I choose what I call a spiritual health book each year. A book on spiritual disciplines and formation that I read and re read and try and to put into practise in my life. This year I have been reading James Bryan Smith's book 'The Good and Beautiful God' and have found it a very useful.
One example of that is the insight that Smith gives to the idea of God's wrath. God is concerned and against sin and invites us to change the way we live, not as a condition of his love but rather as an outworking of his love. God’s so serious about sin that he was willing to send his son to die on the cross to deal with it and its effect on us. But its not because he is angry with us rather its like he is MADD.
This isn't a spelling mistake God is not mad as in crazy or mad as in uncontrollable anger or even mad spelt M.A.D that stood for, Mutual Assured Destruction, like in the spectre of atomic weapons in cold war days but... M.A.D.D. as in Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It is an organisation started by the mothers of teenagers who had been killed in drink driving tragedies. They knew the pain and grief and the damage that drinking and driving can cause and so started education and legislative campaigns to lessen those effects. God, says James Bryan Smith is M.A.D.D. about sin.
“God cares deeply about sin because it destroys his precious children and God longs for holiness in us because it is the way to wholeness.”