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An Outline of a Theology of a Loving God
God is the source and justification of all existence and possesses goodness and wisdom to the full extent of possibility. God — who is free from erroneous perception — perceives clearly all consequences of goodness and wisdom. Love — as is fully understood only by God — is the ultimate consequence of goodness and wisdom. Since all God's actions are inspired by love, God is free from erroneous action.
Out of love, through love, and for the sake of love — God has created human beings in order to bestow his love upon them and in order for them to share in God's glory by loving God in return. To make it be so — God has pressed upon human nature the marks of his own perfect qualities like goodness, wisdom, and love. And to make it all completely glorious — God has given human beings the power of free will so that, in their autonomy, they are allowed to accept or reject the love that God has intended for them.
You are created by God and all your nature and all your capacity to suffer or be happy is fully determined by God. Since God created you with the intention of loving you, he also equipped you with the capacity to love him back; and he calibrated your perception of happiness and suffering so that it reflects the degree of love that you are accepting: the more you accept God's love the happier you are, and the more you reject God's love for you the more you suffer.
God has given you free will — an autonomous power to respond to the love that God is communicating to you by means of the events of the material world available to you for sensual perception and by means of your thoughts and emotions available to you through introspection. The events of the material world as well as your thoughts and emotions are in turn designed by God to incorporate your responses — to reflect your attitude, and to be both the expression of your free will and of God's call to you. All of this is entangled into one and constant entity called the Universe.
The first human beings were created in complete acceptance of God's love, but later, due to an abusive exercise of their free will — resulting in rejecting God's love — they have allowed the original human nature to be corrupted and, as a result, no longer so smoothly responsive to God's call. As a far-reaching consequence of this, all of their descendants are born with the corrupted nature and are thus prone to suffering and in need of being healed. (God has his own reasons for allowing the sin of the first couple to affect all their offspring but this is beyond the scope of this little article.)
As you experience the painful events of the material world and feel the burden of your thoughts and emotions, you suffer for two reasons. First of all, you do not recognize in yourself the inherited corruption of the original human nature and thus you accept it as your own, which results in your own state of rejection of God's love — which you have inherited from the first parents. Secondly, you are personally rejecting God's love in your own ways independent of the first sin, although the inherited original sin still plays a role by predisposing you to reject God's love much more than the first human beings were predisposed for rejection in the original state of being in complete union with God, when they felt his love unmistakably and reacted to his love gladly and instinctively.
In his complete freedom, God is capable of putting an end to your suffering, while you yourself — due to the corruption in your nature — are unable to do anything effective about it except to appeal to God — with your free will — asking him to save you.
Since God has presented himself to us as one who loves us to the full extent of the meaning of love as we humans understand it, you can put your trust in God to save you if, after recognizing your situation, you will turn to him, humble and full of hope, asking for mercy and forgiveness.
As long as you are not aware of your situation regarding God, it is natural that you are not asking him for help. However, God wants you to know him and to respond to his love, so he is reaching out to you, taking steps to draw you closer to him. With all the possible respect for your free will, God is arranging the events of your life and inspiring your thoughts so that you will come to know him of your own free choice.
Because of his deep respect for your free will, God is waiting patiently, though actively, for you to turn to him rather than enforce salvation upon you. To save you against your will would violate God's idea of love. So God will do everything possible to save you on your own terms.
In other words, God — who knows the inclinations of your nature, and who knows where precisely you are going wrong — is giving you such experiences to go through and such thoughts and emotions to contemplate so as to appeal fundamentally to the source of your own personal way of rejecting God's love. God is doing all this with the purpose of bringing out the good in you and letting you correct yourself of your own accord and in your own way. Nevertheless, it is God's own decision to bring you back and the way you are being brought back is up to God's ultimate design. Although you cannot heal yourself without the touch of God's help, God is adjusting his design to honor you and respect you as a person.
In more detail, God wants you to understand deeply and in your own way — which you personally find convincing — where exactly you have gone wrong in your response to God's love. He also wants you to appreciate the hurt that you have created against God. And when you start to regret your decisions and allow true humility and sorrow in your heart, you will find that God is helping you to come up with a way to correct your mistakes and to try to live the rest of your life in union with God — preserving what was good in your ways and correcting what was bad by letting you make use of your good qualities.
Finally — this is what we all should hope for — you will be allowed to stay in God's presence forever. This means that you will feel God's love clearly, it will be evident for you that God is loving you, and you will be glad and eager to respond with total acceptance to God's love. You will find it pleasant and easy to show God that you love him because you will be no longer subject to the weakness of not knowing how to love God. You will be healed. You will be eternally and perfectly competent in your vocation to love your God.
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