Hey guys, would you be willing to answer some questions, or give a little feedback, if you are inclined? Maybe we could sit for a while?
I wish we could…somewhere so your voice, facial expressions, and hand gestures and body language could accompany your answers! Maybe a park bench in NYC’s Central Park while it’s still September and the temperature is perfect, or a comfy couch in the lobby of a beautiful hotel with tall ceilings and exotic tropical planters, or in the warm sand on a beach in Mexico where the waves are washing up but not too loudly that we can’t hear one another…or at a cold keyboard in front of a stark computer screen on a boring desk…or whatever.
You don’t have to share these answers here. Feel free to ponder them, wrestle with them a bit, maybe journal about them or ask them of another person. I’d love to hear what you have to say, though, so feel free to share in the comments or shoot me an email.
I’m a curious person and people’s stories matter to me. It’s my life’s work. And I’d love to know you better.
An Interview with…YOU.
If you had 5 minutes and a microphone to share with the world, what would you share? Why is this important to you?
If practicality were not an issue, what job or career would you have, and why?
What strengths and gifts come naturally to you that you are offering to the world?
What’s your Highest high and your Lowest low?
When is the last time you felt like God was working through you to encourage or inspire others?
What do you think people say about you behind your back?
What breaks your heart?
How have you remained in community in our polarized country?
Has your faith or the way you practice your faith or belief, changed in the last 5-10-15 years?
Do you believe you are loved? Why or why not?
Do you believe God is good? Why or why not?
Has social media been a positive or negative aspect in your life? How so?
I would love to share with you my heart regarding God’s goodness. I am a preacher daughter and while I was taught a lot about Grace I didn’t see much of it in action from the Church. In the Church of my childhood there were what I saw as two conflicting messages.
This heart shredding message led me down an unconscious path of not really believing God is good and ultimately led to a deep cavern of no trust in the Jesus whom I loved (love).
One message was that God has saved me by his precious shed blood, death, and resurrection. That God had redeemed me. The opposite message was that in my sin nature I could be ultimately disappointing to God and somehow left outside of his love. This left me with the question, is God good or not?
I can best express the rest of this story with this quote from writer Hud McWilliams from his personal counsel, mentoring, and his book Discipline of Disturbance, “if we accept that God exists but we can’t embrace his goodness as an”absolute” then we will remain stuck developmentally. If we believe there is a God and we need to be in relationship with him, yet because he is a mystery and Old Testament stories are most often portray him as violent, we are left with the grinding puzzlement over just how he can be trusted, instead of the basis for living with the God being pure love and kindness, we are afraid of messing up and being punished or worse! ”
This helps describe the deadly mixture of good with enough distortion that we lose the ability to access the freeing power of TRUTH! God does NOT change; we simply have twisted messages so that we are no longer getting at the truth.
God does not play games with us. His love is not based on human performance. The question of God’s goodness gets to the core of how we think about him. If we want to talk about God and his goodness and love, we have to start with Jesus. Jesus is the understanding of God in all of his fullness!
Jesus taught that he was God. Contrary to today’s post modern Pluralism we don’t get to decide what Truth is. We are not arbiters of truth. God’s goodness is not based on our personal views and thoughts. Jesus recognized no such basis for “truth” He said “I am the truth…”
Jesus also said and John affirmed as an eye witness that God is love.
To cut this story short I will sum of up by saying I believe God created us for the purpose of relationship and holiness. Reverent fear of God is a very different issue than some kind of untouchable being who is just waiting to zap us to hell in a fit of anger.
God is not against us. He invites us into relationship with him. He invites us to joy without distortion. I cannot explain God’s wrath but I can accept his mercy and grace trusting in the Truth of Jesus, the one who risked himself and came for me. Who left glory and did not count it as loss but as the joy set before him he endured that Holy Wrath for me.
The good God that I now trust has allowed me to understand my guilt and relieved me of toxic shame and will show me goodness all the days of my life in the midst of ilness, job loss, loss of love of a loved one. His goodness is the source of life and joy. I am so glad he will never lose one of his own and that he goes after the one sheep who strays among the ninety -nine.I
Jill, thank you so much for sharing your heart and some of your own journey to God’s good heart! That quote by McWilliams is so good and your takeaway, how you’ve chosen to embrace the True God who is never changing, rather than the one filtered for you via fear and performance. Amen!
Thank you Adrienne! Sorry for a few typos. I was so excited to share that I didn’t check.
God continue to bless you!
Jill, spelling doesn’t matter around here…just the candid sharing of hearts…that’s what I care about, for sure! xoxox
Saved these questions to ponder… <3
Maybe one day we’ll be across the table together and I can hear your answers. xoxox
If I had five minutes and a microphone…I would share with the world that very little of what we spend our ebb edgy o. Will after in the end. It is the relationships we have that matter and give life meaning. The Bible from beginning to end is about relationship. God created is because he wants to be on relationship with us. He does not “need” us, but he desires to interact with is. I am convinced thAt God does not want us to need him. He would far rather we “DESIRE” to be close contact, connection with Him.
Jill, thanks for sharing your 5 mins here. Sorry I’m just replying. I didn’t see this for some reason! So sorry! Yes, it’s all about an interactive, loving relationship with our loving Father Creator. Beautiful truth!
Oops typo in first sentencing to say..what we spend our day going about doing. Will afterlife in the end.