Recently we received to an excellent manuscript from a talented and insightful writer, as a submission for our Essay pages. Although the essay was very strong, thoughtful, and in line with New Thought principles, we had to decline it - but it certainly got us thinking. We decided not to publish it here only because it was missing one element that we hold central to our faith and philosophy of “how things work.” That element could be called optimism, or positive thinking, or the pursuit of happiness, or simply - joy.
The writer makes a case for the total neutrality of the God-force of the universe, and it was a case well made. He states unequivocally that God doesn’t care what we do, that the power and function of God-ness can be compared to a sort of cosmic clay-like substance that we can and do use to form our lives and our world; that God is a formless consciousness of all-that-is, which responds to our human consciousness. That much is true, as far as it goes. But God is not that simple.
It is also true that we as human beings often damage ourselves and our world by refusing to take responsibility for our own power to shape our lives. God/life does give us what we ask for, and yet I am convinced that there is more to Spirit-in action than just a mechanical function of responding to our thoughts.
The writer emphasizes that we have free choice, and God does not judge or care what we do or how we do it. And truly, human claims of “what God wants, what God sanctions” etc. are all too often misused and tragically misdirected by individuals and religious groups in this world, so that we might be better off to stop claiming to know what God’s desires and feelings are. Even so, I can’t believe that the God of the universe is totally devoid of feelings. I cannot agree with that vision of what and how God is.
Many of God’s/Spirit’s Master Teachers, Jesus and others down through the ages, have said that God created us in His own image and we are a part of what God is. This is something very difficult for a limited human mind to comprehend. However, as human beings, every one of us is so strongly characterized and formed by our feelings and emotions. It’s hard - no, impossible - for me to believe that the God of our universe is a totally emotionless, unfeeling God, who does not care about any of us.
I believe with all my heart, mind, and spirit that God does care about us, even the least of us (as judged by the World) and as I look back over my life I see it proven again and again and again. I would suggest to you now, that what you believe God to be, will consistently shape your life. That, and just a little bit better. (See essay #47 “Grace, The gift Unasked For”).
When Jesus said “Seek and you shall find" he was talking about something much more powerful than a simple cause-and-effect. That part is there; our lives do produce the inevitable consequences of our thoughts and our actions. But there is a deeper factor here. It has been stated as something like “What you believe is what you receive.” And this is a very powerful factor indeed.
If you look for the worst in people and in life, you will definitely find it. It if you look for the best in people and life, you will find it. Whatever you hold in mind, you will attract into your life and surroundings. Whether or not God is totally neutral and unconcerned with our happiness - that point is open to debate, since no one human mind can contain the entire mind of God. But the entire mind of God is replicated there in miniature. The human mind has the capacity, and the human soul/spirit has the power to create just as God creates, through intention, will, and faith. And that’s a fact. No New Thought writer or minister will disagree with that.
That is the truth that Jesus promised will make us free. So I say, use it to be happy and loving and productive in your life, in whatever opportunities arise each day. Choose joy. That’s my personal mantra. Yours may be different, but it is open to your choice. That is the power God gave you at birth.
I personally believe that God does care, and does have a personal investment in each of us. If we were made in God’s image, and feelings are such a big part of human life, how could God be totally unfeeling? Clearly, the feelings of God are higher, purer, more generous, and less conflicted and confused than ours are. But I know with certainty that God does care about me, and I have clearly seen the proof of that in my life, when I look for it. I know with certainty that God does care about you, and all help and generosity will be given to you when you ask for it. Even though God is bigger than the universe and its physical and spiritual laws, the universal laws are immutable: what you seek is what you will find. And what you believe is what you will receive.
I’m suggesting - no, urging you - to take a positive slant on your faith and beliefs. Check your thoughts-fears-hopes-expectations frequently. Are you believing for good things, joyful events, loving people in your life? Or are you holding weak hopes, with halfhearted or negative expectations? Remind yourself, and know it, and believe it: what you believe is what you receive. If you want God to care, believe in Him. He unfailingly meets your expectations. That’s his job. Your job is believing. It may not always be easy.
God can’t/won’t "not-bless" you. You are already blessed, guaranteed. But you control the In-box. As soon as you really change how you believe, everything starts to change. You have opened the door. Only you can open this door, and only you can close it. Nothing else truly controls your life, unless you believe it does.