I’m in this bible study right now and we’re reading a book called “The Jesus Driven Life” by Michael Hardin. The section I just read talked extensively about our notion of God the Father and how that relationship has come to be distorted in our culture. The author iterates over and over again about how those who try to claim Christianity as an exclusive membership to God’s family are the very ones who will be condemned to hell for all eternity. Those who judge and punish and refuse to love their enemies are the ones who will be treated the same way by God Himself. I have a very hard time reading this. It makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel that I am built or made wrong because there are people in my life whom I just cannot love. I cannot open my arms to people who have been vindictive and mean and abusive and who have taken advantage of me and hurt me so badly that the scars they have left are gaping open wounds that I don’t know if healing is possible.
Am I failing in the eyes of God? This author is saying that I’m supposed to love these people and treat them like God would treat them. Some of these people claim to be Christians. And the only way that I make it through some days is to pray and tell myself that it is not my place to judge them for what they have done because in the final days, God will do that. But this author is saying the opposite – he says that saints and sinners alike will be given all the blessings freely. If that’s the case, what is the purpose in doing any good at all then? Why bother if all one has to do is repent to God?
I pray every night for all the people who have rejected me and for those who took advantage of me and for me for being in such manipulative and abusive relationships. I pray for God to heal them and me. I pray that God works in their hearts so that they can give and receive love as it’s meant to be. But I don’t want to love them. I don’t want to be their friends. I don’t want them in my life. And I don’t want to see them in Heaven without knowing that they have repented to God and to me. But according to this book, I’m not the one going to Heaven. My thoughts and lack of love for them are what will keep me out.
I’m just trying to live every day being true and honest and kind. That’s all I can manage right now. And yet every time I turn around I feel like religion is telling me that I’m doing it wrong. My church and I don’t fit anymore; they don’t offer anything for childless adults. I’m not a young adult anymore; I don’t fit with the 20 somethings but 99% of the 30 somethings have families and completely different agendas which make me feel left out and lonely and upset at my own life. And yet I keep feeling that I’m the one in the wrong for feeling that way. Why are my feelings always wrong? And why isn’t God helping me with this? Is my faith not strong enough? I’m trying. I really am but I keep getting so confused and frustrated and my head just goes in circles trying to figure it all out. All the brokenness of this world is JUST TOO MUCH for a girl to handle on her own.