Freedom

Life is full of difficulties and as Christians we are encouraged to release our problems over to The Father. I’ve done this and feel completely liberated from the stress I was inundated with.

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But I’ve also seen another thing happen to me; I begin to grind, think, contemplate over the very same issue I just released to The Father. What I’ve done is effectively taken back the issue from The Father to make it mine all over again. The Holy Spirit allows this to take place because of the never ending love that God has for us. He will not violate our free will, even if we act in a way that is demonstrating our faithlessness. 1Peter 5:8-9 is directly coupled with verse 7 in that we must be alert to how our enemy attempts to disrupt and control our lives. Once we release our problems be alert and restrain our minds to never again taking back what we have once released.

The love of God or the world?

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The Father created us first and foremost to glorify Him but this does not mean we are the center of His universe as many are in the habit of thinking. As Christians we become part of His family, if we are in Christ, thus becoming the objects of The Father’s love through His Son. God is love but this is a reciprocal relationship and He asks that we love Him back. But we cannot love Him and love the world at the same time. With His hand and heart extended He asks; Will you love me today?

UNITY

Today’s blog is a slight divergence from my normal topics but I thought it was important.

A lot of conversation is being bantered about these days about unity or being unified with each other. The idea of unity is very appealing to most people. If we were unified we could come together as a people living in the U.S. and live in peace with one another. But perhaps the real question is not do we want to be unified but rather what is unity? Most people would describe unity as an ability to come together in agreement with one another. While that is true it is another thing altogether to accomplish it.

Why is it so hard to come together in unity? Maybe a better question is why is it so hard to yield to one another? Yielding to one another is the inner core of unity. You simply can not be unified with someone that you refuse to yield to. It requires listening and listening requires respect and respect requires love. Unity is a by-product of love for one another. The hard work of unity if found in love. If you can honestly say that you love your neighbors; even if you disagree with them politically or socially then you are well on your way to becoming united with them.

Love is a deliberate act to force your self to yield to another in order to be able to listen to who they truly are as a person. If one is successful for a period of time in this self denial one would find that there is a place for love. It really is a simple formula but difficult to accomplish because our natural tendencies as people are to be distrustful of others that are not like us. What will happen if I yield myself to another? Won’t they take advantage of me? Good questions and possibly even true. However if your goal is to accomplish unity there is no other way. The other person must actually feel your love. In this way they can begin to respect you, which in turn leads to listening to your side of things with patience, which leads to unity.

Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations that offer a quick fix to society’s problems. It takes time to listen to another person in order to gain understanding. Dropping our disagreements with each other sounds like an incredibly good idea but are we willing to do the hard work to accomplish this task?

If we are unified and in community with one another great and lasting changes can be made within our society. But if we (or our leaders) persist on discussing the issues that divide us no progress will be made in the national discussion. We will continue to be separated from one another. The courage and conviction it takes to humble oneself is the measure of great men and women and those leaders that show us by example that this is the way forward are to be followed, admired and emulated.