Life happens. And when it does, I really do my best to learn life lessons from even the smallest details. One such example of that, for me, would be the recent elections. There are probably 20 posts I could write on topics which share that commonality, but don’t necessarily have anything to do with the results of the election, itself.
Today, I want to focus on conversations I had with friends, and friends of friends, regarding Proposition 8. Now, before you think this is about Prop 8 or the controversial topic, it’s not. Well, not exactly anyway. If you’re like me, you’re a little burned out with deep discussions and debate on the election issues. Instead, I want to talk about a truth I find that relates to faith in Christ.
I would like to point out a couple arguments made by those who disagreed with me on the topic of gay marriage, followed by my thoughts.
- God wants us to be happy. If that’s what makes us happy, who are you to tell me I can’t?
This is a compelling argument. But it typically comes from people who do not know the bible or have a relationship with God, Himself. This “logic” is humanistic. God is not most concerned with our happiness. At least, not the happiness of our flesh (nature). I am not a parent, but I happen to have parents. Believe me, they wanted me to be happy growing up. However, that was not their prime motivation in the decisions I forced them to make when I was a child growing up in a world which isn’t centered on me.
People who do not go to church like to humanize God. With an accusing tone, they will say that if God were a loving and fair God, there would be no evil in the world. Innocent children wouldn’t die or go hungry. What these folks don’t understand that is God isn’t human. He is not limited by the restraints and fleeting nature of emotion. God is limited only by His desire to have His creation love Him voluntarily. So many choose not to love Him, yet, He allows them this choice. He wants us to love Him not so we’ll be happy and have an easy life. He loves you and me more than we can ever imagine. We should love Him because He is THE Creator, and worthy of our lives and devotion. When we live in that place, we can have peace and joy, which transcends our happiness. Sure, I will have happy times, and difficult times. But I can have peace and joy despite my circumstances.
- God made us the way we are, so obviously, He wants us to be this way
We are all born with a sinful nature thanks to the original sin by Adam and Eve. We all have tendencies we have to overcome. Whether that’s the impulse to gamble, drink, do drugs, sexual promiscuity, work too much, violence, depression, arrogance…you name it. It’s no excuse to simply cave in and say “God made me this way”. We all have tendencies which battle with our soul’s need and desire to do right; to please God. You’ve no doubt heard, or maybe even used the phrase, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” This is a very true statement. But we all must die to ourselves. We all must learn to resist those things which compel us to go against the very nature of God, and not in our best interests.
I know very well that the greatest obstacle which keeps people from going to church is Christians, themselves. People see us as hypocrites because we take stances which defy the social and political standards of the day, yet the divorce rate in Christian marriages is astonishingly high. Ministers cheating on their wives, living extravagant lifestyles while helping themselves to money people give expecting it will be used to spread the Gospel around the world.
Friend, none of us are perfect. However, that is no excuse to do wrong. It simply supports what I said to open this piece. We all have a sinful nature with which we must struggle daily. Some people find the path of least resistance to be the best choice. Why fight it? Some do their very best to fight those urges on their own strength, yet find despair at the end when they can’t completely conquer it. I am one who finds strength and peace in my faith. I am not now, nor will I ever be perfect. But I find I am at my very best when I focus not on my own happiness, but when I’m serving Someone bigger than myself.
To close, I want to offer you a link to an article I read in the days leading up to the election. The article was written by Greg Laurie, called Honest to God. It’s a little more reading, so maybe you can bookmark it and read it later, or you can print it and take it with you. Or, if you’ve got a few more minutes, read it now. In any case, please read it. I think it’s a very honest look at hypocrisy and where responsibility truly lies.
I understand that not everyone holds God and the bible as the standard to live by. As such, they’re left to define their own moral code. But whether they believe it or not does not diminish the truth, and the fact that many of our laws, and many other religions share this same standard of virtue.