By Abigail Schultz
I have noticed, now that time has slowed down with the beginning of summer, that there is a lot of time on my hands to just think. To think about the day. To think about the future. To be honest, I would say that I think a little too much. However, one aspect of this that I have really been paying attention to is the way that we react to things, people, and situations in our everyday lives.
I like to think of our reactions as being on a scale of sorts. The lowest point would be the negative reactions, the middle would be our neutral reactions, and the highest point would be our positive reactions. This scale would be different for every individual because each person tends to have a different take on what is positive and negative in their own life. One easy example of this would be money. For most the idea of having a lot of money would be positive. There would be no worries and nothing to stop one from accomplishing everything their heart desires. For the one that has money, however, it is a different story. People see the money rather than the company. The perks rather than the friendship. They don’t see the real person behind the wealth, because they themselves hold wealth at a higher importance than anything else. So for the wealthy person, money might be more of a negative thing in their life. Think about this… Where do the things in your life get placed on this scale?
Well, to me it says that this person’s relationship with God is conditionally dependent on the situations within their life, and whether or not they go as planned.
I know you are most likely wondering where I am going with this, so here it is. The way we react to things in our life is a direct reflection of the way we see Christ. Let me explain… Have you ever noticed that when something goes right in someone’s life, they tend to say something along the lines of, “It’s a God thing…” But when something goes completely wrong, they tend to instead blame God for not helping them in their time of need. What is this saying? Well, to me it says that this person’s relationship with God is conditionally dependent on the situations within their life, and whether or not they go as planned.
We treat God like a fortune cookie. We get extremely excited when He tells us something we want to hear, but if our little paper gives us something negative, then we trash it and hope that the next thing is better. Why is our love for God conditional, when we know that God’s love for us is unconditional?
The bible tells us in Romans 5:8 that, “God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” Literally this verse is saying that even though we were undeserving of love, Jesus still chose to die for us. His love was not conditioned on whether or not we were living holy lives. It was not conditioned on whether or not we chose to love one another. He was aware of every single flaw that we have, yet he still chose to die for us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it gets anymore unconditional than that. My point is, that when things go wrong, blaming God is saying that our love for Him is conditional, and that it changes according to our reactions on our individual scales.
Some of you that read this, may not identify with it, and if you don’t then I pray you keep up the good work! However, I have a hunch that practically all of us have experienced this in at least one or more of the areas in our lives. I know I have.
…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~Ephesians 3: 17-19~