Donny's Ramblings

Motivated By Love

12 Comments

I posted this as a comment to an article I read on another blog, where the author has given up all belief in God and is instead professing “atheism”… that article, should you wish to read it, can be found here. This is definitely NOT good writing… I read an article and started typing my reply and have posted here what can out of my head, unedited.  I’m so tempted to change it around a bit, but then it wouldn’t be the way I posted it. Ah well, the basic points are evident…

Here is my comment, much of which I’ve said here in various articles before this one (please note these are MY opinions, and aren’t to be taken as gospel truth):

It’s interesting to read this article, because my journey is similar, yet opposite. Raised in the church as the son of a Pastor, I turned my back on absolutely everything I learned. I hated the hypocrites. I couldn’t stand the politics. I was infuriated by lack of answers to my questions.

For 9 years I produced pornography, and in a very weird way, that pursuit led me back to faith in God. I finally was able to “get it”… “get” the fact that God and those who claim to follow him are two different things.

And from there I asked Him what I’m supposed to do with the Bible, because it is so full of things that make no sense to me whatsoever. I told God I’d surrender my life to Him if he’d just answer those questions for me. He didn’t do so. I surrendered my life to Him anyway, trusting that my answers would someday come.

It’s been a little over a year now. I’ve lost everything I owned. Banks have repossessed cars and sparkly things. My fiancé, the girl I loved for 6 years, left. My heart was torn apart because of the grief and terror of a change of lifestyle.

But during that time I really got to know God. I leaned on him so hard. I learned not to fear the pain… and not to just NOT fear it, but to appreciate it, because it is such a beautiful part of the human healing process. I learned the nature of God.

From there I started reading. I started digging deeper. I started learning the context of scriptures, rather than just accepting what I’d been taught the scriptures meant. The more I learned, the more the Bible made sense. It came alive for me. That sounds so cliché, but I’m just reporting what happened.

Rightly interpreted, the Bible sets you free. Wrongly interpreted, it enslaves.

I learned the love of God. I learned the concept of free will. I learned the idea of consequences, rather than punishments.

What do I mean by that? I’ll give you an example of “consequences” vs “punishment”, and mix it with an example of free will….

Growing up, I was always afraid sins would result in damnation. It seemed God was some scary being awaiting any chance to doom me to eternal fire. It seemed I had to walk on eggshells and watch my every move or he’d punish me. But then I read an illustration on consequences.

The illustration asked the question, “If you stick your finger in a light socket, is the light socket punishing you when it flows through your body?”

Of course not. That painful jolt was merely the consequences of my stupid, free will action. It wasn’t a punishment. And if an innocent person walks by me as my finger is in that light socket, are they punished by the electric jolt they experience when I reach out and grab them? Of course not. They, too, are victims of my free will to put my finger in a light socket.

God doesn’t punish us either, even though we’re told that He does. It’s just that we are unable to escape the consequences of our free will.

And free will is a beautiful thing… It’s so deep. It’s so powerful. It’s so… amazing.

I recently asked someone if they’d ever want to marry a person they had to scare into loving them. The answer, of course, is a resounding NO. Who wants to force someone to love them? Isn’t it better to be loved by choice?

See, it seems to me that some choose to believe we must scare people into heaven. That is not the case. God wants us to CHOOSE to love Him… to have a relationship with Him because it’s what WE want, not because He forces us to do so or because He hangs hellfire over our heads.

The only way to guarantee that choice comes from US is to step back and let us live our lives… to let us make our own mistakes… And even if it’s painful to watch those mistakes, to intervene in life only when asked, and then in accordance with a “big picture” in mind that we may not even see.

And to illustrate what I mean by “big picture” let me give you yet another example: I have a 7 year old son. He loves candy. As a good father, I obviously can’t let him eat all the candy he wants. That would rot his teeth and he wouldn’t receive the nutrition he needs to grow and maintain a healthy life. With his 7 year old mentality, he may not understand why I say “no”. He may think I’m being mean. But someday he’ll comprehend the “big picture” and understand.

Likewise, some of those principles found in the Bible are really motivated by the same type of love that keeps me from allowing my son to eat himself into rotten teeth. Once I started seeing things that way, they made more sense… like, for example, the concept of no premarital sex: God isn’t trying to find another excuse to send us to hell, and he’s not trying to take away our fun. He’s simply telling us that he’d rather see us wait for the person He has for us down the road. If we do so, we won’t have to bring all the baggage of past relationships with us. We won’t have to worry if others before us were better in bed. We won’t have to worry if the melancholy look on our partner’s face is because they’re missing someone from their past. We won’t have to be “married” to every other physical relationship from our past or our spouse’s past. THAT, is God’s plan… and it’s motivated by not wanting our teeth to fall out. It’s motivated by love more pure than any human parent can possibly offer.

