Friday, May 3, 2013


A lot of the blog posts I come up with are derived from conversations I've had with my husband. Like this one. This morning at breakfast we were talking about a few things, and the topic of preconceived notions came up, the tendency that so many people have to pre-judge what belongs where and who would or would not do [fill in the blank]. 

Although it's not an exclusive activity by any means, Christians do this a lot. I've been around believers who fall prey to the fallacy that as believers, we are better than the rest of the world. Oh, they would never admit it, but they seem to act as though they believe that we're ... well, we're God's favorites. 

Let me explain. I've actually heard, from one Christian or another over the years, that one can't be a committed Christian and also :
  • have a chronic or terminal illness
  • go bankrupt
  • have been separated or divorced
  • have rebellious kids who are into sex, drugs, and alcohol
  • be addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • be tempted by pornography
  • have struggles with honesty
  • question one's faith - or even God Himself
  • be depressed or "blah"
  • be a liberal / conservative / social democrat (or other political - or a-political - stripe)
  • admit vulnerability or weakness
  • watch certain kinds of movies or TV shows
  • not want to be around other Christians, or at the very least, not "toe the party line"
... and the list goes on. And on.

"Interior With White Boxes" courtesy of sumetho at

The tendency to put people into categories and slot them into uniformly sized boxes that all look the same (usually the same size and shape as the one who's talking) has done more to keep many believers living in silent misery for months, years, decades. 

The truth is, some - if not most - believers DO struggle with those things. Maybe not all at once, but the fact remains that we Christians are just as broken as the rest of the world around us. The ONLY difference is that we have someone to talk to about it and to whom we can give control of it. That's it, that's all. 

And whether we do or don't pray about it and / or give control of it over to God - only impacts on our own private relationships, including the one with God. It is not my business to pronounce judgement on a fellow-believer for anything, nor is it his (or her) job to fix what ails me. We can encourage each other, true, (and if we do, let's be sure we're not secretly putting the other person down) but putting each other in a box is tantamount to putting God in a box. 

Not that we are divine by any stretch - but when we categorize and pigeon-hole each other, we're saying to God that He can't possibly use or work through this person with "Thing X" in his or her life. 

That kind of smacks of arrogance, don't you think? "Be more like me. Then God will be able to do something with you." It implies that God is unable to accomplish His will when and how He chooses.

God's a big boy. It's His job to fix people; He alone has the power to do that. He can look after things Himself; if He wants my help, He'll ask for it specifically. He can do that. He's God!

Maybe it's time I let God out of the box and stopped trying to do His job for Him. Maybe it's time I let the people I know out of the boxes I've put them into while all the while I was thinking I was "helping" them. 

And while I'm at it, maybe I'd better stop keeping myself in one too, and start believing that God can and will effect change - positive change - in my life.

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