Many of our internal characterizations of God come from our early childhood beliefs and interactions with our fathers. Yes, I realize we are tired of hearing the world’s problems are due to the way we were raised. Hear me out – this is a completely different topic. Without consistent studying and spending time immersed in the Bible, many Christians have an ages-old idea of God that fits the way their fathers parented/raised them (or did not).
Do you picture God as aloof, arms crossed, silently watching and waiting for you to slip up? Maybe you see Him as overly involved in every aspect of your life, a constant voice in your ear telling you what to do? For some, He is just not there, absent from you in every way.
All of these are extremely common ways that Christians subconsciously build up internal images of God. The problem with this is that NONE of these are the way God the Father truly interacts with his children. The Bible is crystal clear that we are to cultivate a relationship with God – relationships are never just one way. If Christians were able to correctly grasp the love that God bestows on them, it would revolutionize our thoughts and representations of Him.
Only Broken People Need a Savior
Sometime between Jesus’ death on the cross and now, we have lost sight of the tremendous love God has for us. Modern Christians often have no difficulty pointing out sin and espousing the need for people to repent. I hear all too often that the “bad” things happening in our lives are events that God orchestrates to teach us a lesson. This is a belief that has no place on this side of the cross.
If you really understand what God gave up for you – when you were still a sinner – you will never question His love again. Before you ever had the opportunity to become a believer, God willingly sent his perfect, beloved Son to die an excruciating death, to save YOU. He did not send Him to save people who had it all together. He did not send Him to save people who always make the right decision. He sent Him to save people who are a mess.
If you never make a mistake, why would you need a Savior? If you know everything and choose the right action at all times, what was the point of God giving up Jesus to be tortured and murdered? Was God really fair by offering us an exchange with His perfect Son?
Any Christian who believes that God treats them fairly is living in the old covenant, earning their salvation through right living. This is a dangerous way to exist, although at times it seems easiest – believing we have to earn our way into God’s grace is often more tangible than accepting it as a free gift. The problem with the old covenant is no one but Jesus could handle it.
You will never be enough on your own. You will never do everything right. You will never be able to earn what God has freely offered you through His Son.
Fair would be for God to punish all of us according to our sins. Fair is God turning His back on us when we make mistakes. Fair is God telling us we have to work and toil to earn His blessings. Fair is God sending us death.
God Is So Much More Than Fair
Jesus was the ultimate gift of love. He knew what was going to happen to Him, and He did it anyway. He loved you enough to put Himself into that position. God is so much more than fair. He has presented you with the choice for unconditional love, protection, healing, and provision – in exchange for one thing: Believing in His Son.
In earthly terms, we struggle to accept gifts or acts of service without feeling beholden to return the favor. The greater the gift, the more we want to repay the giver. It is natural for us, as humans, to want to repay God for the immensity of the gift He has offered us. We cannot. The grander challenge is for us, as humans, to accept it with an understanding that it is one sided and we will never be able to repay it.
This is the start of a relationship with God. Not a recognition of our sins, but a realization that He has given us copiously more than what is fair. In fact, He gives us the opposite of fair – He offers us life, and an abundant life according to scripture. What a beautiful way to initiate a relationship!
I know from my own life that God has bountifully blessed me in every way. I know that all good things in my life come from Him. I know that someone who loves me enough to give up Jesus for me is a good Father, who would never send sickness, accidents, or calamities to teach me a lesson. He teaches me with love, with devotion, and with constancy. He is never moving, always steadfast in His tenderness for me.Your willingness to be in a relationship with someone who loves you unconditionally is likely much different than with someone who is always watching for you to slip up, so they can jump in and chastise you. One functions on love, the other on fear. Perfect love (God’s love) casts out all fear. You will never love God perfectly – that is part of the equation. He will always love you perfectly, indisputably, and undeniably.
God is not really fair. He is inexhaustibly unfair. He will never turn His back on you. He will never give up on you. His grace and mercy are new every day and not dependent on your behaviors. This is the kind of love that inspires people to give up who they were and become new. This is the love that overcomes.