When Jesus Quits

March 31, 2008    By: Matt W. @ 8:26 pm   Category: Life

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were talking about Christ and how he never gives up on his relationship with us. We were talking about how he is perfect, and understands us, and wants us to be like him and his Father. And we were talking about how he loves us so much that he leaves it up to us, and doesn’t force us. Lastly, we talked about how he never gives up on us.

Then my wife reminded me of a friend of mine who I’d been avoiding, who had been really hateful to me, and hurt me badly, and we hadn’t spoken in years. He’d quit the church and tried hard to get me to quit, calling me intellectually dishonest for believing in God and Evolution. My wife reminded me that as Christ doesn’t quit loving, and neither should I.

As a man, I began thinking of How th Scriptures do say that “The Spirit shall not always strive with man.” and how Christ does quit in his efforts to reach some. Then I thought about how this could be: How does Christ quit on us? There is only one reason I can think of why Christ would back off. That is because it would be more painful for us for him to continue than for him to go on. It’s not his own pain Christ was concerned with, but it is our pain. He lets go and steps away because he knows it hurts us more for him to hold on sometimes. He allows us to “shrink” away.

This is kind of what I think is happening here in this life, Our Father in Heaven saw it would cause us more pain in the pre-existence if we were’nt able to progress. Joseph Smith once said that in the preexistence that we were oppressed, and the primary reason for gaining a body was to be free from this oppression. I think part of that freedom is freedom from the presence of God. It is God quitting. Cutting his apron strings, He let go, like the old cliched of when you love some one. If we love him, we’ll come back, right?

When I was in High School I dated this girl, we dated for six years, she slept with some other guy, and we broke up. I was crushed. I hurt all over. I wanted her back so badly, but after a while, when the guy moved away, and she was lonely and came back, I realized, as much as I wanted to be with her, to have ger be my life again, I had to let her go, because the pain we caused each other together was to great. I was hurting her, she was hurting me. We were bad people. In that pain, I, a wanna be atheist, called out to God and asked him to make the pain stop. A year and five months later, I joined the church, and the pain was gone. Looking back, I learned a lot from that year of pain. I learned a lot about letting go. I learned there is a God, and I am not him.

And I am not Jesus. Jesus quits because he knows it would be more painful for us if he continued. I have no such knowledge. Last night, I had dinner with my friend, grateful not to know, grateful for the ability to quit. To quit being angry. To quit feeling upset. To let go.

10 Comments »

  1. I don’t see Him quitting when it’s me that chooses to leave him. The atonement is always there for me to return to. He never quits.

    My home teachers may quit, my bishop may quit, my stake president may quit, my parents may quit, my wife may quit, but Jesus? I don’t think so.

    Comment by JM — April 1, 2008 @ 4:56 am

  2. I’m trying to think of examples where Jesus appeared to ‘quit’.

    The rich young man went away sorrowing. It does not say Jesus kept nagging him about selling all he had. The rich young man went away and Jesus let him.

    The parable of the 10 virgins is another one. The five that were not prepared were not let in.

    I agree with JM that the repentance door stays open, but we must come unto Him. So I think that while Jesus does not quit, he seems to allow us to quit.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — April 1, 2008 @ 5:38 am

  3. Thanks for sharing those powerful examples from your own life. He does say something like, ‘I will forgive whom I choose to forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.’ I think you hit the nail on the head in that we don’t have his insight, which is why that is so.
    Still, I don’t know if I would call what he does quitting . . . there’s probably a better word for it, but you were trying to grab the reader with that inflamatory word, right? ;-)

    Comment by M. Ryan Taylor — April 1, 2008 @ 9:01 am

  4. Isn’t Christ’s love unconditional, which means it is always there for us to receive?

    Even if Christ reluctantly removes his Spirit from us, doesn’t he send other people to serve us as he would?

    Eventually, won’t we all be reunited with Christ, even if it just at the judgment bar?

    Comment by Sterling — April 1, 2008 @ 11:01 am

  5. I think that is a good point Sterling. Even if someone were to WANT to escape from Jesus, he could not in the ultimate sence.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — April 1, 2008 @ 11:33 am

  6. I’m not sure “quit” is the right word. But we should all remember that on the cross the Father withheld himself from Jesus for a time.

    Comment by Clark — April 1, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

  7. Clark, that’s an excellent point. Perhaps Quit is a bit too strong of rhetoric, on my part, but I definitely feel there is a sense of him “letting go” or “letting be”. He is not ceasing to love us, but he is ceasing to have an active relationship.

    Sterling, my understanding from the Book of Mormon is that Christ’s redemption brings us to the judgment bar, but at that point we are allowed to leave if we so desire, as we “come to a perfect knowledge of all our guilt” and this causes us to “shrink from the presence of the Lord.” The Lord, I believe lets them leave, because he loves them that much to allow them to go.

    In short, Jesus “quits” when it is more loving to let go rather than to keep holding on.

    Good responses all.

    Comment by Matt W. — April 1, 2008 @ 8:06 pm

  8. Gotta love Leigh.

    Comment by mondo cool — April 2, 2008 @ 10:02 am

  9. Hi, I’m new to this and didn’t know how to create a new subject on this website? Maybe I didn’t look hard enough.

    I had a question regarding Eternal progression/Absoulute Knowledge… I commented on a more appropriate page

    http://www.newcoolthang.com/index.php/2007/07/eugene-englands-worst-arguments-ever/411/#comment-177352

    But am afraid I won’t get any looks since it was last commented on almost a year ago.

    How do I start a new topic???

    Thanks,

    Kevin

    Comment by New to This — April 2, 2008 @ 5:14 pm

  10. New to this,

    There are only a few people who can start new topics on this site. See my comment over at the Eugene England thread.

    Comment by Jacob J — April 2, 2008 @ 5:29 pm

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