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What Does G‑d Think of Me?

What Does G‑d Think of Me?

Staying alone in my head is like being behind enemy lines


Wow! It's hot! Although it's not the heat; it's the humility that gets to me.

What does G‑d think of me?

How should I know? I’m not G‑d!

The real question is: What do I think about myself?

It really depends on the day, on my mood, on a character defect, or even whether I am hungry, angry, lonely or tired (known as H.A.L.T.).

You see, when I am at the mercy of my negative thoughts, something strange happens. I become a genius—so much so that I have an unshakable knowing that my thoughts are “facts.” The facts are that I don’t measure up or that I am better than you or worse than you but never equal to you. This is what G‑d thinks of me as well. After all, isn’t it a fact?

I can become so sure that I “know” what G‑d thinks of me, that I can be called a supernatural mind reader! I believe that my thoughts must be G‑d’s thoughts. This can be serious—because if I know what G‑d thinks, then I am all knowing as well and that’s a tough load to carry. I tell my wife, that if she lived in my head she would be exhausted too... Being G‑d can really drain me. What I am really thinking is 'I am on my own' so I better control everything.

So what can I do to give G‑d back His job?

I need to get off my throne, and get some humility! I once heard that to have humility means to be open — open to the possibility that I might be wrong about something that I think — that I am so sure of. I think that even though I see myself in a certain light, that maybe — just maybe, G‑d sees me in a different light. Thinking that I may be wrong is the most right thought I can have.

I need to remain open to the idea that G‑d’s opinion of me is not what I am sure it must be. His thoughts are not my thoughts! So, when I ask myself questions like: Does G‑d find me valuable? Does G‑d love me for who I am? I can answer: Just because today I see myself in a certain negative way doesn’t mean that it’s G‑d’s truth.

I am obligated to strive to know that there is a G‑d and to know that I am an integral part of His divine cosmic plan. I am told that all I have to know is that there is a G‑d and that I am not Him. I also need to strive to prove certain ideas to be false. It is incumbent upon me to expose certain beliefs to be false, no matter how old or how certain they seem to appear.

Where can I get some humility to go? I can call a friend to get a humility check. Real humility is knowing who I am, knowing my strengths and weaknesses and appreciating how G‑d is doing for me what I can't do for myself. G‑d is the source of my strength regardless of what I think of myself. G‑d knows better. So my friend needs to tell me that while I might be a good guy I am no G‑d.

And, really, I have no business telling G‑d what to think. I can pray by asking G‑d to help me be open enough to see myself rightly. I say something like: Please G‑d help me see myself through Your eyes.

It’s my stinking thinking that is the problem to begin with. So getting out of my head is an essential strategic move towards humility. I must get out of my head. After all, if my thoughts at that moment are the enemy, then staying alone in my head is like being behind enemy lines.

Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger has worked with addicts for twenty years. He is the creator of a national seminar which integrates kabbalah and the 12 steps of Alcohol Anonymous, and the director of Chabad Lifeline, an addiction crisis drop-in center in Montreal.
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Anonymous Middletown, NY September 21, 2011

the best laid plans "I am obligated to strive to know that there is a G‑d and to know that I am an integral part of His divine cosmic plan."

Actually that whole "cosmic plan" line of thought seems presumptuously anthropomorphic. It's another example of the same logical fallacy that this article goes to such lengths discredit...i.e. that "I" know what G-d is about and that it involves "ME" personally.
I prefer to think that G-d keeps me around because, like Sholem Aleichem's Shlemiel, I keep HaShem amused! It's a great improvement over beating myself up for being a schlemiel. Reply

Masoud Nazarian West Orange, Nj September 1, 2011

Re thoughtful minds It seems that the observer has forgotten that he is not the thought. Mind is to serve man has become a masterful illusionist keeping us (the observer) In our addiction to it, by providing it's own malice and at the same time giving us the solution to get out of it. A masterfully created circle of Pain. Reply

Simcha Frankel Los angeles, ca usa September 1, 2011

Honesty how? I agree so much that left to my own thoughts I get drained. Yes acting like G-d is very dangerous. Reaching out to a friend helps in two ways. One, the act of reaching out is an act of humility. Secondly I often underestimate my self worth. I often need a reality check that I am not as low as I think I am. Thank you for the insightful article. Reply

Masoud Nazarian West Orange, NJ August 19, 2010

What does G-d thinks of me? Hi Rabbi Bresinger;
Thank you for the article. We miss you in West Orange, New Jersey. Wishing you a peaceful new year. Reply

Ralph Silber Houston August 18, 2010

Addiction First, how can we get our program here in Houston? Seriously. All that churchiness of regular 12-step meetings is a teensy bit of a downer. I even heard one woman say that her rabbi had told her he didn't believe in Gd, and that she was about to get baptized. We have about 60,000 Jews here--is that enough for a minyan?

