With absolutely no apologies to Stephen Covey, one of the habits of highly ineffective Christians is when some Christian goes on and on as to how the Lord had, take your pick, a) spoken, b) written, c) e-mailed, d) instant messaged, e) otherwise directly intervened in that person’s life. Such people apparently believe that God has nothing better to do than to provide order to their mundane little lives. Or disorder. Or whatever.
Don’t misunderstand me. God works His will on us, in ways we know (e.g. the Bible) and in ways we can only guess at. However: when someone says something like “God prevented me from tripping on the sidewalk, praise the Lord”, then my first reaction is to simply stop listening to everything else that person is saying. Glad you weren’t hurt, but do you really think that it was God taking care of you?
Yes, yes, no sparrow shall fall, and all of that. Is that why you think that God intervenes in your earthly affairs? Beware of proof-texting, grasshopper. What about 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, which might be also cited to make the opposite point that God no longer is speaking directly to us. Let alone giving us a helping hand walking down the street.
God truly does love us, of course, just as it says in 1 Corinthians 13:8: “Love never ends.” And I’m also confident that He does, indeed, number the very hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30). But I am also confident that God does not intervene in our affairs in such a mundane fashion as keeping us from tripping.
It is possible He does, of course. Just not likely. This world was given to us to take care of. This includes taking care of all of our business, including not tripping on the sidewalk. God gave us the wherewithal to take care of business, and one of His best gifts to us is that big ol’ chess club brain. I say we use it, and not try to claim that God is giving us minute-by-minute assistance.
To make such claims is to enter a realm of annoying piety, where one makes claims about God’s working on, in, and through them. God loves us all dearly, but that does not mean He’s going to prevent me (or thee) from falling on the sidewalk. His love includes giving us the freedom to make such mistakes.
God is present insofar as the Holy Spirit is always with us, and, if we are faithful to Him, we’ll gain our reward. But that reward won’t be anything as mundane as not tripping on the sidewalk.
| technorati tag | Christianity|