(September 7, 2008)

I had questions from a reader that I’d like to address. There may be some with similar problems. She sounds in deep pain. I hope this post will help.

B. wrote, “I did things as a result of my impulses and emotions and feelings from my mania that I was so ashamed of, but I didn’t feel I could tell anyone at my church.”

Answer: When we’re manic we often do things we’re later ashamed of, things we would not do if we were stable. But because we do it as a result of our disorder, doesn’t make it right. It’s true that we need to fight our impulses and get medical help to prevent us from this. And when we stabilize, we have to try, in whatever way we can, make things right. This would include asking God for forgiveness. But God will continue to love you. You are His child, and he will forgive.

B. ends her comment with “My relationship with God has been very distant since last summer, and things have changed a lot in my life (for the better). I still wonder though; can I assume that God would still accept me? Am I even sure I believe in God or that He’s worth my heart again, after such a deep feeling of abandonment?”

Answer: I need to tell you, B., that God will always accept you and love you. He may not accept what we do, but he never stops loving us. He will forgive if we, with all sincerity, ask for his forgiveness. God realizes that you did not do the things you did because you wanted to sin. He realizes that you have an illness that made you do them. He will forgive. You said something that I think is completely the wrong way to look at things.

You said, “I still believed that Christian attitudes had to be a reflection of God’s attitudes, and if they would judge me for sinning because of something I couldn’t control, God would too; if they couldn’t accept me, how could God?”

Answer: God does not follow people’s examples. It is not people’s place to judge. We have all sinned. How can we judge others? Remember the Pharisees who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery? Check out this story in John 8:1-11. I think it will do you good. Jesus said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone.” One by one the men left. Then Jesus said to the woman, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

God does not follow people. If people are not accepting of you, that does not at all mean that God won’t accept you. God does not listen to people’s judgement. He is in charge, not people. We can trust God to always be there for us, to always love us, to always want the best for us, to always help us when we want to do better. God can transform you if you will trust him and seek him each day with all your heart.

I hope this has helped, B. I hope you don’t give up on God, because He will never give up on you. His love is unconditional.