Monday, November 13, 2006

Question: Can you forgive God?

I know it's a strange question, but it is one that I am wrestling with tonight.

From all we know of God, we know that He is perfect and therefore without blame. We know that He "works for the good of all who love him" (Romans 8:28). So with that knowledge we can then say that there is no need to forgive God.

But what about from the other side? When we look at the relationships from the God to us side, there is no need to forgive God because God's never done anything that would merit forgiveness. But what about from the side of the relationship of us to God?

If I am harboring anger towards someone who I feel has wronged me, even Jesus would teach that I should forgive in order to move past the anger. All good counselors will tell you that you can never move on with your life if you are still harboring anger and that you must forgive in order to move forward. There is a healing that comes in forgiveness--even when what you forgive is not truly the other person's fault.

So what happens when you are blaming God for broken dreams, trials, hardships, things in your life that you wish wouldn't have happened or think shouldn't have happened? Maybe you don't even realize that you are blaming God. Maybe you can't reconcile a loving God with the abuse you suffered or the death of a loved one. Maybe you are angry with God and you can't move forward in your relationship because you are angry. Can you in that situation--even though you have unjustly blamed God, even though you know that God didn't truly do those things to you, even though you believe that God does have your best interest at heart like the good Father that He is--can you forgive Him? Or maybe you don't believe those things. Can you forgive Him?

I think that you can. What safer place can there be to seek that kind of healing than in God? But I seriously want to know any thoughts that any of you in "blogland" might have on the subject. So comment away.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

No one has missed the story, and if you have, you won't have to travel far to get caught up. I speak of the news story on Ted Haggard's exposure. I feel compelled to write on this topic not to continue the debate or to further rebuke the man but to write on truths that this has brought up for my life.

In his statement to New Life Church , Ted wrote the following: “The public person I was wasn’t a lie; it was just incomplete. When I stopped communicating about my problems, the darkness increased and finally dominated me. As a result, I did things that were contrary to everything I believe.” What an incredibly true statement for all of us to contemplate!

I know the dark places of my life. I know the things that I keep to myself. I know what happens when I don't expose those things to the truth of Christ. I know what happens when I don't share those things with spiritual friends and mentors. I know what happens. I know the dark, ugliness that resides in my flesh when I am not walking in the Spirit. I know where Ted has been and is.

I am no different from this man. My sins are no different from his. The ugliness in him is the same ugliness in me. This is why I am thankful for a grace giving God who loves me even in the midst of all my ugliness and a God who has forgiven all that ugliness.

As a few of us sat prayed for Ted and New Life the other night, God brought me to Psalm 33. It is a good reminder that our hope and our strength come from the Lord and not of our own powers. I hope that you will be encouraged by these verses:

"From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all humankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you" (v13-22).