Home Featured Where Do You Draw The Line Between God’s Blessings and Personal Achievements?

Where Do You Draw The Line Between God’s Blessings and Personal Achievements?

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One afternoon while perusing Facebook statuses of friends, I came across a status message of a friend who was excited about a new job. I knew that she had been looking for a job for some time. She had completed her advanced education in the field of education and while one would assume that would help guarantee her employment; in this economy it means very little. Months had gone by and she had to pick up small part time jobs to bring in money during the interim between graduation and securing a job. I watched her motivation wane until one day I told her that although I didn’t know much about her industry she would need to make sure that she dedicated as much time to finding a job that normal people with jobs spend at their job. That meant a minimum 40-hour commitment. Once she reached that point I like to call, “this has to work” there was an immediate change in her behavior and she started to put in the time necessary to find her job. Eventually, she accepted an offer to be a teacher. I scrolled through the comments attached to her Facebook status and I saw one that stood out to me…

“See what God can do?!”



I thought to myself, “Really? It couldn’t be the Masters degree that she spent two years trying to earn, could it? It couldn’t be the hard work that she put into applying and interviewing for jobs, could it?” I felt her personal achievement had been reduced to very little. I discussed this with some friends and I began to tell them about my difficulty understanding why some people blame or credit God for everything. In my friend’s case, I think God gave her the knowledge to go out and earn her education, but he didn’t do her schoolwork for her, the onus was on her for that. God created opportunities in a tough economy, but he didn’t apply to a single job or sit next to her and answer the questions in her interviews; the onus was on her for that. To be honest, this happened about a year ago, and I sat on this topic for a long time because I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to approach this sensitive topic. I mean, honestly, what exactly has God done for you lately?

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At times, giving all the credit to God can be problematic and this isn’t regulated to only Christians. They can very well be applied to anyone who believes in any form of religion. I thought about three dangers.

1. Difficulties balancing humility and pride

It’s my opinion that sometimes in an attempt to always be as humble as possible and never show any pride, you notice that some believers belittle themselves to the point of being powerless. I don’t think that humility is about being powerless and I don’t think taking credit for your hard work makes you prideful. If you are able to appreciate your accomplishments and acknowledge that you didn’t do it all on your own, you can maintain the necessary balance of humility and pride. However, when you reduce yourself to the size of a pea in the spirit of humility, it becomes a problem.

2. Creating a scapegoat

There have been times when I’ve heard believers use the phrase, “It wasn’t in God’s plan” to describe when a certain situation didn’t work out the way they hoped it would. They sometimes use “God’s plan” to explain disappointment, but sometimes they know very well they fell back on that excuse when their level of effort was inadequate. One common example that comes to mind for me is when I have a family member or friend who refuses the help of doctors and then says, “It’s in God’s hands.” That’s a perfect example of when we blur the line of what God does for us. God places doctors and medical equipment around us, but if we’re expecting him to perform the miracle with his own hands, we’re creating a scapegoat.

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3. Struggles with understanding God’s place in our life

We have always struggled to see where God fits into our lives. Is he our sole provider of happiness? Are we totally dependent on Him for our existence and everything that happens in our lives? I’m not sure, everyone has to come to that conclusion for themselves. I believe that many of us believe in God because at the very foundation of the faith there is hope that things will get better by maintaining a great relationship with Him. Whether that is eternal life or a better job or even a few extra dollars for the light bill, we believe that God provides the way that happens. Because we struggle with understanding where he fits, we sometimes tend to credit him for everything good that happens in our lives. Personally, I’ve always relied on God for motivation and inspiration, but I didn’t forget that he gave me free will. He might have made me a genius, but if I wanted to squander away that talent, it doesn’t make it God’s plan. God doesn’t give me hope that things will get better. He gives me a way to make things better.

I understand that some of what I said here today might rub some believers the wrong way, that’s fair. I’d like to put this out there; my beliefs and my relationship with God is a very personal relationship. Althoug, I may have thought that my friend worked very hard for her job, if she wanted to give all the credit to God, that’s fine. She has her own personal relationship with God. I’m not judging with my thoughts but just merely trying to understand. Is everything that happens in your life on account of the Good Lord? Is it wrong for us to take credit for anything? I’m not sure. I guess that’s just where I’m at right now.

