Am I acting like the God I want them to know better?

Why do I want people to know about God’s grace of eternal security? I want them to know the joy of getting off the performance treadmill. I don’t want them to worry about some day rejecting Jesus and spending eternity without Jesus. But am I acting like the God I want them to know better? A God who loves them unconditionally and gives them eternal life because they love Jesus?

Two pastors, who love Jesus with all their heart, have said by their words and actions:

I don’t want to know.

I had a conversation that was frustrating. I said to one pastor I am depending on Jesus to keep me from falling. That’s eternal security. What are you relying on to keep you from falling? Jesus or yourself? He said Jesus. I said then you believe in eternal security. He shook his head and said no.

I talked to my PhD counselor, (Pretty “head Doctor,” my wife), and she gave me this wise but long-winded advice:

Drop it.

Which brings me to the title of this post. Jesus did not force Himself on others. He respected them and respected their choices. The rich young ruler was personally invited to be a disciple of, and be with, the God of the universe and he turned it down. Jesus didn’t go after him, Jesus respected his choice. And that is what I need to learn to do. I share truth to benefit others. But if they reject it I am not benefitting them by repeating myself. That is harassment.

I will continue to tell the truth I know (including eternal security). But I am giving up on telling those who don’t want to hear.

Stupid?

2 Surely I am more stupid than any man,
And I do not have the understanding of a man.
3 Neither have I learned wisdom,
Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
Proverbs 30:2–3 (NASB95)

19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
James 1:19–20 (NASB95)

My perception of my helplessness produces fear of loss and my reaction to fear of loss is anger. And I feel that anger must be expressed NOW! I am wrong. But at the time I am wrong, I don’t know that I am wrong.

How can I stop this? I have made this mistake more than one time. Or, rather, more than one million times. “Surely I am more stupid than any man.” Proverbs 30:2 (NASB95)

I have asked my godly wife to warn me when I am not thinking right. And, with great courage, she does. But at the time “I am much smarter than she is” and I don’t listen. I have godly friends that I consider consulting. But I figure they too “don’t know as much as me and would just talk me out of ‘setting things straight.'”

What about reading the counsel of God (the Bible)? Aaurgh! I am cut to the heart. How can I argue with God? I am afraid of what He will tell me. Maybe, “for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” James 1:19–20 (NASB95) Aaurgh again! I am confronted with absolute truth, wisdom and love. My excuses fall to the floor and shatter.

I am left with a choice.

Obey God and not express sinful anger, but rather trust Jesus and humble myself and work productively through the situation. Or disobey God and reap the consequences of ignoring an all-wise God.

Most recently I chose the latter, and had to write an apology afterwards. But hopefully I will invest more time in reading Jesus’ Word (the Bible) and listening to Jesus in prayer and He will direct me to talk to my godly friends more and especially talk more with my godly wife.

As someone wise once said, “Being charged up with time with God – leaks.” I must spend more time reading the Bible and praying every single day and I will be prepared for the next attack of the enemy.

What do you want? Do you really, really want?

Matthew 7:7, 9, 11, 12 (NASB95)

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. . . .
9 “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? . . .
11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! . . .
12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

I have always wondered what this passage meant. Is this scripture promising me anything I want if I just ask? Or, more spiritual, promising me anything I ask that is God’s will? Why does God say that what he gives is the best (even if I don’t recognize it as such?). And, what does the Golden Rule have to do with me getting what I want? Do I earn what I want by being kind to others?

One way to sum up the Bible is: Love God, love people.
Can I use this to guide my interpretation?

In verse 12 Jesus says: Always, therefore, love other people (my summary). To me, “therefore” means that to accomplish the previous verses I need to love others. Does that mean I earn what I want by loving others?

Or, does it mean that what I really want (God’s best “loaf”) is to love others?

If I ask, seek, and knock to have God give me love to give to others – he will. When he gives me that love I may not recognize it as the best. But if I choose to treat others the way I want to be treated, God will love that person through me. And joy for – the other person, and me, and God – is the result.