Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
“By the goodness of God we mean nowadays almost exclusively His lovingness; and in this we may be right. And by Love, in this context, most of us mean kindness — the desire to see others than the self happy; not happy in this way or in that, but just happy. What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, “What does it matter so long as they are contented?” We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven — a senile benevolence who, as they say, “liked to see young people enjoying themselves” and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, “a good time was had by all”. Not many people, I admit, would formulate a theology in precisely those terms: but a conception not very different lurks at the back of many minds. I do not claim to be an exception: I should very much like to live in a universe which was governed on such lines. But since it is abundantly clear that I don’t, and since I have reason to believe, nevertheless; that God is Love, I conclude that my conception of love needs correction.”
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) in The Problem of Pain (Québec: Samizdat University Press, 2016) 21.
As I continue to lean into the intersection of generosity and kindness this year, I am struck by the fact that, as Lewis puts it, “my conception of love needs correction.”
God is not our grandfather in heaven that desires that at the end of the day “a good time was had by all.” Though the world thinks we are here just for fun, we are here for higher purposes.
As we think about our giving, this means we shift from giving to things we care about to giving to things God cares about. We do this because it’s all His money.
Let us make sure our giving is coupled with love and kindness so that it reflects His presence in the world and does not just appear as us promoting our agendas.
To get to this place may require a correction for us. We may need to change our concept of what love and kindness is and how that is expressed. Once we get that right, our giving changes.
It will look less like the “senile benevolence” of a grandfather who just wants everyone to be happy and look more like the Heavenly Father who wants everyone to know Him and His love.
And I hope you are as blessed by the new header photo as I was to shoot it last night on our evening walk with the dog. The view of the foothills was magnificent with the light shining through the trees.Read more