Easy Answers

image One of the things that frustrates me about church is the easy answers people sometimes give.  Those answers are obvious on my social media news feed. It drives me crazy sometimes!

If this offends you I’m so sorry.  But pouring my frustrations out on the page is my wholehearted effort to understand where these negative emotions are coming from. A  fellow blogger gently encouraged me the other day to guard against becoming cynical. She’s a true friend. I’m trying, Kamea, I really am!

Jesus is the answer.  He’s got this all under control.  He says not to worry, and to trust Him, but because of my sinful human nature the process of trust for me has been far from easy. Also,  the way He became the  answer to our sinful problem through His death on the cross was definitely not easy.

When someone gives an easy answer, have they forgotten we’ve been called to walk in His steps and that He warned us about a world with tribulations? I’ve seen this kind of talk make some in the church real uncomfortable.  Maybe it’s because they know some of those pat answers are going to melt away like a stick of butter when the heat of suffering happens. I’m sure you hear the sarcasm.

God, help me to love and understand we are all in a process. There was a time I gave pat answers, too.

At the root of this irritation is the fact that I’m probably still upset with myself for believing it could be easy. I really do know trusting Jesus is the best thing for me, and I need to be reminded often by those who care, but I think when some people give me an easy answer, especially those I don’t know well or those I do know better than I wish I did, it sometimes I feel like I’m being judged.

I’m the kind of person that struggles against blaming myself for everything going wrong.  My daughter could slip on the floor, because she was running through the house, and I’d apologize to her and make sure I didn’t spill something on the floor. From what I understand, this is common for abuse victims.

When a person comes up to me and tells me just to trust God and gives me a scripture when I’m struggling,  I sometimes feel like I don’t have enough faith, and  then I wrongly think the reason I am struggling is because I just need to trust God more.

After the other person walks away, it’s easy for me to assume that they have their act together and I don’t, especially if they don’t share their own struggles.  But as I write this, I know this isn’t true.  I know we all struggle with sin, and I know most people don’t intend to make me feel that way at all.

I grew up on the deep South.  The majority of people say they believe in God. My family didn’t go to church, but my Mom watched the preachers on TV. My husband’s family went to church every time the doors opened.  His Mom regularly quotes scripture.  Right now she’s dying of cancer.  She is going to a healing service this weekend.  She says she believes she will be healed. I looked up the “healer” online.  He’s one of those guys that talk about the importance of having “enough faith.” My heart sunk when I read it.

God can heal anyone. I believe He is still in the healing business.  He healed me and opened my eyes to the truth about my life in a miraculous way.  I do not limit God on anything.  But I do limit myself. If it had been up to me I’d have fallen flat on my face.  But thank God it wasn’t up to me or my little faith. Faith is a gift.  I thank God He gave it to me, because there’s no way I’d ever convince God to heal me with my own feeble faith. And when I read this guy’s promo on how our faith can heal us I even get angry.  I think it’s because I know my mother in law might feel it was her fault if she doesn’t get healed, and she doesn’t need anymore pain. I do pray that she’d be healed.  But not this way.  I pray it’d be in such a way that she’d know it was God doing the healing, because He loves her so much, not because she has such strong faith.  From what I’ve seen most people don’t get healed on earth.  And I don’t believe it’s about a lack of faith.  I believe it’s because our ultimate healing takes place when we go to be with our Lord.

Don Miller says this in Scary Close, The Bible paints a beautiful picture of a lion lying down with a lamb, of all our tears being wiped away, of a mediator creating peace and a King ruling with wisdom and kindness. The language is scattered and often vague, but there’s no question something in the souls of men will be healed and perhaps even made complete once we are united with God and not a second before.

Don’s words give me comfort. We live in a world where there are many tears and unanswered questions.  But one day it’s going to be better.  Our unseen hope will be seen, as we look in a mirror and see only His face.  We will be healed and whole.  Those folks giving easy answers aren’t much different than me, and are probably doing the best they can with life’s tough questions. Most of my frustration will probably go away when I am able to stop being so hard on myself and recognize this.  I think of Jesus’ conversation with the rich, young ruler. He, too, thought he had all the easy answers to following Jesus until Jesus caused him to understand the truth.

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  Matthew 19:21 ESV

But the Bible also says Jesus looked at the rich, young ruler and loved him.  He loves us, too even when we try to fix ourselves and one another in ways that don’t work.  Even when we trust the things that we see more than the things we don’t.  And He has compassion on us.  Lord, give me compassion and not cynicism. Help me to know I can do nothing without you. Remind me constantly that All is Grace.

2 thoughts on “Easy Answers

  1. Dearest Liz,

    I sincerely hope that I did not put any undue pressure on you. You’ve been hurt deeply, and its okay to be angry. Many in the Christian community wrongly teach that anger is a sin, but the bible clearly states – “IN your anger, do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). That implies we will experience anger. And that’s okay. We just need to express it in a God-honoring way. Righteous anger moves people to confront injustice, and that is exactly what you are doing through your blog. I’m proud of you for using your righteous anger for good!

    Blessings and hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s