Reading “The Sermon on the Mount” by Emmet Fox. Our thoughts define us. "For as he thinkest in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7
What and WHO do we believe?
For instance, I see in Scripture that the Pharisees saw actual miracles performed before them; but they were so intent that THEIR view of the Messiah was RIGHT - that they rejected Jesus. Everything he did, they found a reason to criticize. They SO OWNED their own opinions, that they were unable to recognize God when He disagreed with those opinions; and came to set them aright.
Do I not do this? Do we not ALL do this?
I need look no further than the Catholic world today. Tradionalists criticize Vatican 2-ers for ruining the Mass; Vatican 2-ers criticize Traditionalists for being stuck in rigid rituals. Liberal Catholics criticize Conservative Catholics for being too rigid. Conservative Catholics criticize Liberal Catholics for being too loose.
Everyone, EVERYONE, is justified in their own opinions - just like the Pharisees were.
By the way, today we condemn the Pharisees.
Instead, I’m thinking that a new train of thought might be something along the lines of this:
Take for instance the theory that communists infiltrated the Church back in the 50’s and the 60’s - leading to the sex abuse scandal, and resultant liberalism and lack of faith among the clergy and people…
Is God not in charge of HIS Church? Is He not able to make it right? If your toddler made a mess of the playroom - would you throw up your hands in despair? No, and neither does God. Because He also is BIGGER than us; and the messes we make.
We can certainly trust that He will make it all right again. WE just need to love each other; concentrate on Christ who is PRESENT IN US ALL - even those we disagree with; and focus on loving Him. By doing so, you will bring Him to life in others; and in yourself.
And by seeking the Presence and Power of God; you will also reap the benefits of being able to listen to Him and maybe, just maybe, knowing when He wishes you to change your opinion about something. Or when He wishes you to give others who need to change theirs, grace enough to do so in the love they receive from you.
Now the beauty of this thought process is that it can be applied to any theory; and ALL circumstances. So what do we worry about?
Can God not work through Donald Trump?
Can He not work equally through Joe Biden?
Is this world all that matters? If we pass through it with trust and calm assurance that God will bring all things to good - which He Himself PROMISED - does it really matter how we get to the end? If our trust is solid; then our faith will be solid - and we will be solid. In the worst of times; we can still trust that God is bringing it to good. Maybe these ‘worst times’ will be the way He wakes up more people to join us in the Kingdom. If so, Praise God.
But one thing I hope to remember moving forward is this: that those who clung to their own opinions of what God can and can’t do in this world - crucified God when He didn’t meet up to THEIR expectations.
Please Lord, I beg you - don’t let me be among them.
Ashley and Susan
Two women asking the world to not just hope, but to Hope in Love.