This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You

Written by Anthony Douglas on 18 June 2017.

Grenfell TowerAt times of grief, it is very common to hear accusations against God. How could you allow such a thing to happen? Don’t you care about the suffering of innocent people? What kind of good God stands by and does nothing?

It’s a genuine and appropriate question. It’s simply absurd to suggest a being greater than us who cares less than we do. And to place our trust in an indifferent deity leads to callous followers. If we simply bury our head in the sand on this, it’s a travesty that destroys our moral credibility.

So let’s start with one of our favourite responses: assigning blame. It didn’t take long to point fingers this week - the flames were still growing stronger when the managers and refurbishers were being put under the spotlight. In Luke 13, Jesus was asked about a recent disaster, and he did something surprising.

He blamed the victims.

But he didn’t stop there. Jesus warned us that we are all guilty. It’s only the kindness of God that we don’t all experience tragedy, all the time. We have so mucked up this world that we have no grounds for complaint. Humans start wars, commit murders, enslave and degrade each other; we spread disease, we exploit the weak ... and we cut corners for profit.

God is not standing idly by. He is constantly holding back the vast majority of what would go wrong without him. But if we lead a charmed life, protected from all the consequences of evil, then he knows we’d just keep going, and reach an afterlife that is far from charming.

God is not standing idly by. His own Son came to bear the brunt of evil, and break it. If we are to point our finger at the heavens, let it be to direct others to the Saviour we have to thank.

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