Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Things Christians Say

I've written before about my belief that maybe everything doesn't happen for a reason. You can read my thoughts on that topic here.
That's a clich├ęd response that we oftentimes hear fellow Christians utter when someone is going through a tragic time. Intended to be comforting, it most often is not.
I wanted to talk about another thing Christians say that I sometimes think might get misconstrued...especially by those who don't believe in God.
When good things happen in our lives, I many times hear the phrase: "God is good." Or: "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good." And, yes...a million times yes. God IS good. I believe that with every fiber of my being. But here's where I take issue: we only hear this phrase when something good has happened in our lives...when we get good news, whether it be that a lump in your breast is benign and not malignant or something on a much smaller scale such as buying your first home. Many times these statements are followed with #blessed, and don't even get me started on that.
"I bought my first house today! God is so good!"
"My child got a full scholarship! God is so good!"
"My cancer is gone. God is so good."
And yes, y'all. God is so good! Please don't think I'm saying that He is not. However...do we ever hear that sentiment in these instances:
"I wasn't approved for a loan so I'll be living with my parents for another year. God is so good!"
"We just took out a second mortgage so our child can go to college. God is so good."
Or in the most serious of instances: "The cancer that I prayed would be gone has actually spread. God is so good!"
Can you see why this statement uttered when life is going well can seem disingenuous? I know that people who use that phrase do believe that God is good. I know that they are genuine and mean well. But would they say that under the worst circumstances? So the chemo didn't work to cure your cancer, and you're looking at only a few more months here on this Earth: "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good." Hmm. I'd imagine if you said that to someone who had recently received terrible news you might get punched in the face...and rightfully so.
But guess what? God IS good all the time, but sometimes our life circumstances are not. When life throws us curveballs, is God no longer good?
When we only acknowledge God's goodness during the happy times in our lives it makes it seem like God is only good then. And it makes it appear that God is some magician in the sky who grants our wishes if only we pray hard enough and often enough.
We don't need to publicly acknowledge God's goodness only when favorable things happen in our lives. We also need to recognize His presence during the tough times too. God is still good when life seems to be unraveling around us. He is the ONE who has helped me wade through some of the hardest times in this life. He is the reason I was able to keep going. Because of his grace and mercy I was able to move forward. Yes, God is good.

God's goodness is not conditional; it is constant. In fact it's the only constant I know on this Earth.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." -- Lamentations 3:22-23