Monday, May 31, 2010

Don't begin your prayers with "if."

I saw in a movie long ago a girl after a date said to herself about the boy walking away, "if he likes me he'll turn around and look at me." He turned around. "Yes!" she squealed to herself. Cute. But come on. How real is that? Did the guy actually like her or was he just being nice? He might have liked her but was him turning around the signal? She could have said, "if he likes me he'll stop and tie his shoelace." Ridiculous.

People will give you advice, say about a girl. They'll say "you have to be direct with her. Tell her your intentions right away before you enter the 'friend zone.' Most girls appreciate guys being direct." But what about the girl who likes to move slow? What about the girl you HAVE to befriend first? Well, the advice giver will say "if being direct doesn't work out, then she's not the girl for you." WHAT A COP OUT! How ridiculous is that? He's saying one of two things, either HIS ADVICE is what MADE her the right girl for you, or the 5% of girls that this "advice" doesn't work on aren't right for anyone, because, after all, his advice is supposed to work for every guy. He doesn't realize that if you had followed the advice her GIRL friend told you, to befriend the girl first and approach things slowly, she would have grown to realize how compatible the two of you really are. If you do that, all of a sudden she's the right girl for you? Just because you chose someone else's advice? The advice has no connection at all to her being the right girl. You are either compatible or you aren't. All you can do is be yourself and try to win her heart the best way you can.

How many people are we compatible with? A lot. A whole lot. I think we are compatible with a lot more people than we realize. But how many do we end up with? One. Ideally. Does that mean you aren't compatible with the other people? No. Compatibility is a constant. You are either compatible with someone or you aren't. Sure it changes over time, but generally speaking you either are compatible or you are not. So the reason you don't end up with someone, even though you are compatible, isn't because you are only compatible with just one person. It's because conditions weren't right when the opportunity was at its best. Opportunity wasn't good enough, no matter how compatible you two are.

I hate it when people say things like "if so and so then it wasn't meant to be." No. You don't get to dictate the terms of a cause and effect relationship. Nature does. God does. It's like praying for something. I read in Boy Meets Girl, how Joshua Harris's girl prayed to God, "please if it's your will that Joshua be the man for me, tell him NOT to call me tonight." She believed that if Joshua was strong enough in Christ that he would hear God's word and fight the temptation to call. Nice idea, but completely faulty. Sure, in this case God said yes, but what if God had said, "no?" What if Joshua prayed a contradictory prayer? Would she have known? What if God had bigger plans? What if His plan was BETTER than hers? What if God said "no" to this girl? If Joshua hadn't called, then maybe he just wasn't interested. Or worse, what if he DID call but God said NO to this girl's prayer because He wanted Joshua to be proactive and to chase after her. Now he calls her and she loses interest, all because she THOUGHT she had a bargain with God. She didn't necessarily have a bargain. God doesn't say yes to every prayer, and if you give him an ultimatum or a bargain, watch out.

Think about how ridiculous this prayer would be... "If you don't want me to be with this guy, let me win the lottery tonight." Wouldn't it be great if God worked that way? I'd get both. I'd get the girl of my dreams one day then the next day say, "Ok God, if you want me to be with her then can you confirm it by letting me win the lottery? Thanks." Riiiight. God's not a vending machine.

Don't dictate to God. Don't bargain. Ask? Sure. Pray? Definitely. Beg? I guess. Fast? Yes. But don't think a bargain is going to work.

In short, don't begin your prayers with "if." He might say "yes." But then again, He might say "no." You'll never know if he said "yes" or "no," even if your condition is met. Just because you prayed for a condition, and the condition was met, it doesn't mean He said "yes" to the prayer. Be very careful about these sorts of prayers.

I do believe Jesus told us not to test God. You tread on thin ice when asking these sorts of questions.

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