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zeldaSo, have our hurricanes, floods, and wildfires come about due to global warming? Are we being punished for spending too many carbon credits?  Did mother nature take one look at President Trump and his climate denial and say, “here, hold my beer?”

Or, are we being punished by a wrathful God, thoroughly enraged about gay marriage, homosexuality, pornography, and numerous other epic fails as a civilization?

I am uncertain which of these statements annoys me more, but I am aware that they are both rooted in the same shame based sense of self-loathing that always insists on punishment for who and what we are as a people.

I mean we totally deserve every “bad” thing that ever happens in the world, as either punishment for our existence and rape of the planet or because we have gone and annoyed a wrathful God who actually hates us. Why does He hate us? Becasue we hate us. He doesn’t hate us at all, we actually hate ourselves and project all that self loathing right onto the face of God Himself.

You’ll have to forgive me, I’m a bit annoyed by all this, perpetual shame based self-loathing really being quite the opposite of grace, a chronic malfunction of humans of all stripes, and it represents an epic failure to get to know the God who made us and the God who died to save us.

It represents a keen misunderstanding of the very nature of love and grace and it maligns God Himself. It’s also very self absorbed. Our own human stupidity is so all-powerful we can actually make God do mean things to us? That’s totally childish, narcissistic, and controlling.

What if God simply felt like taking a breath?  What if He just blew up a great wind for His own good pleasure? What if it isn’t about us at all? Maybe He just felt like stretching His legs?

So, as I often say, where there is shame and self loathing there is also toxic pride. Where there is toxic shame and pride, there is always a need for repentance. What covers and heals our shame, is always the grace of Jesus Christ.

To be trapped within this model of perpetual shame, self loathing, and a endless desire for punishment, is to make self-evident our own lack of faith and inability to surrender our toxic pride to the life altering grace of Jesus Christ. That’s ugly enough on an individual level, but when it begins to permeate us on a societal level, it is almost too much to bear.

Could He shake us up? Of course! Is discipline a real thing? Of course, and it means to teach, the same root word as “disciple.” If the lesson we learn from all this is that we are bad and God hates us, well, that is just an epic tragedy, a natural disaster all of it’s own. It is a total waste of our potential to think, act, and perceive the world with the mind of Christ.

Ironically, the cure for self loathing  is repentance.