People have two opposite tendencies to approach the outside world. First, the intellectual approach is to analyze and systematize the available information with language.The other is the emotional and intuitive approach, which feels and imagines information, rather than observes and analyzes it. We must have two tendencies in harmony in our lives.
In other words, we definitely need to endeavor to objectively think and analyze things. Having said that, sometimes we need to accept things in a more simple and intuitive way. The reason is that two approaches do not necessarily operate positively. For example, when we watch the sunset, we should accept it for its emotional value, being touched with its grandeur and reminiscing the good memory it evokes. If we think about the reason for sunset and analyze the natural phenomenon down to its smallest atom, we will miss its grand beauty.
This seems to apply to believing in God. Of course we sometimes need to think argumentatively, rather than believe blindly. But we cannot see the true God if we try to analyze the Bible and logically understand God’s answers to our prayers because God has a personality and delights in the relationship with us. Theology is dangerous in this sense. There are lots of theologians who have lost their faith when they make God as an object of study and attempt to logically analyze and accumulate knowledge about the work of the Holy Spirit. Christians of good faith sometimes lose their faith when they enter seminaries and study God. These things happen because we try to analyze God whom we should feel and experience.
Some of us are analytical rather than intuitive. They are born with an analytical tendency, and this tendency is even more sharpened because our society constantly trains us to develop our analytical skills. But even these people should endeavor to feel and experience God. We can never have faith by arguing or analyzing. When there is an answer to our prayers, feel touched, be grateful for God’s personal grace, and pray for another need. This is how we build our relationship with God.
The philosopher Pascal was an intellectual type of person, but when he felt and met God, he cried out, “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not the God of philosophers.” What he meant was that he met the living God who accompanied Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom they had a close relationship, not the God we created by thinking and analyzing at our desk. We can meet this God when we acknowledge that He is the living God, ask for His help, and talk and laugh with Him. Don’t list up reasons for not believing and say you cannot believe. This is how we should experience God and build our relationship with Him: simply accept small experiences, acknowledge God, ask for your needs, be grateful when your prayers are responded.
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