Sunday, September 07, 2008

Can God accept me?

I had a comment on my last post from B. I want to address the questions she poses here, realizing that there may be other people with similar problems. You sound like you're in deep pain, B., and I hope this post will help.

B. wrote, "I did things as a result of my impulses and emotions and feelings from my mania that I was so ashamed of, but I didn't feel I could tell anyone at my church." When we're manic we often do things we're later ashamed of, things we would not do if we were stable. But because we do it as a result of our disorder, doesn't make it right. It's true that we need to fight our impulses and get medical help to prevent us from this. And when we stabilize, we have to try, in whatever way we can, make things right. This would include asking God for forgiveness. But God will continue to love you. You are His child, and he will forgive.

B. ends her comment with "My relationship with God has been very distant since last summer, and things have changed a lot in my life (for the better). I still wonder though; can I assume that God would still accept me? Am I even sure I believe in God or that He's worth my heart again, after such a deep feeling of abandonment?"

I need to tell you, B., that God will always accept you and love you. He may not accept what we do, but he never stops loving us. He will forgive if we, with all sincerity, ask for his forgiveness. God realizes that you did not do the things you did because you wanted to sin. He realizes that you have an illness that made you do them. He will forgive.

B., you said something that I think is completely the wrong way to look at things. You said, "I still believed that Christian attitudes had to be a reflection of God's attitudes, and if they would judge me for sinning because of something I couldn't control, God would too; if they couldn't accept me, how could God?"

God does not follow people's examples. It is not people's place to judge. We have all sinned. How can we judge others?

Remember the Pharisees who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery? Check out this story in John 8:1-11. I think it will do you good.

Jesus said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone." One by one the men left. Then Jesus said to the woman, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

God does not follow people. If people are not accepting of you, that does not at all mean that God won't accept you. God does not listen to people's judgement. He is in charge, not people. We can trust God to always be there for us, to always love us, to always want the best for us, to always help us when we want to do better. God can transform you if you will trust him and seek him each day with all your heart.

I hope this has helped, B. I hope you don't give up on God, because He will never give up on you. His love is unconditional.


Peggy said...

Marja...Thank you for that loving answer to B. that shows a God of LOVE! Humans may fail you B...but God does not...just as HE is GOD, HE is waiting for you return to HIM when you come with a heart like the woman caught in adultery. Jesus showed the others they had no business condemning her or judging her. God's WORD is filled with people who made plenty of mistakes even people with mental health issues!

People, even in churches, react just like Bpd. They are learning how to be more accepting but too many have these "rules"...or their own criteria which may or may not be God's...
"to err is humane, to forgive Divine". People in church still don't understand how they hinder another's walk by being judgmental or "holier than thou" attitude until it is measured back unto them. What is sad is that they know that "we all have sinned" and "fall short"...very short...of the glory of God. Means the church has a long way to go until they can learn to be like Jesus, in His image. Jesus wants us to be child-like and come to Him, admit that we have messed up and we need HIS help. We cannot undo what we've done, but we can have hope that with God's help we will stop that harmful pattern in our life.

Marja...your answer is from a heart that has been in the same place as B. but you found arms to help you & B. has not had the opportunity to surround herself with that kind of support like Living Room offers and more churches need ministry for those needing support to recovery in more than just addictions. Many can use the 12 step recovery for Christians to learn we are powerless over our illness and our
life because of this but with God's help, we can turn it around. Your books and resources are a start but Christians need to start being Christ to others instead of condemning...the expression What would Jesus do> certainly applies!

Thanks Marja...and great answer and wonderful new book! May other people learn how to support rather than make matters worse..B. never distance yourself from GOD, He is YOUR help in times of trouble and you need to be in touch with Him daily to keep your relationship alive. Be in His Word!GOD is always worth it and HE never left you!

P.J. said...

I have discovered recently that it's me that's hanging on to the past things I've done, and not those around me or especially God. When God looks at me, He sees the blood of the Lamb; spotless and white as snow. As long as I have asked forgiveness from Him, then those sins have been dealt with. It's been me that's been playing the "bad" tape over and over. God has forgiven me, now I need to forgive myself and leave it in the past.

The same is true of my closet friends. I was talking to a very good friend the other night, and she had read my post about my fear that those in my life still see me as that girl I used to be before I was medicated. That night she said, "when I look at you, I don't see who you used to be. I see you as you are now. We deal with issues in friendship and then move on." If she still thought of me as the nasty person I was, I don't think she'd be friends with me today.

My point is to forgive yourself of your past mistakes. God has forgiven you, and He loves you. Now, go ahead and love yourself. God is still working on all of us to make us what He wants us to be. God hasn't given up on you, so don't give up on Him.

marja said...

Peggy: Welcome to my blog. And thank you for your words of encouragement - both for B. and for me. Please visit more often.
- marja

marja said...

Thanks PJ: You're right. We should never give up on God. Because He will never give up on us either. Though we might leave Him or forget about Him, he doesn't forget about us. He's always ready to accept us back with open arms.

Nancie said...

Dear Marja, this is indeed a very important issue and it's good that you are able to addressed it here. Yours, Peggy and PJ's comment are so true and helpful.

Dear B., God promised in His Words that if we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us. We all make mistakes in our life especially when our moods are not stable. So when you turn to God in repentance and ask for His forgiveness, He will forgive you and accept you. He is faithful to do so as the blood of Jesus Christ is able to cleanse us from all our sins and we are accepted by God through our Lord Jesus Christ. As you look to God daily, He will also give you grace and strength to cope with your condition and to live victoriously in Him. May God shower His love, mercies and forgiveness upon you! Praying for you.

marja said...

Thank you, Nancie, for the support you give to B. and to so many of us.
- marja

Merelyme said...

Hey there Marja

I believe that what you are saying is true. God is the one to count on who will always accept us. I am grateful for that.

Thanks so much for your sharepost over at Health Central. You help so many with your words.