Our definition of goodness

By Dave Henning / November 1, 2023

“Our if-thens test God and then grade Him by our definition of goodness.  They do so by drawing straight lines between God’s eternal character and an earthly, tangible outcome. . . .  So when our if-thens snap in two, we have a choice to make.”- Alicia Britt Chole

In Chapter 22 (“Proof Misuse”) of The Night is Normal, Alicia Britt Chole notes that if-then statements work great in geometry.  But when it comes to faith, if-thens create confusion.  Therefore, Dr. Chole counsels:

7.  When disillusioned with God, listen for the if-then equations hiding in your faith.  Most significantly, Dr.Chole observes, if-then statements present danger.  Because they masquerade as truth.  In addition, if-thens often sleep quietly for a long, long time.  Until disillusionment disturbs their slumber.

Furthermore, catastrophe often results when we fail to process our if-then equations.  So, when our if-thens snap in two, we face one of two options:

  • conclude our faith is broken and that God has failed us.
  • diss our if-then illusions and join Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane; elevate God’s character above our own understanding.

8.  When disillusioned with God, activate compassion from within the ache.  In Chapter 23 (“A Lifeline”), Dr. Chole notes the importance of activating even a little bit of compassion.  Especially when we feel disillusioned.  For example, a water wheel refuses to let water pass by without making a positive impact.  Similarly, we must refuse to let disillusionment pass without taking the time to activate something within us to help others.

Finally, Dr. Chole exhorts:

“Our compassion does not need to be packaged into something formal to be fruitful.  Any effort, however plain or simple it may be, can be immensely meaningful when offered in love. . . .  In your nights, invest in acts of compassion.  They will strengthen others and be a lifeline of sanity for you.”

Today’s question: When do we tend to grade God using our definition of goodness?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Unglamorous gift of plod”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button