Sunday, November 15, 2015

No, No; Thank YOU!!

After writing my last post, "Yeah, But What's In It For Me?", I got to thinking about the hazards of that mentality. If you didn't read that one, you may want to take a moment. I'll wait.

If someone is always looking at what they can get FROM God, the very nature of their faith needs to be examined. They need to assess what kind, if any, of a relationship they have with God.

One of the main differences touted between Christianity and other faiths is of relationship. In Christianity, relationship with God is not based on you DOING anything to get approval from God. It is based on the acceptance of what God has done. You don't have to go anywhere, recite certain prayers at certain times of the day, or get your karma in line for God to love you. He simply does. "For God so loved the world, that He gave . . . "

That there is enough to love Him in return.

But, if your relationship with God is based on what you can get FROM Him, then you are in for a lot of heartache and struggle.

As I said, I became a Charismatic in the early 1990s. And during that time since, I've seen many movements roll through the Charismatic church. Prosperity and Healing seem to be two of the majors.

The problem is, if Prosperity is your focus, what happens to your relationship with God if things aren't so prosperous? If your job disappears, or your business collapses, or your retirement investments take a hit?

Or if Healing is your thing, what happens when you find yourself battling a three-week long cold, or cancer, or the death of a loved one - too young / too soon?

I'll tell you what happens. You will either beat yourself up over your lack of faith, or, if things are bad enough, you will question the validity of faith in God itself. Many a "born-again atheist" started as a church goer who found faith in God to be wanting. "I prayed and He didn't answer my prayer."

How would you feel if the only reason your spouse loved you was for what you provided? From the weddings I've been to, it's been "for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health". I have never heard, "for the paycheck you bring home", or, "the mind-bending orgasms you give me".

Sometimes it feels like the Christianity we sell is a bill of goods. I've heard it so many times that a person had found themselves at such a low point in their life, that the only direction to look was up. It was then that they "found Jesus". Then all of a sudden, they found they no longer needed the cigarettes, or the drugs, or the alcohol, or the whatever. God delivered them from the crap in their life and now they are walking in joy, health, and (being a tither) prosperity. This is called having a good testimony. But what if life just happens? What if you still struggle with your addictions after becoming a Christian? What if your employment (or lack thereof) situation doesn't improve? Guilt. Or you simply find yourself doubting your conversion experience.

What should one do? Focus on loving God for the who, not the what. That way, in spite of the "richer or poorer" or "sickness or health", you will enjoy a lifetime of "marital bliss".

© Emittravel 2015

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