(I’m on vacation this week, which means that I won’t be doing any writing. Instead, each day (Monday through Friday) I’ll republish an old post. Since even I myself don’t remember writing half the things I find on the blog, don’t feel bad if each day’s post seems brand new to you. Hopefully, God will use these old posts in even greater ways than He used them when I first wrote them. Enjoy.)
Somewhere along the way, I picked up a two-column chart on the subject of God. The chart presents two very different opinions concerning our Maker. See which side best describes your opinion of God.
Opinion 1 ————————————————————————————- Opinion 2
a loving father ——————————————————————————- demanding
an intimate friend —————————————————————————– distant
a patient teacher ——————————————————————- intolerant and critical
a gentle guide ————————————————————————— rigid and strict
an understanding counselor ———————————————————— insensitive
a generous provider —————————————————————– reluctant and stingy
a faithful supporter ———————————————————————– inconsistent
If you have to say that Opinion 2 is most in line with your view of God, obviously your relationship with Him is strained. What has happened between you two? Somehow, He must have disappointed you. Maybe you blame Him for allowing something bad to happen to you. Perhaps He has underwhelmed you with what He has done for you. I don’t know what the problem is, but clearly something has warped your view of Him.
Please understand that I’m not criticizing. To the contrary, I applaud your honesty. Far too many people just put on a happy face, smile a fake smile, and say, “Isn’t God good?” Blunt honesty is so much better than that. I myself have seen several times when I was pretty ticked off with the way God was running the universe.
But here’s the thing: You must not continue to live under Opinion 2 because that opinion doesn’t accurately represent the God of the Bible. Don’t deny the fact that you are hurt at God, but don’t let your hurt continue on as the status quo, either. My advice to you is: get alone somewhere and have a serious heart-to-heart talk with God. And don’t hold back in what you say to Him. Trust me, He’s a big boy who can take your complaints, criticisms, and frustrations. Tell Him how He has hurt you, disappointed you, or underwhelmed you. Tell Him the opinion you have of Him right now. Tell Him that you’re just being honest. Why lie or try to play anything down to the One who knows all?
The goal behind such praying is that, once all your cards are on the table, God can begin helping you understand why He has done and hasn’t done certain things in your life. Frankly, most people never go deep enough into God because they are never real enough with Him. But I’m encouraging you to dare to “go there” in your prayers. If you think God is the problem, tell Him so. Only then can you begin the process of transitioning out of Opinion 2 and into Opinion 1.