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– Dr. J

Comment(52)

  1. You should always give all Glory to God. Without Him nothing would be possible. Of course you have to put in the work but don't make the mistake of thinking that you could have done it on your own.

      1. Animate: "Devil's Advocate (which is probably not even the term I'm looking for): If God is due credit when good things happen he is equally at fault for the bad things"

        Not necessarily. Keep in mind we are living in Satan's world, and pain and suffering are part of it. But God can intervene and bless us.

        Of course, God certainly can and sometimes does bring "bad things". But just as some good things happen because we use what God gave us and not because of His direct involvement, bad things can happen without His direct involvement also.

      2. Remeber that God allwos us to go through TRIAL and TRIBULATIONS so that we can grow – if life was easy not only would we stay stagnant we would never learn – think of it like school if we kept getting the sme work we had already mastered we would stay stagment and grow in knowledge. We have to go through things to gain certain skills, learn lessons and grow as people.

        She has gained a valauble lesson from this so well done tto her cause she worked hard to get thjat job but God was with her throughout.

        Sometimes our parents don't intervene when we are going through things cause they know that we have the strength to geth through the situation we just need to find it and push but if things get too much they will tend to guide us in the right direction.

        So yeah to God be the glory – but don't think cause he's on your side that you can sit on your backside and expect to be handed things.

      3. Sadly, My girlfriend and me broke up a month ago. yeah.. i'm young ,handsome,lonely and still hurting.i may be in need of someone to love..still..My friends told me about ===cougarkissing_ C0M=== and i got curious about it.. they met their girlfriends there.,It's the best place to meet a older girlfriend . i cant risk myself..So i got a usename(Qcdude) there in order to find a new girlfriend.is it wrong?Jessica Simpson is fighting the battle of the post-baby bulge, a process she says is slower than she expected.

  2. God grants me the opportunity. From there it’s on me to take advantage of my blessing. For example, while I was in the mist of looking for a job, people would always tell me that “to get in this industry you have to know ppl. ” I prayed that God would give me the opportunity to progress. Once I started clearing my mind and just left certain things in Gods hands it gave me a chance to focus. I started finding networking events to go to. I also strated bumping into seasoned professionals in my field who have been mentoring me. God opened up the opportunity for me to meet these ppl. Personal achievement intersects with this by how you handle the opportunity. Do you do your part. For example I made sure to follow up with everybody who gave me a card, I used the knowledge they had to improve my resume and cover letter, I made time in my schedule to be at a lot of good networking events even when they weren’t close to my area. I pushed and pushed until I met God half way. I think a lot ppl think a blessing is God doing every single thing for you. God will bless you but you have to meet him half way.

    Like your friend. Sometimes you don’t get what you want but what you need. I know she had her masters, and while most would think that makes her the right fit for every job she applied for, that’s not always the case. Maybe there were something she had to work on before she could be ready to receive her blessing. Hence why she put God works as her status.

    As far as the saying ” It’s not in Gods plan”. I don’t use it as a scapegoat but as motivation to keep searching for my blessing ( opportunity). I went on interviews at great companies my first time around, bought a business suit for the interview, study the company, mock interviews etc… But unfortunately I didn’t get those gigs. I defentetly took time to see where I could have made an era, but I took into consideration that certain things aren’t meant for you at certain times. I found a part time gig in my field that has really helped me learn a few things. Hopefully by the end of the yr ( thanksgiving) I can use what skills I’m learning from this job ( blessing) to get a full time job thats good for me.

  3. God gives the promises and its up to me to believe the promises and walk in them. He is not going to come down and put me in the corner office- i have to study- He gives me strength and wisdom; I have to go for an interview- He gives me favour with the interviewer..get it?

    My entire existence is through Him, everything i have is on loan from Him and He can do with it as He pleases. If He decides to use His assets and through my obedience to make me great, famous, etc then its great! But not for me to boast- on what basis? None of the "stuff" is mine. People who are familiar with the Bible remember God in the Old Testament times- and i dont think we would have these conversations in those times!! Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly- which includes the freedom to say "you know what God- i got myself in the corner office- but thanks for keeping alive to do it".
    I think it comes down to the level of your personal relationship and belief in Him, because God only reveals Himself to the level you believe in. He is faith activated- the Word says "without faith, it is impossible to please God".

