To Receive or Grasp?

Who is God? Is He an evil king who only seeks to enslave us to His will and force us to live unhappily chained to His laws? Or, is He a loving father who desires our happiness more than anything and desires to give us all that we need? Depending on how we envision God, either as an evil king or a loving father, this will affect our posture in life.

In The Theology of the Body Explained, Christopher West states, “Man determines his fundamental disposition in life with one of two irreconcilable postures: receptivity or grasping. The posture each person assumes depends upon his concept of God” (TOB Explained, 179,

God made us in His image and likeness to be able to “participate in his happiness” (TOB Explained, 178). God freely gave us life as a gift and we are able to be “like God” by freely returning the love He “gives” us, to Him, and to one another. Satan wants us to believe that God is somehow holding back “gifts” from us. He wants us to think God doesn’t love us and therefore if we want happiness, we have to “grasp” at it for ourselves.

If we believed Satan, we would live life anxiously, running around trying to find happiness on our own away from God; but we all know the nature of sin, it promises everything and gives nothing. But, if we deny Satan, and trust in God, and believe that He “will ‘give’ us this day our daily bread”, we will find happiness. For truly, God freely “gives” us everything we need. As His children, our only job is to be open to “receive” this love and reciprocate it; only then will we find a sense of peace.

We have free wills, so it is up to us to decide how we will relate to God: by either seeing Him as an evil king, shun him, and “grasp” at happiness for ourselves, or, trust in his infinite love as a kind Father and be open to “receiving” all that he gives us. Our happiness depends on which posture we choose.

“Jesus, I Trust In You”


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