Sally was close to God at one time. Life took some unexpected turns that she struggled to handle. She became overwhelmed with all of the changes and slowly started shutting down. She didn’t consciously decide to pull away from everyone and everything, but she did. She went to where it was safe and that was at home alone. Sally was a women’s ministry leader which she utterly enjoyed. She was active in her church and spent a lot of time studying God’s Word and trying to live it out. When her life began to spiral out of control she retreated from those things. She went from ministering to women to having no desire to pick up her Bible and read it. God seemed far and distant. She didn’t hate Him, but she didn’t seem too interested in Him either.
Maybe we were never close to God. Maybe He hurt us, or we feel like He let something happen. Maybe we get a little curious about Him, but remember an injustice in our lives and why we want nothing to do with Him. Maybe we are getting by just fine without all that and are simply happy to carry on without God, or religion. There are many reasons why we may hate God, or simply feel disinterested. Does it matter?
Yes is the simple answer. Do I even need to say why? Do I need to share the reason for the season? Do I need to remind us of why God is important? Don’t most of us know that a relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ is the only way to live in eternity in heaven? That is why it’s important. Yet there are so many reasons why we shouldn’t worry about that today. I get it. I have a million things going on in my life. Eternity seems far off. I have got bills to pay today, a marriage to battle through, wayward children, a job I hate, and a degree to finish. Eternity? Come on. Can’t I just get supper cooked?
If you have never known God then why start now? Why not start now? If you are reading this then I am hoping you are a little bit curious about who He is and what He can do for you. I am hoping something in you is drawn to Him. Maybe we can figure out what is keeping you from getting closer to Him? From giving Him a chance in your life? I know “those” Christians. We are a pathetic bunch, but what do you expect from a bunch of sinners.
Maybe you were on fire for God. Maybe you led a ministry, taught in a small group, were a street evangelist, or the perfect Christian mom. Maybe you just aren’t interested. You might not hate, but you might not care and you aren’t even sure why. You just need a break from it all. Once in a while you feel like you could get your fire for God back, but then you look at how distant you have been and don’t want to deal with it. You aren’t ready to deal with the people at the church and aren’t sure you even want to be there. For some God is okay, but it’s the church that is the problem.
Whatever your feelings are they are worth exploring. Take Christianity out of it for a while and seek to discover what your feelings are about religion, church, and any god. Discussions and thoughts of god/gods are healthy and worth exploring. We can learn a lot about ourselves and our lives by examining this part of it. Why not get settled on where you are at and have some solid reasons for why you believe what you do? As we grow and mature it is good to take a new look at all aspects of our lives. Life is a journey and we change as we grow older. Assessing who we are and what we believe is helpful in ensuring we are on the path we want to be.
If you had a relationship with God before then it’s worth figuring out what is going on. If you valued Him before, or had an understanding of why a relationship with Him is important than why not explore what is going on. Why not piece apart what is bothering you and see if it can’t be dealt with.
I was spiritually abused once for many years. The thought of going to church turned my stomach. When I left that situation I had some decent reasons to stop attending church, but I decided to not let the actions of one person taint my relationship with God and keep me from going to church altogether. I visited different churches for six months and eventually settled on a church that was very loving and let me just perch in the back row. I understand why some quit going altogether, but I encourage you to take a look at why. Perhaps once that is dealt with you will feel like re-establishing your relationship with God and the church.
How to identify?
Realize that you are on a journey. There are seasons of our lives. Seasons last more than a day, but less than a year. Seasons have different colors, temperatures, tastes, and activities. Where you are at now is part of a journey and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up because you aren’t where you were a couple years ago, yet let’s examine ourselves to determine why we may hate God, or consider Him unimportant.
- Observe. Only you can really answer the question of why you do what you do. Others could get into your life and learn about some of your reasons, but only you know what is going on inside. Only you can be honest about why. Observe your actions and thoughts. Write yourself a letter detailing why you have no interest in a relationship with God. We can learn a lot about examining ourselves and being honest with how we feel.
- Ask and listen. Ask others what they think and listen. Listen and learn. Accept what others see and take some time to determine if its accurate. Gaining insight from others can be helpful in figuring out our motives.
- Journaling can be an excellent way of capturing ideas and thoughts. Write a few words, or a few pages. Just write. Describe what is going on. You can look back at your journal in a year and see the journey you are on. We can learn so much from writing down our honest thoughts.
- Seek. We live in the age of information. We can research any topic that we want to from the comfort of our home, or anywhere we take our smart phone. Look for answers. Ask hard questions and wrestle with the things that bother you. Hash it out. In a respectful way I have prayed to God in tears saying, “Lord, this sucks. I can’t do this. Help me figure this out.” He does.
We can’t change what we can’t admit. We can’t deal with a lie. We CAN deal with the truth.
Why don’t you go to church? Because someone….
Why do you hate God? Because He is…..
Whatever it is admit it. Admit it, look at it, and hash things out. Eternity isn’t that far off. Let’s be sure we are ready for it.
*I am a sinner saved by grace, trying to figure out what to write, and how God might use me to do some good. Thanks for reading.