Saturday, June 30, 2007

You Can't Please All the People All the Time*

*Unless it involves chocolate, then I'm happy and who cares about everybody else?

I was driving home today behind an evangelical van with these words on the back door:


I guess that's a reverse acronym (I looked it up for all of about 30 seconds but didn't find a word for it) but I thought it was a good one. I have had, or been in the vicinity of, several conversations lately about how vengeful "our/my" God is. In reality, this reverse anagram is the view of God I wish people understood. The loving, forgiving parent. Yes, you might be punished for your bad behavior, but it's only temporary, just like in real life. Eventually your punishment will be over and you will have learned a lesson, and God will still love you. Some of His punishments might be a bit painful, but who among us has not had a painful punishment from our parents or teachers during our lives? Did we learn a lesson from that punishment? Hopefully the answer is yes. Do you still respect the parent/teacher? Probably, sometimes even more so for teaching the painful lesson. So why not God? I hate it when parents shove this angry, vindictive image of God on their children. He knows we're not perfect, He made us this way. Should we strive to be perfect? Yes. Will we fail? Of course. He knows this and He still loves us anyway. Do I occasionally use that good old Catholic guilt? I admit, yes. Sometimes, if I can't tell if my kid is telling a lie, I might end the convesation with "God knows. I'm not sure if you're telling me the truth, but God knows." I'm not sure if that puts me in the School of Bad Parenting or not. I'd like to think not. Does that make me a hypocrite? I hope not. Telling your kids that God knows if they're lying is (I hope) not the same as telling your kids they're going to hell if they don't live their life the way you want them to.

Anyhoo, I thought the "reverse anagram" was good and wanted to share.

Bring me chocolate.

1 comment:

Deacon Dean said...

Of course, along with the loving, forgiving God, and the sometimes painful lessons, there is still the need for true repentence on the part of the offending individual. You've got to be sorry for having done wrong, and that includes resolving to not do it again.