If you are a Seinfeld fan, you have probably seen the episode I’m about to describe. If not, bear with me :-). George Costanza is sitting with Jerry in their regular booth in the diner, describing his life:George: “Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but … I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party. It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every area of life, be it something to wear, something to eat. …. It’s all been wrong.”
For the rest of the show, George starts doing everything “opposite” of how he used to do it, and his whole life changes for the better.
Just a funny bit, but I can relate. I don’t remember how it snuck up on me — it happened over some years — but I know it caught me by surprise. By the time I realized it, I had been a Christian for about 10 years. Gradually I discovered that much of what I had learned about God growing up, then later in church, was The Opposite of what was true. Now I don’t mean everything, but a considerable amount — especially in the character and personality of God. Believe me, it took me by surprise. You see, when I came to Christ I was so hungry to learn that I tried to soak up everything I heard, taking notes on every sermon. I guess you could say I took notes on my notes … I so wanted to get everything down so I wouldn’t forget it. I wanted to grow; I just wanted more of God. But something went wrong.
Then I discovered it. The Opposite. I don’t blame the pastors, authors, and teachers who taught me these things; that’s all they knew. They were also taught The Opposite.
Here are some things God opened my eyes to over the years:
|What I Was Taught||The Opposite Truth|
|God is distant and “up there.”||God indwells me; He couldn’t get any closer.|
|God wants me to stop sinning.||God wants me to trust Him; that will change my behavior.|
|God is usually disappointed with me.||God is always pleased with me because of Jesus’ perfect obedience.|
|I have to hold on to God.||God is holding on to me.|
|God wants me to “do” for Him||God wants me to receive from Him, which will result in Him doing everything through me.|
I could continue. Maybe I will expand on these in future posts.
Suffice it to say, I have discovered, through the Bible and through a personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ, that He’s better, kinder, more loving, more creative, more unorthodox, more open, more trusting, and much more eager to do anything to find His lost sheep than we ever could imagine. As Malcolm Smith once said, “The Holy Spirit doesn’t read the church bulletin.” His ways are higher, better, than we could ever imagine.
He is so perfect, He is so much better than people told me He was. How could you not come to a God like this? How could you not fall in love with a God like this and receive everything He has to offer.
Did you hear some things about God that turned out to be The Opposite?