Correcting an age-old misconception:
By way of introduction, life in My world is not easy. A level of difficulty is essential. There are two reasons for this.
First, the world is difficult because it is a place for you to learn. Learning depends on free will, experience, memory, and reason, and for some, faith. There are two kinds of lesson you must learn, (1) the single essential lesson of life and (2) the experience lessons that complement and contribute to the essential lesson. The latter kinds of lessons require life to present difficulties.
Second, the world is difficult because you exist together with other individuals whose desires and needs compete with yours, and creatures that compete with you for space and many that can cause you harm. Natural and human-produced competition and danger are necessary for your learning experience. They provide an incentive to learn and improve.
Life’s one essential lesson you must learn is this:
Good is the natural result of proper living.
I provide guidelines for what constitutes proper living for you in My Torah. The primary guidelines are love Me with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might, love your neighbor as yourself, and see to the welfare of widows, orphans, and the poor.
The second kinds of lessons, the experience lessons, are those you may encounter in your daily life. Some examples: Do something foolish before others and they will ridicule you, show wisdom in all you do and you will be highly respected, companionship and love are worthwhile, forgiveness produces satisfaction, . . . . You get the idea?
Now to the main thrust of this message, which is the misconception I mention above.
The Torah and the rest of the Hebrew bible, unfortunately, are filled with word pictures of Me as a rewarding and punishing God. I am painted as rewarding behavior I like and punishing behavior I abhor. That’s the way the ancients interpreted the world and they interjected that interpretation into the biblical descriptions of their revelations. Notwithstanding history, it was easy for humans to settle on their erroneous interpretation. That’s how they reacted to life: Punish what they didn’t like and reward what they did. So they portrayed Me as a huge human. However, those who believe in that portrayal of me are easily drawn into a false impression of reality.
Even absent the inaccurate description of Me, humans have a strong inclination to imagine their difficulties in life are a punishment for wrongdoing. This has led to fanaticism and distortion of My message.
Here is the truth: I create the world so that every act and decision has consequences.
What you do or decide is a cause and there is always a natural effect. One of the vital ways of learning comes from appropriately connecting the two.
Educate yourself. Read my Torah as if it was an instruction manual. Live by its tenets. Learn to love life and its challenges.
Mind you, that won’t necessarily make life easier. But keep learning. It will help you keep young and interesting.