The God Factor
Many of us find that a relationship with God is more effective than anything else at removing the hurts that cause our strong and abusive reactions. If you feel uneasy about this statement or are wary of organized religion, we understand. We intentionally built the rest of this website without mentioning God, faith, or religion. We believe anyone who wants to change his or her behavior can benefit from understanding themselves and using the methods we’ve shared, regardless of your religious views or how spiritual you are.
However, we wouldn’t fulfill our mission of giving you every possible resource to make positive changes if we didn’t tell you about this relationship. Why is a relationship with God so helpful? How can it hold such transformative power? The reason is because it can answer the core questions that each of us need to have answered in our lives: Am I lovable? Do I measure up? Am I valuable? Do I have a purpose? Can I be forgiven for the things I’ve done wrong and the ways I’ve hurt others? Is there hope in the mess I’m facing? He answers these vital questions like no other source can, because he created us.
What does it mean to have a relationship with God?
Think about what it means if you have a good, close relationship with another person. You probably spend time together. You communicate with that other person, which means you talk and listen. Likely, you know them well. You know their character and nature, and can anticipate what they will say or do in a given situation. This person is someone you can count on, in the good times and the bad. You know they care about you. If they care about you a lot, they’ll warn you if they believe you’re about to do something that will not be good for you.
Having a personal relationship with God is like all of those things. It does, however, have some important differences. People are imperfect. They make mistakes, can be fickle, and sometimes hurt us. God is perfect. He always loves you, always wants a relationship with you (even if you don’t want one with him), and always wants good things for you.
Why a relationship with God matters – the promise
When we have a relationship with God, we feel satisfied, content, and peaceful. This dramatically improves our relationships with other people because we stop needing anything from them. Whether they act favorably toward us or not, we’re still okay deep down, because we get what we need from God. That sets us free to be the lover, protector, and caretaker that he designed us to be from the beginning.
Here are some of the benefits of accepting a relationship with God:
- We know we are loved because the creator of the universe loves us.
- We know we have a purpose because he created us on purpose, for a purpose.
- We get a new identity. We become a new person with Christ inside us. We see ourselves differently and act differently.
- We are freed from fear. When we follow his way, God has us covered.
- He takes care of our needs. As our creator, he knows our needs and provides. This too sets us free from fear.
- We are completely forgiven. The mistakes we made are pardoned.
- We are given his guidance. He shares his wisdom with us through the Holy Spirit and we recognize those messages.
- We are protected from evil. Bad things will still happen to us, but he ultimately gets justice for those who believe.
- We are set free from addictions and behaviors that weigh us down. We can act differently, even if our circumstances don’t change.
- We experience peace. Knowing we are loved, have a purpose, are free of fear, provided for, forgiven, given guidance, and protected has a huge impact on our inner peace.
- We are given eternal life. We are promised life with him in heaven just for believing in him.
How others have experienced their relationship with God
How can this all-important relationship affect your life? Here are a few quotes we’ve heard from people who gained a relationship with God by accepting Christ as their king and savior:
- “Life is so much more enjoyable. I experience more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in my life. Who doesn’t want more of those?”
- “I know I’m a better, happier person, and my relationships with others are so much better as a result.”
- “My patience and tolerance grew drastically after receiving Christ into my life. I began to see people more through God’s eyes—as his beloved children, all at various stages of their own refinement journey—and less through my own, judgmental, impatient, and demanding eyes. This view helps me do a better job of accepting others and their flaws. I can give grace because I feel grace.”
- “After accepting Christ, I became more compassionate for others around me who may be hurting. I want to help them, and then I feel blessed when I do.”
- “I feel far less pressure to succeed. I know that when I do my best, God will take care of me.”
- “Others’ opinions of me don’t matter as much as they used to because God’s opinion is the only one that really matters. He has already accepted me and loves me unconditionally. When others’ words or actions are critical, judgmental, or hurtful, I can listen more openly to the merit of what they’re saying, but still keep some perspective if they are being unfair or overly harsh.”
- “When I’ve been wronged, I don’t need to seek justice. God is my defender and he will bring justice to everyone, even if it doesn’t happen on this side of heaven.”
- “I no longer live in fear. When my life was only about my job, possessions, marriage, health, or not dying, I was so afraid of losing those things. Now that I have a relationship with God, even the bad things that can happen in this world are not awful. I know he loves me, has a plan for me, and has promised me eternal life, no matter what happens. That gives me hope to get through hard times.”
- “I have the perfect teacher guiding me. God is gentle, loving, and so patient in his guidance! I feel blessed when I live the way Jesus showed us to live.”
Religion is not for me
Religion means a lot of different things to different people, so we want to address why we focus on having a relationship with God rather than religion. Religion is defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman power, often containing a moral code governing human conduct. There’s nothing wrong with any of these things. Those of us who have a relationship with God through Christ are called Christians, and Christianity is a religion.
Religion sometimes deserves the bad rap it receives, however. It’s man-made, and therefore subject to being flawed. For some of us, religion was used to tell us how bad we are. Others of us had religion pushed on us, like we didn’t get to choose for ourselves. Still others experienced religion as a bunch of rituals, but saw no point in them. If you had any of these bad experiences with religion or so-called religious people, we’re sorry. Please don’t let some negative experiences with flawed humans cause you to miss out on the best part – a personal relationship with God.
I’m not sure what to believe
Many of us are uncertain of what to believe about God or any other higher power. The truth is, everyone who has a relationship with God followed their own journey in getting there. Some of us resist because we’re afraid there’s a catch – it sounds too good to be true. Some of us are uncertain and need to understand what we’re getting into before we take the leap. We get it. If it helps, and we hope it does, we’ve attempted to answer some common objections on our Eliminating Barriers page.
I’m ready. How do I get this relationship?
If you’ve never told God you want a relationship with him, starting the relationship is as simple as inviting God into your life. God does not force himself on us – he waits for our invitation. The same is true if you used to have that relationship but you let it go stale. If this seems too easy, click the Inviting God In button below for more information.
Read more about the God Factor here.