Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
19 “This is the basis for judgment: The light came into the world, and people loved darkness more than the light, for their actions are evil. 20 All who do wicked things hate the light and don’t come to the light for fear that their actions will be exposed to the light. John 3:19-20, CEB
Yesterday I began telling a story about a conversation I had recently. Read that before reading today’s devotional.
The conversation continued:
Person: “I was told you could help me believe in God.”
Me: “I understand…but is that what you want?”
Person: “I was told to come to talk to you because I don’t believe in God anymore and that you were a person who would have something helpful for me.”
Me: “Well, if you’ve been hurt, and you don’t believe in God anymore as a result, then it’s possible that you need to accept this for now. I try not to argue with people about whether or not God exists because I don’t think God is an angry fighter so I try not to fight either. Here’s what I’ll say. If you do not believe in God and also do not want to believe in God, then I think that’s something you need to work to own for yourself. If you’re struggling to believe but want to believe, then I’ll say this. I think we discover God through being around people who love the way God loves. I’d recommend spending time around people who seem to have discovered God’s love. See what happens from there.”
This is where the conversation ended. As the conversation went it on, it became clearer and clearer that he was talking to me because someone else told him to do so, and not because he wanted help for himself. Because of this, I felt my instincts telling me not to try to debate him or get into some kind of argument.
I felt bad for him. It seemed like he didn’t want to believe in God but wasn’t quite ready to admit to himself and others that he was done with God (at least for the time being). That, to me, is the voice of shame on display. He wasn’t comfortable accepting the truth about himself. The truth is, he needed a break from God. I felt like it would be spiritually abusive to try to talk him out of something his spirit seems to need. I made a simple recommendation that he was free to accept or reject.