My relationship with God has had its challenges, to be sure. I had/have questions for Him about many things along the way. Regardless of “what the Bible said” my heart didn’t seem to care in deeply painful situations. My heart needed to hear Truth from the horse’s mouth (He doesn’t care that I just called Him a horse. Really.) I asked the hard questions. I got angry. Oh my. And again, that sort of thing doesn’t bother Him at all. “Tsk! How can this be?!”
Faith pleases God.
The Bible tells me so (haha). “But you questioned God! You got angry!”
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NLT
As a result, I am enjoying the rewards of a healthy and fulfilling relationship with God. Bumpy road that it was.
God knows that we must understand Him with our hearts, not just our minds, or things will be really messed up… “I will put my instructions deep within them, I will write them on their hearts…” Jer. 31:33 NLT (among other scriptures, where the importance of the heart to God, as a separate entity from the mind, is highlighted by mention and inclusion).
Any human interested in healthy relationship will welcome honesty in that relationship to keep the connection pure. Behaviour that violates others (whether real or perceived) has to be addressed and dealt with, so that healthy relationship can be protected or restored. If it’s perceived it must be unpacked to determine the cause and mend it, authentic relationship demands it. Do not run from it. Once it’s laid out, there is opportunity for reform, but if the choice is made not to reform (no ownership or repentance) - it’s a choice to maintain a status quo in a relationship environment that continues to allow violation. The healthy person sees that choice as a decision to move away from intimate relationship made by the person who violated it. The lie to watch out for is that the healthy person is the one damaging the relationship.
Imagine a relationship where your beloved never shared their honest feelings about how something you did affected them negatively, never asked why you did something, never challenged what you said or did. Their heart would grow apart from you even while their mind tried to “do the right thing” perhaps… or to create a false protection of that relationship they begin to lose who they are… because being themselves feels dangerous (why? That is a great question both parties need to ask to get to the root and mend). There are those who make it clear that that’s the relationship they want, and they get away with it because some people oblige them. Can you see the disfunction taking root in that?
Pride at their accomplishment, their martyrdom of self, may start to grow in some cases. Passive aggressive behaviours begin to creep in. Angry outbursts happen, even addictions maybe (huge variety, not talking drugs or alcohol necessarily). Shame lurks just beneath the surface. Spiritualizing dysfunction is not an uncommon justification. Deceptions stroke the ego to keep the charade going.
Those who have fully bought into the lies, impose their dysfunctional standard on others and it affects people and relationships negatively. They get offended and angry when people confront them, because “how dare they” (they sacrificed so much to gain favour and “protect” relationships, what gives people the right to confront them)? My friend, that is idolatry 101. That’s actually a form of self hatred. If we’re to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:31) but the previous is our standard - we’re going to end up “hating” (or insert your own action verb here) everyone who confronts us when we’ve violated our relationship with them.
“Selfishness” or “disunity” is one of the judgemental and slanderous terms often used to try to manipulate others into the same dysfunctional standard for relationship - the root of this type of dysfunction is usually fear of rejection - so the trade off is self-respect, self-worth, healthy love of self, and freedom, for a false form of acceptance based on your works. This is the crux of the issue when it comes to functioning as a beloved child of God, a son or a daughter vs. a slave. The latter being a nasty form of religiosity. God calls us to be a beloved child, not a slave - and as we grow in understanding we will manifest His pure love, authentic love - freedom, empowerment, covering, fearlessness - to our spheres of influence. We will be empowered (given the grace) to serve according to love, compatible with our unique design, gifts, talents, resources and beyond - without any form of bitterness, fear, protectionism, stove-piping, or personal castle-building (because we’re here to make manifest God’s Kingdom, not our own, hello).
Most of us struggle with these things in some form or another, in varying degrees, at different times of life - that’s normal - but we have a choice about what’s next. God is always ready and waiting for us. Holy Spirit is the promise/seal available to indwell anyone who passes through the door into God’s very current and present Spiritual Kingdom (that door is Jesus Christ) (Mark 1:5, Matt 4:17, Matt 3:2 in Young’s Literal Translation reads like this: “The reign of God has come near to you, reform, and believe the good news.” Reformation of the mind/thinking resulting in changed behaviours.).
If it’s not good news, it’s not gospel.
And Holy Spirit guides us into understanding, counsels us, comforts us, works in and through us to establish us (in our hearts and minds) as beloved sons and daughters, untangling us from agreements and alignments with lies and aligning us with Truth (Jesus). Our souls, minds, and hearts can, and do, transform in His presence.
If you’d like to further explore this topic, on a personal level, please visit nebiahlifecoach.com to learn more about how you can benefit from one on one Spirit Coaching or Deep Talk sessions with me.
May you discern His presence in your life today and always.