Finding God's Winning Spirit

God's Bad Rap

March 24, 2014 | Greg Smith | Christianity

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My clients often ask the question, “Why did God do this to me", or, “Why is God testing me"? My answer to them is usually “He didn't and He isn't”.  I am not sure when we as Christians adopted the idea that God was in the punishing, tempting or revenge business.  I have begun to think that this comes from our sinful and infantile human condition that tends to blame others for our pain and/or our bad choices.  Whatever the reason, blaming God for the bad things that happen to us is neither fair nor scriptural.

It really shouldn't surprise me that when things go bad the first person we blame is God. After all, mankind has been doing this from the beginning of time. In Genesis 3: 12 Adam was quick to blame God when he found himself ashamed, afraid and naked in the garden. When confronted by God Adam simply responded with, “The woman whom you gave to me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Heaven forbid Adam should stand up and be accountable for his own actions.

The simple truth is that God had no recourse but to expel Adam and Eve from the garden to prevent man’s eating from the tree of life and living eternally in sin. Adam and Eve’s sin created a consequence brought on by their actions (a place we may often find ourselves) not because of God's desire to punish or trick.

The disciples were not much clearer on this "God punishes thing" either as in John 9:2  they asked Jesus, " Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”   Obviously they believed that God not only punished people with physical conditions and infirmity but punishment for sin was often trans- generational.

Their misconception was understandable due to the universal opinion among the Jews of that day that calamities of all kinds were the effects of sin. Many of the Jews, as it appears from their writings, believed in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls; or that the soul of a man, in consequence of sin, might be compelled to pass into other bodies, and be punished there. This doctrine of the transmigration of souls appears to have been an article in the creed of the Pharisees, thus fueling the disciples’ question.

In any case, Jesus set them straight by telling them that this man’s blindness was not about sin or punishment but rather was going to be used to glorify God (John 9:3). The disciples were not the only ones to quickly throw God under the bus when calamity happened – do not forget Job’s three friends. It was when things starting going south for Job that his friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Shuhite quickly told Job that he should repent as he had obviously offended God. Job, rejecting their view, stood fast in his faith affirming his uprightness and love/devotion to God.

Pain, sorrow and tribulation come from living in the world. John tells us, “This is for all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16).  John goes on to say, “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13).  Paul is quick to tell us who rules this world in 2 Corinthians 4:4, when he says, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe… (NLT). The plain truth is that we will not be complete or entirely safe in this world – it is the next world that brings peace, joy and ultimate safety.

Simply put, when bad things happen we should run to God for His support and help, not blame Him for it.  Tribulation and tragedies are opportunities to glorify God and strengthen our relationship with Him. It is in the midst of the world’s hardness, coldness and unfairness that we grow in our faith. If Adam had run toward God instead of away from God – things would be a lot different. Accepting our actions and relying on Christ when trouble comes insures wisdom and strengthens our relationship with Him. This is the foundation of God’s winning spirit. 

(Excerpt from Sports Theology: Finding God’s Winning Spirit)

Thanks-a-mundo for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.
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