As we have gone through a moment of discussing drastically different beliefs in my classes, I want to take a moment to consider how history shapes the world’s perspective in ways that are less than savory. As human beings, we are not always conscious of pros and cons of our habits, nor how we express them. It seems like the more life experience you accumulate, the more you are less conscientious and aware of the need to put yourself on the spot and reflect over what was really your intention when you said, did, or thought through a specific thing. We become more comfortable in ways of doing things, and that isn’t always bad, to be honest. If you choose to center your life around things that give you life, like a true representation of Christ Jesus, those habits might truly work out for the glory of God. But all too often, we as humans promote all sorts of things to the position of God and begin to focus on them in a way that inevitably leads to bad health. We look to all sorts of things to protect us, determine our futures, inform us of the future, and generally reinforce this false sense of security that death can easily snatch away.
When we look back on the mistakes of the present day or throughout history, how quickly we forget that these men and women were once as we were, and how little mercy we have on the fruits of their present-day “mistakes”. The fact of the matter is that all to often, we have no idea whether what we are currently doing is right. Without the love of God, we would all run after our own way, which you can see in biblical stories like the story of Tamar, or of the stories in Judges, or basically anything were humans are given the free pass to let their god awful idols run wild (think the Lord of the flies). Grace is necessary to have security in life if not for loving God, than for having some sort of peace over all the things we ruin. If I am truly forgiven, then I can focus on who God is and try to be like him instead of perpetually crucifying myself over all that I was wrong about, could never accomplish, or never fully appreciated. It’s not just that individuals don’t know any better, its that humanity as a whole doesn’t know any better, and we aren’t exactly very good at trusting God either.
It’s not so much about whether we are right, but what we cling to. If God is your righteousness, then you still don’t get a free pass, but you have some sort of process to work through at the point where failure would just shut down progress. Oh, you’ve sinned? Well, game over I guess. Salvation makes it so there is always a way out, regardless of whether that makes us irreverent. God loves us steadily through the very worst mistakes, and his love is indivisible; it’s entirely whole. It’s lucky that who God is is the only thing we as humans can absolutely bank on, because in his consistency, we can find healing. When nothing else makes sense, God does, because he doesn’t change. He may not be easy to face or seem particularly kind in that moment, but you can know for certain he was and is and is to come.
It’s funny how the older you get, the more the “grown ups” start looking like children. So be it. I don’t have fancy philosophical labels for it, but I believe at a baseline level that humans need redemption and they need a Redeemer who is greater than humanity on it’s own. I believe in God because I have hope of that through Jesus, and I’ve seen the Holy Spirit move enough to know a God who isn’t dead. I know that he cares for us because he’s infinite, and if we’re this broken, then it would stand to reason that he’s not. If all good things come from God, then he probably has the justice we’re seeking.