Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Faith in Relationships and God, Part 2

I suppose this is where the fun begins.

God isn’t like the rest of us.  Jesus wasn’t a guy who just didn’t get it.  If anything, he showed that he understood us so much better than we understood ourselves.  He proved that he loved the people he was with even though he knew their past, he knew their shame, and he certainly knew their hearts.

There is no deceiving God, no way to hide, no way to hurt; he always knows where you are, how you feel, and how to take care of you.
He is the only being in the whole of existence who sees you for who you really are, all the vulnerabilities, all the hurts, all the past mistakes, all the good, all the dreams, the hopes, the desires.  He sees it all and loves it.  More specifically, he loves you.

He. Loves. You.

Whether you reject him or embrace him, he will always be just a breath away.  He will not hurt you, and you cannot disappoint him.  There is nothing you can do to make him go away.

But he doesn’t invade your life either.  He allows you to make your own decisions and waits patiently for you.  He is basically exactly what we are all looking for and need in a relationship.

Might seem too good to be true, but keep in mind I mentioned what we needed in a relationship and not what we wanted.  They are incredibly different things.  And oftentimes confused for each other.

But think about it.  One of the greatest needs humanity has it to feel love and acceptance, and to have a sense of belonging.  It makes them feel safe, and it makes them feel important.  I think in our core, we all have a deep need to be significant.

And we are significant.  We are worthy of being loved.

To use an “overused” verse from John 3

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

The point is, you are loved.

But what does that have to do with Faith in God?

Well, to really have faith in someone you have to trust them.  I personally find it impossible to truly trust someone without knowing they actually care about me and my well-being.  So, I felt that it was important to establish that God does actually care.

This is where it gets tricky.

See, I have found over the years that for me to trust others, I need to be trustworthy myself.  I need to exhibit the qualities that I desire to see in other people (within reason).  If I want my wife to prove she is trustworthy I must also be willing to put forth the effort in doing the same.  It is just the natural course of relationships from my own experience.

My relationship with God isn’t really any different.   There is still ebb and flow, give and take, and a need to show trust and be trusted.

This gets incredibly difficult when things don’t always go the way we expect.  Admittedly, there are days when I have felt that God betrayed me or hurt me on purpose, but I have to remember that despite how I feel, the reality is that God doesn’t do anything without purpose, without reason.  I, in my finite mind, cannot always understand the movements of an infinite being.

That doesn’t really make it easy.  If anything it makes it more difficult.  But I find that if I can shut down my pride for a few minutes then maybe I will begin to see that, as Solomon put it, “There is a season for everything.”  Sometimes we have to wait; sometimes we have to weather a storm; sometimes we have to make it through the tougher parts of life to get a little stronger so we can go a little further; and sometimes things are gravy.

Just like a relationship with another person.

I feel like, ultimately, having faith in another person, and having faith in God when it comes to relationships is really no different.

Furthermore, I would argue that they are actually intimately intertwined.

My relationship with God actually does affect my relationship with my wife and with others.  If I am being adamant in speaking with God, meditating on who he is, what he has done for me, and what he has to say both in scripture and in my own personal time with him then I find that my relationships with other improve immensely from it.

But when I neglect to do those things my relationships with others stagnate, I tend to be more irritable than usual and poor attitudes slowly creep into my core.

And I don’t want that.

I don’t want that at all.

Grace and Peace.

p.s.  Dear friend,  I hope this has helped you even a little bit.  If you want to discuss this more in person you are more than welcome to come find me.  You know where I live.  :)

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