That concept, of “laws” motivated by love from a being who has a bigger picture than me… that concept set me free.

I stopped focusing on whether or not God exists and started trying to figure out who God IS… And I was happy to find those before me were oftentimes just as ignorant as I was, and therefore had no business telling me the answers to those questions. Upon seeking the answers I’ve begun finding them.

And I’ve finally discovered what a real relationship with God is all about.

12 thoughts on “Motivated By Love

  1. Part of that real relationship with God is realizing He is so deep I’ll never have him figured out. Just like a good relationship, I’ll always be discovering new things about Him.

  2. Part of that real relationship with God is realizing He is so deep I’ll never have him figured out. Just like a good relationship, I’ll always be discovering new things about Him.

  3. Dear Donny,
    Excellent! What more can be said. Love is the beginning and end all, and as the scriptures say, God is love. I love those illustrations, they are so on target.
    I recently responded to your friend John’s comment in your blog “Allah Vs God”, about there being no God, as he quoted George Carlin.
    First, after looking through your blog page I realized that John is your best friend. So want to first say that I apologize if in any way, what I said or how I approached his comment was in any way offensive or included too much presumption on my part, though I tried to be all-inclusive. I realize in so many ways, the “situations” that people are in or to how they’ve come to conclusions on things, can of course be so very complex, and no pat answers are sufficient. Thus, I may have hit or missed the origins upon which his own conclusions about God have been derived.
    Second, to relate to those comments in relation to your blog here, I know that no one person’s “experience” settles the matter about anything, even though the scriptures do indicate that we are over comers by the word of our “testimony” and by the blood of the Lamb.
    What I mean is that everyone has experiences, just as much as those who are into Satanism, or some other spiritual journey, even those whose experience has at this point in time led them to atheism. Thus, experience alone isn’t the end all evidence, as we all have them.
    But what you’ve done here is great. Like Christ’s own parables and didactic teaching, using common life experience to explain spiritual truth, you’ve given one a targeted focus on eternal truths that are un-mistakenly pointing them to a God that for some has at this time become elusive, by their conclusions.
    What I mean is that I love your last two paragraph conclusion. Especially when you say, “I stopped focusing on whether or not God exists and started trying to figure out who God IS…” Why? Because you’ve put the search where it should be… It’s like scripture. It’s starts out with “In the beginning God…and God said” rather than something like “if He exists” or “where did He come from”. Not that those are not valid honest questions, but that one should ask the right questions at the right time – some before others. This approach allows one to see the big picture, before other questions, cloud out or detract from the answers. Maybe it’s like “Jeopardy”…except that eternity hangs in the balance…and all because of how you ask or answer the question, and yet God’s love and patience, as the scriptures indicate, lead us to repentance.
    Just beautiful.
    Thanks…this is a keeper…I just hope your recipient can appreciate and grasp it as well, especially since it is motivated by love. Especially since most of us don’t know what to do with real love…do we take or leave it? Sounds like God is love.

  4. Dear Donny,
    Excellent! What more can be said. Love is the beginning and end all, and as the scriptures say, God is love. I love those illustrations, they are so on target.
    I recently responded to your friend John’s comment in your blog “Allah Vs God”, about there being no God, as he quoted George Carlin.
    First, after looking through your blog page I realized that John is your best friend. So want to first say that I apologize if in any way, what I said or how I approached his comment was in any way offensive or included too much presumption on my part, though I tried to be all-inclusive. I realize in so many ways, the “situations” that people are in or to how they’ve come to conclusions on things, can of course be so very complex, and no pat answers are sufficient. Thus, I may have hit or missed the origins upon which his own conclusions about God have been derived.
    Second, to relate to those comments in relation to your blog here, I know that no one person’s “experience” settles the matter about anything, even though the scriptures do indicate that we are over comers by the word of our “testimony” and by the blood of the Lamb.
    What I mean is that everyone has experiences, just as much as those who are into Satanism, or some other spiritual journey, even those whose experience has at this point in time led them to atheism. Thus, experience alone isn’t the end all evidence, as we all have them.
    But what you’ve done here is great. Like Christ’s own parables and didactic teaching, using common life experience to explain spiritual truth, you’ve given one a targeted focus on eternal truths that are un-mistakenly pointing them to a God that for some has at this time become elusive, by their conclusions.
    What I mean is that I love your last two paragraph conclusion. Especially when you say, “I stopped focusing on whether or not God exists and started trying to figure out who God IS…” Why? Because you’ve put the search where it should be… It’s like scripture. It’s starts out with “In the beginning God…and God said” rather than something like “if He exists” or “where did He come from”. Not that those are not valid honest questions, but that one should ask the right questions at the right time – some before others. This approach allows one to see the big picture, before other questions, cloud out or detract from the answers. Maybe it’s like “Jeopardy”…except that eternity hangs in the balance…and all because of how you ask or answer the question, and yet God’s love and patience, as the scriptures indicate, lead us to repentance.
    Just beautiful.
    Thanks…this is a keeper…I just hope your recipient can appreciate and grasp it as well, especially since it is motivated by love. Especially since most of us don’t know what to do with real love…do we take or leave it? Sounds like God is love.

