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Sunday, October 11, 2015

See Thou Tell No Man

I recently read an article exploring problems in Christianity. The author made some very valid points which caused me to ponder what she had written.

Because I am a Christian.

I am also a wife, a mother, a writer, a plant lover, a rabid football fan and a self styled philosopher. My present thinking is formed, as yours, by my own history so I own it.

My religious views came to me by experiences encountered over a long life. I was not raised in a religious home so I found my way alone. Well not really alone, but it was a very personal journey.

The article pointed out things about Christianity that bothered her, fair enough, they  bother me also. I think of my Muslim friends who are devoutly religious, and yet must endure the consequences of the actions from those followers who distort a beautiful family centered religion. My heart was broken for my Catholic friends as one scandal after another came to light in their church. A church and religion they love. I am also saddened by leaders of churches who do not follow the pattern of the Savior as they stand and condemn those of other faiths or political persuasions. Their intolerance is in direct conflict of the Savior I know. But that is their choice. They lead their churches and it is the choice of the congregate to attend and follow or not.

People will let us down because we are all imperfect and fallible. That is why men and women are not who I worship. I listen to the leaders of my church, but it is still my responsibility to pray about what has been said and receive my own witness of the truthfulness of the teaching. The Lord does not want us to blindly obey.

I cannot offer defense for those who contort the Saviors teachings. However I am personally aware of many examples of kindness and service from people who do follow the Savior. The reason you don't hear much about or perhaps any of these things is simple. They follow the Savior's example.  After the Savior had cleansed the Leper he said, "See thou tell no man" (Matt. 8: 2-4) That is the pattern of peaceable followers of Christ. They go about their Father's business without anyone knowing or expecting anything in return. The peace from the service they provide is all they require. I have been privileged to watch such service up close over and over again.

In prayer I have gone to the Lord brokenhearted for many things I have done wrong. I wouldn't condemn anyone else because I have made so many bad choices. Daily repentance is part of my life and I am grateful for the ability to seek forgiveness, to say I'm sorry, to receive it and then to start over. The relief is life giving because nothing feels as wonderful as forgiveness and a clear conscience. Equally important is giving forgiveness, it is possible to forgive with God's help to soften hearts and then remember we are all damaged, all broken.

My step mother was quite damaged and broken, she had a complicated life and felt there were few choices for her. Because of that frustration she was angry. One voice she listened to was Billy Graham. I believe he was just a preacher from a small town who loved the Lord. Not pretentious, no need for fame, he lived a simple life.His message resonated with her and brought her much needed peace. She was a better person for having listened to Reverend Graham.

Freedom to choose is God's way. He provides very clear instructions as to what will make us happy and successful in this journey through life. Ultimately it is up to us to seek out those teachings and then make our choices. Each morning I pray for strength, guidance and a clear mind. I pray to make good decisions and to find someone to serve. At the end of the day I "return and report" spending time pondering the blessings from the day, just being grateful then I ask for help to repair mistakes, at the end of my prayer I listen. I listen for a still small voice reminding me tomorrow is another day, all is well and everything will work out. This prayer might be your meditation, your quiet time in the car. What we title it isn't important.....it is the time we give to ask for help to bolster ourselves in this world that is important.

It is not my job to judge, only to love. And that is what I have learned from the Savior. I know I fall short, we all do. But with His help when I fall, I can get up again, start over, nd be optimistic that everything will work out.

This is the Christianity I know.

26 comments:

  1. Bravo! I appreciate your very personal testimony. xo

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    1. thank you for the pep talk this morning...much love

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  2. You write so compassionately and truthfully. Thank you.

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  3. I think everyone has to follow their own beliefs and do what feels right for them. I just wish people wouldn't hurt others or try to prevent other people's rights "in the name of God."

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    1. I certainly agree. Extremists do hideous things for sure, but just remember there are more folks like me doing wonderful things in the name of God than not. I have no control over what anyone else does, well outside my family. No one wishes people wouldn't hurt others more than I do. Unfortunately because of the actions of a minority of folks we have all been painted with the same brush. I do appreciate you reading it....

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  4. "It is not my job to judge. Only to love." Oh how perfectly stated. I am learning, slowly but learning, that that love does not have to be the same for all. I can love even those that I disagree with fundamentally -- love them indifferently without judging without personal risk but love them for what and who they are. Learning and working :)!

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    1. Ruth I cannot wait to meet you in real life. It was a great day indeed when I took the pressure off myself about deciding who I should love....and I realized I was to love everyone. It was a great day indeed!

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  5. And that, my friend, is the way it is! Good job. Bang on.

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    1. Carol! You cute thing!! thank you so much for reading, and I will keep banging on!!

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  6. Thank you for your Sunday reflections on Christianity. I appreciate your sharing the journey of your life, of each day. All my best to you.

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    1. Thank you Karen, I am so glad you read it, and thank you for your lovely comment.

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  7. And it is an IMPORTANT job! Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate you!!

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  8. Lovely thoughts and very Christian, indeed. Too often religion seems to get politicized, but in my opinion pure religion is just how you have described it here.

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    1. Christine! That is a beautiful sentiment...thank you I am so glad you felt what I tried to portray. Thank you so much!!

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  9. "People will let us down because we are all imperfect and fallible." Amen to that. I'm an atheist but I have a lot of respect for the Christians I know who are living their faith. They inspire me.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, I am the most human of them all. But my heart is in the right place!! xxoo

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  10. "It is not my job to judge, only to love." Such a lovely way to live for people of any religious belief.

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  11. Thanks for sharing your deepest most heartfelt thoughts with us!
    Estelle

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  12. Donna, where would we be without that understanding that we are completely loved? Freely you have received. Freely give. That's the life His followers are called to, and it's a privilege to carry that light inside of us, into a world that is hungry for love.

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  13. Donna, where would we be without that understanding that we are completely loved? Freely you have received. Freely give. That's the life His followers are called to, and it's a privilege to carry that light inside of us, into a world that is hungry for love.

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