Because life is a series of edits

Learning About Limits, part 3

In Humanity on June 30, 2006 at 2:00 am

What are the implications of not embracing God as a good giver of limitations? Many of us recognize God's sovereignty to limit our knowledge of certain things, but do we embrace it? And if we don't embrace it, how does that work its way into our relationship with him?

One implication of not embracing God as the good giver of limitations is that we may doubt God's goodness, authority, and love for us. Like my four daughters (who sometimes misunderstand my discipline of their disobedience as more punishment than care), we can view God's withholding of knowledge – whether in the Garden or in our lives – as being mean…conspiring…unloving. God, we reason, is not responding for our good but for his, and we can create a picture of him that perhaps may be domineering, controlling, and selfish when nothing could be further from the truth.

A second implication of not embracing God as the good giver of limitations is that we may become bitter or angry by our perception that God is seemingly limiting our success (defined here as "what we want" and not necessarily "what he wants"). Most of us never outgrow our two-year-old selves: we want what we want. If we come to the conclusion that God not only limits the fulfillments of these wants but that his whole purpose is to limit the fulfillment of these wants, we then skew his character (and we become the lesser for it).

How we respond to God in dealing with the limitations that he placed on us is key. Jack Miller of World Harvest Mission once wrote:

"The normal Christian life consists in our being compelled by limitations to turn to God for his strength. A normal ministry is one of weakness reaching out to God for his unlimited power."

With regard to our limits, are we living a "normal" Christian life? Or are we "abnormal?"

  1. What a great topic for Sunday School! I really appreciate your thoughts. So often I forget I have limits and then get frustrated when they become obvious. I feel flawed and then resent the Lord for having to depend on Him, Maybe if I embraced myself as a creature, and one with limits, then I wouldn’t feel like a failure. I could feel the freedom of my limits and be more thankful for a Lord who is always willing to give to his children.

  2. Marcie, you just summed up in a paragraph what it’s taken me three posts (so far – I have one more brewing) to say. Thanks.

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