3 Opportunities You Can Seize When You Don’t Believe In God

Not believing in God presents some rather hopeful opportunities for you that may even represent God more accurately.

by Dave Merrill
Not believing in God has become fairly common. Either God has let you down or you have found yourself less than impressed with those who claim to believe and follow God. While it’s unfortunate that it’s difficult to see God in those who follow God closely, there are indeed opportunities to seize in your disbelief. Not believing in God presents some rather hopeful opportunities for you that may even represent God more accurately. Here are three opportunities you can seize when you don’t believe in God:

1. You can claim new life anywhere

I have found that particularly in Christian circles of faith, God seems to shine in some rather routine and predictable ways. When the lights are low, the music is loud, and the preacher is a talented orator, God really begins to excite those who follow God. Yes, God does incredible work through churches when they serve those in need and help to heal those who are sick. However, outside of the organized efforts of united believers, God isn’t often publicly claimed in those less than regular spaces.

When you don’t believe in God, it frees you from the trappings of routine and tradition. Your opportunity in that space is to celebrate new life anywhere you see it. Look for joy, life, love and redemption in everyone you come across regardless of their faith and/or culturally assigned descriptors. Be like a detective and find life giving qualities in the often overlooked details that surround you. I’d argue that if you can free yourself up to see resurrection without the need to claim belief in God, you’re much closer to God than you think.

2. Open yourself to awe

As a believer myself, I’ve noticed that it comes with a fair amount of expectations of God. I’ve seen people rightfully claim the amazing work of God for things like getting their child into an amazing school or efforts of a community to revive their city after a hurricane. Both of those scenarios are good news. 

In my mind, the questions begin to arise when I ask things like, “If God can work in those situations, then why hasn’t God eradicated disease, poverty, and discrimination?” I find myself wanting God to more completely work in those spaces that really count. I, along with others, make God a third party deity that works sometimes and disappoints other times. 

A lack of belief in God gives you the opportunity to claim mighty works in the world without expecting something more from a third party provider. You can simply be in awe when things are truly awesome. You can claim the victories of selfless love without feeling let down where you expect more.

3. Recognize that you're in good company

You are not alone. There’s a world of people who don’t claim to believe in God. Among those are world changers, philanthropists, scientists, and yes – even some former church-goers. My point is that you can and should rally around others who are up to some good in this world even when they don’t claim faith as their source. Don’t go after meaning and purpose alone. Surround yourself with people from all backgrounds who love life and want to share that love with others, especially those who are in need. My hunch is that you’ll experience something larger than yourself, and you can gradually open yourself up to celebrate it like crazy.

If God truly is indwelling love, then expanding your circle of people and experiences that influence you beyond faith communities is a safe bet. God, as love, will then receive praise in more creative spaces and you just may begin to believe once again.

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