The gracefulness of God in disappointing us

“But we are too easily deceived by our desires – especially by our desires for the transcendence and eternity that determine the ultimate meaning of our lives. The Gospels teach us that many of those who crowded around Jesus, including some of his closest disciples and dearest friends, were drawn to him by false hopes and vain expectations. The hard truth is that we too often find ourselves attracted to what we wrongly think is God. At times, like Simon the Sorcerer, we come seeking God for those powers we find useful, imagining that by professing belief in God we have secured a resource that will afford us the life we want for ourselves (Acts 8:9-25). But for most of us, at least most of the time, the deception is far more subtle, less complete. Our desires are not so much out-and-out corrupt as ever-so-slightly bent. We delight in the justice of God, but at least in part because we imagine it means grief for our enemies. We delight in the power of God, but at least in part because we imagine it means we are protected from sufferings others have to face….

We are always, until the end, living at the risk of these deceptions and countless others like them. But we do not need to panic or to despair. If we desire what is good in ways that are not good, we can rest assured that God will gracefully disappoint us. If what we find delightful in God is in fact an illusion, God has promised to go on revealing his true beauty until we find that beauty truly desirable.” – Chris E.W. Green

[From Surprised by God: How and Why What We Think about the Divine Matters, pp.21-22. These short theological essays are devotional, wise, and challenging. I highly recommend this book for all.]

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