God loves a sinner


Around our streets I sometimes see a solo horse-rider plodding along the streets on their way towards a large-wooded area close to us.  One just went past our house.  A solo-rider and horse. Always – and I mean always – accompanied by someone (several) on foot. I have never seen an unaccompanied solo horse and rider plodding the roads near us.

Imagine the mindset for that to happen!  For the rider never to ride unless others are prepared to walk alongside.  Walking for maybe an hour or more. Imagine the mindset of both. One able to “control” when the rider rides (or doesn’t).  One agreeing to that “control”.

That is both commitment and trust.

Right now I’m seeing an increasing number of comments regarding the unfairness of it all.

How we have been going for 18 months now.  How we wrote-off last year. How the government keeps changing its mind.  How businesses are going bust.  How we are all sick of it.  How we want our lives back.  How it mustn’t be obligatory to get vaccinated to have back the freedoms we expect.  How we just want to go on holiday for God’s sake!

All of which might be true – and all of which is meaningless.

Just as the solo-rider might rant and rail at “needing” to be accompanied – horses are unpredictable.  Sudden movements and noise scare them.  Impatient drivers too fast and/or close scare them. Dogs barking too close scare them. So much scares them. And they are big animals!  Controlled only so long as they’re happy to be controlled. But when “happy” changes – then “control” is a desperate aspiration rather than normal reality. And who would want their loved one to run a lottery of arriving safely every time they went out solo-riding on the roads?   Just as who, that is loved and loves, would want to place themselves and their beloved ones in that position?

Funny thing about love.  Love without condition.

It rarely rants and rails.  Rarely takes to social-media about the unfairness of it all. Rarely lives an entitled expectation of “what about me?”  That’s not love.  Even when we intentionally confuse “love” with this negotiated transaction of “love given only if love is received”.

That’s just not love.  

So often we regard ourselves as rulers of all we survey.  Lesser “animals” and “nature” are at our beck and call … “resources” are just something we easily extract from this planet …  “waste” is so easily hidden by someone else somewhere out of sight … disposable “stuff” is someone else’s problem as we buy the latest model … And we regard our capacity to do all of that as evidence of our own superiority.

We regard our entitlement to all that as “normal”. 

And yet I read of one who walked through all the same turmoil of entitlement and more 2000 years ago.  One who we fight over our “biblical correctness” still.  One who we define and re-define so that we may judge ourselves “closer” more than others.  One who saw love as Love.  Never worried or taught transaction. Never judged the vulnerable or weak. Who saw those we never see.  Who touched those we won’t touch.   One who we still say (and teach) Loves in a way that we never can. 

We are born to sin and cannot love without condition.

At the same time as quoting “The Garden” and how we are created to rule over every living thing.  And then study all the bible stuff about what we have to do in order to love as we are loved. And dissect every verse to find the bits which support our chosen lifestyle whatever that chosen lifestyle of entitled expectation is. And call that “biblically correct”.

Yet if God only lets life’s shit-storms overwhelm disbelievers but not “us” – the “true believers” – isn’t that just another form of entitled expectation – another transaction?

A solo-rider or riders together are no different in their love of riding.  And a lover of Love is the same whatever their “God beliefs” or not.

Choosing how we each live and love is something all of us choose all the time.  Our choice is to choose. Not which “God” or no God – but which “love”. “Strong” love (allegedly) that is transaction-investment-return, or “weak” love (allegedly) that is Love Without Condition.

I read in the bible of one who turned that “strong-weak” definition on its head as well. And yet whether believers or non-believers – teaching of “weak” love continues.

That “weak” love is either unattainable because of sin – or (with no God) is always saying yes to (especially bullies) those who trample over everyone.  And that is why this “weak” love is not to be sought or attained by anyone really. And explains why we all lean back on the rules – all of us.

Even the “atheists” and others reject who institutional faith as dangerous.

I have seen more “human nature” these past 18 months than ever before.  And I am seeing the fallacy of “strong love” exposed for what it is.  

A self-centred, self-entitled, transactional-investment-return that must reject love without condition in order to survive. That needs rules, commandments, judges and the judged.  That needs return-on-investment so that I know I am doing the “right thing”.  It has been especially prevalent these past eighteen months. We call it Behavioural Science. Making societies behave. Which is just you and me and the decisions we make.

But Love has no need.  Has no entitlement.  Has no return on investment. Love is or is not.  Even the bible says so.  It’s the love we all seek and all hope to be. Even in these “unfair” times we like to blame on covid, governments, and everyone else (so long as we get what is ours).

God loves a sinner?  What a pile of poo!

Love is Love or is not.

My choice in every moment every time.   

          

6 thoughts on “God loves a sinner

  1. Haven’t seen this site in over a year. Been fighting cancer and the Lord won! Been a long haul for me though, but He’s been more than gracious. I read this post and it’s like reading one of your posts over a year ago. Well maybe not EXACTLY the same, we ALL grow in the Lord when we go with Him!

    I just wish more wouldn’t confuse the sin, with the creation who sins. God DOES love the sinner and He won’t stop loving them, even to the point of them rejecting Him until the end. We should definitely adopt that attitude in our walk if we truly are following the Lord’s example. Jesus was quick to demonstrate it. The ones He became most frustrated with were the religious, the one’s who acted like they had already arrived!

    Anyway Brother Paul, it’s good to see you still “kicking the treads” so to speak. I look forward to getting back into more as I continue to “get back in the groove!” 💗😇👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Roland – I am glad he won!! As for this being the same as a year ago … 🙂 Thank you. Came to the conclusion a while back that “we” worry too much about being biblically correct amongst “our” peers and far too little about becoming Love.
      It took me decades of the former and not so many years of the latter. The fact that one post is so similar to the other make me smile. Love is.
      And I look forward to your blogging getting back in the groove!
      What a lovely comment to find under these words!
      Thank you Roland and may you be hearty and groovy for years to come!!
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember a sermon I heard decades ago (yes, I’m that old) about God, Love (Divine Love, which is why it’s capitalized), and Lucifer/Hell. God Loves everyone without exception, sinner or not. The story of the Prodigal Son can be used as a typology of the relation between God and Lucifer, if he would someday decide to take that long walk back…

    Additionally, the difference between Heaven and Hell isn’t that those in Heaven are loved by God, but that those in Heaven love God. Those in Hell are also Loved by God, but they are unable to accept that Unconditional Love and, as such, are doomed to an eternity being showered with a Love they cannot return.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely comment, thank you!
      Sent my head spinning – how if we are to see God/Love in everyone then perhaps we are already in “heaven” here on earth. Perhaps we are missing something fantastical in seeking the Divine when the “divine” is in every single person around me every day of every week. perhaps that unattainable Divine Love is more attainable than we like to think (or excuse ourselves from)?
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • We have to understand that Salvation is attained by works, but we misunderstand what those “works” are. God has, through Christ Jesus, given us our salvation. Our job, and it isn’t an easy one, is to accept Salvation and to show that acceptance by our Love for each other. A difficult task, indeed. This is taught in the East by the words and example of Seraphim of Sarov, the West has their example in St. Francis of Assisi.

        Liked by 1 person

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