The Myth of God and Math

by Edie Melson

Math is not my strong suit.

I have to smile as I write these words. And I know my husband will be howling with laughter when he reads this. I’m so much NOT a numbers girl, I’m almost handicapped.

At least that’s what I’d thought.

But I’ve recently discovered that my view of God is filtered through an algebraic mind-set. And when I first noticed the signs, I went into immediate denial. There was no way it could be true.

But the evidence is irrefutable.

Without realizing it, I’ve put God in a box, bracketing him inside equations. And I’m betting a lot of you may have as well.

Let me see if you’re familiar with these two logical—spiritual—equations I’m referring to:

Following the Rules + Making the Right Decisions = Living a Blessed Life

Sinning + Bad Decisions = Living a Troubled Life

On the surface these two equations look pretty good. But when I began to dig deeper, I realized that rather than finding God’s truth in the equations above, I’d become tangled in a lie.

I had traded the Truth of God for fairness and tried to call it justice.

God is so much more than fair. His love destroys such a simplistic concept and replaces it with grace.

Along with that comes things I can’t understand—good people who suffer and bad people granted eternal life. At times this world looks like it rewards those who cheat and punishes the one that do the right thing.

But I’ve discovered I don’t have to understand to trust Him.

You may wonder at where I find the evidence for hope. I find it all around me. I’ve seen it played out in my life and the lives of those around me. Beyond that I see examples of it on almost every page of the Bible. God proves over and over again that He gives us so much more than the condemnation that we deserve.

So how about you—have you fallen for some bad math?

“For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9 (HCSB)

Edie-MelsonAbout the author: Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, While My Child is Away; Prayers for While Were Apart is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Join the conversation: In what ways has God deepened your understanding, by taking you deeper than what you formerly assumed?

9 thoughts on “The Myth of God and Math

  1. I have absolutely fallen for some bad math! I have even made up some of my own equations, to be honest:) But God’s plan for salvation is simple and straightforward. Accepting Jesus into my heart and believing in Him equals eternal life. Why do we try to complicate things when God, in His mercy and grace, made it so uncomplicated for us? Thank you for this reminder today, Edie.


  2. Those same bad assumptions, (doing good = blessed or doing bad = trouble), are the same bad equations Job’s friend used. And God didn’t think much of their math, either! Praise God that He deals with us in grace. The most glorious truth in our relationship with Him is in what we DON’T deserve!


  3. I fell for the first bad math example and was devastated and angry at God when my marriage evaporated into lies and cheating. I’d done everything “right”, why hadn’t God blessed me? I came to the realization that I had been obedient in order to receive a reward, not just to honor God. Completely changed my perceptions.


  4. Mathematics is pure logic, until you reach the far-out fringes, where it grows fuzzy and philosophical while dealing with computability and other such esoterica. Though, like math, God is logical, that certainly doesn’t define Him, nor does being logical satisfy the cries of the human heart. And we say we want fairness, until we find it’s really mercy and grace that we want. No, if we try to put God in a box, we’ll keep finding things we want and need that are outside of that box. The only limits on God are those things He places on himself, His character and nature. He won’t violate them, but we only know the bits and pieces about them that he has given us through special revelation in His Word. Try to box God up and you’ll only limit the depth of your relationship with Him and His working in your life.


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