Gransnet forums


Have you ever been in this situation?

(83 Posts)
Smileless2012 Mon 11-May-15 14:57:33

There is a particularly difficult and painful family problem and you an another family member, who shares the same faith, pray about it but get different answers.

I have been praying about this for more than 3 years now and truly believe that the direction I have taken is the direction which God wants me to take. My son on the other hand has a completely different point of view and seeks to press home his arguments by quoting scripture.

How can we both be interpreting God's message correctly when we are at opposite ends of the spectrum? I would be so grateful for any input. My faith has helped sustain me through the most difficult and painful situation I've ever had to face and I cannot afford to begin to doubt what I've believed in for so long.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 11-May-15 15:01:51


Seriously, I think you just have to keep praying. Tell God about it. And wait. Some might say a priest or minister might be able to help you. flowers

rosequartz Mon 11-May-15 15:01:54

Have you spoken to your vicar or priest or minster about this problem?

Sometimes people can put different interpretations on things and sometimes it takes someone who is not emotionally involved to suggest a compromise or third way forward.


soontobe Mon 11-May-15 15:02:23

I will pm you.

rosequartz Mon 11-May-15 15:02:45

X posts with jingl

rosesarered Mon 11-May-15 15:14:39

how can anyone know the mind of God, or the direction that he wants you to go in.Stop worrying about this aspect, and simply put your faith in God .That is all that is needed, it's

rosesarered Mon 11-May-15 15:16:24

my above post is talking about prayer. if you need to do practical things, ie take some action, have a family meeting including your priest/minister.

soontobe Mon 11-May-15 15:27:36

A surprising number of ways actually.
Not normally flashing lights though!
In no particular order, bible readings, a burden about something or other, coincidences[that one is often mocked by non christians, but christians find it crops up a lot], finding out that other christians are thinking along the same lines[sometimes when you have not even discussed it together] etc.

Mishap Mon 11-May-15 16:04:55

Well - you are in a bit of a bind here; and 'twas ever thus. We are told that God is on both sides in a war (e.g. the Germans believed this and so did the Allies). The interpretation of his/her purposes has been a conundrum since time began, as people of all faiths believe that the "message" they are receiving is the right one, even though it contradicts that of others of equal but different (or as in this case the same) faith.

If scripture is your guide, then it is a problem as the bible has so many contradictions and both you and your son could search and find quotes to back up your arguments and positions. That is not a very productive or constructive route.

It seems to me that the way forward is not to allow your sustaining faith to flag, but to take a broader view of your deity and his/her purpose. Just be motivated by love and kindness and use this as your route forward. This will probably involve acknowledging your son's interpretation of the way forward as valid and to be respected, even if you cannot share it. This leaves him free to act as he sees right and you to do the same without argument or strife, or a weakening of your position.

You do not have to doubt your own belief - you just have to recognise that all faith and belief is open to individual interpretation and always has been.

Having this faith is clearly important to you, and, although I do not share this in any way, I do recognise your dilemma and hope that you can resolve this in a way that leaves you at peace with yourself and with your son. Part of the art of being human is to be able to acknowledge different views and to take those into account without losing faith in one's own.

I wish you well with this. flowers

soontobe Mon 11-May-15 17:24:56

The op is questioning the path she thought God wanted her to take, based on what she thinks God is helping her to decide.

Which is not the same thing at all as relying on one's own belief alone.
The two are completely different, and indeed can be completely opposite.

The way I can put it, which may or may not be relevant to the op is at the beginning of Proverbs 3, about not relying on your own insight.

I dont agree with your other paragraphs either, but that will do for now.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 11-May-15 17:31:36

From Mishap's post: "be motivated by love and kindness and use this as your route forward."

Excellent advice.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 11-May-15 17:33:59

There's really nothing to disagree with in Mishap's post.

Leticia Mon 11-May-15 17:35:48

You can find scriptures to fit anything you want them to fit. My father, in his job, had someone who used Bible verses to prove he was right. My father always managed to find one to say the opposite. It was never difficult.

pompa Mon 11-May-15 17:54:30

Smileless2012. Yo may wish to ignore my input as I do not believe in any God, however my view may therefore be un-biased. (I will not be upset if you ignore me)
I would seem to me that "belief" is a very personal thing that is within you, your beliefs may be founded on and guided by scriptures, but the interpretation is yours and yours alone.
Another person may interpret those scriptures differently, but have an equally deep faith. Each must be true to their faith and try to agree to differ.
I do hope you can come to an agreeable solution.

soontobe Mon 11-May-15 17:58:15

"be motivated by love and kindness and use this as your route forward"

If we have to make a journey from London to Newcastle, there are any number of ways to make that journey, all of them may well be good, but God may have a certain route in mind.

Proverbs 3 makes the answer clearer.
Love the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make straight your path.

The op wants to know what is the straight path.

The op, as I understand it is asking for God's way of doing that.
God can direct in a loving way. God will have the best route in mind.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 11-May-15 18:01:36

Agree with pomps.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 11-May-15 18:02:33

soon Amen.

soontobe Mon 11-May-15 18:03:57

I have not quoted quite correctly.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight
In all your ways acknowledge him
and he will make straight your paths.

What Mishap was saying was to rely on your own insight. That is definitely not the christian way of doing things.

soontobe Mon 11-May-15 18:05:00


pompa Mon 11-May-15 18:06:03

Soon, I do like your analogy to a journey. I do however ask does God mind if you deviate from the perfect route provide you reach the destination ?.
( Oh dear I am getting into foreign waters for me)

Mishap Mon 11-May-15 18:10:18

soon - I do not think this is the place for religious debate, but an opportunity for those of a faith and those of none to help smileless retain what sustains her and find a solution to the dilemma that is facing her.

The concept of free will which underpins Christianity does give her the opportunity to make her own interpretations of the results of her prayers and to understand that her son too has that same free will to do so. The fact that they are seeing different routes to a solution does not undermine the faith of either. Your quote from Proverbs which invalidates personal insight is one way forward, but it contradicts the concept of free will and leaves smileless adrift in her original dilemma, which is neither a good place to be nor a necessary one.

I would endorse pompa's post.

janeainsworth Mon 11-May-15 18:17:44

That's Old Testament though Soon so how can it be Christian?
Is smiting everyone in sight Christian too? And an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth?
Mishap's advice to be motivated by love and kindness seems to me the essence of Christianity, actually.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 11-May-15 18:20:40


Who's talking teeth. Or smiteing?

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 11-May-15 18:21:31

That is a lovely bible quote soon.

janeainsworth Mon 11-May-15 18:31:51

They were other examples of things written in the Old Testament that are not part of the Christian faith, Jingl