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Monday, December 9, 2013

Goodness: Perfect Gifts from the Father

Goodness: Perfect Gifts from the Father
Toddler Jason had a lot of fun pushing buttons, but he was completely unprepared to deal with the consequences of that button-pushing.

Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Life: What's My Spiritual Center?

Goodness: Perfect Gifts from the Father

By Evan Nehring

There’s a difference between right and wrong, good and evil, and it matters. Tolerance is a word used strangely today. It’s the bizarre concept that if everyone just accepts everything then we’ll all get along together. That would work out better if there weren't any evil. What we really need is grace. Grace is a variation on tolerance, but it presumes that there are good and evil…and law. Grace without law is chaos. Law without grace is Hitler. Jesus is grace and justice in harmony.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17) 

Sometimes, God’s ways are just too far above for us to understand. Jason taught me a little something about that when he was a toddler. He would cruise around on the furniture, and one of the stops on his living room tour was the TV. Specifically, he would get up there and put finger prints all over the bottom third of the screen and, of course, push all the buttons.

Toddler Jason had a lot of fun pushing buttons, but he was completely unprepared to deal with the consequences of that button-pushing. He’d turn the TV off and then cry because his show was gone.  He’d turn the volume up full and get scared because it was so loud. He’d turn the volume down all the way and get confused because it wasn't working properly. He’d change the channel and wonder why it wasn't so interesting anymore. He’d hit the menu button and reprogram the whole system so that nothing would work properly anymore.

Toddler Jason

That’s why he needed Papa, and that’s why we need God the Father and His loving wisdom. We turn off the good things He’s has called us to do, and we wonder why our life is going nowhere. We crank our lives to the limit with our decisions, and then realize that it’s more than we can handle. We turn the volume down on the good advice from the Bible and then we get confused when things don’t work out. We take the channel that has been programmed especially for us, we change it to something else, and then wonder why we’re so bored with life. We get into the menu of the inner workings of who we are and start messing with things until life is a disaster, and we wonder what happened.

Father God is not just tolerant. He is good.

Comments Are Always Welcome...

Have you felt the goodness of the Father? How does it feel to you? Does it draw out goodness in you?
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  1. Wow! I think this has got to be the best analogy I've ever heard of how we manage to mess things up in our own lives and need our Father. I've cranked that volume just a bit too much.... strayed onto channels I really shouldn't have been watching (and didn't want to watch).... and yes, I have completely reprogrammed things to the point of thinking there was no return. It isn't tolerance God has for me - it's patience. Insanely abundant patience.

    Great post! Thank you!

    1. Thanks Brandi! The analogy hits close to home for me for sure. Thanks for keepin' it real with your latest over at The two posts relate in a way. Both speak of trust. Whether we open our hearts to God our to people, there is vulnerability involved. Maybe trusting God helps us trust others too.