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The Shrewd Love of God

One of the realities in our world is that people would rather pick a fight than give in to truth. We are living in days of unprecedented wealth and opportunity. I know many individuals are struggling financially but we tend to be worried over issues such as, “Can I keep my house? Can we continue to make our car payment? Can we afford to fight two wars? Can we afford to have half our population receive public assistance?” Most of us are not asking, “Will we eat today? Will we have shoes to wear when the one pair I own wears out? Will I be able to afford cold or flu medicine when my child gets sick?”
In the midst of this, you would think we would be grateful and committed to the principles that got us here. It would make sense to train people to grow spiritually, live with integrity, work steadily and protect the freedoms that created the atmosphere of opportunity we enjoy in America. Instead, we look for new issues to fight over.
At a personal level, we are discontent and dissatisfied. We blame God because our life is inconvenient or the people around us won’t act the way we believe they should. We act surprised when kids act like kids and we create conflict with them. We put expectations on people that ruin relationships and divide families.
At a public level, we invent causes that create unnecessary conflicts. We are busy redefining a life that doesn’t need redefinition. Rather than recognize the truth that got us where we are, we invent reasons to be upset, stage protests over convictions that ought not to be changed and leverage our leaders to give in to self-serving ideas rather than solid principles that stabilize life.
Be encouraged, however. This is nothing new and God has been dealing with this characteristic of mankind for a long time. “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.” (Psalm 18:25-26) Those who walk with God receive His support. He is faithful and blameless in the way He treats His own. He loves unconditionally, provides consistently, protects tenaciously and encourages strategically. To those who try to reinvent life according to their own designs, He shrewdly faces off with them and shows them step by step the emptiness of their efforts. If they respond favorably, He accepts their repentance and renews their life. If they continue to be stubborn, He increases the intensity of their discomfort in an effort to get their attention. He never interrupts their free will but He never gives into it either. In a word, His love is either soft or shrewd toward us depending upon our choices.
I, for one, want to be on the soft side of God’s love. I know He can handle me if I am stubborn and self-absorbed but I would rather experience the faithful and blameless side of His character.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for encouraging us to stay on God’s soft side! It’s no fun trying to live life fighting God’s will and His ways, and He will always prevail! “We can do this the easy way, or the hard way…” Having teenagers I’ve seen first hand how they can be sneaky and devious at times. We need to be shrewd disciplinarians at those times when they stray from making healthy choices. I long to express an easy, encouraging love toward my kids, and applaud them when they are making good choices. I bet God is similar in wanting to express his gentle love toward us, but won’t spare the “rod” on our lives when we stray.

  2. It is amazing to me how parenting our kids often clarifies our understanding of how God works with us. Thanks for reminding us, Ken. “God, please give Ken grace and wisdom with his family.”

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