Sunday, June 25, 2017

God's Math: Half and Half and Half

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Glass half full. Glass half empty. Doesn’t really matter so much to me. As long as mine is the full half. And also the glass should be a mug. Large. And also it should have coffee in it. And also both halves should be full. And it should all be mine.

I think I like my coffee with half and half. And at least another half. I might also need another side of math.

I saw a bumper sticker recently that said, “I want my coffee and I want it now.” I thought, “I want your coffee, too. And then after that, I’ll want my own coffee.” Judging from this alone, it’s obvious I can be pretty selfish when it comes to coffee.

When it comes to judgment, most of the time, we really don’t know the half of it. Or the other half. God’s love for us is perfect, complete. It’s a greater love than we can even comprehend. At the same time, God judges sin and evil. And just as His love is perfect, His judgment is also perfect. Glass half-full of judgment? No, God doesn’t do things halfway. He hates sin with as much passion as He loves people.

We need to understand that God’s judgment is also a part of who our God is. Merciful? Yes. But also holy and just. Without His judgment of sin, would He really be holy? Would He really be just?

If God didn’t judge sin and evil, just imagine what this world would be like. Evil would be the status quo and heaven would eventually be full of the sin that’s gotten our world into the ugly mess it’s in. We need a God who judges sin.

Since we’re not sinless, God’s holiness is a difficult concept for us. It’s the shining, brilliant, without-a-speck-of-sin kind of holiness. Our God also knows everything. He knows sin destroys us. Balanced with His hatred of sin is His great compassion and mercy in sending Christ. “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love,” (Psalm 145:8 NIV).

I wonder if we could even truly appreciate His mercy without taking into account His judgment. Paul said in Ephesians 2:4-5 that “because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved,” (NIV). God’s was anything but a half-baked plan. It was a judgment plan and a mercy plan all rolled into one. That One being Jesus Christ.

As believers, our response should be to respect God the judge in every way. And then to appreciate the God of mercy all the more. Contemplating His hatred of sin should remind us to stay on our toes, not letting worldly ideas and philosophies sneak into our thinking and our behavior. God wants our wholehearted devotion. Wholehearted.

For those of us who aren’t that great at math, that probably means all three halves.

God's Math: Half & Half & Half - @RhondaRhea (Click to Tweet)

Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist for lots of great magazines, including HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and more. She is the author of 10 nonfiction books, including How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? and coauthors fiction with her daughter, Kaley Faith Rhea. She and her daughters host the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ. Rhonda enjoys traveling the country speaking at all kinds of conferences and events. She and her pastor/hubs have five grown children and live in the St. Louis area.

1 comment:

  1. Before I retired from teaching, a speaker at one of our staff development sessions held up a glass half-filled with water and asked us if the glass were half full or half empty. I looked and thought. Then I spoke, "The glass is completely full with elements that we need to survive--air and water." I am so blessed to have what I need when I need it. Thank goodness, God does not measure out air for me to breathe. It's here all around me. Inhale, exhale. I have plenty.