Tag Archives: John 15

Alignment vs. Appeasement

John 15:10-11

If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my father’s commands and remain in his love.

I’ve said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and so that your joy may be full.

Changing Your Narrative On Obedience

It always saddens me when I hear that someone thinks God is someone who requires obedience for the purpose of appeasement, as if it is in the mere keeping of rules that God’s satisfaction is attained. How joyless that would indeed be. How small of a “God” is that? Obviously it is a god of our own making–pathetic and no greater than any average human. Regrettably, we often painfully pass this god on to others.

Those who believe God to be a being in need of petty appeasement have likely never really met Jesus, for he shows us that his Father is not a god of appeasement, but rather more like the “God of alignment”.

Admittedly, upon a surface glance, some Scripture passages do appear to show God as requiring obedience before giving love. But taking just a slightly deeper look reveals that it is much richer and better than “Do what I say, and then I will love you.” You will not find that message anywhere in Scripture. It must be twisted to render such a heretical interpretation.

How we read and how we listen colors how we receive.

What Scripture, and more importantly Jesus, tells us is, “You were designed to live attached to me, aligned with my good ways. My commands generously show you how to be in alignment with Me-perfect love. They are not to cruelly deprive you of anything good whatsoever.”

It is about remaining, abiding, aligning, not about earning.

“If you keep my commands you will remain in my love” not “you will earn my love.” You have that already, simply because you exist.

Will you align with that love that brought you into existence?

There’s a way things work—a way this life, and how to live it well, is designed to function properly. And it comes graciously from that design’s Designer.

The reason Jesus gave for telling us how these things work?

To keep your butt in line, not mess up, and appease his appetite for perfection?


So that you can share my joy. So that my joy may be in you. So that your joy may be full. Share my joy and you will miss out on nothing.

Meditating on all of this a couple days ago, I heard Jesus say, “I am coaxing you away from the tragedy of being distracted from, and missing out on, a satisfying life.”

December 22-23 / Proverbs 22-23 / John 15-16

Proverbs 22:3

“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

” Watch and pray so that you do not enter into temptation,” Jesus said.  Plan ahead on facing temptation but not entering into it. Off- the-spot training is crucial in this life so that when we are on the spot, we are not taken by surprise. C.S. Lewis wrote that prudence is taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it.

Proverbs 23:9

Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.”

Some people are not willing to listen. Some people are not ready to hear truth. It is not our job to convince and convict. That is up to Holy Spirit. We do not cast our pearls before swine, but rather give truth when prompted by the Spirit and trust and rest in that divine work. There is nothing to argue or stress about because we cannot change someone’s heart ourselves anyway.

John 15:22

“If I hadn’t come and spoken to them, they wouldn’t be guilty of sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin.”

Revelation increases moral responsibility. Those to whom Jesus revealed Himself and yet still rejected Him were no longer guilty of a sin of ignorance. Now they were without excuse. The light of revelation had revealed their own sin, and they did not want to face it or do anything about it. What truth have you heard and not acted upon?

John 16:33

“Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

This morning, while in solitude at St. Meinrad Monastery,  I asked God what  this actually meant. What I heard Him say was, “I never lived for the world for one minute. Every moment I lived for my Heavenly Father.” In this sense He conquered the world by living in it but never for it. This is at least one aspect of what His overcoming of the world means to us. We too overcome when we have that change of vision and see this world and its ways for what it is. Then we are free to live for what is higher, for what ultimately matters and brings abundance and capacity to be a healing agent for those in front of us.