Lies that separate us from God

By: Stephen Marsh
January 18, 2013

Preface

There are many lies that can keep us away from God.  Most commonly, lies keep us from God by turning us deaf to the Spirit.  I thought I’d write about two of them, ones that are usually had by two completely different groups of people.

Introduction

This post is about two lies.  They are very different from each other, and by no means are they the only cause of distance between God and man.

First, the lie that leads us to believe that God can not and will not love and accept the real person that someone is.

Second, is the lie that sins, especially exploitative sins, are acceptable to God.

The First Lie

The first lie causes us not to hear God.  It causes people to believe that not only can they not repent, but that inherent qualities render them forever severed from God.  That belief causes people to be blinded to the love of God.

The great truth is that God so loved the world, and God so loves you, that he gave everything, including his only begotten son, to save the authentic you.  It does not matter if you are poor, or blind or deaf or afflicted.

The belief that God can not or will not love someone can form a barrier between them and God.

The Second Lie

The second lie was preached about by Brigham Young when he despaired of  those who would cheat a widow out of her cow and then go home, drop to their knees, and thank God for such a great blessing.

Before I read that part of his sermon I thought of such people as those who believe that they do not need to make a choice between God and Mammon.  Worship God and he will deliver Mammon.

For such people, you worship God so that he will reward you by giving you the opportunity to exploit and cheat others.

Those who fall prey to that lie, that exploitative sine is not only acceptable, but a gift from God, are substituting listening to their own lusts over listening to God.  They may hear something, but it is not the Holy One.

Closing

The first lie causes us not to hear God because it blinds us to the message of the love of God.

The second lie causes us not to hear God because we hear our own voices instead.

Together they seem to take the opposite ends of a spectrum, one one that cuts us off from the truth either way.


Questions

  • How hard is it for you to accept that God really loves you.  Not only that God could love you, but that God does love you?
  • If you did not cause it, if you can’t control it, how can it be your fault (speaking of mental illness and other inherent conditions that people blame themselves for)?
  • When you isolate yourself from other people, does that isolate you from yourself?  From God?
  • Do you think God ever rewards us by allowing us to take advantage of other people?  What do you think about Abraham refusing to accept any of the spoils of the Battle of Siddim?

7 Responses to Lies that separate us from God

  1. dba.brotherp on January 18, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    It took me a long time to accept that God loves me. My vision of God was one who stood on Mount Olympus throwing down lighting bolts on helpless humans. It wasn’t until an Institute teacher asked a class I was in, “How would you feel if Jesus walked into the classroom right now?” Most of the class said they would be scared and fearful.

    The the teacher then asked the question, “How would you feel if President Hinckley walked in the classroom right now?” Most of the class said they would be excited and feel loved.

    The the teacher then told us we would feel the even better about Jesus as we did President Hinckley. He reasoned if an un-perfect person like President Hinckley can make you feel loved and excited, then God, who is perfect and loves you more than anything, would make you feel loved and excited beyond what was felt with President Hinckley.

    It was that statement that got me thinking that maybe my view of God was wrong.

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  2. Douglas on January 18, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    ??? As there’s a “lie” that would bring one CLOSER to the Lord?

    The Savior did say, “Let your communication be Yea,yea,Nay,nay, for whatsover is more than these cometh from evil”.

    The second “lie” I don’t accept this pretext at all. Certainly if your intent is to “get gain” dishonestly, then it’s the height of cynicism and self-deception to ask the Lord for assistance thereof. But there doesn’t have to be a choice BETWEEN God and mammon. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Making bank does not of itself imply sin. Forgetting God to get it does.

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  3. katie88 on January 19, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    •How hard is it for you to accept that God really loves you. Not only that God could love you, but that God does love you?

    More than anything, my study of the New Testament has helped me to understand God’s infinite love for me. It has also caused me to question some of the General Authorities’ statements about God’s love, including Elder Nelson’s sermon that stated God’s love is not unconditional. I believe that everything that Christ said and did shows that God’s love is unconditional.

    •If you did not cause it, if you can’t control it, how can it be your fault (speaking of mental illness and other inherent conditions that people blame themselves for)?

    There is a huge difference between weaknesses and sin. I recommend Dr. Wendy Ulrich’s book “Weakness Is Not Sin” to help us distinguish between the two.

    •When you isolate yourself from other people, does that isolate you from yourself? From God?

    When I take time to meditate and reflect on God’s love privately, I find that I am much better prepared to participate positively in Church, work, and family relationships. We do not emphasize the importance of meditation enough in the Church.

    •Do you think God ever rewards us by allowing us to take advantage of other people? What do you think about Abraham refusing to accept any of the spoils of the Battle of Siddim?

    No. That is Satan’s plan.

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  4. Stephen Marsh on January 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    “There is a huge difference between weaknesses and sin.” Amen. Sometimes people forget that and I feel it causes a gap between those people and God.

    “It was that statement that got me thinking that maybe my view of God was wrong.” — thank you for sharing your story.

    “As there’s a “lie” that would bring one CLOSER to the Lord” — good point. I was just discussion ones that are particularly pernicious in my perspective.

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  5. whizzbang on January 20, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    God’s love, hoo boy. I have spent so much energy, time and prayer to feel it and hear it. I despaired like you wouldn’t believe, I guess even today i don’t know if I fully accept as my self worth is pretty low most of the time. I wrote Elder Nelson a letter once about his Feb. 2003 article, he responded.

    In 2009 I gave a talk about how I didn’t know about God’s love, how when I was 12 our Bishop gave us deacon’s the MOF by Pres. Kimball and that book poisoned me to the point of suicide (I didn’t mention the suicide part) and on and on. Well, after that people were coming up to me and sharing their experiences, someone gave my a book and I also got asked by a High councilor to go with him on his speaking assignments, it was crazy yet I didn’t know more then intellectually

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  6. whizzbang on January 20, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    I love this quotation from Elder Hartman Rector Jr.

    “God doesn’t love us because we are good. God loves us because he is good. God is good and so he loves us, and those who are the best love the best.”

    http://scriptures.byu.edu/gettalk.php?ID=1726

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  7. Stephen M (Ethesis) on January 21, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Ah, I found great hope in A Miracle of Forgivemess.

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