People probably look at the Ten Commandments and other precepts we’ve been given and think of God as demanding and harsh, or when we sin we see God being saddened or angered by every transgression. But this is actually untrue. Our actions do not emotionally affect God, since God is emotionless. In the same line of thought, God does not give us commands because they’ll make Him happy when they’re followed. Confusing? Hear me out.
First of all, to say that God is emotionless does not mean He does not love. He loves infinitely. But consider this: emotions always change. One time they will make me or you feel happy, other times sad, or angry, and so on. They effect the level of love we’re able to give. So emotion can hardly be necessary to love if it causes it to decrease or increase at random. Wouldn’t it be best if we could love unconditionally all the time without feelings to get in the way? That’s how God is. His love is always the same, and always infinite, never changed by anything anyone does.
A second thing must be mentioned as well, and that is that God is eternal. People tend think of eternity as a timeline, and no matter how far back you go, you will never find the beginning, and no matter how far forward you go, you’ll never reach the end. But that’s not what eternity is. Eternity in the truest sense is the possession of one’s whole being at one single moment. Think of a human being for a minute, you or me, for example. I’m 15 right now. I will be 40 in 25 years, but when I’m 40 I’ll no longer be 15. When I was born I was a baby, now I’m an adolescent. I feel healthy now. I might feel sick later. You see, all this has to do with change. If I were eternal, I would, at this very moment, be 5 years old, and four years old, and a hundred years old. Now look at God. He’s eternal and possesses His whole being in an unchanging now. And it’s only sensible, then, that He has everything about Him now, at this moment. He can’t gain new knowledge or lose knowledge He had, He can’t grow older, He can’t become more or less powerful. He simply can’t change. He is totally Himself, and so He doesn’t possess emotions. If He doesn’t possess emotions, He isn’t emotionally affected by our failings.
Why do we have commandments? If God isn’t some petty tyrant giving us orders, why bother giving them to us? Well, God is really smart. He knows what we need whether we do or not. He knows that in order for us to be truly happy, we’re going to need to go to Heaven. He gives us commandments for us, not for Him. You see, St. Thomas Aquinas said it well when he said “to love is to will the good of another”. God is perpetually desiring our good, not because He’ll be emotionally bothered by our failings, but because He knows what we need. And we need Him.
Then why did God create us? Because He knew we should enjoy life with Him. Really very thoughtful, if you think about it. Problem is, we could only enjoy it if we were given the chance to choose between it and something else….and we chose the something else. Everything God does in relation to creation is for us, not for Himself.
Worth thinking about.