God's word in today's world

For every action, a reaction, except when it comes to God

Many things happen in our lives, but we can’t remember everything. I suspect that if we remembered everything, the hard drive in our brain would fill up quickly. Fortunately, we only remember those things that make a significant impact in our lives. The really major stuff. Beautiful things, but also those that aren’t so good.

I can still remember some of the hidings I got as a child. Most of them at school. We used to take a lot of pride in marking every hit we received with the cane on our ties. The youth of today probably find it quite barbaric that we were caned, but I must confess it worked rather well. Parents and teachers still had authority and we listened when they spoke.

I’ve told this story before, but it made such an impact on my life that I still remember the smallest detail even today. We were very involved at school. We not only played sports, but also participated in cultural events such as debating, revues, the school paper, etc. Especially when we attended evening events at school it was easy to test the boundaries. I really don’t know why, but one debate evening we let the air out of the tyres of our Afrikaans teacher’s car.

I don’t know how they knew, because even before the bell went the next morning, I had been called in for six of the best. The head certainly did not think it was funny.

The four of us often slipped out of school to play a board game, Risk. If one of us was accidentally missed somewhere, probably because it was so quiet in class, we just had to report to the head’s office the next morning, not even waiting for the call, for a well-deserved hiding.

It was drilled into us: Naughty = hiding. Even today it remains part of my way of thinking. If I’ve done something wrong, that picture of six hits comes to mind. In Science class we learnt that every action has a reaction. The action of being naughty was followed by a reaction of punishment. If you are caught!

It’s the same with sin. The reaction to sin is punishment. If we did wrong, we have to take the punishment. And that is how it should be. Sin cannot be left unpunished. That’s what the Bible also says.

But God saw this differently. God could no longer stand seeing people again and again taking the punishment for their sin. Therefore: 9God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ.

In a way, this is too much for us to comprehend. It was drilled into us: Naughty = hiding. With God it also works like this, but differently. With the sin we do, God’s reaction is forgiveness! Instead of the reaction to our sin being punishment and death, the reaction is forgiveness and love.

Our God is merciful!

So, what is our reaction to God’s action? What can we do in gratitude for God’s reaction to our sin? What does a life of gratitude look like?


What is our reaction to God’s action?

What can we do out of gratitude for God’s reaction to our sin?

What does a life of gratitude look like?


Lord, You are so good to us. Your reaction to our sin is uncomprehendingly immense. Yes, only a loving God could have such a reaction to our sin. May our lives be lives of gratitude and obedience. Where every moment we will look for places to make a difference out of gratitude for your reaction to our sin. Amen.

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