Why blame God?

I had conversations with two women recently, who both expressed the same question in nearly the exact same words.

“What did I ever do to make God so mad that I deserve all this?”

Both women have had their share of tragedies and difficulties and are facing more now.

Julie lost her husband two years ago after a year-long fight with cancer. He was in his 60’s. Now, her 89-year old father just died, while, at the same time daughter delivered a pre-mature baby.

Sharon’s son (early 20s) was killed in a traffic accident three years ago. Now her husband has just been diagnosed with ALS.

My heart goes out to both of them. They both have taken and continue to take some hard hits. I would not want to trade places with either of them.

However, I cannot agree that they should be blaming God and themselves for their problems. A loving God does not punish someone by causing suffering to their loved ones. Sometimes things just happen. Diseases like cancer and ALS are tragic, as are fatal traffic accidents. However, they are not part of some sinister plot by God to inflict pain on the victim’s families.

It is a common religious belief, one to which I do not subscribe, that God has some sinister plan, and that everything that happens to a person is because of that plan. You frequently hear people say, “Everything happens for a reason.”

In the extreme, people see God meddling in the details of their life. This was a common theme among the ancient Greeks. The epics of Homer and the plays of Sophocles and Euripides were filled with the Greek Gods messing around and manipulating the mortals. To one degree or another, it remains a common theme among some religious groups today.

Some bad things that have known and tangible causes. A life-long smoker need not question the metaphysical source of his lung cancer, just as a drunk driver need not examine the reason behind his car becoming wrapped around a tree.

In other cases, like a brain tumor, a pre-mature birth or ALS, things happen without any reason, at least none we can fathom. Those breaks are not evenly or fairly distributed among us. Nothing guarantees that life is just. So there is no benefit to torturing yourself by asking what you did to deserve your fate. The answer may be “nothing” or “everything,” but your loving God doesn’t use your past actions to punish or reward you, at least not in this life. Sometimes stuff just happens. That’s life.

Advertisements

3 responses to “Why blame God?

  1. I believe there is indeed a randomness to everything, but yet still hold a belief in God. I do not think He is directly involved in my employment status or whether or not I stub my toe or if my refrigerator lasts another month…

  2. That is exactly my point.

  3. I agree with your point of view. The belief that God uses pain and suffering as a way to punish us is an ancient belief which some just can’t seem to let go. I prefer to believe God is more like a loving parent. Good things happen to us and he is happy. Bad things happen and he hurts, but he can’t prevent them from happening to us either, just as we often can’t protect our own children from the hurt and evil in the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s