Since I have friends who span an incredibly vast range of backgrounds and beliefs, I frequently see assorted thoughts, prayers, inspirations, etc that just don’t resonate with me.
Since I love and respect my friends, I can whole heartedly support the underlying concept and sentiment, if not the precise philosophy behind it.
And then I come across ones that just, well… bump a grumpy spot in me. No offense intended to those for whom this saying is meaningful – once again, I do understand the underlying concept and sentiment. It’s just… well… more on that later.
If you are easily offended, please stop reading NOW!
The quote: “God doesn’t give you the people you want, he gives you the people you need. To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you the person you were meant to be.”
Once again, if this is meaningful to you, I’m happy for you. If you are going to be offended at me being really bothered by it, then please stop reading here. Be warned!
And now, on we go.
The good: OK, I get it. God, the divine being, great dude in the sky, whatever, in his infinite and presumably divine, greater than human wisdom, listens to our wants and, much like a parent, distinguishes between an “I want” and a genuine need. Since he’s the parent, and far wiser than we, he gives us what we need. Much like the parent who listens to their child request ice cream, but gives them vegetables because it’s dinner time.
The bad: The message indicates that god allows us to experience pain and suffering to promote growth. Here’s where the grumpy in me starts. I’m a parent. I know that sometimes I have to let my children suffer the consequences of their actions and choices. But I am not, repeat not, going to deliberately expose them to something, or someone, who will hurt them.
The ugly: If we’re accepting god as the divine parent, the loving father, the one who gave his only son in sacrifice because he loved us so much he didn’t want us to go to hell, then I have a real problem here.
So, this is the guy I’m supposed to look to as a Daddy, who is supposed to love me more than anything. He’s the one who I’m supposed to trust because he only wants what is best and right for me.
Again, as a parent, I will allow my children to stumble. I will allow them to make mistakes. I will allow them to learn from their own choices. But I will not deliberately set them up to fail. That’s fucking psycho.
But here we say the divine father is deliberately saying to us, his children, “Nope. Sorry. I know you want that, but you can’t have it. And not only can you not have it, I’m also going to give you something nasty to deal with as well. Because I love you and I want you to grow.”
If the neighborhood bully is picking on your kid, do you send your kid over to where the bully is playing, knowing your kid is going to come back with a black eye? No! Of course you don’t!
Do you wish emotional distress, physical pain and broken relationships for your children? No! Of course you don’t!
Apparently, according to this inspirational quote, god does.
And my answer to that is simple…
Once again, if that’s what god is like, then he’s a fucking asshole.