The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Dealing with Difficult People

Why You Shouldn’t Gloat When Your Enemies Go Down

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You consider yourself to be a committed Christian.  You’re the good guy.  You’re on the right side.  So when that jerk who has been hassling you suddenly gets hit with some brutal trial which causes him to get off your back, you find yourself wanting to do a victory dance.  After all, isn’t God exalting you by smacking your enemy down?  Clearly when the bad news is being poured out on the heads of the people who oppose you while your path is being covered in blessings, then that means God is for you and against them, doesn’t it?  Not necessarily. In real life, things are a lot more complicated than this, and in this post we’re going to discuss what some of those complications are. Read more of this post

You’re Sick Because You Sinned: Dealing with Misguided Christians

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As we explain in many articles on this site, God is the Source of every trial and blessing in your life.  His primary reason for creating trials in your life is to draw you closer to Him.  When we’re hurting, we suddenly find ourselves motivated to ask theological questions that we used to avoid, and we become receptive to difficult truths.  When life is going great, we find it uncomfortable and threatening to think about God’s involvement with evil.  But when He saddles us with some debilitating disease or with some chronic illness, suddenly we become much better listeners.

Suffering has a way of spiking our courage so that we stop running away from the scary questions. Why does a good God want people to suffer?  Why are His methods so brutal at times?  How can we tell when God is upset with us and when He’s pleased?  Why is God silent when we’re seriously depressed?  Why does He refuse to answer us the way we need Him to?  Why does He sometimes act as if He’s abandoned us in our hour of need?  Why are some of us suffering so much more than others?  These are the tough questions that we need to get around to facing if we’re going to grow close to God, and we discuss all of these issues in other articles on our site.  If you’re sick, it doesn’t at all mean that God is mad at you, punishing you, or cursing you.  If you’re sick, it doesn’t mean you have insufficient faith or unconfessed sins.  Certainly spiritual rebellion is a real thing, and God will often use trials to drive rebels towards repentance.  But once we start saying that all health problems are a form of Divine discipline, well then we’re just being absurd.  Even health problems which start out as a form of discipline cease to be about discipline once a soul repents.  This is because God is not a jerky Father who beats on His obedient kids.  God is a very good and gracious Father.  If you sincerely care about pleasing Him, then He’s pleased with you—it’s just that simple.  But you can count on the fact that His pleasure will not manifest itself in the form of a trial free life, because God has you on this planet to mature, not stagnate.  Read more of this post

Dealing with Sinners

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We all sin. We all have issues—serious, deep-rooted issues. We all have our dark secrets that we’re not about to share with anybody else. Before we begin a discussion about how to respond to sinners, we need to get real about the extent of our own depravity. A “sinner” isn’t just that dude over there who is so obviously wallowing in carnality. A sinner is also you—the judgmental soul who’s sitting one pew over feeling all smug and superior because you’re better than that crud ball. Whenever we start laying down rules about how to deal with sinners, we’re not just talking about how you should deal with the lowlifes all around you. We’re also talking about how those lowlifes should deal with you. Read more of this post