A reader puzzles about how to be a good witness

He writes:

I am one of the readers of your blog and enjoy reading your apologetics. I am writing to you concerning the call to every Christian to love and serve God and submit to his will, which in today’s world of “me, myself and I” is a very ludicrous idea. The question is how to address the seeming implication that due to God wanting us to forgo ourselves and serve Him, He is an abusive father who guilt trips his own children. I am aware that this is a favorite accusation/argument used by nonbelievers against believers saying that God is a slave driver and that believers are a bunch of masochists willing to suffer for serve such a God and I know that this accusation is false as shown by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even so I still fall prey to the temptation to follow one’s will even unto sin due to my pride and feel at times also adverse to such a call of following God’s will despite my faith in Christ and as such would like to know on how to respond to such images, Thank you.

I think one of the best answers to your question has just been given by the pope in Evangelii Gaudium. Joy is the infallible mark of the presence of the Holy Spirit and is the argument against the false notion that God is a slave driver. Of course, some people will say that no matter what because they are afraid of the sacrifice of self the gospel requires. But those willing to listen will see that this is false. It is original sin that perceives our relationship with God as a Master/slave relationship. Jesus knew nothing of such a relationship with his Father and the one who trusts Jesus finds the truth of Jesus’ word that God is Father, not Master. Read the New Testament with an eye to how often Jesus calls God “Father” and stand in his place when you pray. Do this particularly at Mass. Don’t worry about your sins once you’ve repented them. Give them to God and then press on with being a disciple and witness and ask his help. He will bless your work in the Vineyard.

God bless you!

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