  4. I understand exactly where you are coming from with this post. So many times I see folks diminish their own role in their outcomes in life, and place it all in the "God's will" bucket. Really?! Dude you sat on your ass every day this week watching TV, did you think that job was gonna fall in your lap? At that point it would be a cop out to say it wasn't God's plan. So when you work hard, study hard, do all the preparation and then give God all the credit for the success you achieve as if the studying and work meant nothing, it seems (for lack of a better word) wrongheaded.

  5. There's always a level of being aware of his presence. People wouldn't believe me if I told them how I navigate life or make decisions so I credit myself. Or I attempt to explain 'how' to curious individuals, people humble enough to ask. The truth of the matter is faith in God comes from the retention of innocence and hope that he's always there with me. In always looking for him, searching for him, making my way closer to him, coincidences happen. It's how I navigate it's how I make judgement calls. As I head in a direction, yes it's me doing the work but that's as much as I can do. It's when a coicidence happens, or something so extraordinarily impossible or so flawlessly timed, or is such a beautiful array of perfect circumstances and events. It has to be God. When I see that, when I see him, I know what to do. Which translates to success. It's literally only living my life according to what I have faith God is clearly showing me and when I'm not sure…WWJD. For real though.

    1. My hard work — I look at it like this. When I'm looking for himand using my free will to decide the direction I wanna go in life, I know eventually he's going to show himself to me so that I'll have a sense of knowing what to do and how to get through. No matter how hard it gets no matter how difficult it gets — death itself couldn't stop me because I've accepted Jesus I know I'm going to Heaven and will see God regardless — I do what I must to see God. Sometimes he'll put stuff in my path to help, sometimes he'll give me the 'carry her she's losing faith, Angels protect her' treatment, sometimes he might even completely block my path. That's when I work REALLY hard. and that REALLY hard work translates into the path unfolding so that I can continue. aka an achievement that opens a door. Personally, whatever is reaped I know as prosperity. Blessings.

    2. I pray to God to say thank you now. When I feel forsaken I'll yell at him, or frustrated or like I can't get to him, because a human can only do so much work. My faith wanes. *I* believe in God within myself and my life. but now there has to be people in my path to continue to see him. and God is in love. There's never been a day in my life I've felt love or that's it's possible to love me. I don't have faith it's possible to. Ill never be so foolish as to believe my life matters, I'll never be so foolish as to believe people care about me, I'll never be so foolish as to trust, one person will choose a consumate, Christ-like woman. and just as a sick person needs a doctor to help a man has to care for a woman. HE has to provide new life, HE has to open a world of love to her. the people within such a world have to extend the love. I block that. I fear it. It's a logic flaw; clearly deceit. It doesn't exist anymore and never will exist. I can't achieve love. I know someone has to show me God so everything after that can be 'thank you.' Until then I'm full of pride. and rightfully so.

      1. Wow, I can really 'read'/feel the pain in your words. It is impossible for someone else to lift you up out of these feelings, but I agree someone will come along who will give you the necessary push to work your way through it.

        I just want to reach out to you, and let you know that you are not alone, God loves you, even if you feel all the thngs you have mentioned are permanent and unchanging. God is miraculous, and you are no less deserving than all the happy and successful people you see around you.

        If you do want to reach out and talk to someone:
        lolacandy87 [at] live.com

  6. This is a complicated issue for a lot of people to understand, but, in my opinion, God gives you the opportunities, and the will and the strength to press forward. So it shouldn’t be viewed as diminishing your own role in your achievements because you had to actually take actions to get to your current place or status.

    Yes, I have put in the work, but I know that without God, I may not have gotten to where I am today. For instance, my last year in law school was a 2008/2009, and everyone knows that was a horrible year for the economy, particularly for lawyers. A lot of my friends who had job offers from large firms, had those offers rescinded or had their start dates postponed. Some of those people still don’t have jobs or have only recently found employment. These were people who I knew had better grades than I did in law school and more accomplishments. However, despite all of that, I had a job before graduating that pays pretty well and I’m still employed at the same place. So obviously, I had to go to law school and achieve a lot on my own, but I believe it was through God giving me the strength and the wisdom. I don’t even feel as if I am somehow diminishing my own achievements because everyone sees me and knows me for what I have done. Everyone automatically gives me the credit anyway. No one knows about what God has done in my life, unless I mention it.

