Friday, January 8, 2016

talking nonsense

Today we read the January 7th reading in A Year with C.S. Lewis, which is available for $2.99 as an e-book from bn.com if you would like to follow along.

Lewis today points out that people talk nonsense about God. And I agree with him. One of the most dangerous forms of this nonsense is when people say "Wherever you are in life, this is God's will for you. So just take a deep breath, accept it as His will, and it will work out."

It's clearly nonsense because horrible things happen to people that are NOT God's will for them. When a five year old girl is raped day after day by her step father, that's not God's will for her. When people are beaten and abused, that is not God's will for them. They should NOT take a deep breath and accept this as God's will. They should find a way out.

And the reason this is so dangerous is because it gives people a very warped view of God. If I try to convince myself that abuse from my employer or my spouse is part of "God's plan for me", then I learn to see God as someone who WANTS me to be beaten and abused. That is unhealthy.

I've used extreme examples to make the point. But it's true in smaller degrees in most people's lives. Jesus told us very clearly: the THIEF comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But Jesus has come so that we might have LIFE... and life more abundantly! He wants us to have a good life, not a life full of abuse and senseless pain.

That doesn't mean we won't suffer. It doesn't mean we won't get diseases, and it doesn't mean we won't die. But what it DOES mean is that God will work the bad things in our lives for our good, when we follow Him. He will teach us grace and kindness and forgiveness in the middle of our pain. We should just keep in mind that the abuse, the suffering, isn't a "gift from God", but it's the result of people making bad choices all over the world. He will redeem us - but that redemption isn't complete yet.

God, thank You for teaching us not to believe nonsense, but to trust You who make all things well.

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