Something I have said many times when faced with a controversial question is “I am not the judge, God is.” This has brought many questions in me over the years. How can God be fully loving, full of grace yet also judge with complete justice. They seem like two opposite that could not possibly coexist. I think in my younger mind and still it is hard for me to wrap my head around. But the older I get the more it seems possible.
I like to use my 2 dogs as examples because they are relatable but also I am to my 2 dogs kind of like what God is to me. He is a different being, he is set apart, he is higher, Holy, mighty. He is not human. So when I think of my 2 dogs. I love them equally. They are very different, yet they each hold a special place in my heart. I want the affection, attention of both of them. Similarly I wish to care for both of them equally. But they are different.
My love for them is not in question. But I do hold them accountable to different standards. My normal dog has a little different standard than my disabled dog who is neurologically challenged. Similarly I discipline them different because there ability to understand the discipline is different. Similarly when the normal dog gangs up on the disabled dog I will bring down an iron fist of judgement on the normal dog. I don’t tolerate him abusing her. He has actually gained the nick name monster due to his not always being nice to the disabled dog.
I love them both. I desire for them both to live happy, healthy lives. But I also do not tolerate misbehavior. I do not let them do whatever they want. It is for there own good, the good of the pack, the good of everyone.
This is kind of how I have come to understand God’s justice and his love. He can fully love someone but also not tolerate sin. Furthermore God’s justice is a form of love. Just like healthy discipline can be a form of love. A healthy amount of understanding of God’s intolerance to sin is needed to understand that he is holding us accountable. God loves us but we also answer for our disobedience. God has given us grace through the blood of Jesus but God’s grace does not mean we do not answer to his justice.