The human race has a fundamental flaw in its processing regarding “looking good.” We honestly believe we are to “look good” at all times. I have no idea how most of us believe in this but it is prevalent everywhere. From the student who forgot his homework but it was “his roommate’ s fault” or “the computer’s fault” to the parent who attempts to correct her child and inevitably the conversation is turned toward another siblings or some other child in the neighborhood that is really the one to blame for their behavior. This is nothing new; it goes on all the way back to Adam and Eve.
Take a moment to reflect on your last conversation with your spouse, children or other family members. How many times have you heard the “It’s not my fault.” or other versions of not accepting full responsibility for their behavior? How often are we utilizing God as a major way to explain our out of control behavior?
Let’s look clearly at a Scripture that clears this up for us. “Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil; neither does He tempt anyone. But each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and when sin is finished, it brings forth death” (James 1: 13-15).
Clearly God doesn’t tempt us to eat, have sex or work inappropriately. He doesn’t cause us to get angry, envious, self-righteous, self-absorbed, prideful, reckless, unkind or any other out-of-control behavior.
God created us in His image. He created us to be loving, kind, patient, understanding, creative, fun, nurturing and all of His other wonderful characteristics. He created us without sin or even an appetite for sin. We were created absolutely pure and sinless.
So God didn’t create us for whatever is controlling us. It is not His design at all that we continue to use our mind, will, emotions and body in a submissive manner to whatever is controlling us.
Often it pains Him to see us being limited by behaviors that have control over us. He cries at our limitless behavior. So many think God is often an angry God. But He is really more compassionate similar to what a parent would be.
As a parent, you can see a behavior like slothfulness or procrastination in your child. You try everything you can to help your child move from slothfulness to becoming motivated and industrious. Year after year, you ache about this slothful behavior. You may get upset at times, but at a deeper level, you hurt for this child, because you know that slothfulness has control over him or her and will eventually limit their quality of life, friendships, marriage and future parenting, to mention only a few areas of life.
That’s how God feels about what is controlling your life. He may get upset at times, but His deeper feeling toward you is sadness, because this will handicap you, your friendships, marriage and parenting.
Suppose your out-of-control behavior is envy. You envy those who are richer, more important, more beautiful, skinnier and happier. God is sad because you are not able to celebrate the wonder of you He created. He is sad because your friendships will be limited and your ability to trust and connect to these “more wonderful” people will be limited. Your mate will suffer the entire marriage because you can’t be happy with who you are and how good your life really is. Your children will have undue stress to measure up and then wonder why they can’t be like so and so.
God doesn’t like envy, but this isn’t His only feeling about the envy that has control of someone’s life. This soul and how they can’t enjoy themselves saddens him. They see others as objects to compete with, not people who are flawed and need to be loved.
So God is not a scapegoat. Actually, He can be an ally in you getting control over what has been controlling you. He is your biggest cheerleader, if you can hear Him. He is saying, “Get up, and try again. Keep going. I am so proud of you.”
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Get A Grip. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at [email protected].