behappy wrote:HiJolly- thanks for the explanation. Nelson's article is a very funny way to say that God will not bless you if you sin. I now want to know how does God bless our lives? In conference over the weekend I heard that if you pay your tithing God will bless you with all sorts of things from the blessings of heaven to fire insurance to protecting you from divorce. Trouble is I don't see God as giving anyone any of these "Goodies" regardless of their behavior or tithing status. The only way I see God blessing our lives is through His love. I don't see God intervening in any other way.
The idea that God blesses humans with goodies does not correspond with what I see in the world. Why would God bless my family with a house or safe travels when he allows children to go without food or allows the genital mutilation of little girls. Do I feel fortunate or blessed for my life? ABSOLUTELY!! But do I see God withholding or granting material blessing or protections to anyone? Absolutely not.
It's pretty confusing, isn't it. Do you think a valid or accurate understanding of God comes through science, or religion? Objective facts, or psychology?
My view is that things happen to everyone, and our job is to fashion our world view primarily from what happens to us. Thus, being based on information only known in its entirety by ourselves, our lives become a reflection of our experience and how we deal with that experience. This is how religion works in relation to our lives. As you can see, it's not an objective, scientific process. But we have to go through it, regardless of any objections as to how it works.
The Bible tells us to attribute all good things to the beneficence of God. And there is a very solid psychological reason to do so, if you "fear God". I like the following quote:
"Isn't it better to believe in a loving universe than a hostile one? We will be different people if we believe everything is motivated by love rather than if we believe everything is motivated by greed or hatred. Beliefs are less statements about reality than meditative practices to change the believer's attitudes
~~Toby Johnson in *Gay Spirituality*
I choose to believe God is generous and gives me blessings daily. My choice, yes, but that choice also delivers results in ways I can't rationally understand. Experience tells me that it's real for me, and that's where the rubber meets the road.
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus