For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17 NRSV
God is not interested in condemnation but in saving.
Honestly, I am not comfortable with that.
What I am much more comfortable with is condemning. That's right. I am good at judging, making those snap decisions about people, dismissing others, getting mad because of my perceived injustices, and truly wanting others to go that really hot place.
And I have proof that this can easily be read on my face and/or picked up by strangers. The proof comes when I go shopping. When I go shopping, I am ignored. I might walk into a store with two other women and the sales person will great them and ask if they need any help but I am completely ignored. Completely. Ignored. People never believe me until they go shopping with me. I think the salespeople somehow instinctively know that I am capable of firm and heavy-handed judgement and don't even want to mess with me. Perhaps they know that they will come up short in my opinion.
Therefore, I have always loved the stores where salespeople actually speak to me - those stores are the places I love to shop.
Thanks goodness that God isn't like me.
God is more like the salespeople in my favorite stores. God greats us, smiles, meets us at the door or halfway down the road. It doesn't matter if we are judgmental, angry, unhappy or even smell like pigs. God is just happy to see us.
We don't get condemnation; we get love.
Thank you, Jesus! Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims