Embrace Day Two

Questions to Answer:

  1. Is your relationship with God fueled by a fear of hell, or by his love?
  2. Does your spiritual environment focus more on God’s wrath or on his love? How can you surround yourself with a community that spurs you on to be complete in love?

For the longest time my feelings towards God and any relationship between Him and myself have been based on fear and not doing things that will bring His anger and punishment. From a young age the message from church and those I saw as leaders was one of avoiding the punishment causing me to hide from authentic relationships and push my failures down into a place of anger at myself. Thank you for reiterating the truth of God’s unconditional Love for me and His never failing promise to support me in all I endure.

  1. I would have to say it’s fueled by neither. I have no fear of Hell. I do not feel he loves me.
  2. I guess you would say it is focused on his wrath. It hurts me so much when people tell me I am being put through this for a reason. God has a reason why you are never meant to have a spouse or partner. God has a reason why you were molested as a child. God has a reason why you were raped and held at gunpoint as a teen. How in the world can I feel God loves me, when these things are said to me…by fellow Christians.
  1. When I was growing up, my priest said there is no evidence that any human has actually gone to hell, and that all you have to do to avoid hell is repent and accept God’s grace. I have to think, when faced with that choice at the pearly gates, the feeling of overwhelming love would turn anyone toward God.

  2. My spiritual environment focuses more on God’s love. I never felt like I was being punished for anything. there was a long time I felt like I was being tested, and in retrospect I think I was, but when I surrendered control the blessings came pouring in. I’ve been through a few communal journeys, but it’s hard to maintain when they come to an end or disband. Unfortunately, where I am right now, community takes an active and mindful effort.

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Is your relationship with God fueled by a fear of hell, or by his love?

None of them. I believe in an afterlife and in a judgment for what was done during our time on Earth, but I don’t believe in hell and heaven as some kind of eternal and located places. Living for the perspective of a reward and/or in fear of eternal punishment goes against our duty to better ourselves, to seek growth and just living a righteous life during the time given to us.

At this time of my life my relationship with God is like the one of two strangers who have yet to meet each other. I never felt his love, but I’ve seen myself being slowly more curious and willing to open my heart to Him. At this point it just feels very insecure, so I’m not trying to force anything.

Does your spiritual environment focus more on God’s wrath or on his love?

My spiritual environment is not really existent as I grew up in places and environments that were mostly agnostics or atheists, or Catholics by tradition and not faith. Spirituality though always held a place in my heart, but I’ve always been scared to let it be.

Part of me was more focused on God’s wrath, even if I’m full of contradictions and trying to figure this out. I believe God allowed awful things to happen to me and for that I feel a lot of resentment. I also refuse to hear that it would have a purpose. That doesn’t make any sense to me and doesn’t fit with my vision of God. However a huge part of me doesn’t believe in God’s intervention in human’s life. I don’t believe in predestination and, instead, I strongly believe in moral responsibility. I believe we have the world we deserve and it’s up to us to make it a better place as He wanted.

On the other hand, I tend to pray God for people I love and care about as if it was heard, as if He could do something about it. It’s like two opposite sides of the same piece and I’m trying to be at peace with the fact that both make sense to me, even if they don’t as a larger system. Overall, I aspire to focus my spiritual environment on His love and only this. But for some of us, this love can be painful. It takes time to welcome it with open arms.

How can you surround yourself with a community that spurs you on to be complete in love?

I see God’s love through the heart of many people here at HeartSupport, a lot more than any other place I’ve known before. However, I don’t actively look after a religious community. I identify myself as a newborn when it comes to Christianity, and this journey needs to be personal/intimate. At best, I’d look after others’ experiences as an inspiration and a way to reflect on my own, but I don’t want to be part of a community that would tell me what to think, feel or believe in, which is what happens in too many places.