These two questions linked to a post in the Back2Basics section:
Q1: Do we thank Him for good and not evil?
Q2: Do we attribute causality for the good and not the bad?
Do we thank Him for good and not evil?
No. We thank Him for everything because we believe He is present with us in both the good and the bad. We believe that He works all things for good and can take that evil and work good from it, even though it wasn’t His will.
Do we attribute causality for the good and not the bad?
My gut instinct was, to be forthright, discomfort with answering this as ‘yes’. I was afraid of it indeed sounding like a cop-out, but when I meditate on it, I still think the answer is yes.
Why? Because God’s will is always for goodness and joy in Him. Anything “bad” is actually a straying from His will. So when things are going good, yes, I can thank Him for that because it’s going as He planned and intended and willed for us, when it goes bad, it’s when there’s been an aberration of it because of where human will and God’s will collide. This is a very important concept.
Let me give a weak but useful analogy: let us say that a kind daddy put money aside for his daughter to go to college. He taught her tons of stuff as a kid, invested in her, helped her with homework, got her tutors, sent her to all sorts of sports teams, ballerina pageants, mission trips to africa, all to increase her profile and make her well-rounded to get into med school. In 2nd year pre-med, a drunk driver hits her, she’s paralysed, none of the school (in our imaginary scenario) can accommodate her. Is it the dad’s fault? Of course, you’ll say ‘no’. Was it the girl’s fault? You can philosphise and say she didn’t look both ways, but let’s say she did everything right. It was that drunk guy who was at fault, not the dad. If the accident never happened and she got into medschool, should she be thanking the dad? Yes, absolutely! I could give another scenario where SHE messes it up. But I think this is enough to illustrate the plan. The father/God had a plan, the plan is good. Now the daughter/humans have the ability to walk according to it, or they don’t (God’s will vs. my will). Then there’s this third factor, external evil. That is evil that cannot be controlled or attributed to the father.
So, I don’t feel uncomfortable saying, “Yes, I will attribute good to Him and not the bad”. Because the general plan for all is always good. The comfort is that He is with us in the hardship.
The concepts that I think are related to this are:
– Proper goals in a Christian concept
– Aversion to discomfort