I saw a phrase in the מסילת ישרים that seemed to say that Hashem will not overlook a person’s misdeeds. And that to even believe that He will, is dangerous. Can the Rabbi please explain that concept?
It’s very important to realize that כל האומר הקב”ה ותרן הוא, יותרו חייו – Somebody who says that Hashem will disregard his bad deeds, then Hashem will disregard his life (Baba Kama 50a). Now, that’s a very serious statement. Anybody who thinks that הקדוש ברוך הוא is not a strict judge, he should know, that for that alone he deserves to be seriously punished. Because that person is disregarding his whole purpose in life. You’re here in this world to make to yourself great – great in the service of Hashem. And you won’t get anywhere if you live with the false attitude that you can get away with misdeeds. The world is under supervision. The world is strictly judged. We are held accountable. We came into a world that is full of נסיונות – full of tests. And we are subject to the test of this world. Nobody is exempt from this function of passing the test.
How to pass that test? Well, if you come to these lectures and practice what you hear, that’s definitely a good start. But whatever it is, one thing is certain – הקדוש ברוך הוא will not yield. He does not give people good marks for nothing. You have to earn your good marks and that’s all. It’s a serious world and you’re expected to treat it with the utmost caution and כובד ראש – with the utmost seriousness.
However, like we spoke about tonight, when a person decides that he’s going to obey Hashem and be happy in this world, then he’ll be a success. “I’m going to obey Hashem and keep my mouth closed,” he says. “I’m going to obey Hashem and avoid what’s dangerous. I’m going to obey Hashem and listen to my common sense.” “Oh,” הקדוש ברוך הוא says. “Now you’re passing the test.”
Of course, you have to keep everything in the Torah. Hashem won’t be מוותר. He won’t overlook anything. But it’s not enough, however. You must also keep everything that your שכל tells you as well. There’s no way around it. You have to keep everything. And then Hashem says, “Now you’re passing the test of life. You’re succeeding at what you came into this world to do.”