January 17, 2009

Thought for 01.17.09

A Pliable God

Those who always think God is on their side have a ready explanation for whatever happens to them. When things go badly, God is testing them; when things go well for them, God is crowning their success. This belief has a venerable history; but it does seem to rob the believers of joy in their own accomplishments, and relieve them of responsibility for their own failures.

Tobias Haller BSG

8 comments:

Erika Baker said...

It also ultimately turns them into helpless puppets and makes them less than fully alive.

Tim said...

And it deprives God of room to be unpredictable, too, to say nothing of being a symptom of God-as-superman model.

. o O ( Thou shalt not put the Lord thy God in an box. )

Tobias Haller said...

It also strikes me, as an additional thought, to be not unlike an abusive relationship, in which a dependent person "explains" their suffering. That puts God in a very odd box indeed...

John-Julian, OJN said...

And among our Muslim brothers, it goes "Masha'allah" -- "It's the will of God" -- often said with a shrug of the shoulders after a disappointment or failure.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Amen to the Thought For the Day.

Locust-Eater said...

It also robs God of responsibility for the world that God created.

Lynn said...

Ah, I disagree that Tobias' words speak of God having no responsibility for the world he created. He does say that we share in that responsibility, and the faithful feel it's best done with God's help. Lord, hear our prayer...show me the right path, help me distinguish my will from yours; help me do this with faith and love.

But of course, sometimes "it is what it is, it was what it was" is all we can muster in some circumstances. It is not my place to see and know all, though some might think it is my goal.

susankay said...

Also it oddly enough seems to sometimes lead to just plain laziness -- waiting for God to take care of a situation (because one is so incredibly wonderful) rather than asking for God's help in trying to deal with a situation oneself. I remember a person in a 12-step program complaining that she had been asking God to take away her fear of trying to roller-skate and that it hadn't happened. Someone suggested that she ought to ask that with skates on, out by the Charles River -- rather than in her apartment.