For God and His glory, we are responsible for how we live, talk, act and think toward Him, ourselves and others. If I/you claim to be a Christian a follower of Jesus Christ, I/you should live, act and think responsibly for Him. I/you should read the Bible. I/You should pray and fast. I/You should serve others. I/You should give generously. I/You should represent Him. We must get back to this. I mean me. I mean you. I mean the church. ❤
When I see symbolism in real life nowadays, I only see it in three contexts, the Bible, poetry and conspiracy theorists. There is a shocking lack of symbolism in real functional life. I like it incorporate symbols into my life and I am very weird for it. For example in my life when big difficult events happen in my life, I cut my hair when the mourning is over to symbolize the dead ends, difficult journey, has been overcome and gone through and a new me is growing out of it healthier and stronger for having gone through it. As cutting the hair stimulates growth, so does going through hardships. Also, when it is gone, it is gone. It can never return to the rest of the head. This is a powerful symbol to me. Other symbols I use are jewelry. When I wear a necklace a good friend made, I feel and and reminded of their love. When something significant happens, we need to remember it. Symbols are a great way to do that. They mean something to you. Noone needs to know because it is very personal and important, a part of who we are.
As followers of Christ, we turn the other cheek. However, there is a season for standing your ground. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak. Herein lies one of my life’s greatest quandaries. Born from a Marine/Farmer, you stand against blows and when hit, strike back hard enough for them to never do it again. And in America, I firmly believe we should hold that standard for our country and its armies against our national enemies and terrorists. Yes, at that time, striking back is necessary. The other time it is necessary, I have determined personally, is with bullies. A bully will continue pushing against your freedom in favor of his own indefinitely until you stand up against him. Then, like all cowardice bullies, he will run and not bother you again. You also must fight against eminent danger and threats. Someone has a knife to you, you do everything you can to fight or get away or hurt him in any way you can. That is innate so must not be wrong. Now, for social issues, where pride is wounded or hurt and that is all, I believe we are to turn the other cheek. You don’t add fuel to their slander. You don’t dignify their personal attack with a response. Pride is our enemy. When our pride becomes more important to us than the potential witness we could be to that broken person, we are sinning in response to their sin. Don’t fight back,in this instance. Love. Know how lost they are and feel sorry for them. Remember that our fights are not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual enemy and his minions. We fight these evil beings by reading our Bibles and praying and worshiping God, our protector and defender. That is what I have determined. We must follow our convictions and these are mine.
We have all been hurt, unless this is your first go ’round with a relationship. And every single time we begin to put another person on a pedestal where only God should go, they sooner or later show us their human side. That side of all of us that will sin when they are good and ready to do so. What happens next? What is this turn the other cheek business? When it is something personal, it is harder, whether a spouse sins with another person or another person’s image on a video or internet site or steals all the money, whatever, it is much harder to overcome the mistrust. When it is simpler or less personal, it is a bit easier to forgive and move on. But what do we do to regain some semblance of trust and faith in that person again? I struggled with this question that was posed to me. My answer, after much contemplation and meditation and Biblical study and insight is this. Trust God. What? That is it? It’s a little vague and simplistic and leaves a lot of psychological mumbo jumbo unsaid. What do you mean? I mean this. We are never ever called by God to trust another human being at all. However, we are commanded over and over to trust in Him. Trusting Him means saying that no matter what happens with this other human being who chooses to sin maybe at a different time than you did, you will not be distracted by it and will put your trust in the One who is really in charge of everything and loves us all. We trust Him and things work out. David trusted God and Goliath fell like a toddler. Gideon trusted God and won wars. Moses trusted God and saved a nation. Ruth trusted God and married well. Mary trusted God and had the most important baby civilization has ever known. Some rewards are big and some are small but none ever come without that trust in God. So, when you are hurt, you wrap up your hurt emotional package and place it on God’s fireplace and rest easy knowing He can handle it far better than you can. And you leave it there. You don’t sneak back in and reclaim it. You grow up in the Lord and let Him keep it. And in exchange for your trust donation, he gives you the gift of forgiveness to administer to the other party. With time, it shrinks to its proper size and you forgive the person again with much less emotional leadings. And it is just that simple. Of course, this assumes you long more for God’s wisdom and maturity than yours or the world’s. It also implies that God is more important to you than the other person. It can be done. It is simple. It can save your soul and relationship.
The call is here. When the Puritans first came to America, their faith was strong and they were successful. When they started slipping in their reliance on God, things started going badly for them. Someone saw this relationship and prayed and started a revival in America they called the Great Awakening and Second Great Awakening and prosperity followed. Why? That’s easy. It’s because God is real, alive and powerful and He honors obedience to Him. So now, it’s funny that everyone is so eager to blame politicians, guns, bad childhoods, whatever for the moral depravity around us. This is why I like to study history… it reminds me of the present. However, people’s forgetfulness and neglect of our Holy Creator is not acceptable any longer for those of us who know the truth. God is still real and still alive and still powerful. If we who know this do what we know to be right and share our knowledge with all the poor lost souls around us, maybe we could start a third revival and maybe (as in times past and according to God’s own Word) He will heal our land and we will return to prosperity and morality. That is the hope that we have. It is merely rhetoric and not applicable? Well, it doesn’t have to be. I am personally responsible for my lot in life, those God has placed me with and around. I am responsible to be a light to them, to treat them how I want to be treated, to love them, to forgive, to be salt to them, meaning to help them feel something different about me because of my own relationship with the Divine. What will you choose to do? Is rhetoric good enough for us? If each of us don’t pursue Godliness and Divine order and light in our personal and social lives, it will all get worse and we won’t be able to blame anyone but the person in the mirror. However, what if we Christ followers actually read our Bibles every day and prayed regularly and cleaned up our acts? Where goes the Christ followers, there goes the nation. Spreading a revival is like eating an elephant. How does it happen? One bite at a time. Something to think about.