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Step 2 and The Nature of My God
By they_speak
3/8/2013 5:12:54 AM
In consequence of the resentments I've harbored and endured off and on towards God and the ensuing misery I've endured for such ignorance I've thought it perhaps beneficial to establish more firmly my beliefs about Him based on my experience and meditation. I do this to act almost as a boundary for my faith. For if I'm keen to a Higher Power of my choosing and base that choosing on principles I believe conducive to a more intimate and understanding relationship with Him it stands to reason that my faith will not be frustrated as readily by every wind of false doctrine I throw at myself about Him when under pressure.

1. My God is my friend above all other things. Most especially He is my friend before He is my judge. He is my friend before He is my genie. He is my friend before He is the executioner of my punishment. He is my friend before all things I fear. He is a friend first. As far as a Higher Power being of any use to me as it applies to salvation both temporally and spiritually both eternally and finitely God first and for most must be my friend. This is the price of admission for my faith. In order to commune with Him intimately personally I can have it no other way.

What is a friend?

A) It may be easier to acknowledge what a friend isn't. Number one a friend does not expect perfection. Quit hating God when you're angry at imperfection! Particularly imperfection in yourself and your experience. He's a friend. The only ass hole expecting perfection is...no one (if not you). It's a figment of your imagination. But it ain't God. In fact, true friends can even celebrate and often do celebrate imperfection.

B) A friend is not perpetually disappointed in every misstep or deed or just-short-of-utterly-perfect-and-righteous-thing you do. A real friend does not keep a naughty/nice list and gift you or pass you up for others based on your performance. That would be the stupidest friend ever. Plus, Santa Clause is FAKE!

C) A friend knows you. Intimately. He understands you. A friend doesn't give a shit if you say shit on a religious web site. Well, He may care because He has other friends on the web site that might give a shit BUT He's still gonna like you. He's gonna back you up. Especially since He doesn't expect perfection among any of His friends. He will not abandon you just because you're a mess. He knew that when He signed up for the deal. You can't surprise a true friend that knows you.

D) A friend doesn't abandon you because you make a mistake. Or because you have an imperfect disposition. Be it angry or depressed or obsessive or lustful or irreverent or resentful or stupid or weak or controlling or selfish or annoying. A friend never bails on you just because you are those things! He's always there. Loyal to the end. If God can't be those things He's a sucky friend anyway and I want nothing to do with Him.

E) On the same token a real friend can be honest to you when you're being a douche bag. He's your friend. He still likes you. He's not gonna ditch you for the cool kids. But he's not gonna lie to you and tell you you're not being a douche if you're being a douche. Just because He's genuine and honest about you being a shit doesn't mean He's not your friend. If you need reassurance just ask. Don't be so sensitive. But don't be ashamed if you are sensitive. A friend would never make you feel insecure for being sensitive (unless He was teasing you back into good humor). A good friend always tells you what's up. Calls it how they see it. For your own good.

G) A friend is someone you can talk to about anything in anyway or language you need at anytime. He will not judge. Or He'll withhold judgment in favor of friendship and understanding. Almost invariably. How can a good God fail to meet even these most basic fundamentals of friendship? It seems to me He could not.

Comments:

...    
"2. My God is the God of experience. I believe He is so ardent for our experience that most the time, as I see it based on my own experience (no pun), He does not interfere or does little to stop our experience even when it's shitty. Maybe even more especially when it's shitty. So there's no need to hate God when red lights don't turn green. It might ruin the experience.

3. My God often doesn't respond to prayers. My God always responds to conversations.

4. The Spirit of my God is always discernible in all things. For me it's strongest and most easily perceived in the wild. This implies a lot to me. But I also notice it in 12 step meetings and the temple and other environments where group consciousness is elicited. He seems to speak in stillness and among united people. This is the power of God manifest as best as I can tell. This is the power that I believe can restore me to complete sanity. This is the power I'm trying to tap into. The essence I would infuse into myself. Though up to this point it has been touch and go as far as I can honestly see one day at a time this manifest power of God has never failed to restore me provided I acknowledge my powerlessness to restore myself. This part of God just based on my observation seems very impersonal. And that's fine too if it's so. It's still the most beautiful thing I know. And it's still powerful beyond measure. And it's still accessible.

5) If my God is a savior at all He MUST save by grace alone. I can see it no other way. My experience has taught me by way of repeated ass kickings that for me a God who would expect me to trust in anything to save me but His merit alone is a God who doesn't know how to save. So foolish. My toil in the fields of "righteousness" have been an utter hilarious waist! A total failure! As "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). An interesting twist with this kind of perverted thinking that I can somehow make the cut or that there is a bar that if I can just hop then God will finally love me or then God will bless me is that I justify "lust[ing] like a gentleman". I can lust and still go to the temple. I can resent and still be "worthy" to take the sacrament. I can judge and still have a doting wife. I can be angry (unto murder) and still go to heaven. But Christ says nope. When suddenly I realize that all my "righteousness" or my being "good enough" or "not that wicked" is total bull crap all those justification of the law (a eternally broken law anyway) suddenly go out the window. Suddenly the spirit of the law becomes real. Suddenly boasting in my weakness doesn't sound idiotic and counter intuitive. And I'll bet - here is my hunch - that as I am able to keep that step 1,2,3 mentality on a 24 hour basis I'll find, in a wonderful twist of irony, the righteousness I've so desperately wanted all these years. But, my motivation it seems would have to be different than it once was. The truth was if you asked my what I wanted out of the 12 steps it was to quit jerking off and looking at porn and on and on down the road. But I think God want's more than that. In fact it misses the point completely. And the truth is I just wanted to feel good about myself based on my own righteousness so I could move on with my life trusting that I'm a heck of guy. It was like "well, if I get to this level then I'll be 'worthy'" "at that point then I'll be acceptable" "when I'm a bishop then obviously God will love me cause that has to mean I'm good" Garbage! That seems the very trust in the flesh (my own merit) that Nephi claims we are cursed for. How does this escape me??? My works will never be adequate. In fact they'll always be laughable. Weather I'm sleeping with prostitutes or leading missionaries as their president my works are laughable. Only One (something perfect) could be acceptable. The mentality that someday based on my accomplishments secular or spiritual I will somehow be fulfilled in this life or the next is utter rubbish and must be abolished forever (one moment at a time). So, my God is a God of grace. Right Now. My works flow from grace. They don't earn it. And my God is totally cool with me boasting in that fact! If for no other reason than to remind myself that I need one day of remission from the cancer of my sin.

