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“I don’t like your God”

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By Dave Henning / June 23, 2012

Dr. David Stoops (Forgiving the Unforgivable) tells the story of a young man he was counseling who had been deeply hurt by his pastor and was unwilling to forgive the pastor unless that pastor repented.  Dr. Stoops responded that he didn’t like the young man’s God.  What Dr. Stoops meant was that the young man’s perception of God was at odds with the God of the Bible, who makes it possible to forgive through the power of the Holy Spirit.  God doesn’t require us to do something (Matthew 6:14-15) and then make it impossible for us to do unless our offender cooperates.

Dr. Stoops elaborates: “If I am required by God to be a forgiving person, then my ability to forgive must rest solely on me.  It does not require the other person’s participation. . . . If my forgiveness is dependent on another person’s willingness to repent, I am kept in a victim position and the other person holds all the power in the situation.”

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    Dave Henning

  • When we assume that God works through us without actually getting any direction from Him we decieve ourselves. This young man in the short meditation believes that we can motivate, or at least tell the Father how to react on our terms. He is the victim, and until that person sees the truths about forgiveness, how on earth can true repentence take place? he became just as much a “victim” as that pastor. Forgiveness and repentance begins with each of us, but, human as we are we want to see someone “squirm” by God before any good comes of it. Inflicting pain on someone else is not, and should not be our intention. Ask yourself this, does our heavenly Father do that to us? make us uncomfortable before we see the errors of our ways? We must learn to be willing to let go of our own pain to move forward resting on His words and by His own examples.


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