God is (fill in the blank)

I’m in the middle of a disagreement with one of my best friends.  It’s civil of course, but we have a different opinion on obligation and promises made to God; specifically the promise to love, honor, and obey for better or worse til death do you part.  My Person says I’m a realist, I don’t know if I would ever call myself that but I think far too often we hold ourselves to rigid rules and call it the will of God.  It reminds me of a conversation I had with my professor, who incidentally is also a nun.

We were discussing corrupt leaders and she mentioned how followers of a leader will feed him or her with praise, adoration, love, etc. to the point where that leader does not know what to do with it.  She brought up the Bishop Eddie Long situation, she said that the congregation is not innocent as the power he had he was surrendered by them.  Why? Because leaders fulfill needs and lack that we have within ourselves–incidentally.  The same is true of our manifestation of God.  In a world of increasing uncertainty, she explained, the world leans more towards fundamentalists with more rules and regulations because it provides a sense of security, “If you work hard, pay tithes, do good, then you are rewarded and get to go to heaven.”  God becomes the thing(s) that we need.  Strict if we need security, forgiving if we need permission to make mistakes…we create images of God.  This isn’t the first time I’d heard this notion, but I found it particularly interesting coming from her given her position in the church.   She agreed that we are all divinely made and God exists within us so to some extent we are right in believing God to be in our image, but it is not limited to us (singular) He is everyone of us and in Him we are connected.

So how that relates…perhaps it is my image of God that allows me to believe that it is okay to say my marriage is a mistake, if it was.  More than anything I think of the words, “What God has joined together let no man put asunder, ” and wonder how many marriages were put together by God and how many were put together by us.  I think that’s why I don’t scoff at divorce.  Additionally, if we take one part of the Bible as law (the rules on divorce) then what about the others that affirm Jesus died for forgiveness of our sins?  Or the governing laws of the Ten Commandments? Not to argue religious theology because I am grossly unqualified to do so, I just prose the idea that it is all very very subjective and we hear from it what we want and need to hear.  What a beautiful and confusing thing.

I look at that last paragraph and see “turtles all the way down”, so many ways to dissect meaning and evoke understanding that I’m left with the same thought that I began with…God is (within me) and if I can just listen…to the part of me that is not afraid or speaking from fear, to the part of me that resides at my core and is pure, to the part of me that is divine and not my ego…then I always know His will for me.  I never have to question it because I know.  To that same end, only I know what is best what is right for me.  My friend and I might continue to disagree, and that’s okay.  I am never in the business of convincing and converting but I guess I do work very hard at getting people not to be so hard on themselves.  And maybe in asking that of others I am looking for permission to say “its okay, I messed up” to myself.  Actually, that’s very very likely.

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3 thoughts on “God is (fill in the blank)

  1. While all of what you said may be true philosophically. You should consider some things: Your friend in this marriage is not afraid to say she or he has made a mistake if that is what it is. Your friend in marriage believes that to be in the likeness and image of God, we have to withstand trials and tribulations placed in front of us (Ephesians, Job). She or he can clearly walk away from the situation if that is what their humanly flesh wills them to do, but they understand that God has not given them a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Within that same breath, they understand that while they may not know all of God’s plans for their life, they will continue to choose and obey His will through His Word and if His Word tells them to stand strong (not Bishop Long or a nun, but God alone) then they will stand and they will come out the better for it on the other end. Long-suffering is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Maybe they are okay with that because one can still have Godly-given peace and joy through it all. Jesus knew from day one that he was going to have to die for the sins of others, not from any mistake that He had done, but because His Father sent Him to do His will. If a person wants to be in the likeness of Christ, they should be able to withstand a few rough battles here and there based on the decisions they have made or decisions that others have made for them. If it were me, I would say that person has not made a mistake, but has hit a trial of which all fervent Christians go through and God is testing them to see what their next move with be and will they ultimately surrender to Him. Maybe you should ask her or him if they feel they have made a mistake in getting married. See what they tell you.

    1. I think so much of that (this) and what I said is subjective that I could ask those questions and what I hear may not be what was said. My only resolution is that we have the power to make our own decisions with whatever likeness of God we have and there really is no easy answer to stuff like that.

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