“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
I just can’t handle God and His demands. His expectations are far too high and totally unreasonable. Live in peace and don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t cheat or steal, don’t sleep around and be true to your spouse, don’t take a life. Love your neighbors as yourself. Seriously? That’s far too demanding and totally unrealistic. I can’t follow a God like that, so I’ll make up my own god that I like. While I’m at it, I’ll blame God for all the pain and evil in the world because he can stop it and doesn’t.
For those of you who don’t know me, I can be a bit sarcastic and cynical some times. The paragraph above, to clear up any possible misunderstanding, is very sarcastic with some cynicism thrown in for good measure.
At the end of the day, if we are not living in peace and living a life that’s pure (call it holy, pure, upright, whatever) we’re part of the pain and evil in the world. Whether big or small, through action or inaction, we are part of the problem we’re blaming God for. So, let’s blame God for us and not making us perfect. All together now: “God, you suck because you didn’t make me perfect, and you totallly missed the boat with everyone else too.”
Thing is, that’s how he did it, and part of being perfect is having free will. To know perfection you must know imperfection, light/dark, holy/evil, pure/impure, free will/automaton, etc. There has to be one for the other. Well, the first guy (Adam) screwed that up for us all. God put the knowledge of good and evil in the garden and told us to stay away from it. We didn’t. God continues to tell us to stay away from things, like trying to keep a child away from a hot stove, and we keep ignoring the advice. The problem isn’t God, it’s us.
Make every effort to live in peace and be pure in thought, word, and deed. It’s God’s advice to us; He’s imploring us to listen, just like we implore the child to stay away from the hot stove. If we don’t listen we pay the price. Not having been a child for a while, I don’t remember why I didn’t listen to “stay away from the stove our you’ll hurt yourself”. I do know today, after many years of not listening to God, that striving to live in peace and be pure in God’s eyes (holy) is not just good advice, it’s life saving.
We have a choice – we can be part of the problem (pain and evil) or solution (peace and purity). That’s obvious. Let’s not blame God for giving us the choice though. Instead, let’s put on our big boy (or girl) pants and own our choices. We’ll all be better off.