6) My God is a laid back hippie. Who probably loves surfing. He's not prudish. Or unrelatable. He's not into legalism or petty nuance of culture or check list salvation. Just relax. Commune.

...So, lol, I guess after all that my God is pretty much still Jesus. :) I'm still probably not finished redefining my God but,.. Man!, that Jesus. What a guy."
posted at 05:15:50 on March 8, 2013 by they_speak
Love it!    
"You wrote: "The Spirit of my God is always discernible in all things. For me it's strongest and most easily perceived in the wild. This implies a lot to me. But I also notice it in 12 step meetings and the temple and other environments where group consciousness is elicited. He seems to speak in stillness and among united people. This is the power of God manifest as best as I can tell. This is the power that I believe can restore me to complete sanity. This is the power I'm trying to tap into. The essence I would infuse into myself. Though up to this point it has been touch and go as far as I can honestly see one day at a time this manifest power of God has never failed to restore me provided I acknowledge my powerlessness to restore myself. This part of God just based on my observation seems very impersonal. And that's fine too if it's so. It's still the most beautiful thing I know. And it's still powerful beyond measure. And it's still accessible."

That is maybe the best description of Step Two I have heard. And I completely relate to it.
Thanks."
posted at 08:32:47 on March 8, 2013 by Anonymous
Yeah, I also had to rethink how I thought God's was....    
"I figure He is kinder than I thought.

Hey....wanna borrow a great book when I'm done reading it? "The Continuous Atonement". Lemme know. It's kinda the opposite of "The Miracle of Forgiveness"."
posted at 16:00:30 on March 8, 2013 by g1rlie
I actually have it    
"on my Kindle. Had it for years. Never read it. I probably should. I think my sponsor told me to too.

Thanks anonymous dude. High praise. Glad you can relate."
posted at 13:41:45 on March 9, 2013 by they_speak
Your God?    
"Just as long as your god is the same as God."
posted at 17:42:11 on March 10, 2013 by Anonymous
Oh you know Him?    
"... The capital G one? Tell him hi. And thank you for the great Sunday weather and to please bless the pygmy's in Africa.

Yes, my God. As I understand Him."
posted at 20:18:30 on March 10, 2013 by they_speak
Offendede?    
"You've got a humility problem. As long as you do, your wont be able to over come your problem.

“He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.” Brigham Young"
posted at 22:55:01 on March 10, 2013 by Anonymous
lol. I love you they speak!;)    
"clarify-Santa is REAL."
posted at 00:30:34 on March 11, 2013 by marie sober
why would I be offended?    
"I don't even know what your comment meant.? But I do have a humility problem. Praise Jesus I'm weak! Thanks for the reminder :)"
posted at 01:49:45 on March 11, 2013 by they_speak
Awesome    
"Speak,

This was just what I needed. I don't ask my husband to read much of 'my' recovery helps, but I am totally going to ask him to read this. It pushes at my paradigm and makes me want to open my eyes a little more. Thanks for sharing!"
posted at 07:27:54 on March 11, 2013 by maddy
Offendede dude,    
"He who says unto his brother, 'thou fool' is in danger of hell fire. Mat. 5 (We all have a fancy quote)

Anonymous, the irony is that you took offense to theyspeak calling him 'his God' because you have obviously never perused the 12 Steps. If you had, you'd know that we ALL define our own God in Step Two.

You really meant, "Just as long as your God is the same as the ACTUAL God." In other words, YOUR interpretation of God. And apparently you seem to have a market on who God ACTUALLY is. Really? And theyspeak has the humility problem???

And SP!!!!!"
posted at 10:44:59 on March 11, 2013 by Anonymous
I SEE....    
"I don't see God as a friend. I see Jesus as my friend or brother; and God as my Master or Father.

MDN"
posted at 22:32:53 on March 11, 2013 by Anonymous
That's great man    
"If that works for you it's a perfectly legitimate belief in God.

Maddy, I'm glad you dug it. I look up to you a lot. You seem so smart and in touch. So, it makes me happy that you could get anything out of something I said. Even though it's only been a few days since I wrote this out so far I feel like it really has helped my personal relationship with God, a lot. When I'm on a computer I'll write more on it here or another blog."
posted at 00:36:21 on March 12, 2013 by they_speak


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"In recent years, as I have sung the hymns of the Atonement, it has been with an especially full heart—and also with full voice, when I can continue to sing—lines such as “How great thou art,” “I scarce can take it in,” “To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,” “I stand all amazed,” and “Oh, it is wonderful!”"

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987