Friday, March 22, 2019. Is love free of consequences? When you love someone, does that mean that you never react to his or her behaviour? The contrary should be true. The more you love someone, the more you care. The more you love, the more you will pay attention what he or she does.
Love by itself is consequence. Love means to be attentive. Love means to care. Love means that you a full of passion. Your passion will not allow you to ignore what your loved one does, what he or she says. Consequences in our life, our actions, our words and behaviour come from our love.
But how to react? What consequences does love have? What do you do when love is turned down, or when it is not turned down completely, but your loved one treats you in a strange way, not consistently, not in a way you want to be treated?
In the biblical book of Nehemia we find the reaction of God to the behaviour of the people of Israel. The topic is how God reacts to the strange behaviour of the people, about consequences as well. The lines have made me think a lot, but read first:
8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, 9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ (from Nehemia 1)
To understand the story, we need to know the love God had to Abraham and his family. He promised to be with them. But he also taught them his holiness and purity. He demands people who live with him to acknowledge his purity and behave accordingly. He is love and truth, you cannot stay in hate and lies when you live with him!
If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples! That is what God told them. Faithfulness is a core part of love and truth. Love wants to be without end, and it does not want to be deceived. Love means: I am with you, completely. You can trust me, you can rely on me. I will not let you down!
You can tell God, you do not want to live with him. This is clearly possible. You get your years of life, as you know. It can be 40, 60, 80, even up to 100. That is it. After that there will be a time of judgement. That is what the bible tells us - we might think it is plausible or might think it is nonsense. The bible also proclaims Christ Jesus as God's peace and salvation, his path through judgement into a purity of faith and love and truth. In him, the purity which God is and demands is given to us. He creates a path we can go!
You can tell God, you want to live with him. You can believe in Jesus - which means that you step on the path described above. It is a path of personal discipleship.
But you cannot walk the path without walking the path. You cannot believe without living with the consequences (as you cannot stay away from God without facing the consequences). The path of faith means that purity comes into your life! You will start to change, and continue to change. And it will be a lot of joy to walk this way, the path of Christ Jesus. (Roland Potthast) ... further texts