IN THE PAST, life seemed simpler, didn’t it? Things like culture, politics, and religion had fairly clear boundaries. At least it felt that way. But in a very short time, life has become much more complex.
Conflicts between groups have intensified. Divisions within groups have deepened as well. Our personal concerns and worries take on new dimensions as we feel the impact of a world in crisis. It’s like trying to assemble three different 1000-piece puzzles, but all the pieces have been mixed together.
Nobody likes confusion. That’s why we see fanaticism and extremism rising up even more now. We want to be able to proclaim truth to ourselves. Otherwise we feel lost.
So if someone shouts loud enough, and it strikes a nerve, we believe and follow. And when the confusion around us ramps up, we cling even tighter to our ideology. In the end, reasoning and dialogue vanish. It’s just a bunch of people screaming at each other through their own private megaphone.
Meanwhile, the truth is elusive. Take any issue these days, and you can find a million arguments on both sides. Covid, gun rights, religion, abortion, economics, immigration, trans rights… one person’s gospel is another’s abomination.
Still, not believing in anything at all might be more dangerous. If there is no good or evil, then power and force define what’s right and wrong. And the powerful will always choose what’s right for them.
Today, many groups tell you the enemy is everywhere. Threats and contamination should make you worry, they say. Your social media feed reinforces this at a biological level. It all leads to fear and paranoia. Anger and resentment follow.
From there, it’s easy to dehumanize any individual and even entire populations. They’re coming to get you, the evil one whispers. He says, get ready because they want to devour your children.
Even in the most violent and atrocious wars, there were those who refused to fight. But they did not sit on the sidelines. Instead, they gave. They prayed and fed the hungry. They mended wounds and shared. They sheltered those in danger. These things require a tremendous effort and even great risk sometimes.
Taking a life is easy… just pull the trigger. But giving life? That requires a miraculous effort. Who will take up that cross?
During Jesus’ time, Roman oppression was severe. Just look at how he died. His crucifixion tells you the whole story. But our Lord did not fight, at least not through worldly means. Instead, he claimed victory on a heavenly level.
We all have a limited amount of time and energy. How will you spend yours? Will you point fingers and lash out? In the name of liberty, will you give your life or take one, only to have selfish powers corrupt your efforts?
The Lord’s commandments speak to the heart, not just actions. What kind of movement are you supporting? What’s the spirit behind their voice? Being “right” isn’t everything. Attitudes count. The heart and motives matter.
If arrogance, deception, and aggression are your means, be prepared to meet similar ends. If anyone offers to set me free by force, what stops them later from pressing their boot upon my neck?
I believe the way to slice through the confusion of our times must be spiritual. This doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to events. But the Holy Spirit is the tip of the lance that cuts through the clutter.
The truth must speak to the heart, mind, and soul. Our stance on any particular issue means nothing if we aren’t free from the cruelty in our hearts. All kinds of atrocities hide behind rational arguments.
We can be 100% correct in every cultural, political, and religious debate — but if we don’t forgive, if we do not give life, if we don’t love — the Lord will cast us out as he never knew us.
Yes, obstacles are rising up and complexity grows. But stay hopeful. Take courage. Ask the Spirit to give you clarity, strength, and peace. Adopt the same laser focus that Jesus had, that is, to do the will of his Father.
And what is the Father’s will? That you look to the Son. That you trust him and believe. Our true liberator, our Savior, is Jesus Christ. He frees your heart and soul.
Do these truths seem too simple to help us navigate our complex world? It must be a matter of faith.
Remember, the foolish simplicity of God is wiser than any modern wisdom.
And the weakness of Christ crucified, is stronger than any human strength.
(1 Corinthians 1:23-25).
. . . . . . .
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’
Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.Matthew 7:21-25
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