God cares about outcomes.
Because GOD is a practical God, He cares about results. GOD cares about outcomes.
GOD created the universe not to be static, but to move, to be active and accomplish things.
GOD could have easily created all beings to behave exactly as He willed in every moment, with zero freedom of thought, determination, and choice. But apparently that wasn’t best because that’s not what GOD chose to do and GOD chooses what is best.
Instead, GOD chose to give angels and humans the freedom to choose—to live how they wanted. Because GOD is love, He provided instruction on how to live according to His designed order.
If GOD wants what is best for His creatures, and GOD expects us to behave in accordance with His will, and He judges us after we die, how can it be best for us to possess free will?
This is a difficult question. I believe the answer is that what is truly best for us is to become like GOD in our character—where we want what He wants, we love like He loves, our emotions are like His emotions, our desires align with His desires, and so on. For us to grow we must deepen our faith. This requires that we be tested, that we face adversity.
There is nothing better for a human than to develop the character of GOD—to look like Jesus.
Therefore, what GOD for us more than anything is to look like Jesus. To look like Jesus is an outcome, the result of discipleship.
People often say, “God wants me to be happy.” The truth is that, while GOD cares deely about our feelings, He loves us too much to make our happiness His top concern for us. We live in an imperfect world where bad things happen to “good” people. Since we are also imperfect sinners, we contribute to the problems of this world, even unintentionally.
No, when faced with the choice, GOD would gladly choose our character development over our happiness a hundred billion times.
Likewise, Christians and believers have been guilty of over-emphasizing “salvation” and “being saved.” Now, that statement may raise an eyebrow for many people. Yes, GOD deeply cares about our sins being forgiven! So much so that He became a human to suffer and die the most cruel death possible in order to make such forgiveness possible.
But what many Christians do is they emphasize salvation and forgiveness of sins so heavily that salvation alone becomes seen as the end goal. If all GOD cared about was forgiving our sins, then He would immediately take the saved one out of this world.
Salvation is not the end but the beginning of our new life—the new birth, not the new death! The new creature exists to live, not to be through living!
When one becomes a Christian, they are born again. Birth is the beginning of life. The entire point of the new birth is that we died to sin and live through Jesus. Living through Jesus means that we imitate Him. We no longer make our own decisions, but instead, our will is constantly submissive to Jesus’ will for us. He sets the example and we passionately and whole-heartedly pursue imitating that example.
Gradually, over time, our thinking, speech, and behavior draws consistently closer … and closer … and closer to what Jesus would do in our situation. In fact, our aim should be that we become so much like Jesus that, when people look at us, they don’t see us, they see Him!
That is what GOD cares most deeply about!
Because a person who looks like Jesus is a better person, friend, spouse, parent, worker, citizen, and so on. Because people influence people, when one looks more like Jesus, that person positively impacts those around them—just like a light illuminates a dark place. And as that light spreads to others, more people gravitate to the light because they see the benefits and they are drawn to it.
As that light spreads, families become healthier, homes become more loving, communities become better places to live, companies grow, governments serve more honestly and with greater integrity, crime is lower, addiction is lower, divorce is lower … problems are fewer and less severe.
These, friend, are the outcomes that GOD cares about! Why? Because a better world is what GOD wants us to enjoy! That is what is best not just for us individually, but for all of creation on a macro scale.
It really is that simple.
So when you see people getting hung up on their individual rights and happiness and sinful choices, or you see believers arguing over minute details of some doctrine, remember this important principle: GOD cares about outcomes.