Anonymous asked: Is it true that if you don’t truly believe that something you did was wrong, even if you repent, you’re not really forgiven by God? For example, if I speed and tailgate to intimidate a slow driver, and then I ask God to forgive me for scaring that person, am I truly forgiven, if I believe deep down that they deserved it? That they were just too freakin’ slow and they SHOULD be scared?
Unka Glen answered: What you’re talking about is justice. If someone is on the highway, and they’re not properly monitoring their speed, they’re making life less enjoyable for the rest of us, and they must be taught a lesson, even if you need to put your life, and theirs, at risk to do so. That’s what being a hero is all about. Fixing all the wrongness in the world is dangerous, messy, and often goes unappreciated.
I get that.
In this case, if this is the right and just thing to do, what is there for God to forgive? If however, this is a response that is out of all proportion, and is in fact a product of your own lack of Godly patience, well then, that’s a different deal isn’t it?
There are all kinds of situations where we feel justified in reacting the way we do, and yet our conscience tells us otherwise. In that case, repent, without reservation, or excuse, and know that God will accept it. If you just don’t know if you were wrong, it’s okay to pray something like:
“Please forgive me if I’ve done anything wrong here Lord, I did what I thought best, but my own judgement has led be down the wrong path before. If I did something wrong here, I want to know it, and see it, and repent of it. If this was the best response to a bad situation, then please give me a peace about my choices.”
Either way, this we know for sure: God had a choice to act according to judgement, or according to grace, in dealing with you. He chose grace. And on nearly every page of the New Testament, He makes it clear that He intends for you to choose grace as well.
Consider the parable of the unmerciful servant. A man who owes the King more than he can pay, begs for time to pay it back, the king does more than that and cancels the debt altogether. Then the freed servant sees someone who owes him money, and literally tries to choke it out of him. Then Jesus finishes the story:
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” (Matthew 18:33-35).
So… yeah. If you missed the point, YOU are the servant with a sin-debt you couldn’t pay, HE is the one handing out justice.
If you’ve received grace, you’re meant to insist on it in all your relationships, and in all your ways of viewing the world. Grace should be the color of your universe. If a genie in a bottle gives you one wish, pick grace. Your favorite song: Amazing Grace. If we made you sum up your whole life and testimony in just one word, it should be: grace.
inahbunag asked: How should I get to the place where I love myself? I think that’s the problem with me sometimes.
Unka Glen answered: That’s easy, just receive some humility from God.
Now, that’s maybe not the answer you were expecting, given there’s a chance that humility is what you thought you were doing, when you were beating up on yourself. But let’s take some of these negative things you might have been saying to yourself, and see what a humble person might say in that same situation.
As you can see, that sense of “should” shows up a lot in those negative statements. A sense that you should be much better than what you are, that can only be based on an inflated and unrealistic view of yourself, one that you aren’t living up to. But in the humble points of view, there’s a note of thankfulness and joy behind a focus on God, rather than self.
The more you focus on God, and not yourself, the more you’ll be able to see yourself anew in His eyes. At that point insecurity, self-hate, and low self-esteem will be a thing of the past.
brookecharles asked: I cannot describe how thankful I am that God has put you on Tumblr! I met this guy two years ago. From the moment I met him, I felt something in my heart go: that’s it, he’s the one. Problem is, I feel like I haven’t made enough room in my heart for God because I so feverishly love others. I have been feeling, for a while, that God will not bless me with a husband (this guy or someone else) until I learn to love Him first and all others second.
I guess my question is, how do I come to love God more? How do I get Him to captivate my heart as much as others have? Now, lets be clear. I don’t want to love God just so he’ll give me things. I used to think that way, and have seen how foolish that is. I want to wholeheartedly surrender my heart to Him. I want to know His love. I’ve been a Christian for many years, but knowing, or rather, feeling how much I love this (aforementioned) man has taught me how much I want and need to love God, and then a billion times more. How do I do this? How do I love God more? [edited for length]
Unka Glen answered: What a beautiful question this is. The solution here is maybe less about making room in your heart for God, and more about loving God back in the way you’ve learned to love others, and then sharing that love with someone special.
Think about what it’s like to truly be in love:
— There is no logic or reason to it, in fact, it’s out of control. They call it “falling” in love for a reason, because you don’t think your way into it, or obligate your way into it, or guilt your way into it, you just fall. You surrender to the wild madness of that all-out giddy passion. This is exactly the way we should love the Lord.
— You love whether you’ll be loved in return. I understand that some people get worried that God will reject them (even though, ya know, the Bible says otherwise), but if God ever had a notion to reject me, that doesn’t mean I’m bound to reject Him. I’m hanging on for dear life, and I don’t intend to get shook off, no matter how many times I mess up.
— You see beauty where others would miss it. Remember the story of the woman caught in adultery? An angry mob is getting ready to kill a naked woman, and with one sentence, Jesus clears that mob away, takes her face in His hands and says, “that’s the end of you being condemned.” Do you see what’s beautiful about Jesus in that? The more beauty you see, the more you love, and the more you love, the more beauty you see.
— You want to share everything. That’s an odd thing about being in love, you want to know everything about them, and you want them to know everything about you. You want to understand and be understood. You want to constantly discover more about the object of your love, and you long to see yourself in the eyes of your lover.
— You feel complete in love. We say to ourselves, “I’ll feel attractive, if this person finds me attractive”, or “I’ll think of myself as desirable if this person finds me desirable”. Think of how completed you are by God’s love, a love that created you, a love that died to save you.
You already know how to love, so let yourself love.
Anonymous asked: Hey, so I have this friend who I’ve been friends with for over 6 years. She is the type of person who doesn’t let many get close to her, but she’s let me get closer than anyone else, which I count as a privilege. We’ve been friends through all sorts of trials (drugs, sex, abusive bf’s, etc) and in this past year He’s used my influence to get her going to church and Bible College. So I know I was put in her life for a reason, but the thing is it seems like every time we get close she’ll push me away. I know God calls us to love like He does, which means loving unconditionally and forgiving 70x7, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more than a little disappointed that this is how she treats me after 6 and a half years of friendship. I’m having trouble not being resentful, so I could use some prayerful advice.
Unka Glen answered: When people are treated better than what they feel they deserve, it feels wrong to them. They feel uncomfortable and don’t know how to react. You can’t pet a dog that’s used to getting kicked. Every positive gesture may be hiding an attack. You’re right when you say that six years is enough time to realize that nobody devises an elaborate ruse, to play out over a period of years, designed to get her to drop her guard, just to spring an attack of nastiness. “Ah yes, it took six long years of pretending to be a sincere loving Christian, but now the trap is finally set!”.
So yeah, the ball is in her court on this. You didn’t do this for the recognition and acclaim (as little or none seems to be forthcoming), and yet a little trust and intimacy doesn’t seem to be too much to ask. And it isn’t.
The question I have is: where’s the thankfulness? List out the first virtues that come to mind: faith, joy, hope, wisdom, love, and so on. Thankfulness is rarely on that list, and it really should be. We should teach thankfulness, we should practice it, your friend should be seeing it powerfully at work in you. If she thanked God daily for all the good things in her life, she’d be thanking God for you, and the friendship she has with you, and the way God reveals Himself through you, and it would be reinforced to her every day: I have an awesome friend. Over time trust would be undeniable. If you’re still an “influence” in her life, then I’d say influence up some thankfulness.