  5. Hey Daniel,

    I forgot about making that comment. I just went back and read it along with your reply. I must have had a bad day when I wrote it. I would like to apologize to you, Donny, and all whom may have been offended by it. It was wrong, and a bit childish, to come in to Donny’s Blog and put down something that he believes in. Once again, I apologize for that.

  6. Hey Daniel,

    I forgot about making that comment. I just went back and read it along with your reply. I must have had a bad day when I wrote it. I would like to apologize to you, Donny, and all whom may have been offended by it. It was wrong, and a bit childish, to come in to Donny’s Blog and put down something that he believes in. Once again, I apologize for that.

  7. Thanks for your witness for the Lord, Donny…and welcome back. hallelujah! Praise Jesus!

    Free will is a precious gift for sure. I just don’t know if there even will be free will in heaven. I know we won’t want to leave and be tempted to leave. We can appreciate Gods goodness in the presence of evil. Unlike Adam who didn’t know evil, Satan who didn’t know evil, until they fell. We do! Because of it, we so appreciate his goodness and no matter what temptation that will come our way in heaven, if that could even happen, there would be no way, why? Because we knew how horrible evil was and now we can fully appreciate his goodness.

    The presence of sin allows God to demonstrate his righteousness, the presence of sin allows God to demonstrate his love, and how else would he show the character of love that loves enemies and sinners if there were none? God endures this horrible assault on his everlasting holiness; he endures the horrifying blaspheming, history of fallen beings, he suffers it, the imposition it is on his purity to display his wrath to the fullest extent, to put himself on everlasting display.

    Why are we here? What is the theological answer? To give the text book answer, to glorify God and enjoy him ever more. How do you glorify God? Here is how, you sinner, go get saved. Get saved so God can be glorified, that’s it; this is the purpose of this entire universe.

    God knew we would sin, He knew we would rebel, He knew we would introduce evil, He knew it. So that he can send forth a savior born of
    a virgin, to live under the law to save us under the curse of the law so that, we can be a little trophy of his grace, he can always point to us as a testimony to his goodness. Ephesians 2:7

    We wouldn’t know how God is righteous as he is, everlastingly, and give him glory for it if it hadn’t had of been for unrighteousness, we wouldn’t know he’s loving as he is if it hadn’t been for sin, we wouldn’t know he’s holy if it weren’t for judgment.

    How holy is God? So holy that he must send out of his presence, everlastingly, anyone who is not fit. Why of all this? That he might
    make known the riches of his glory, that is, he did all of this in order that he might gather into heaven a redeemed humanity who would
    forever glorify him for all that he is. *paraphrased from Todd Friel

  8. Thanks for your witness for the Lord, Donny…and welcome back. hallelujah! Praise Jesus!

    Free will is a precious gift for sure. I just don’t know if there even will be free will in heaven. I know we won’t want to leave and be tempted to leave. We can appreciate Gods goodness in the presence of evil. Unlike Adam who didn’t know evil, Satan who didn’t know evil, until they fell. We do! Because of it, we so appreciate his goodness and no matter what temptation that will come our way in heaven, if that could even happen, there would be no way, why? Because we knew how horrible evil was and now we can fully appreciate his goodness.

    The presence of sin allows God to demonstrate his righteousness, the presence of sin allows God to demonstrate his love, and how else would he show the character of love that loves enemies and sinners if there were none? God endures this horrible assault on his everlasting holiness; he endures the horrifying blaspheming, history of fallen beings, he suffers it, the imposition it is on his purity to display his wrath to the fullest extent, to put himself on everlasting display.

    Why are we here? What is the theological answer? To give the text book answer, to glorify God and enjoy him ever more. How do you glorify God? Here is how, you sinner, go get saved. Get saved so God can be glorified, that’s it; this is the purpose of this entire universe.

