The myth of “God’s blessing”

birdandman

“Religion has always been an avenue that people have used to bargain for God’s blessing. If we do our part, we think that God will do his part and grant us our desires. The world can sometimes seem like a random and frightening place. People turn to God and religion in hope of finding some measure of security, protection, and favor. I get that.

However, the notion of pleasing or obeying God in order to gain favorable life circumstances as “God’s blessing” is false. God is not going to change the fact that the world is characterized by impermanence. God created the world like this, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Circumstances were never intended to be the source of peace, happiness, contentment, well-being, and freedom. There is no measure of pleasing or obeying God that is ever going to change the fundamental nature of the world.

As a rule of thumb in life, responding to situations as they require with wisdom and skill will yield a better result than responding out of stupidity and incompetence. If you sow seeds of love, kindness, and compassion in your life you are more likely to experience a quality of life that is more enriching than if you sowed seeds of hatred, selfishness, and bitterness. You can eliminate a lot of human pain in your life by simply responding to situations as they require. If you are in an abusive relationship the situation may require you to leave and terminate that relationship, and doing so would remove yourself from the pain of that person’s abuse.

However, you cannot mix and match together any set of circumstances to produce lasting peace and well-being because circumstances are not the source of peace and well-being.

But the idea that obedience, faithfulness, and spiritual maturity should result in God blessing your life with favorable circumstances is simply not true. If this were true, God failed Jesus, who experienced levels of physical, mental, emotional and psychological pain that few people ever have or will.

The reason why people are so caught up with seeking favor from God is that they wrongly assume that peace and happiness has something to do with better life circumstances, and that God is looking down at the world and pulling the strings to bless or curse us. This is the spiritual ignorance that too often drives our lives and relationship to God. It is the spiritual ignorance at the root of our suffering.”

Jim Palmer, Notes from (Over) the Edge

Latest Comments

  1. donovanshawDonovan Shaw says:

    Wow, this is good. It rings true to me.

  2. donovanshaw says:

    Reblogged this on donovanshaw and commented:
    This seems right to me…

  3. Lee Petersen says:

    Excellent,Thanks Jim !!!

  4. eil1een says:

    This is a good post. God’s goodness doesn’t change depending on our circumstances. We are studying God’s providence and the life of Joseph. I do believe that obedience and following Jesus is key whether things go the way we think they should or not. Joseph understood that. All the bad things that happened to him were part of a bigger plan and his faith didn’t depend on God’s blessing in the moment. If it had, he would have given up when his brothers threw him in that pit. He is a good example for us.

  5. Steven Allen Redman says:

    I just love reading you….Palmer

  6. Janet says:

    I believe God created a perfect world but gave man his own free will and we blew it. We reap the results today. Like ruining our planet – we did it not God. But He does see us thru the mess. I believe in all His promises there’s His part and ours! IF we do ….. Then He will He says over and over, He is a great God and I’ve proved Him over and over ……

  7. DJoy says:

    Dear Brother in Christ: I would like to comment on your following comment ~ “But the idea that obedience, faithfulness, and spiritual maturity should result in God blessing your life with favorable circumstances is simply not true. If this were true, God failed Jesus, who experienced levels of physical, mental, emotional and psychological pain that few people ever have or will.”

    I have found that this kind of thinking or rationalization of our American understanding of the “Idea” of what obedience and faithfulness to God brings is where we trip into totally misunderstanding God in the first place. This interpretation of this “Idea” is actually our own human interpretation and far from the depth of spiritually understanding the love and purpose of God in our life.

    God’s purpose has always been to develop loving, unselfish people and discipline and hard things in life are the means to overcome our selfish fleshly ways and thinking. The blessing is always there for those who love God. Some just don’t see it because they are too busy looking for something God doesn’t consider one of His blessings ~ It is truly a blessing to be forced and disciplined to grow up and be mature and be a pleasant, productive, giving, honest, G-d fearing citizen of the earth.

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