I'm so sorry to hear about your situation this morning. My heart goes out to both of you.

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I figure God has plenty of justification for punishing me for all the bad choices I have made. I do not believe God created nothing bad or wrong or evil. I believe God created things that are flawed and weak and evil to serve as the landscape on which good people operate. So far, I have not made good choices, and I am reaping what I sow. I see nothing that disrespects God in that analysis.

I had promised myself to stay away from posting for a few days, and after this I'm going back into lurk mode for the weekend. But this statement and your follow-ups really jumped out at me. Maybe it's because I've just finished reading the story of the Prodigal and the story of the woman caught in adultry. Read them if you get a chance, and notice that "the father" and Jesus do not condemn the "guilty" parties. The father welcomes back his wayward son no questions asked, no demands for changed behavior or atitude. And Jesus does not condemn the woman who was CAUGHT! Rather, he reminds the crowd that all of us are sinners. They thought they were "better than" because the sin appeard worse. Sin is sin, and we all have it. Comparing ourselves to make ourselves feel better is a lie.

If you or I were perfect, then what would we need God for?

"Shame" is a mask for "pride." It is false humility. Knowing that, or believeing it, doesn't make the shame go away, but puts it in perspective, at least for me.

I am sure with every fiber of my being that God isn't laying in wait to punish you for whatever you have or haven't done with your life. We do our best, even when it isn't "the" best, until we know better and can begin to do better. The worst "sin" I can think of is to refuse to let our God love us. He doesn't do it for our sake, or because we earn it or deserve it. He loves us because GOD IS LOVE. All that is required is that we love back, the best we can, even when our best sucks. Because even the loving of Mother Teresa "sucks" when compared to the love that God is capable of.

OK, down from the pulpit.

On a lighter note, I will never look at fruit the same way again!