Every day as I commute into work I pass by a church sign next to the freeway. Like many other church signs, it has a spot for witticisms and wisdom to be dispensed in small bites that can be read easily while zooming by at 70 mph. Most of the time they’re fairly innocuous, but occasionally they manage to annoy the shit out of me.
The latest message, for example, is about friends and it reads:
FRIENDS – GOD’S WAY OF
TAKING CARE OF YOU
I couldn’t help but chuckle at how Christian the logic of that statement is. Friends are a wonderful thing to have and the lengths some of them will go to help you out when you’re troubled is simply amazing, there’s not doubt about any of that. I cherish each and every one of the people I consider to be my friends even though some of them I’ve never met in person.
The problem I have with this statement is that it takes all the credit for the love and assistance provided to you by your friends and hands it over to God, who is apparently too damned busy making crude drawings of his mom or his “son” in random inanimate objects to bother helping you directly when you could really use it. It also suggests that the only reason you have any friends at all is because God cared enough to manipulate them into your life instead of, say, you being a decent enough person that people might actually like you for who you are. The whole sentiment just rubs me the wrong way.
Give credit where credit is due. If your friends stick by you in tough times and help out where they can then it’s because they are awesome friends, not because God has manipulated them into doing his work for him. To me this is just another lame attempt to excuse the lack of evidence for God(s) interacting in day to day affairs by misattributing credit to something that doesn’t exist.