"God is Love"
There are people who brace themselves when you say this - not because they don't believe in God, but because they fear it's misleading.
I know it's true.
I've been one of them.
We feared if you said ONLY this statement as a stand-alone, you were not telling the entire story or the entire character of God. As soon as we heard "God is Love," our reflexive answer was, "But don't forget He judges; don't forget He hates sin; don't forget you're a sinner."
But seriously, who forgets they're a mess? Not the people I know and love.
So why so much bracing and taking the offensive?
Are we afraid of a slippery slope? Oh man, in law school we learned there is nothing worse than a slippery slope.
What if you believe:
-You're a mess;
-but God loves you;
-If you know he loves you, you might get too comfortable with your mess.
-And other people are messes.
-If he loves us in our mess, he might love them.
-But they may not realize what a mess they are. If they know he loves them, they might stay comfortable in their mess.
-They may accept the love.
What if they just fall and fall down that slippery slope and forget how messy and sinful they are?
What if they slide,
into that well...
that deep, deep well of love and light.
Without guarantee that they'll ever feel sufficiently guilty or ashamed or repentant.
Fall down that slippery slope?
We should all be so fortunate.
Because as soon as we add a caveat, a warning, a condition, even a timid semi-colon,
there's a chance we just turned that well of light into a pit of darkness.
Just because we can't explain that "God is Love," is enough, doesn't mean it isn't true.
So how about we take our chances and leave it alone.