    God knew we would sin, He knew we would rebel, He knew we would introduce evil, He knew it. So that he can send forth a savior born of
    a virgin, to live under the law to save us under the curse of the law so that, we can be a little trophy of his grace, he can always point to us as a testimony to his goodness. Ephesians 2:7

    We wouldn’t know how God is righteous as he is, everlastingly, and give him glory for it if it hadn’t had of been for unrighteousness, we wouldn’t know he’s loving as he is if it hadn’t been for sin, we wouldn’t know he’s holy if it weren’t for judgment.

    How holy is God? So holy that he must send out of his presence, everlastingly, anyone who is not fit. Why of all this? That he might
    make known the riches of his glory, that is, he did all of this in order that he might gather into heaven a redeemed humanity who would
    forever glorify him for all that he is. *paraphrased from Todd Friel

  9. I have been reading for a couple of days, now, and have seen a lot of what this site is about. The subject matter is something that most definitely needs to be addressed in allot of Christian lives.
    People might call a Christian with a porn addiction a hypocrite. But we all, Christian and non-Christian alike, have trouble with what is bothering us (whether you choose to call it a fault, or sin – or not), so we stand behind a mask. That’s not hypocrisy attributed to only Christians, but to all humankind.
    Truth is, all struggle with their own free will. Sometimes we ask why would God give free will and then expect us to adhere to a bunch of His rules? Why would this “God” give free will to all of the rapists, murderers, adulterers, liars, gluttons, coveters, and thieves (most of us will fit in there somewhere) and let all of this evil into the world?
    Whether you believe the exact details in The Book of Genesis on creation and the fall of man or not, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth” testifies to the awesome power of God. If we could break down everything to the tiniest atoms, the smallest infinitesimal specks, a power greater than us would have to put them all together. No amount of chance or happenstance could have made everything line up. To paraphrase Daniel, in one of his posts, “all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. BUT the KING can.”
    Would a being so powerful even NEED us? No. He wanted us so He breathed into us our existence. He is our Father and Creator and we worship Him because he is Holy (or “set apart”). We were created out of the desire for something to love and for something to love Him back. That is our purpose. “My heart sings a song that even angels cannot sing.”–by the group NEWSONG, Rescue (check it out, excellent line from a wonderful song by a truely gifted group.)
    plc Says:
    October 20th, 2007 at 5:39 am
    “Remember: God’s love for you is not your decision. It’s God’s final choice. And you don’t have anything to say about it!!”
    WELL PUT!!
    God’s will is for us to live in Him and to accept His love, yet our free will was built in to the grand design. Why is that, when it allows so many people to commit so many sins?
    I like to put it this way—
    I am a father of two beautiful children who from the time that they were able to walk, their grandmother (my mother-in-law) loved to get down on her knees with her arms open wide, wanting and welcoming a hug whenever she saw them. Sometimes they weren’t interested in giving the hug, though they love her dearly. I, at one of those moments, forcibly tried to my daughter to go to her when she was feeling particularly stubborn, and got scowled at by my mother-in-law. I looked at my mother-in-law, like, “WHAT?” (After all, wasn’t I was trying to be a good son-in-law?) Then I got it. She wanted the love of my daughter to be genuine: of my little girl’s FREE WILL.
    Just like my mistake in trying to force my little girl to hug her ”Mema”, you can’t force someone to take God’s love. God is always welcoming us into His arms just like my mother-in-law is always welcoming to my children. We CAN show God’s love to people and tell them why we do what we do when they ask, but THEY must heed God’s call. Zig Zigler, the renowned motivational speaker, always quotes, “God can mend any broken heart— as long as you give Him ALL of the pieces.”
    The truth cannot and must not be thrust down the throat of those who are not prepared to hear it. That is why we must strive every day to be a reflection of Christ IN OUR LIVES. There have been down falls—high profile ones at that (Bakker and Swaggart)— during my teenage years that even caused me to look with more scrutiny at the institution of the church back then, but I think it stood as more as a lesson for me about humanity then it did about God.
    Yes, our job is to show Jesus to the world, but as the Church, we ARE the dim mirror that Paul talks about in his twilight years. Christians are human, saved by the grace of God through His son, Christ Jesus, inspired by that love in the Holy Spirit to take up the cross of Christ, and feed His sheep. Our debts have been paid. The gift is ours to claim, and God gave us the free will to claim or reject it.
    What can you expect after that? Who knows? That’s God’s will. But I will tell you this…is always a huge basket of homemade chocolate chip cookies waiting for those grandchildren who love their Mema. How much more could you expect from the One whom created everything?

