But you know what else? For all the security you project, I also pity you. I pity you because it's a false security. You never have to stand because you don't stand for anything. I pity you because you're blind to the realities that the world is bigger than you can possibly know, and that there are forces at work in this world and in the universe that you ignore because you can't put your hands on them. Because you don't see it with your eyes, you criticize. And you're on perilous ground.
Criticize my faith all you want. You will never turn me away. I believe in Christ and I believe in The Bible. I also believe in the one thing that makes most of you squirm and start screaming at me about why my faith can't be right: accountability. That's the one area where I'm called on the most. "If God is love, then He won't hurt us," people say to me boldly.
No, He won't. But others will. And if you do wrong, He won't save you from the consequences. He does love, He wants what's best. The Bible even says He wants no man to be lost. But we also have a choice, and it also says that believing in forgiveness isn't permission to sin. We know better and we're expected to act like it. If we don't, we will suffer at our own hand.
God won't hurt us, but we can hurt ourselves. And we do it plenty. All the time. Every day. Every book I've written is about people who refused to be obedient to what they should do, and they suffered until they woke up, realized what was right, and did it. I'm not a religious writer, but I won't allow a character to win by doing wrong. That's a personal conviction. Any victory from doing wrong is temporary, and I want to show readers the path to lasting victory.
For all that smirk and say "Oh, then you say God delights in revenge but He's also love?" remember this: King David was a man after God's own heart, but he still paid for the sin of adultery. The son he fathered through that sin with Bathsheba died. God was grieved by this sin and forgave David, but He didn't erase the consequences of doing wrong. And it's why David didn't make that mistake again. He feels the same way when we go on with our bad selves and set ourselves up in similar ways. He's not a "smitey God" (as someone on Facebook proposed), but He won't absolve accountability. He will correct us in love and hope we will learn and not cling to stubbornness and continuing to make the same old mistakes, over and over. If there are no consequences, we never learn. If we never learn, we never grow, improve, or get better. We have no compassion for others because we are isolated in ourselves. Lack of accountability is a cycle of self destruction, which is why God won't allow that to happen. And so squirm all you want but we are accountable. You might think you are beholden to no-one, and you're wrong. You're dangerously wrong.
No, life isn't easy. It's hard and it hurts and it downright sucks sometimes. I'm not sure why some things are allowed to happen and I'll be honest enough to say that I have a "what good did THAT do?" list of my own. Sometimes I actually blog about things on this list. But I've learned this much in my 37 years on this planet:
1. I don't have all the answers; and
2. It's okay that I don't have all the answers. In fact, over the past couple of years, I've come to feel that I don't WANT all of the answers. That's more responsibility than I care for, and to me, faith is better than trying to process all of that.
Believe or don't believe - it's your choice, and I'm not going to beat you over the head with a Bible or argue theology. In fact, I see the fact that you argue as a good thing. Because if you argue, then you're thinking about God and faith. And if you didn't care at all, then you wouldn't go to all of that trouble , because nobody's got time for that.
That's all today.