In a recent interview with The MMA Hour weekly show, UFC fighter and former champ Forrest Griffin, was asked the following question:
“How often do you speak to Him [God]?
Forrest Griffin answered, “Not that often. Not that often. The dude is gonna give me answers I probably don’t want.”
I think Forrest Griffin is the man. I am a fan when he is in the Octagon and of what I know of his life outside the Octagon. But, to be honest, I had never heard of a religious or spiritual side to Griffin. It really came as a surprise to me when this topic came up in a conversation which was pretty far away from anything that had to do with God or religion.
Continuing to expand on his recently found relationship with God, Griffin stated, “It’s kinda like you know the answers, but they are really tough choices…He wants me to do like four hours a day, every day…for the rest of my life. That’s not fun.” Griffin may not be your prime example of someone who is following God with all his heart and mind. I use the words “may not be” because in the end, Griffin’s relationship with God is between him and God–I don’t know all the details. I am not supposed to know all the details.
But, honestly, I respect the answers Griffin gave on The MMA Hour on his relationship with God. I respect his answers because they were honest and true. His answers came from the mouth of a man that has nothing to lose or gain in being honest about the topic of God. I also respect what he said because they seem like the answers that I would give if I always spoke with full honesty about my relationship with God.
As a small group and Bible study leader, as the son of ministers, as a husband, as an adult, as a mentor to others, and as a Christian, it isn’t always easy to admit that I am struggling with God–that I am wrestling with God every day and I am not even trying to win. I am just trying not to lose.
But the truth is that Forrest Griffin’s answers speak to my heart. I avoid talking to God because I am afraid of the answers He is going to give me. Like Griffin said, “you know the answers, but they are really tough choices.” What kind of excuses can I come up with when the only thing I fear, talking to my heavenly father, is that He will ask from me things I don’t want to commit to.
Afterwards, Griffin was asked if he felt like a better person, now that he believed and had a relationship with God. Griffin answered the following:
“Not really. It’s almost worst, to be honest. I feel like I see the path I should be on, but I am too lazy and selfish to actually fully commit to it.”
Once again, Griffin took the words right out of my mouth. It’s hard feeling like a better person talking to God because when we stand before God, in all His glory and splendor, we become aware of how gross and broken we are. We are fine with who we are until we look at God and we see the difference between the heart of God and our own, the difference between God’s passion and our passions. It’s tough dealing with the differences between that which makes God’s heart sing and that which makes us feel happy and fulfilled.
God is true, good, righteous, just, majestic, wonderful, loving, glorious, and many other things–things that I am not. So, when my small human self is aware of all that God is and the fact that God wants to have a relationship with me (which involves talking to me and sharing Himself with me), it’s tough because you know His spirit will convict you of your shortcomings.
God doesn’t do this to make us feel like crap. He doesn’t do this to make Himself feel better. God doesn’t need me to make Himself feel better–He is constantly aware of how awesome He is. However, in my human mind, I feel ashamed of my mistakes and shortcomings. I feel afraid that God will be disappointed in me. So what do I do? I avoid God. I avoid praying, conversing, asking Him questions (big and small). I avoid reading His Word (in the Scriptures).
The awesome aspect of any Christian’s relationship with God is that God’s Spirit comforts us in our time of need, even when our brokenness is something that we put on our own shoulders. When God asks us to do something for Him, He doesn’t expect us to do it out of our own strength and determination. God is willing to stand by us and be our strength, our peace, our focus, our passion, and our fulfillment. God doesn’t always takes the challenges away, but He will always be the strength we need to carry on.
I only have a few words from God to my fellow man, Forrest Griffin. Forrest, don’t be afraid of talking to God because of the answers that God may have for your questions. Don’t expect that God expects your life to be flawless and perfect. Don’t expect God to believe that you have all that it takes to live the life He wants you to live. If that were the case, then we wouldn’t need God at all. God wants to be your strength, your wisdom, and your passion in what He is calling you to. Forrest, God is always willing. Peace brother.