*Last week I started this subject with part 1:If God Is Good, Then He Will…. Today is part 2 of 2.

I don’t know why. I just do.

>Every once in a while, I think God owes me one.

I negotiate in order to gain God’s favor, so he’ll deliver me bad moments as I talked about in part 1 last week.

My hope is that I can avoid the full weight of the pain. Perhaps God will even throw in a small measure of “happiness” to move me along the road to recovery and healing, so I can get back to my “normal.” Although this won’t mature me, I’ll settle for it.

I even make changes to sweeten the deal and convince God I mean business.

I’ll pretend to be better than I am. I might have a patch of real benevolence and send some money to help starving children or to build wells for tribes in Africa.

I’ll go to church more often and more regularly: Sunday, Wednesday, and a Bible study. I’ll read the Bible every day and pray several times a day.

I might turn into the best husband ever for a week, with kind words, flowers, cooking and doing dishes. I morph into father-of-the-year for a few days. I get home late but still play Candy Land and build forts in the living room with the kids. I comment positively on the littlest things the boys do and tell them how amazing, talented, and smart they are—that they can be and do anything they want to do in life (which is ironic, of course, since I’m struggling with the disappointments of life myself).

>Trying to make deals with God isn’t productive because it usually doesn’t work.

Essentially it’s not sincere and doesn’t yield long-term change. Therein lies the problem with deals. I think God knows what I’m trying to do, which is partly why it doesn’t work.

Making deals also makes pain worse, because I start to get mad that it’s not working. This too gives God the blame, even though I am the one making the deals in the first place. It’s all twisted. Plus, getting mad can turn into anger and evolve into bitterness, if we aren’t careful.

And this leads to the real problem: It leads me to start to doubt the goodness of God. Let’s not forget:

>Our understanding of the goodness of God will determine our journey.