Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

I Am God but You Are Not

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"Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other, I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath" (Isaiah 45:22-23).

Our God is amazing. He created us and brought us to life but He never demanded that we have to follow Him. Instead He gave us free will to decide our destiny and to choose how to live.

We should look at our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s character and how He lived on earth with a holy heart and with no blemish. There were people who loved Him and followed Him while others who hated Him, jealous of Him, and wanted to destroy Him.

Our Lord Jesus Christ never felt pride, self-righteousness, nor hated those who wanted to crucify Him. On the contrary, despite everything He loved and served everyone regardless.

Thus we should ask ourselves:

  • Can we follow our Lord’s steps?
  • Is it possible for us to be Christ-like?

We may find that transformation to that level of purity may be far beyond our abilities and may seem impossible.

We crave changes, we talk to each other about them, and we also dream that we are able to achieve them. But we never have the motivation and the will-power and the determination to go through that difficult road to win the battle.

Many New Year’s resolutions we plan and many promises we announce, after a matter of weeks they dissolve into thin air. Our commitments to others are very weak and we are not sure of anything due to our busy life, laziness, and many excuses of why we cannot change.

Reprogramming our minds to make positive choices and to leave our old habits behind are required from us to have a desire to do God’s will through praying and submitting to Him.

Changes defiantly will happen but will come gradually and the more we achieve the more we want to improve some more and our lives will become a continuous achievement.

Why does it always take time to change? Because our old habits; although we wish for them to be gone, are familiar to us and we are afraid to let go and to start over.

But the Holy Bible tells us:

"As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct. Because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am Holy.'" (1 Peter 1:14-16).

Amazingly the first word the infant learns is "No" before he/she even knows the meaning of it. Somehow we all are attracted to this word no matter how old we are and how educated and successful we may be.

The word "No" somehow makes us feel we are in control of ourselves and that is very satisfying to many of us. Being in control is one of our main human problems. In order to satisfy ourselves to feel in control we put ourselves in God’s role and that causes us many miseries.


Our egos are so big that they drive us to hide ourselves under many masks. We end up showing others the perfect side of us and hide what we feel and pretend that we are happy and satisfied. Consequently we fall into many bad habits, addictions, depression, etc...

Instead of finding a cure to our problems, we tend to hide them deeper or to develop resistance to the cure. Such as a person who has an infection will need an antibiotic to cure it but when he does not follow through with his medication his body will end up even weaker and will increase his resistance to that antibiotic. So not following through with the cure we will end up losing hope, less trusting, weaken ability to try again, etc...

Failing to see and admitting God is the only one in control, has the power beyond ourselves and we are in need of His direction and plan through our lives, can lead us to fear of letting anyone getting close and finding out our true identity or becoming frustrated that nothing seems to go right as we planned it.

"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave her husband with her, and he ate" (Genesis 3:6).

Adam and Eve wanted equate themselves to God. They saw the opportunity when the serpent directed them to do so by eating from the forbidden tree and they will be like Him. Instead they ended up afraid and felt naked, and ashamed. When they heard God’s voice they hid themselves and as a consequence to the wrong decision, they became no longer joined with God in the garden of Eden.

Only through humbling ourselves, we can see the hand of God every day in our lives and His marvelous plan for each one of us. And through prayer from the heart and sincerity and determination, we can cure ourselves from many problems and step up to successful planning.

"Then He said: 'A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me. So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journey to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.'" (Luke 15:11-13).

The prodigal son is one of our examples for self-reliance.He grew in a home filled with love, rules, kindness, etc... But despite that, he was full of himself and his ability to decide what is good for him. He needed to be in control to satisfy his ego and end up lacking and miserable. Luckily he was saved in the end, but how many people are not. This is a great lesson for us to learn without attempting to try it for we can end up in full destruction away from our Father in heaven.

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Transformation does not come easy. It requires a life process involving need, free choice, determination, planning, and diligent prayers.

Learn to praise and honor the Lord for all changes that we might acquire to teach us to see His hand in everything around us and to press on to the next level of understanding and maturity.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

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