  7. i trust in the Lord with all my heart. i dont lean exclusively to my own understanding ( i pray for direction) . in all my ways i acknowledge him (thank you LORD!) and he directs my path (when i am being a good girl, lol)

    proverbs 3:5-6

  8. Sensitive subject indeed… everyone 's walk with God is different. We are all at different levels, and I understand Dr. J's position. I often wonder if sometimes as we achieve more education, status, or wealth does our need for God diminish.

    God has a funny way of humbling you, of getting you to view things from His perspective. I always had a relationship with God, but it was through various situations in my life that I grew closer to Him and learned to depend on him solely. Does this means you have the right to be lazy? absolutely not!

    However, you have to remain grounded in Him who gives all things and remember from whom all blessing flow. God will process you. It will not be pretty. It will hurt, but in the end you will be better for it. I took my education, job and savings account as a blessing from God but, looking back I realize how much credit I gave myself. After loosing my job and draining my savings due to an extended period of unemployment, I realized just how God is the provider of all things!

    He humbled me, and it was very painful. I wish that on no man, I guess what I am trying to say is remain humble you actually can not do anything without Him. Don't find out the hard way like me, remain humble, seek Him first, and all things will be added unto you. He is still in control!

  9. First off, great topic.

    “Really? It couldn’t be the Masters degree that she spent two years trying to earn, could it? It couldn’t be the hard work that she put into applying and interviewing for jobs, could it?”

    It's not so much that your own work and effort isn't acknowledge, but the fact that faith without works is dead. You can only do so much, as there are several people with master's degrees in the unemployment line that can testify to that.

    "Are we totally dependent on Him for our existence and everything that happens in our lives?"

    It is in Him that we live, move and have our being, but I would say no. He's blessed us the ability to do things, but we have to get up and do them. Many of Jesus' parables centered on being good stewards with what we've been given. As you said, "I didn’t forget that he gave me free will. He might have made me a genius, but if I wanted to squander away that talent, it doesn’t make it God’s plan."

    Although I hear where you're coming from. I used to work with someone who would verbally thank God for every little thing, and it was irritating. She could never keep it to herself. I understand, but it does get tiresome when she does something as small as write something on a post-it note, then say, "I thank God for the use of my hands!"

  10. I know I'm grateful for my current job and I know where that blessing came from. I was unemployed for about a year. I graduated with an engineering degree almost ten years prior, but worked my entire career in construction and project management. When I found out about the position, I wasn't going to even put an application in, but my mom urged me to saying you don't know what God has in store. Without getting into too many of the details, I got the position when:

    1. I didn't have the engineering experience.
    2. I knew there were more qualified (by their requirements) candidates.
    3. People usually work there for life, but someone just happened to leave at the time (I've met and spoke to the person that I replaced).
    4. The hiring process usually takes 6-9 months after submitting a resume, according to many people I spoke to. I was working within two.

    I could give God the credit, or give myself credit, say it was my efforts, and say the position opening up was a coincidence. But an old saying is coincidence is just when we make God anonymous.

    1. *soaks in this comment* That's exactly what I mean. When there is absolutely no way it would make sense for something to happen and it happens anyway, I'm like…'thank you'. Or when there's a constant 'this happens, then this happens, then this happens' and it's a perfect opening for something I need or will need…I'm like. Yeah. That's God. and then I acknowledge myself for the work I've done. When talking to people about it I tend to adjust my language so that I'm speaking biblically without directy preaching. You feel the impact of my words. Your life becomes better for it. and I pass a blessing to you as God would have me do as a Christian. but I credit myself when credit is due. I do work mad hard I don't like not having it acknowledged.

      1. Alakaii Hawaii: "I credit myself when credit is due. I do work mad hard I don't like not having it acknowledged."

        I agree.

        Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

        Not God does all things for us, but we can do. Get up and do something. Acknowledge that God directs your paths and has blessed you, but also realize you had to put in the effort.

    2. i think what you said, came closest to how i think…on the concept of 'faith without works".

      while i may accomplish what i must on this earthly plain, i humbly ask that He give me the internal strength and confidence to believe in myself, to get what needs to be done, done…

      and sometimes, it just may not be….everything, good and bad, happens for a reason, in my opinion, and there are many times, where it won't make sense to me, or it's just not supposed to make sense to me.

      so i take the good with the bad, and do my best to be a little bit better than the day before.

  11. The way I see it its a 50/50 deal. You gotta hustle down here, and you get rewarded for ya hustle up there..God takes care of you if you keep him @ the forefront.

