Q&R with Greg Albrecht – “Falling out of God’s will”


I am in college. I think God may have called me to be a teacher. The problem is that I want to pursue other goals. I want to study what I am interested in. But when I stray completely away from education, something horrible always happens. The last time I was considering something other than teaching, my mom had a heart attack. I am afraid something worse is going to happen. I am afraid to have fun. I am afraid to have other interests because I am afraid of falling out of God’s will and then something really terrible happening. What do I do? Why is God punishing me?  


Your question sounds more mystical and superstitious than it does rational and logical.  Some Christians believe that God is always waiting around the next corner of life with a big club to beat us over the head. What does the term “falling out of God’s will” mean to you?  It seems to me, from your question, that you are applying an extremely subjective interpretation to God’s will, one based upon fear rather than love. 

The fruit of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26) reveals much about God’s will for us. I fail to find anything in this list of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc., about fear of God punishing us or about reading God’s will into events that happen in our lives or those of loved ones (your mother’s heart attack). It would be difficult for me to worship God if I believed that he needed to cause loved ones to have heart attacks in order to get my attention. Such a belief is closer to pagan mythology than it is to biblical truth. God is not upset when you have fun, when you laugh or when you smile. God is not mad at you. You may be punishing yourself or you may be punished by concepts about God that others have taught you, but God is not in the business of destroying you and making your life miserable. God is in the salvation and rescue business. He loves everyone, the whole world, according to John 3:16, and did not send Jesus to this world to condemn us, but to save us because he loves us.

For more answers to tough questions, check out our book:

Between Religious Rocks and Life’s Hard Places—101 Answers to Tough Questions About What You Believe.

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