Wednesday, April 21, 2010

God is Fair and Just. we're looking at Chan's fifth and final characteristic of God.

God is fair and just.

I think these two elements, fairness and justice, are really hard for some of us to wrap our heads around. The reason for this can be summed up in one word: Perspective.

Here's what Chan has to say on the subject:

"One definition of justice is 'reward and/or penalty as deserved.' If what we truly deserved were up to us, we would end up with as many answers as people who responded. But, it isn't up to us, mostly because none of us are good." p. 34

We all have different perspectives. That's part of what makes each of us so unique. But, sometimes, it's these "earthly" perspectives, that really inhibit us from understanding who God is. There are times when we feel that our bad behavior is justified. Or better yet, we convince ourselves that the questionable behavior isn't so bad...especially when we compare it to something worse. Does that sound familiar? Have you ever done something you know is wrong in the eyes of God, only to rationalize your bad behavior, in an attempt to justify your actions: so-and-so deserved it; it wasn't as bad as what she did; he's the one that started this mess; everyone else does it, so it can't be that bad.

Our legal system here in the States is a prime example of this. You can have two people that commit the exact same crime, one person admits their offense and accepts responsibilty, while the other refuses ownership of what they have done. Instead, they blame others for their actions. These "extenuating circumstances," whatever they are, have, on more than one occasion, lead to a great disparity in judicial findings and punishments...and more than one guilty person has walked free as a result. Please, know that I'm not passing judgment on our legal system or arguing against the rightful place of extenuating circumstances. Quite the opposite...I understand it and in some cases I believe in the need for them...only further strengthening my argument. With God, there is a definite line where right is right and wrong is wrong. It applies to everyone, without exception. We are equal in the eyes of God. We are required to take responsibility for our actions, no matter what the circumstances.


This is the end of Chapter 1. One chapter down, nine more to go! We're one month into the study and I'm praying that you find this time somewhat useful. The one question I've gotten most over the past few weeks is this: What do I want people to get out of this study?

I know that I've written about this before, but my sincerest hope is that by stretching this book out into a year long study, we have time to practice some of the theories laid out before us. Reading, hearing, even studying the words of God, are completely different than LIVING the words of God. This study is about learning to live the words of God. Check out this clip. It's short, but really funny...and very appropriate. If you feel convicted...especially when he talks about his daughter cleaning her room... don't worry! You're not alone ;)

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