  12. Great question!

    I think of it this way…in your friend's case, yes, she got the masters degree, filled out the application, and rocked the interview, but God guided her through those experiences. God is the reason that another qualified individual was not selected, but she was. God was the reason other opportunies didn't work out because He knew they were not what she needed.

    My experiences have brought me to understand that on our own, no matter how fly society paints us to be or how fly we think we are, we are not good enough without God. God is that ultimate "boost" that makes us great. That's just how I see it.

  13. Man this is right up my alley. I thought about this a while back and came to some of the same conclusions.

    I will readily admit that I usually smirk when I see things like what you saw. I too sometimes look at things with a smirk. My problem(s) come in when its like what some would consider God playing favorites. Why would one person get the job and not someone else? I totally get why people get upset when things aren't going their way and they are being what they consider faithful. The whole God's Plan thing doesn't work for me usually. Why? Because it's almost an assumption that free will doesn't exist and that is not something I believe in, the non-existence of free will.
    My recent post Murci, Murci Me

    1. We all have our roles to play. Your position/role is not the same as someone else's. and I would think a person who has greater faith in God would be put in a higher position than someone who has less faith because through that person greater works can be done. More people can be reached and brought to Christ. So when God "plays favorites" it's not really playing favorites. It's him being God and knowing who is best and who goes where and how he can move into the lives of others through that person. God has a plan. Doesn't mean you have to abide by it. He gives you the option and you have to deal with whatever comes your way, good, bad or neutral.

      1. (*chuckling at a mental scenario* Female: do these pants make me look fat?? male: yeah, but only the right thigh. The left one is a little smal — oooh. )

    2. Animate –

      You do have free will, however, that does not mean God does not know what you will and will not do. He knows everything about you, including your free will choices. Since He KNOWS ALL – that is not the absence of free will. He just knows your beginning and end. He does not dictate your choices.

  14. i don't know about you jay but i have in God and all things that happen in my life i attribute and give thanks to Him for. the good and the bad. when good things happen in my life or to those close to me i give him the glory. when i am going through trials and tribulations i know my character is being tested so that i can grow in likeness to Christ.

    this may not be how everyone operates and i understand that.
    My recent post Why Are We So Ok With Mediocrity?

  15. Good topic and post. In short, moral of the story:

    God helps those who help themselves.

    Have a safe and blessed Labor Day weekend folks!

  16. Insightful! I've often asked myself this question. My mom is devoutly religious, my father was kinda "meh" about it. So when I was old enough, I developed my own concept of God's place in my life and decided how I would honor that relationship.

    I think when it's comes to God's blessings, your faith in Him is basically a conduit to your happiness. God does have a preordained design for your life. But the thing about free will is when you choose wrong or go against His plan, God has a way of stepping in and pulling you back to where you need to be. That's what intuition is. We've all experienced it. Definitely agree w/ the Proverbs verse, but the verse I always fall back to is Romans 8:28. Even when things aren't going the way you want them to, all things happen for the greater good.
    My recent post What If Your Wife Can’t Make You A Father?

  17. The Bible also talks about rejoicing in times of trouble, so to answer your question about the bad things that happen to us, I believe that they are designed to teach us, and elicit growth, so we should not curse him in those times, but thank him because trials and tribulations make you stronger and help you get to that next level.

    The "not in God's plan" statement is rooted in faith in God. He wants what's best for us, so when something doesn't pan out, stating that it wasn't in God's plan is a declaration that God has something better for us…

    I believe God is present in all things, and all situations. Free will gives us the choice to follow him, or go our own way. Your friend, in thanking God for the job she got, is understanding that God gives those of us who have faith in him favor. His favor is what got her that job in spite of all the other people with masters and even doctorate degrees looking for work.

