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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sincerely Mistaken

In a discussion at church about the trials we face in life, a well-meaning person said that trials help our character grow and strengthen our spiritual muscles. This led to someone quoting the verse that those "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth." Hebrews 12. I had to get up and leave.

Recently I have been thinking about children who go through difficult times in life. Children who are abused, children who are homeless, children who are orphans, children who are hungry, children who are suffering. When I sat in church and heard someone using the verse from Hebrews in reference to life's trials, my mind immediately jumped to the innocent children who must endure trials through no fault of their own, and questioned how a God Who loves children could explain it as chastening.

The context of a verse really does make a difference. If you go to Bible Gateway you can look up a verse in a bunch of different versions, so I proceeded to do so. I learned that the verse was set in context that referred to discipline needed when someone purposely makes wrong decisions. The verse does not indicate in any way that God would choose to discipline someone merely because He loved them and had no reason to inflict punishment upon them.

My biggest pet peeve is people who are eager to rush into rationalizing the horrible things in life, people who attempt to explain evil, and people who feel it is their God-given duty to expound on their understandings of Scripture or Ellen White without taking the time to listen to the hearts of the ones they are preaching to.

I recently heard Clifford Goldstein share a excellent quotation on the mystery of sin. It comes from the book That I May Know Him, p. 15, and says "Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it, is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin."

God is Love. This should be our ultimate goal, to reflect His Love, to understand the pain of those we minister to, and to bring healing through His Love to all we interact with in our sphere of life.

1 comment:

  1. I think that it is always good to remember that sin is a result of Satan and has nothing to do with a mistake on God's part. When we are in pain, He is in pain.

    Great post. I missed your posts busy lady! :)


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