I Want to Give God the Finger! – by Doubting Matthew

July 19, 2011 under Doubting Matthew
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Here’s a guest post from another Unlikely Christian – “Doubting Matthew”

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I Want to Give God the Finger!

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Yeah, you read that right… I said it. I want to give God the finger.

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Two years ago, I would have meant this in the way that we usually mean when we say we are “giving someone the finger.” (See “flipping Him the bird”.) I loathed everything that God was (or wasn’t) to me. Here’s a little peek into my old head: “I don’t understand why people need Jesus. He was just a good man. I am a good person. As a matter of fact, I am good all on my own without Jesus. If there really is a God, surely he will recognize how good I am. If He doesn’t see it, then He doesn’t deserve me anyway.” (I may have had some issues…)

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I tried the prayer thing. The typical dialogue in my prayers (if you can call them that) consisted of a lot of unanswered questions:

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Why don’t I have everything I desire?

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Why does he/she deserve that and not me?

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What can I do to make you give me what I want?

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When is it my turn to be the hero/exalted one?

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Why am I so sad all the time?

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Why won’t you just show yourself to me so I can believe?

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Why are you not answering me?

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Secretly, I wanted to believe in Him, but the genie in my “God-Bottle” rarely did my bidding and never as I would have it done. This was all the more reason to write Him off. I didn’t need Him anyway!

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Over the last few years, through loving people in my life (not the least of which is my wife), I have come to see God and myself with new eyes. My heart has changed and so has the finger I want to show Him. I used to hate this finger and every representation of it. You know… the God is #1 finger.

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We see athletes use it all the time on ESPN. Here is how it usually goes:

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Home Run! – (Point to God as you drop the bat on your way to first base.)

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Drafted to the NBA – (“First, I just want to thank God…”)

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Quarterback Sack! – (Double fist smash on the chest, kiss the fingers and throw them up to God)

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GOOOOAAAAALLLLLL! – (Make sign of the cross on chest, and fold hands to God.)

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In my eyes, it was all so cliché, and trite, and just plain lame. Over and over, these hypocrites put on this show to make people think that they were so thankful for what God had given them. Gag me. (Did I mention that I had issues?)

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Then… (again through amazing people and their work in my life) my problem with God became abundantly clear. The hypocrisy was my own. In retrospect, I realize that what I was doing was giving God the finger on a regular basis and with more and more animosity. I wasn’t able to recognize that the answers to my questions were obvious and that I couldn’t hear him, because I was too busy yelling “F-You!” to hear what he had to say.

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So here I am with the choice of two powerful fingers to throw up at God and I know I can give Him one or the other, but not both. I still struggle with the old me that speaks into the back of my head telling me it is cliché and lame to use my God is # 1 finger. What would it be like to use it proudly like those athletes on TV in my daily life: pointing to God as the One that gives me hope, joy, and success?

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What am I supposed to do?

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I know the answer. God has spoken loud and clear on that one and I actually shut up long enough to hear it this time. The only question left is… Am I bold enough to sport a huge “God is #1” foam finger?

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Great stuff!  I look forward to your next post.  In the meantime - BE BOLD!

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comments: 7 »

7 Responses to "I Want to Give God the Finger! – by Doubting Matthew"

  • Jane Schneider says:

    Kudos, brother! Thank you for your openness and for sharing :-)

  • Love that post! So cool getting to know other Unlikely Christians!

  • Cheryl Clair says:

    I grew up in a Baptist Church with an Amen corner. It was quite natural. I now live in Ireland and belong to a Reformed Baptist church. No amen corner here and quite frankly, I miss it. What’s wrong with a good hearty AMEN BROTHER, PREACH ON??

    • Cheryl Clair says:

      Looks like I replied to the wrong one. Sorry. This was a reply to the Amen post.

    • So it’s called an Amen Corner? Did not know that. I figured somebody liked them but I find them so distracting and when I was trying out church for the first time, I found it to be weird. Made me feel uncomfortable but then again, I had issues.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Rich says:

    I give the middle finger to god everyday. When my life starts improving I’ll be more grateful. Right now I have no extended family even though I’ve extended myself to them. I have no friends, even though I’ve been friendly. I don’t have BO or bad breath. I have a friendly disposition. I have no money, even though I have donated to many causes. As for my health, I was nearly minutes from dying and made a great recovery then a few months later was in a major collision-not my fault. And have been suffering ever since. By the I’ve been told by many people that my life sux. Signed FU GOD

    • DM says:

      Rich, I am sorry I am just reading this now. I hope you will forgive me for not responding sooner.

      I wish I could say that I felt your pain, but truthfully I have no idea what you have had to endure throughout your life. It is obvious from your comments that you are angry with God and I think you have every right to be. If your life truly sucks as you say, then how could you not be confused, frustrated, and downright angry? I would be.

      There is an honesty in that anger that the Lord wants to discuss with you. He wants you to wrestle it out with him. He wants you to bring your pain and anguish to him and tell him how it has hurt and scarred you. He seeks your attention and wants you with him. He is not turning away. You are not in the shadows out of his sight. He is not afraid of your questions. He is not afraid of your anger. He is only afraid of losing you. So give it to Him and let him have it! I mean that in the most literal way. He wants to take it from you. He wants you to find peace in your difficult circumstance.
      Now I don’t know if any of this makes sense to you, but I believe that you are a treasured belonging to the one who made you and He seeks to have your heart. Offer it up in earnest. He already knows it, but it is up to you to give it freely. It will change your life my friend. DM

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