We like to make a distinction between our private and public lives and say, “Whatever I do in my private life is nobody else’s business.” But anyone trying to live a spiritual life will soon discover that the most personal is the most universal, the most hidden is the most public, and the most solitary is the most communal. What we live in the most intimate places of our beings is not just for us but for all people. That is why our inner lives are lives for others. That is why our solitude is a gift to our community, and that is why our most secret thoughts affect our common life.
Jesus says, “No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). The most inner light is a light for the world. Let’s not have “double lives”; let us allow what we live in private to be known in public.
Five years ago I had these results:
It's telling of the influence my current place in life has on me. Each aspect of my life (home, work, recreation, spirituality, etc.) determined how I answered. My views have shifted and changed. Indications of the evolution of my spirit and soul. Hopefully becoming more like Jesus Christ for the people in my midst.
Today we need people who dare to question the status quo and say, "Wait a minute here. Where do you find this in the Bible?" The idea that all you have to do is to accept Christ and you are in is a great mistake. It leaves people with the impression that if they accept Christ they have no fight to fight, no warfare, no job to do and no temptations. They are just in. When you accept Christ rightly as your Lord and Savior you are in, but to be honest, you have just started to fight. People get converted and we do not tell them that they must fight all the way through to heaven because of the spirit of degeneration and the tendency to deteriorate. They must fight, pray through, suffer it out and live in praise and worship, because if they do not they will deteriorate. Read the history of the Christian church if you can keep your faith and keep from weeping.
This is hard for people to face up to. Religion deteriorates just as fruit rots and just as people get old in spite of all they try to do at the drug stores. It is inevitable that we get old, and so it is with religion. It is built-in that we start to deteriorate shortly after God comes and blesses us. Look what happened to Israel. God called Israel out of Egypt, and it began to deteriorate before it reached the Red Sea. Then He gave it a revival by taking it through the Red Sea and into the wilderness. But Israel started to degenerate before it had gone 20 miles in the wilderness. As a result the people eventually wandered for 40 years. You can follow the history of Israel and see the story of the kings. It is a depressing story. Here is a man. He lived and did evil in the sight of the Lord. He had a son, and his son did evil in the sight of the Lord as his father before him. The status quo was maintained.
We are afraid of emptiness. Spinoza speaks about our “horror vacui,” our horrendous fear of vacancy. We like to occupy-fill up-every empty time and space. We want to be occupied. And if we are not occupied we easily become preoccupied; that is, we fill the empty spaces before we have even reached them. We fill them with our worries, saying, “But what if …”
It is very hard to allow emptiness to exist in our lives. Emptiness requires a willingness not to be in control, a willingness to let something new and unexpected happen. It requires trust, surrender, and openness to guidance. God wants to dwell in our emptiness. But as long as we are afraid of God and God’s actions in our lives, it is unlikely that we will offer our emptiness to God. Let’s pray that we can let go of our fear of God and embrace God as the source of all love.
The institutional church’s idea of a servant of God is not at all like Jesus Christ’s idea. His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of others. Jesus Christ actually “out-socialized” the socialists. He said that in His kingdom the greatest one would be the servant of all (see Matthew 23:11). The real test of a saint is not one’s willingness to preach the gospel, but one’s willingness to do something like washing the disciples’ feet— that is, being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation but count as everything to God.
- Trident University InternationalMBA -General Management
- University of PhoenixBS-Business Management
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