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Credit Where Credit is Due

It's always troubled me how God gets the blame for all of the bad stuff in the world. In blaming God for the bad, the assumption driving  that belief is that God causes bad things to happen.  The reason this is important to me is because it influences how we think about God and thus impacts, negatively, God's reputation.  I mean, really, who would want to get involved with a God who causes hurt and pain?  Best to avoid that kind of a God.  And so that's what happens... people distance themselves from God because of some really bad PR.

This morning I was reading in James, from the Bible. In the first chapter James addresses the readers who might be facing difficult times.  He encourages them to keep going with chin up during the difficulties and even promises good things to come for those who endure.  And then James says a couple of things that quickly knock this notion out of the water that the bad stuff comes from God.  He says:

1)  If your hard times are caused because you gave into temptation, don't blame that on God.  That's your own doing.  God didn't even cause the temptation.  It's your own desires that cause you to be misled. (v13-16)
2)  Whatever about this life that is good and perfect, that's what comes from God (v. 17).

I don't pretend to completely understand  how God works.  In fact, its funny because when I was younger I thought I had it all pretty much figured out.  As I get older, it seems as though I know less than ever about how God works. But one thing I am rock solid on is that the bad stuff doesn't come from God.  God's part with the bad stuff is to take the painful, ugly and broken things and turn those into something good and beautiful if we allow that.

Anything good in our lives at all, that came from God.

"Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above..."  

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