I have noticed lately that God’s goodness and the concept of consequences for our actions appear to be getting mixed up with one another. I wanted to take today to discuss these two mutually exclusive concepts. My hope is that my words today will clear up any confusion as well as point out that God is still good, no matter what we say or do. He will also allow us to be confronted by the consequences of our actions in order so that we may grow and learn about ourselves and others.
I will start by reiterating the title to my blog; God’s goodness and the consequences for our actions, good or bad, are mutually exclusive. They have not been nor will they ever be one in the same thing. God’s goodness does not change because we make a mistake or do what is right. God’s goodness also does not change if we experience the consequences of our actions. He is still good, we just made a right or a wrong decision. Our decisions and actions have less to do with Him than we think and more to do with our own will. I can assure you, He will not take your power of choice from you; He would not be loving if he did so. However, that does not mean He has to excuse the consequences that come or step in so you don’t have to feel the pain of your wrong decision. He can, but he often does not.
Why does he not save us from our bad decisions you ask? He wants us to learn and grow. He wants us to be the people He made us to be, the people he sees when He looks at us. He does not want us repeating destructive patterns. This is where His goodness comes in too! If He were not good, He would not care if you repeated destructive patterns. He would not care if you ever grew or learned anything. He would in fact leave you to yourself to destroy yourself with no way out. I am so glad that is not Who He is! He may not save us from our consequences but He will always provide a way out through our choices. He has never saved me from the consequences of my bad decisions but He has always provided other choices so I can escape and not repeat those patterns.
Allow me to give you two examples. I chose to marry a man I had no business marrying. I loved him, yes. I still had no business marrying him. I saw warning signs and ignored them. I should have got him help, instead I married him trying to fix him. God did not “save me” from the consequences of that marriage (my choice) those being the mismanagement of money, lack of communication, mistrust and ultimately abuse. However, in May of 2014 He presented me with a choice, leave or stay. He gave me an open door to leave but the choice was still mine. Is this making sense? I still had to make a choice, open door or not. I still had to see with my own eyes that this relationship had been a mistake, despite any feelings I had for him. I made my choice and I left. God provided the way out with a choice and it was my choice that ended this dark time in my life. His goodness was in the choice He provided. He did not “save” my late husband from killing himself. This may seem cruel to some but remember, He does not interfere in the choices we set in our hearts. Now, here is the good news and the goodness of God. My late husband knew the Lord yet he had struggled for years with mental illness. God met Jeff where He was in the darkness that night and took Him into Heaven. He did not throw him away. He did not reject him. He did not punish him. He took him into Heaven, wiped his tears away and set him perfectly free from the struggles of his mind in this world. If that is not goodness, I don’t know what is! He continues to be good to me in both my choices and because He is just good!
Your choices and their consequences are their own. God’s goodness is His own. He can be good regardless of our choices but He may not save us from the consequences of those choices because He loves us too much not to let them teach us. He is both good and practical! Choose well, love much and let Him do the rest! With hope that you will know Him better,
**If you want to know more of my story, please see my book The Road Less Traveled: A Story of Love, Pain, Hope and Everything In-Between. You can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.