Second, it's nice that you let us know how you deal with your stinkin thinkin, but you are not as bad as I am. I'm over 65 and never had a career, having been programmed for shame [YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!--if that is what Daddy thinks, why should Gd think different?]

I avoided substance abuse. Instead, I am addicted to playing solitaire. Now that I have a compluter and can play 20 games in an hour the stakes are even higher. . Reply

Derek Ross Oak Park, CA/USA August 18, 2010

Simply Awesome Thank you for writing this piece about What does G-d think of me. My thinking always causes the problem so, "getting out my head is an essential stratgic move towards humility" for me. I have saved this article and printed it out to be reminded to follow your strategy. THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Reply

Karen Steele Willow Spring, NC/USA August 18, 2010

What Does G‑d Think of Me? That was an incredible article. I saw myself through every word. It was really got me to thinking how I need to let God be God. I liked the thought, "So what can I do to give G‑d back His job?" It also made me realize that my negative days aren't necessarily (usually) not God's view at all. This is the kind of article that says "God does love me". I call an article like this, a jewel from God. He's just talking out loud to me. Thanks for speaking out loud this time what is in your head. Reply

David Chester Petach Tikva, israel August 18, 2010

Thoughts and Eternity Interesting. I doubt if G-d works in our time scale, so he doesn't think in the sense that we understand by this word. We believe that He is eternal and timeless, so the duration of our souls on earth is not measurable in His terms. And as a consequent there is certainly no hurry for us to be examined nor judged there. Reply

Anonymous calgary , ab August 17, 2010

If you are behind enemy lines, in your head, this may help. Shut your eyes. Wait quietly and then pick up a sword.
The instant negative appears, slay it. I have done a lot of slaying in my time.
Not all that you find negative deserves to be slain. Remember to keep a few nusiances around because they are the tonic that is deserving.
After repeated warrior deeds, a funny thing happens; more and more postive appears and that can teach you much.
Hope this helps with the enemy within. Reply

susan bernstein port saint lucie, florida August 17, 2010

what does g-d think of me Talk, pray to G-d. He knows you better than yourself. You will heal. Reply

Ilene Stackel Naples, FL August 1, 2010

What Does G-D Think of Me? Thank you so much for your sharing. I can relate to it a lot more than most comments I heard in the rooms over the course of 17 years...The best I got was "G-d doesn't make junk...." When I befriended or sponsored other people, the least humble always told me I needed more humility. Which I did and do. But always thought the messengers were an ironic choice. I came to realize we learn from people who are negative examples as well as positive examples. I almost feel like moving to Montreal to be a part of your group :-) Reply

Anonymous July 29, 2010

Addiction & Recovery N.A. is a good and successful program. Your explanation truly touched my soul. Finally I can begin to see why. May G-d continue to bless you and help you to enlighten me and bring me back to life. Reply

Anonymous montreal, canada July 29, 2010

Humility What a great article. As a "recovery person" in a twelve step program I related to and appreciated the words written. Thank you, Rabbi B., for the new insight. Reply

joey c July 28, 2010

thanks for describing my thoughts Reply

Contact your local Recovery Rabbi and join a Jewish Recovery Community:
Boca Raton, FL
Rabbi Meir Kessler
Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Mendel Cohen
Milwaukee, WI
Rabbi Shais Taub
Montreal, Canada
Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger
New York, NY
Rabbi Yaakov Bankahalter
Reading, PA
Rabbi Yosef Lipsker
West Bloomfield, MI
Rabbi Yisrael Pinson
Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger is a pastoral counselor who has worked with addicts for twenty years. He is the creator of a highly successful national seminar which integrates kabbalah and the 12 steps of Alcohol Anonymous, and the director of Chabad Lifeline, an addiction crisis drop-in center in Montreal.
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