    Matthew 11:28-30 (King James Version)
    28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    Grace And Peace,
    Kevin

  10. I have been reading for a couple of days, now, and have seen a lot of what this site is about. The subject matter is something that most definitely needs to be addressed in allot of Christian lives.
    People might call a Christian with a porn addiction a hypocrite. But we all, Christian and non-Christian alike, have trouble with what is bothering us (whether you choose to call it a fault, or sin – or not), so we stand behind a mask. That’s not hypocrisy attributed to only Christians, but to all humankind.
    Truth is, all struggle with their own free will. Sometimes we ask why would God give free will and then expect us to adhere to a bunch of His rules? Why would this “God” give free will to all of the rapists, murderers, adulterers, liars, gluttons, coveters, and thieves (most of us will fit in there somewhere) and let all of this evil into the world?
    Whether you believe the exact details in The Book of Genesis on creation and the fall of man or not, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth” testifies to the awesome power of God. If we could break down everything to the tiniest atoms, the smallest infinitesimal specks, a power greater than us would have to put them all together. No amount of chance or happenstance could have made everything line up. To paraphrase Daniel, in one of his posts, “all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. BUT the KING can.”
    Would a being so powerful even NEED us? No. He wanted us so He breathed into us our existence. He is our Father and Creator and we worship Him because he is Holy (or “set apart”). We were created out of the desire for something to love and for something to love Him back. That is our purpose. “My heart sings a song that even angels cannot sing.”–by the group NEWSONG, Rescue (check it out, excellent line from a wonderful song by a truely gifted group.)
    plc Says:
    October 20th, 2007 at 5:39 am
    “Remember: God’s love for you is not your decision. It’s God’s final choice. And you don’t have anything to say about it!!”
    WELL PUT!!
    God’s will is for us to live in Him and to accept His love, yet our free will was built in to the grand design. Why is that, when it allows so many people to commit so many sins?
    I like to put it this way—
    I am a father of two beautiful children who from the time that they were able to walk, their grandmother (my mother-in-law) loved to get down on her knees with her arms open wide, wanting and welcoming a hug whenever she saw them. Sometimes they weren’t interested in giving the hug, though they love her dearly. I, at one of those moments, forcibly tried to my daughter to go to her when she was feeling particularly stubborn, and got scowled at by my mother-in-law. I looked at my mother-in-law, like, “WHAT?” (After all, wasn’t I was trying to be a good son-in-law?) Then I got it. She wanted the love of my daughter to be genuine: of my little girl’s FREE WILL.
    Just like my mistake in trying to force my little girl to hug her ”Mema”, you can’t force someone to take God’s love. God is always welcoming us into His arms just like my mother-in-law is always welcoming to my children. We CAN show God’s love to people and tell them why we do what we do when they ask, but THEY must heed God’s call. Zig Zigler, the renowned motivational speaker, always quotes, “God can mend any broken heart— as long as you give Him ALL of the pieces.”
    The truth cannot and must not be thrust down the throat of those who are not prepared to hear it. That is why we must strive every day to be a reflection of Christ IN OUR LIVES. There have been down falls—high profile ones at that (Bakker and Swaggart)— during my teenage years that even caused me to look with more scrutiny at the institution of the church back then, but I think it stood as more as a lesson for me about humanity then it did about God.
    Yes, our job is to show Jesus to the world, but as the Church, we ARE the dim mirror that Paul talks about in his twilight years. Christians are human, saved by the grace of God through His son, Christ Jesus, inspired by that love in the Holy Spirit to take up the cross of Christ, and feed His sheep. Our debts have been paid. The gift is ours to claim, and God gave us the free will to claim or reject it.
    What can you expect after that? Who knows? That’s God’s will. But I will tell you this…is always a huge basket of homemade chocolate chip cookies waiting for those grandchildren who love their Mema. How much more could you expect from the One whom created everything?

    Matthew 11:28-30 (King James Version)
    28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    Grace And Peace,
    Kevin

  11. How can join this site? I am a blacksliding Christian and need some one to turn to. I have and still having the problems that the Author of this site had. I have been gay all my life, gone to a Bible School, became a teacher and I could go on and on. But the teaching that I was under regarding the Christian way, was ” Do what I say or I will suffer.” this is the threat I have lived under. Thank You for listening.
    Wayne.

  12. How can join this site? I am a blacksliding Christian and need some one to turn to. I have and still having the problems that the Author of this site had. I have been gay all my life, gone to a Bible School, became a teacher and I could go on and on. But the teaching that I was under regarding the Christian way, was ” Do what I say or I will suffer.” this is the threat I have lived under. Thank You for listening.
    Wayne.

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