We may misrepresent God by worrying that emphasizing God’s love gives people the license to sin more. A relationship with God, like a loving parent, is a good thing if you believe they have your best interest in mind but does stressing God’s wrath more than God’s love inspire meaningful relationships? Fear of consequences is for the purpose of deterring evil, and is not meant to be the path of a relationship. Religious leaders may have good intentions when they focus on rules and obedience, but encouraging others to get to know God for the possibility of a relationship is what truly leads to life transformations.
A parent’s unconditional love doesn’t inspire a child to misbehave even more. God like parents can’t help loving a child no matter what. A parent warns or gets upset with a child’s actions not in their best interest or the welfare of others, but that doesn’t change their feelings for their child. A parent may even turn their child into the police for drug use or terrorist beliefs. Love doesn’t mean we don’t think consequences are necessary in hope of deterring further self-destruction or evil actions. But punishment is only meant to deter in hopes one day a child may be open to a more meaningful relationship.
God doesn’t worry that their unimaginable love gives us further license to keep sinning. Acting unselfish comes fast and natural and isn’t waiting for permission. The fear of God was never meant to inspire being the kind of person we desire to be. Fear only leads to trying to not get caught or doing enough to soothe others’ feelings. The law is not meant for inspiration but to protect the innocent. God knew sin has its own consequences; God doesn’t seek to pile on more guilt and hate. Our own guilt does enough damage. God seeks to continually assure us of their love so we don’t every give up no matter how demoralized we may feel.
God’s amazing love can lead to one sinning less not more. Accepting than attempting to earn a relationship with God doesn’t lead to more freedom to sin but more freedom not to sin. When we understand what God has done for us and how much God’s loves us, we will be more inspired. Obedience is caught not taught. Obedience, though never perfect, is a natural response of gratitude to God’s mercy and love. It is gratitude toward God that will empower us, not the worries of whether God will be angry with us. God is simply seeking to help us benefit from living unselfish lives. One who treat others like they want to be treated lives a life not full of regrets, sets an example for others to follow, and makes for a better world.