Have you ever had a conversation when you reflected on things your parents said? Phrases like “quit crying or I will give you something to cry for” or “you can just stay at the table till you finish all your vegetables.” Perhaps we have even caught ourselves using the same phrases with our children or grandchildren. One of my father’s favorites when reviewing my report card was “if you don’t bring these grades up you will end up being a garbage collector.” Little did he realize that today there is real money to be made in garbage.
Almost all these phrases are in the same form, “if you don’t then this will happen.” Sadly, it was motivation by fear. Though it may have worked, it was not a pleasant experience at the time. When we read the Old Testament we find that many of the prophetic writings seems to be of the same format…if…then.
Once we get to the New Testament things change. It is not fear but unconditional love. The new covenant is positive, “I will be your God and you will be my people.” Romans affirms, “nothing can separate us from the love of God.” You can be who you are and God will still love you!
Rev. Dr. Fred Leasure, Parish Associate