Tag Archives: What is freedom?

Freedom is Based on Ability to Learn

If you’ve been following this blog very long, you’ve read many times that  perspective is everything. It’s true. And here is another example. This past week there was another kafuffle with my grandsons–this one even worse than the last one. And of course, it was the middle child again.

He’s not your classic middle child that blends into the woodwork and gets lost. No, no, he’s got way to much personality and energy for that, even at seven, in the first grade. Last time he had a knife in his backpack, and lied about it. This time he was bullying a kid and lied about it. My daughter lay awake two nights worrying and praying before I even learned about it.

When I heard, my immediate thought was a memory–watching through the window as  he ran over to the side of the street and sat down and cried while all the kids at the bus stop were taunting him for throwing something on the ground. He was in kindergarten then. It broke my heart. That afternoon I asked him how it had felt and he blew it off.

But now a year later, his big brother (his seatmate) had asked to have his seat changed on the bus, and the rejection and hurt was showing by picking on someone smaller.

When it came out, he admitted that he had hit him, but lied about forcing him to bring him toys. As my daughter said, “It doesn’t even sound like him.” She was sick, of course, but grateful the parent had come to her instead of going to the school.

When she told me, it was pretty much over, except for consequences, and all I could say was “Thank God he is getting all these huge life lessons in the early years instead of having hundreds of days and weeks and months to internalize negative patterns, feelings and thoughts! It’s a hard lesson but you handled it so well it’s better than if it hadn’t happened!”

Freedom isn’t the ability to do what you want, no law, lawlessness. Freedom is the ability to gain wisdom through learning. It’s growing out of the childish perspective to pass on your hurt to someone weaker–because you can. It’s the chance to grow into seeing things from God’s perspective. He absorbed the hurt, took it into himself and transformed it into healing.

All great leaders have done the same thing beginning with Job and Moses. there was Gandhi in India, Mother Theresa in Calcutta?, and Martin Luther King Jr. in America. And now the AME church is doing the same thing–God bless them! We must learn or be swallowed up by evil; it comes too naturally to us. What starts out as evil can be transformed into healing experience for those who are willing to learn–even through suffering.

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Why are You Afraid of God?

One thing really came home to me last weekend. Nothing that God is involved in can be bad, whether it is death or anything else. It might seem or feel bad, but His presence (Love) is such pure energy, even sad, hard things are filled with joy–such sweet bonding and connections came from the weekend of Rocky’s funeral. It was a celebration of her life: beautiful, inspiring and uplifting. I felt honored to be related.

How did we get so afraid of God?

Was it, as I have heard in therapy, that God didn’t answer childhood prayers the way we thought He should? One teenage girl prayed for her family as a child, and it came apart anyway, so she had no use for Him after that. She didn’t understand freedom.

Maybe, even as adults, we (like her) don’t understand that God doesn’t take away other people’s freedom to hurt us. Freedom is much more scary than God! But even that is tempered by His keeping power if you ask to be kept. He isn’t willing for anyone to lose his or her true self, even though you might suffer.

I wonder how many of us have been scared away from God by church teaching. The church has been very effective with marketing guilt, and a harsh, exacting picture of God. They haven’t done a good job of interpreting scripture. Not that there isn’t some support for fear there.

God has had to leave hooks for doubt in scripture so we are free to choose. People wrote what God communicated but often it was mixed with there own perspective, mixed with their own fear, guilt, anger–and not a clear understanding of God. Sometimes they were very close to God and knew Him well, but we bring our own fear etc. to their words, and misread.

For this reason I’ve decided to continue with Love’s Playbook II going through the Bible writing it as God’s love story. Making Him look as He really is–all good–a God of love. I’m about four chapters in and loving it. I can’t think too far ahead or I get overwhelmed.

But one thing I’ve realized is that early on I will have to deal with God’s wrath. I think our main problem with God (besides just wanting to do our own thing) is not understanding his wrath or anger. It’s a lot different from ours. And if we can get the very scariest part of God nailed down, you can’t help but see where we went off track, and why understanding wrath is so important.

This might surprise you, but according to the major Old Testament prophets, God’s wrath is letting go. Letting you do what you want when what you want is destructive to yourself and others. . .when God steps back the dark side steps in and it gets really scary. Not always right at the beginning, because they don’t want to scare you back to God, but they hate us and their self-control isn’t good.

God’s worst, worst wrath is when He comes into your presence with you unprepared because pure energy combusts disordered atoms. This doesn’t happen often because His self-control is very good. It did happen a few times with warning, but one day He will come here and whatever is out of harmony will go poof in flame and disappear for ever, but it won’t burn forever–big difference.

Everyone will have had the chance to choose being loved by God or doing your own thing. He won’t force you to love, and He will give you your way, but your way is fantasy, because you have no power against evil or the dark side. If you don’t choose love, they will take over. You live in a war zone.

That is scary, but God isn’t.

 

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Filed under A God perspective, a perspective on evil, Becoming real, Living well, Love ed, Loved, Mental Health, suffering, Uncategorized, What is God like?, When religion gets it wrong...

Brain Robbers

I’m restless this afternoon–probably dehydrated, I reflect–could the news from my friend put me in this funk? Don’t I believe God is good? I say it enough…so I should just start thanking Him that He has this too. And I’m sure He does. So I drink two glasses of water and began to write here. That’s one of my best processing strategies.

Did you know stress doesn’t kill us? There is now a great body of research to show it (Cohen, 2006). It is the state your body is in when the stress hits. Are you healthy? What do you do with the fear that presents itself with bad news? What are your feedback systems? What are your patterns? How do you cope?

We are emotional creatures. There is no way around it. We’re built to feel. We have to have outlets for emotions and pain. Fear is real when you hear a good friend has just been exposed to Ebola. No the fear isn’t for me–he’s in another country. The fear is for him and his family. It’s worse than hearing someone here has cancer–and that is bad enough.

And no, I’m not afraid of death for people who know God, their pain is over. I feel for the people who are left. The ones who suffer. I’m not afraid his wife and three children will get the disease–they are here. But how awful it would be to go on without him–he’s so full of life and fun. Humor is his second nature, as is adventure, and faith.

Sooner or later everyone comes around to the question. Why do good people suffer? Or Why does God allow suffering? Does He cause it? Those two have made many atheists.

I’m clear on both. Why is there suffering? Freedom. And no, He doesn’t cause suffering. He has no evil. So what’s my problem?

Part of it is the pathways I have. Fear used to be second nature to me. That network–mostly dormant is still there–ready to be activated at any time. Another part is that I know God sees what we don’t, and sometimes He sees that it is better not to intervene. I admit that one still gets me nervous from time to time. Faithful suffering speaks.

So what is the real problem? Do I know Him well enough to ask Him and listen for His voice? Do I take my shocks and fears to Him? Can I trust that He really knows best if He doesn’t do what I think He should? I am shocked to realize that I haven’t talked to Him about this yet!

Why not? I got caught in feeling–in the awfulness and emotion of what happened. That is purely human. But I could have turned to him immediately instead of wallowing in feelings for two hours. Now that is crazy! 

One of my friends even said the right words, but they went by with my agreement but not my action–not connecting with Him about this.

I even talked to Him about something else! Wow! I’m amazed.

Fear does NOT come from God. But neither will He jerk it away from me. I have to want to give it up. Processing helps. Can I trust Him? His goodness? Really?

Yes! Will I? That is my choice.

 

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Filed under A God perspective, Grief, Joy, Love ed, Mental Health, suffering, Uncategorized, What is God like?