Slips in theology

‘God will give us peace, but first we must give Him our worries’

I hate these kind of sayings!

God will give us peace, but……

I have come across similar messages two or three times in the last week, and each time I find myself internally raging.

The problem that I have is that the implicit message is that we have to act in a certain way to somehow unlock God’s mercy. In this case, before we get the peace we so long for, we must hand over our worries. The converse to that – until we hand over our worries God won’t play ball.

There is an important slippage there. It is absolutely true that we are unlikely to find peace until we are able to surrender our worries. And I believe God is the source of that peace. I certainly have found that in my own life the transition towards peace has happened when I recognised my profound need for grace.

But I think what prevents the movement into peace is my own clinging to the world I knew before the chaos began. That isn’t on God, that is something I need to let go of.

I cannot believe in a god who would withhold comfort because I haven’t completed the checklist. In my experience it is I who blocks God’s action in my life.

If we fail to notice this slip – we can end up pouring coals on the head of someone who is already in pain. And we do so with the very best of intentions, often never noticing the wreckage we leave in our wake.

Getting to place where peace is possible is a bit life the journey of grief – it takes time and there are many stages along the way.

The only acceptable response to those who have not yet found peace is compassion. And the only prayer to be prayed is that they might find the desire to hand over their worries to God.

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