    I do thank God for all things, big and small, expected and unexpected.
    My recent post 10 Reasons Why Women Love Christian Grey

  18. Its sad that people are still caught up in that tangles web of this subtly seductive form of mind control. This might be received wrong way, but the concept of "god" that many of people believe in is a complete fictitious creation of a racist imagination.  Why is it that when your prayer's go unanswered you wonder why god and don't consider it was your actions thar were erroneous, or how about your achievements,  credit is given away to god and you don't even know its real "name" (Arab as well as European)Slave masters conditioned our ancestors(the savage/heathens) to be dependent on them by using religion to instill the "fear of god" in them and their offspring genetically. Now today you sell your mind body and soul to an institution designed to rob you of just that. Essentially, they have disconnected the internal sense of autonomy and responsibility installed universally by the true creative spirit of all life. Doing so robs you of accountability for your actions, and worse it keeps you from taking the reigns of your life and steering it in the proper direction. The most high doesn't need your praises and doesn't have the petty emotional dramas that have been attributed to it. Theres no favor for you over another because nature has its way with everyone. Its time we mark return to sender on the fraudulent concepts used to colonize the mind body and soul, and take back the responsibility for our lives and what we accomplish (or not) in it. 

      1. How Could They? Truth Stuns Those Who Arent Ready For It. Plus I'm Not Malicious With It And Yall Know Its True. I'm Not A Christian, So I Had The Presence Of Mind To Actually Read The Red Text (Words Of Christ) And Its All Metaphor For Personal Accountability And Autonomy. True, There Is A Force (Spirit If You Will) Which Animates All Life In This Universe, And That Is What Our Ancestors Honored As Their Diety And Even The People Demonstrating Master Of That Knowledge With Wisdom Were Diefied By The Masses. Much Like The Celebrities Today. But To Say That Another Person (That Many Call God) Is Doing The Work For You, Not Only Takes The Credit From The Effort One Puts In, But It Also Takes The Credit Away From The Creator That Enabled You To Utilize Your Creative Power In Accomplishing Your Goal. The Creative Spirit Of The Universe Manifests In The Physical As All The Forms You Can See, But When You Look Within (Assuming You Have The Kind Of Eye That Looks With In) You WILL See That Same Spirit Shining.. Know What Its Name Is??

    1. OK, I'll bite.

      "Slave masters conditioned our ancestors(the savage/heathens) to be dependent on them by using religion to instill the "fear of god" in them and their offspring genetically.

      Then what about the early Jews and Christians who had no political or religious power to spread the Gospel? Or the people who do the same today despite being persecuted, jailed and killed, in countries across the planet?

    2. "Essentially, they have disconnected the internal sense of autonomy and responsibility…Doing so robs you of accountability for your actions, and worse it keeps you from taking the reigns of your life and steering it in the proper direction."

      How so? When the entire concept of the Bible is about using your free will to choose Him, how is God taking responsibility? When the Bible make comments like the man that doesn't work shouldn't eat, that the man that doesn't take care of his family should be treated as an infidel, that a man has a responsibility to love his wife and keep his family together, that God doesn't tempt you with evil, but you do it on your own, where is responsibility taken away? Thanking God =/= no accountability for yourself, no more than thanking your parents for raising your right takes credit for the good things you do in life.

  19. I'm late to the party and everybody is already out celebrating labor day, but this was a great post. I never thought about it this way.

    I think the way that someone described it upthread makes the most sense. Some see God as what pushes them through when others have quit or got distracted, which allows them to get that new opportunity. You can also see it in the context of job hunt process specifically. Maybe that person's resume was number 101 in the pile and the recruiter said he'd look at the first 100. Then for some odd reason, (s)he decides to look at one more. I think you know the rest from there.

    My recent post The Downward Dog, Upward Hamster, and My First Time at Yoga

  20. “See what God can do?” He brought you into her life, Dr. J. 🙂

    That may sound pat, but in answer to your question, and to sum up what others have said previously..God not only points you in the right direction, but He also puts people in your path.
    My Pastor is always saying, God can HEAL our body, but he (my Pastor) ain’t no fool..he’s still going to go to the Doctor. 😉

  21. Interesting subject matter. IDK, God has a plan for all of us, I get that. But I sometimes have a hard time thinking that he cares if I get the job over another person (just an example), so I don't typically pray for things like that. I feel that I have a pretty strong, self-sufficient, core but I do give God praise when things work out well for me. Religion, spirituality, faith, etc are such personal things…I just hate when people try to force their belief systems on me. Maybe it was God, maybe it was my tenacity, maybe it was the fact that God instilled me with a certain level of tenacity *shrugs*…but what I do know is that I have a personal relationship with Him, and I don't need to beat people over the head with it for it to be there and strong in its own right.

