“I love you but this isn’t good for you.”

9th July, 2014 - Posted by Claire Larsen - No Comments

Several years ago while visiting a church in Harrisonburg, VA, I heard a short phrase of only nine words in a sermon that stuck in my mind and has been a help and encouragement to me ever since. The pastor was preaching on a particular sin that is causing confusion in the minds of people,  even Christians, in our ever-increasing secular society. Though the pastor was pointing out how this particular sin is morally wrong according to the scriptures, his application could apply to any sin that captures our hearts and actions.

What were these nine words? For a dramatic effect, the pastor paused before he spoke and then very clearly and deliberately said, “To anyone caught up in the deceptiveness of this sin, God says, ‘I love you, but this isn’t good for you.”

How often I have heard those words in my mind since then! God is communicating so much in a few words. First, He is assuring us of His love.  It’s plain throughout scripture that God’s love for His children is not dependent upon their actions. He will never love them more or less because of what they do. God emphatically wants us to know, “I love you.”

At the same time God knows what’s best for us. He knows what will give us a sense of contentment and well-being. He also knows that when we sin, the sin will jeopardize our closeness to the Lord.  That’s why God gave us the Ten Commandments. The purpose of the Ten Commandments is not to show us how to be good so that God will love us and save us. Absolutely not! The Ten Commandments were given to God’s redeemed people as a preservative to keep them close to Him.  Sin separates us from God, but when we have a heart filled with worship to God and love for others, we will be blessed and will the feel God’s presence with us.

Often we say words such as these to our children or grandchildren. We will always love them, but we fear for them when they persist in doing things that harm themselves. How it grieves our hearts to see the children we love stubbornly make bad choices.  With the benefit of our many years lived, and hopefully some wisdom gained along the way, we know the consequences of their choices.  In a similar, but greater way, our Heavenly Father with the benefit of His infinite wisdom and eternal existence knows what’s best for us.

All of us need to listen to God’s words when the temptation to sin stands staunchly in front of us. We need to hear Him say, “I love you but this isn’t good for you.”

Posted on: July 9, 2014

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