Last night’s episode was quite wild It started with accusations flying, pouting, temper tantrums and that was the quiet part of the night. One contestant in particular, (Willy) who had vowed from the beginning to play smart and strategically had completely lost perspective and was playing stupidly, blindly, spitefully and meanly. As all the other contestants and the coaches worked at avoiding Willy, he simply escalated his behavior until finally he flew off the handle and attacked another player.
Then, in the middle of the altercation the voice of Big Brother boomed through the house….
“Contestants to your rooms.”
“Willy to the backroom.”
“Willy to the diary room, NOW.”
Then moments later all the contestants were summoned to the living room and were informed that Big Brother had taken Willy out of the game, because violence was not to be tolerated.
That set me to thinking, what if God did that for us. Without us even having to ask, what if God removed from our lives the bullies and troublemakers that upset us and the church? Poof they are gone.
Or what if when we were struggling with our tendency to make unhealthy choices, God would come along and we no longer desired those cigarettes, or candies, or drugs or whatever we struggle with? Poof gone.
Or what if we had a particular struggle with temptation and sin and God came along and then we became perfectly sinless with absolutely no more desire to sin–ever? Poof sin gone.
Now I am sure that it is possible for God to do all those things, but would it really be good for us?
In my life the tension that I have felt from others has taught me a lot about how I behave and how others behave. As I have prayed through the problems with others I have gained insight into the nature of God, forgiveness, patience and tolerance. I have also gained strength in standing up for what is right. I haven’t always been successful, but this Christian life isn’t about instant success, it is about a journey where through prayer and application we learn to trust God, to listen to his voice and to grow in his way. How could we do any of that if God just simply came down every once in a while and poof the people we have a problem with were gone…..or worse poof we were gone because someone had a problem with us?
As for those unhealthy habits in my life, the same grace applies. I am not always successful in mastering my desire to reach for unhealthy things, but I do learn in the process and I grow stronger in the process. God teaches us many things when we rely on his strength to let go of the things to which we are bound. Trusting God to walk with us and guide us as we change helps us grow as people and especially as Christians.
As for the sin , or as Paul puts it, the good that I want to do but don’t, and the evil that I don’t want to do, but do. I believe that when God redeems us in Christ he gives us the skills and the gifts to overcome our besetting sins. We have been given grace that is more than sufficient for us. The rest is up to us, as we learn more about God and his love, we grow more loving. As a result our sins in relationship to others changes as our spirit changes. The same applies to any other sins that we struggle with. As we grow in God, his grace and love helps us to change from the inside out–from the heart into action.
I want a God who loves me and not a Big Brother who controls my life from afar. God is not a Big Brother who poofs away difficulty, because he loves us and wants to work in us until we grow to be more and more like him and learn how to overcome the difficulties that come with a life of faith. Why would God want to make life easy, but leave us as babies? We have no chance then to grow into the people God knows we can be–the people God created us to be.