I read a quote that was posted on Facebook the other day. That’s not unusual, as there are at least 30 quotes posted there every day. But I would rank this quote as one of my all time favorites: “Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes things happen because you’re stupid and make bad decisions.”
As a Christian, I base most of my life’s “happenings” on divine orchestration. I do believe that God has a plan for my life and that He will see it through, no matter what I do to the contrary. God gives purpose to my life and I believe that purpose fuels my desire to accomplish things while I am still here.
There are some who say that Christians use their God as a crutch. I have to agree with those people, because sometimes it is true. I lean on my faith in God to help me travel on this journey of life. I lean on His word, His power, His intercession, His grace. Over and over I depend on God. The old spiritual song “Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms,” tells the story in detail. So why the big secret?
I know that the people who criticize us Christians for leaning on a crutch are actually saying that we make excuses. When things are going well in our lives, we say “praise God!” When things are going not so well we say “God is testing me today!” or “Lord, help me through this trial.”
But, personally, I don’t believe that God tests us as much as people state. To quote the quote, “sometimes things happen because you’re stupid and make bad decisions.”
I don’t think of myself as a stupid person. I know that I am not, because my IQ has been tested several times and I always score well above the average. But, I have had some stupid moments in my life and have made poor decisions. I don’t blame God for them, I accept them as mine.
When I was teenager and had just bought a new car (well, it was new to me), I made the stupid decision to take it for a little spin. It was winter, there was snow on the ground, and it was at night. I didn’t tell my parents where I was going, for I figured I’d just go up the road a little ways and come back home.
I drove two miles from the house when I pulled off of the road to turn the car around. Unfortunately I ran into too much snow and the car got stuck. No matter what I did to rock that Buick, it would not budge out of the snow. Now I was only 2 miles from home, sitting in the dark, and over heating the car!
The car started rumbling as it was overheating. I got out and walked up to a house (people that I knew of, so they weren’t complete strangers) and knocked on their door. There were no cell phones in those days ! I called my Mom, who was more than a little mad at me for not telling her I was going anywhere. Ten minutes later my Uncle Don and my father arrived to get the car out of the snow. But the damage had been done and the overheating had caused a gasket to blow. Now I had a new car that needed repairs!
I could blame God for all of that. Why did He let me drive that car in the first place? If He has divine knowledge, surely He knew that I was going to do a stupid thing. He could have saved me from embarrassment and car repair bills.
But, come on. I was the one who made the decision to drive that night. I was the one who got behind the wheel and spun that car out of the driveway and up the road. I like to believe that God did help me and protected me from further destruction. But He didn’t stop me from going. That was my choice.
There’s a difference between being God’s children and being God’s puppets. We, as human beings, are different from any other species on this planet. I like to say that we are “human spiritual beings.” We have a brain that thinks and a spirit that feels. When God created man, He could have just made the puppets, and we’d be fine with that. Actually, some would probably prefer that life. How nice would it be to actually be doing God’s will at all times? It sure would make some things a lot easier, for both God and man!
But instead of being His puppets, God gave man the freedom to choose. That free will is what makes us different from each other, and so exciting for the Creator to observe! Being a child of God gives us the unconditional love of a parent, but it’s our choice as to what to do with that love.
In my opinion, deciding to be a parent rather than a puppeteer was a risky decision for God. I’m not sure that I would have made the same choice. But God basically said “I choose you, with all of your imperfections and decision making abilities.” And then He trusted that we would choose Him. How awesome a concept is that?
So we choose Him and still have to make decisions about the rest of our lives. And, yes, sometimes we have stupid moments and make bad decisions. But, our Father knows this about us. He gives us His grace, His mercy, and so many other things that we ask of Him. Most of the time we ask Him for those things AFTER our dumb decisions.
And just like the parent that He is, God helps us despite our poor choices. My parents didn’t stop loving me because I was dumb one night and drove the car into snow that I couldn’t get out of. Oh, believe me, I was talked to about it, and very sternly. After all, there are consequences to all of the decisions we make.
What is my point for this blog?
Simply this: don’t blame God for your choices.
Live your life as His child, strive to be that good and loving offspring. Make Him proud that you were created in His likeness, with the freedom to choose. Try to make good decisions and not stupid ones. Always cling to Him when you realize the bad choice was made. Lean on those everlasting arms.
And when people criticize you for your faith, you can agree with them to some extent, knowing that your “crutch” is not an excuse.