There will be consequences
That word so often carries doom. The “consequence” of something will never be good. Because usually – if something good is the consequence – we do not use that word. We add a phrase similar to “and they all lived happily ever after” to a good “consequence”.
So we learn at an early age that “consequence” means trouble, your come uppance – your wages of sin! Which might just explain why God gets such a bad rap.
If you do this, then that will happen. If you walk away from me, this will occur. God has a lot of “if you do this then that is the consequence” in the bible. Consequence is forever filled with fear. God is forever viewed with fear.
I dropped into the Sermon on the Mount today. Penance and sacrifice – the annual “do this and don’t that” – for the next forty days. Because I have learned from an early religious age that the consequence of being (properly and officially) saved is to be grateful. And the consequence of being (properly and officially) grateful is to live happily ever after. All I have to do is to get “the grateful” bit right, or else I won’t live happily ever after. The bible says so.
God: “I Love you unconditionally and eternally and perfectly for who you , what you are, and what you will be.”
Me: “Cool dude. So I can’t piss you off, Lord?”
Me: “So I’m home free! Free to be me?”
Me: “So why are there so many “consequences” plastered all over the bible? Why so much “either you do that, or you will fry” verses?”
God: “How do you love, Paul?”
Me:” Come again, Father …”
God: “How do you love?”
Now this conversation is not a one-off. It is taking a lifetime to get something this simple through my skull. But the gist is always this:
When it comes to unconditional love, it’s all about the details. The tiniest of details. It’s all about connection and disconnection. It’s all about “what I allow” or not.
* Your partner loves you. You love your partner. They seem to be “off” about something. You know they are different. They say they are okay. You take them at their word (BUT … then you worry).
* Your partner loves you. You love them. You are worried about something. You don’t want to worry your partner so you say nothing and act normally. Your partner asks if everything is okay. You say yes. You do not want to worry them (BUT … then they worry).
God loves me unconditionally. The very best I can manage is the odd moment. My default “love mode” is very conditional!
So I worry, I am proud, I wish for, I dream about, I think I am pretty neat all in all, I am happy to be me as He created me, I am pleased to serve in whatever way He desires, I am in love with Him as best I know how. And He continues to allow me as much space and freedom as I desire. Love does not demand nor need. Love desires.
And then “I am” is real and enough. I am starting to realise how much power I have. I am a powerful man of God! Others listen, others take notice, others say thank you. They see Love through me and in me. They forgive the odd tantrum and outburst. They say they see their God less darkly because of me. And I desire that more. I desire God less.
There will be a consequence. Just not of God – nor from God.
God will not dole out my “just desserts” nor my “come uppance”. He loves me unconditionally. And unconditional love has no need for me to do what I am told. He desires me always – He desires everything good for me – He desires me with a depth and breadth of eternity I will never ever have – He is my guardian angel.
If I allow Love.
* So your partner loves you. And you love them. You are worried about something. You don’t want to worry your partner. So you share your worry with them. Your partner asks how you feel about things. You share that. Your partner hugs you. Your partner and you draw closer. Your worry seems smaller. In fact you wonder why you were worried at all. You partner knows they are safe. You know you are safe. You are both so connected (BUT … … … )
There is no BUT.
Our invented and feared “bible consequences” (or any relationship fears) only happen when … I allow crap.
I no longer see consequences “of Him” and from Him. I only see His desire to avoid my harm. It’s just that His take on life and living and loving – and harm – is so far out there? It is way beyond mine. So I have to trust – have to love in faith. And that is the closest I can get to “unconditional.” Yet even that close … best I can describe it is “yummy yummy yummy”!
And for me that is The Most Beautiful Way to be in The Word. The way He desires. Always did and always does.