Posts Tagged ‘good’

Make a choice

Freedom is the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. It is the absence of coercion or constraint in choice or action.

 

What if you made a choice, and it resulted in no action?

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Assume you’re a kid. And you’re in, I don’t know, fourth grade. Your mom says she’s gonna be packing you a lunch to take to school everyday. She then goes on to suggest that she can make you either a PB&J or a turkey burger. Excited at the prospect of choice, you tell your mom that today you want a PB&J, but tomorrow you’re gonna need a turkey burger. You get to school, lunchtime rolls around, and you open your lunchbox, pleasantly satisfied that your peanut butter and jelly sandwich is there just as you requested. The next day you open up your lunch box expecting to see a turkey burger. But your 4th grade forehead wrinkles in consternation, because before you yet again is a PB&J. Frustrated, but hungry, you eat your PB&J , but determine to get to the bottom of this gross mistake. Later that day you get home and you put on your best pout as you confront your mom as to why you didn’t get the turkey burger as per your request. She smiles in understanding of your situation and asks you what you want for tomorrow. Pleased that you seem to have easily straightened things out you ask for, guess what(?), a turkey burger. But the next day, when lunch time rolls around, you open your lunch box with tears rolling down your face in disappointment, cause hey, it’s another PB&J.

 

My point?

 

Is there any significance of having freedom to choose, if our choice is never reflected in any correlated action?

 

I mean why give the kid a choice of turkey burger or PB&J, if no matter what he chooses, he’s always getting a PB&J?

 

Is that freedom? No. In fact it’s worse than entering knowingly into a dictatorship, because from the outset, you were under the impression that it was a democracy.

 

“In freedom, most people find sin.”

 

Do you know what we expect from God? We expect, no, we demand freedom. “Because true love is not forced.” Right? But at the same time we expect that no bad things will ever happen. At least not to us.

 

We expect to make the wrong choices and for everything to turn out okay. Why? Because God is good. But for us to choose wrongly and still not have to face the consequences of our actions, or even to have others choose wrongly and not have it affect us, God would need to take away our freedom. He would need to make it impossible for our choice to result in any actual action.

 

The sin, degradation, and depravity that we see in the world often leads one type of person to wail “There is no God,” and if there is a God, then “He simply isn’t good.”

 

However, another type of person might also, more accurately I would argue, wail ‘How lowly, how depraved is the sinner’s state.’ Would that we had chosen more wisely or had more compassion.

 

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“Sin is like a jail cell. The door is open, except its so nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any need to leave.” But you can leave. You can get up, leave, and enter into the light.

 

Thankfully we do not have a God like the writer Jarod Kintz telling us, “I want to protect innocent people from sin by locking them in cages, where the evil can’t get to them.” Instead God holds out the PB&J. While Satan has the turkey burger. It’s an all you can eat buffet. But you still have to make a choice.

 

 

freedom

 

(…let the record show that there is no implied correlation between Satan and turkey burgers…)

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part-time Atheist.

“No one can please God without faith. Whoever goes to God must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6; God’s Word Translation)

 

 

According to the bible, without faith, it is impossible to please God. The writer of Hebrews, then goes on to say, that having faith means 1) believing that God exists, and 2) believing that there is some benefit found in following him.

 

If you believe in God, but you don’t believe that there is any benefit to following him—you don’t have faith. And since knowing that God is good (Psalm 100:5, Mark 10:18, Psalm 119:68), and knowing that he rewards those who seek him (Philippians 4:19, James 1:17, Isaiah 41:10), is inextricably tied to who God is—denying his benefits is equivalent to denying his existence.

 

In Matthew 14:31, after Peter stepped out of the boat and began to sink, Jesus rebuked him saying, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

In that moment, when Peter lost faith, he doubted who God was, and what God could do for him. In essence, in losing faith, he called into question God’s existence.

 

Often, when Christians gather together in groups at bible study, after church, or during prayer meetings, they sit down and just ‘wonder’ at the disbelieving Atheist.

“Tsk tsk” they say, completely aghast. “How could anyone live without Christ?” “I simply do NOT know(!) how I’d ever make it without God,” they sigh.

 

And what do the rest of do when we aren’t chiming-in in agreement? We nod our heads, raise our hands, and shout mercy(!), as we pity the poor unbeliever. Looking down from our church-bench on Saturday or Sunday, we wag our fingers the shortsighted atheist—who ‘luckily,’ of course, aren’t present to offer any rebuttal.

 

The fascinating thing is that when we claim to be Christians, yet become so lost in worry, fear, and doubt, we become no different than Atheists, who are at the very least consistent in their lack of faith. Like Peter who one day declared to Jesus, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” but then the next day swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” (Mark 14: 31,71) Our relationship with God often wavers depending on our environment. And God forbid, we enter into severe trials or struggles, we sometimes completely loose faith in God. We become like Job and wonder as he wondered, “Why did I not die at birth?Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?” (Job 3:11)

 

It’s at moments like this, that we no longer believe that God rewards those who seek him.

 

We ask ourselves, “Where was God when…” or “How could God let this happen?” We look at our failure and our shortcomings and we wonder what we even gain by following God. At those moments when we doubt God’s goodness and his benefits, we are actually doubting his existence. We go to church, but we are worried about our future, our family, our job – or lack of a job. And at these moments of intense worry, pain, and doubt, ask yourself if you really believe that God exists.

 

 

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It’s summer outside.

 

I am standing in the basement,
with the AC on.
 

The room is cold.
windowless,
and the air feels bleak.

 

But it’s burning hot outside.
The sun shines. The sprinklers are on. And the ice cream truck circles round.

 

Yet I can’t feel the warmth down here. I can’t see the sun. 

 

————

 

 

You will not always remember that God is good.

 

But make sure there is at least one person you can turn too who will remember when you forget. 
Who will pray when you cry.
Who will worship when you forget. 

 

Sometimes you will be standing in the cold, while others are basking in the heat.
Make sure you aren’t standing alone.

 

 

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