all-inclusive definitions

Perhaps you’ve heard Christians say, “God is in control, God loves me, and God will always take care of me.”  And maybe you’ve heard the skeptical response, “God sure has a poor way of taking care of his people.”

But have you noticed that “taking care of” can fit just about any definition, and is, in fact, desgned to do so?  God takes care of people in so many ways, keeping them both rich and warm and homeless and starving.  What does it all mean?  That God loves some people better?  That he can’t do everything at once?  Or that he never promised to make you rich, that’s not what “taking care of you” means?

The broader a definition is, the less it actually means.  Unless you spell out and agree to what things mean– as in marriage vows, for example– there’s no standards and objectives, much less is there a way to maintain accountability to those standards.  So when I say to a friend, “I appreciate you, and I’ll invite you over for tea,” there’s the statement and there’s the proof.  But when God supposedly says “I love you,” anything that follows is the proof: I got a raise, I found $20.  Even the bad things are proof, because God is giving you the opportunity to trust him.  Even if death and destruction follow, God is teaching you to rely more on him.

What’s interesting is that if you think God hates you, you’ll base that on events.  What do you think that says about people?  About religion?  About God?

Why do I suddenly sound like I am writing an essay question?

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2 Responses to “all-inclusive definitions”

  1. teambaby Says:

    I’ve known some women recently undergoing some really potentially traumatic things. Both have attributed said tribulations as some kind of — character-building exercise? — from god. It’s hard for me to fault them because this appears to be an excellent coping mechanism. I don’t necessarily think it’s most helpful for every person to delve to the core of every painful experience; I’ve never been to a psychiatrist and don’t wish to feel any closer to my own worst experiences than I already am.

    But that said, I don’t know what it says about people. Are they weak or strong when they attribute things to a higher power? It requires both humility and a strong “faith” in one’s own ability to determine the truth.

    Good to see you, by the way! Every once in a while I check my Google reader and get a pleasant surprise. Glad to see you’re still blogging.

  2. Alice Says:

    Hi teambaby! Thanks for listening! Hope you’re doing well.

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