Thursday, December 12, 2013

God: Credit vs Blame

Oh Gabby! America loves you, and I do to. 

     Gabby Douglas seems like a great woman, no doubt. She won two Olympic gold medals and many other medals in national and world gymnastics competition. At the age of eight, Douglas won the Level 4 all-around gymnastics title at the 2004 Virginia State Championships. She also was named an Associated Press named her the Female Athlete of the Year, led the Pledge of Allegiance at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte and received two BET Awards for her accomplishments.

She has been training and working hard her whole life. Missing out on many childhood things in order to practice what she loves. Her family sacrificed untold hours to make sure that she was able to get the gear she needed and to the places she needed to go and she turns 18 years old in a couple of week. Gabby and her family did these things. 

Not God. 

My friend and colleague Mark Sandlin, posted an interesting question on Facebook. 

He simply asked "Do I give God too much credit?" 

To me, that is an astounding and eye opening question for a man who is an ordained minister currently serving at Vandalia Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, NC with a M.Div from Wake Forrest.  He is also a regular Huffington Post Contributor and a co-founder of The Christian Left

I don't believe he is asking because he doubts god. I say that because I have learned a new form of devotion and dedication to faith by talking to him over the past several months. His isn't asking because he wants some person to prop up his faith. He doesn't need it.  He is asking because it is a valid question that needs to be asked. God no more deserves the credit for Jonas Salk developing the polio vaccine than he deserves the blame for J. Robert Oppenheimer leading the team of the Manhattan Project.  So, why does he deserve credit for your bachelors degree or blame because of your bad credit?

Being an atheist, I credit everything to something else, even when those things haven't been discovered or would be something to ask Krauss about.. because I certainly don't know. I DO believe that everything happens for a reason, but not for the reason that people often think. Gods plan. 

But my friend Mark, while maintaining a steadfast and honestly admirable faith he has been able to take the approach of learning and challenging the norms of the Christian theology. He doesn't blame god for his mistakes and although he may thank God for helping him see things clearly or inspiring him, I have a hard time believing that he credits his masters degree to God. 

Take credit for your success. 

Take responsibility for your failures. 

Seek motivation and clarity where you will, but you ultimately succeed or fail based on your actions. Going a set further, we as humans succeed or fail based on our common successes or failures. 


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