Current dangers in the world suggest we are in desperate need of more spirituality. I define spirituality as loving your neighbor as you wished to be love. My definition may offend many followers of Jesus who think of spirituality in terms of what and if we believe in God. But, would Jesus defend one who believed in Him but misrepresented His teachings or someone who didn’t believe in God but lived out more His message.
Many people may turn away from God or discussions about spirituality because of how God is characterized by our actions and words. Let’s don’t provoke others into un-spirituality by our words which may suggest to them God plays favorites or is thoughtless. I don’t wish to offend those who have said things that may misrepresent God because I have said them. I just am hoping to un-offend those open to spirituality. It isn’t enough to be spiritual yourself. We must inspire other appropriately. God followers must be able to defend if their God is worth following.
When we say “by the grace of God” when spared from a terrorist attack killing many, we are implying God didn’t give a dam about others. Was God good to you because you are a better person! If God interfered you going to work that morning on 911, than God failed to intervene with others who died. If by the “grace of God” God allowed you or a family member to miraculously recover, God failed to save others from illness. Did God really give us the parking space when others needed the space more? Did God give us the job when others praying for the same job were more financially desperate? Did God really give victory in the game while intended others to lose?
Why kind of God is God? The truth is many prayers are not answered for safety or cures. God isn’t as arbitrary as our words suggest; God doesn’t love those spared more than those not spared. Those who claim divine intervention are not wishing to offend others but it can. God followers – are you as close to God if not cured or are your prayers more about manipulation for gain than requests for support whatever happens? God doesn’t cause terrorist attacks or car accidents. Terrorists and drunk drivers end life and not God. Our words must convey this truth.
Many are simply seeking to honor God when spared, but our words impact others. The truth is God placed a higher priority on freedom than control. A loving God, unlike humans, will not allow their love to be controlling. Even humans know “controlling love” is an oxymoron and not love at all. What can we say to be less offensive? We might say in times of appreciation to God: “I am grateful God was by my side in this tragedy that God did not desire. I was fortunate to recover but I knew I would be made whole someday regardless.” This may more accurately describe who God really is – God never wished suffering or death in the first place on anyone.