  22. I hate to sound like some sort of scrooge against humanity but sometimes I feel like people used god as a crutch too much. I know a young lady who is preggers, doesn't want to be, and has the stank face on. Know for a fact she's had three or four abortions over the last few years. I can't for the life of me understand how she keeps getting in this situation. When asked why she didn't take precautions against this she said, "God, never gives you more than you can handle." In my opinion, this is bull. God gave her common sense, and god gave us birth control-lots of it in this day and age. It's not 1952, hell, it's not 1992. Don't go blaming god for your lack of responsibility.

  23. also, I don't understand when people say things like, "god made sure I didn't get killed by that serial killer." So, god doesn't care about them other people? They didn't pray as much? Or, was it just "their time?" Someone please explain. No, honestly, please explain.

  24. Very well said. I posted some similar (to me) posts on twitter a few weeks ago- they were, " 'Let go and let God deal with it' is a powerfully hard statement for a man to follow" "As a man, we're taught to always push and never give up, well is "letting go" the same as giving up?" "As a man we're taught that its our job to carry our own weight and don't expect anyone to help a grown ass man deal wit his problems " "Well again, is "letting go" not saying that I can't deal wit my own problems? " " I've def stressed over it enough that I'm ready for God's helping hand but I don't wanna feel like I'm givin up or punking out too soon" – basically what I was saying was is it working harder or waiting on God that's gonna get me over this slump that I'm in? Well it was working harder, I agree with the author, God gave me these gifts, its my job to use them not God's.

  25. I appreciate the angle on this. My Christian journey often brought me to similar questions but then i read this: Faith without works is dead (James 2:20).

    I dont think it has to be about personal achievement or God’s blessing. It can be both. Scripture tells us that you have to put in work in order to receive your blessing and/or to make it through a tough situation. Your friend put in work because she had faith that God was going to give her what she alone could not achieve. She should be proud of her self for working hard and thankful to God for guiding her.

    You’ve started something with this question and I think a lot of us in our age group think about this stuff but dont have a safe place to talk about it without feeling judged or whatever. For me, my questions about Christianity have to do with relationships. I have yet to find a place or person with whom i can have an honest, unbiased dialogue about faith and relationships. But that’s another convo lol. Anyways, thanks for being bold enough to share this thought.

  26. Great read because even for the die hard believer, it forces you to process whether you blame God when you didn't try hard enough by saying…..it was his will. I've learned to admit when I was lacking, because we can never expect God to bless us unless we are actually attempting to work it out ourselves.Like the word says, faith without works is dead. But when we actually commit to trying to move forward, he takes over in a way where it's fitting we give him credit for moving on our behalf.

  27. GREAT POST! I think every one of us have the potential to be great at life. I know that this comes from God. Whether we activate that Divine Greatness is up to us. I learned that God gives us what we need to be blessed and successful and he leaves the How up to us as individuals. He isn't some puppet-master choosing our lives for us. He is like any other Father that is there for Comfort, Advice and Suggestions, yet it is still up to us.

    Acknowledging Him first in everything we do automatically gives Him the Glory and set our paths straight. Bad things happen to good and bad people, mainly because we don't live in bubbles and others choices will always affect us. That's goes back to understanding that God does not puppet master our lives. Understanding that he gives you freedom to live and BE what you aspire to be and will also assist every now and then. However….our lives are up to us. When troubles come, a person must evaluate what happened, learn and move forward, wiser.

    Acknowledging The Creator takes nothing away from a person understanding the his/her part in an achievement or stumble. Without God nothing exist and for that He is worthy to be acknowledge in general.

  28. The title had me thinking this was going to be from an atheistic sense, no offense. Glad to say I was wrong. I’ve had these same thoughts and feelings myself, but it’s not easy to express them. Some people tend to get turned off when discussing God’s abilities. I personally feel like He does control everything in our lives. However, He also provides doors and opportunities, as well as shuts some because He has the foreknowledge to know what is good for us and what isn’t. If we decide to “listen” to what is in our hearts then cool. If not, and we find ourselves in a jacked up situation; well we can’t blame God for that. As you stated, we have free will to do or not do.

    Admittedly it’s hard, but it’s really about finding the balance of not limiting God’s supernatural abilities vs. being practical and pragmatic in how we live our lives. As we grow in relationship with Him, things tend to become a little clearer, and we rely on Him more. In that relying on Him is trusting that He has blessed us with the good common sense to make decisions that are pleasing to Him.

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