understanding God’s radical love is the only way to change the world in the long-run one life at a time. Intimacy inspires one to follow in God’s path of wisdom which is always in our best interest. Efforts vary but God’s love doesn’t. We can start off each day feeling accepted. Jesus encouraged others to follow Him for He knew their thirst would be satisfied if they did so.