The Walk We Take
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33
In last weeks post, “Relationship – Where We Begin”, I attempt to illustrate how the foundations are poured that will affect us for the rest of our “religious life” and in our “earthly relationships”. If at a young age we teach to our children by example the best kind of relationships our children will then begin to make the connection of how real relationships work and relate these examples to our Holy Father in Heaven. In this parents, schools, and churches is where our children’s lives are most impacted from the time they are born to the time they are about 18. Their personal walk with God by this point has been laid-out for them, but after age 18 their walk becomes their own. So, it is a test of our teachings and our abilities to mold our children correctly that begin to either bear fruit or not by this pivotal age. The walk we take is either a good one or a bad one, it is largely determined by the foundations we received as children, but it also is greatly impacted by the company we choose to keep. Good people who honor each other can be spoiled by one bad persons lack of morality because we are all not walking at the same degree of committment to God. Therefore, some of us tetter while others walk tall. That is why in our most weak of convictions we need to seek out the Christian Community that best builds us up. Children who are not exposed to this vulnerability often tend to walk away from the church and from God with the intent to experience the world on their own, in the way they choose, and in this mind-set they often are lead astray and are overcome by the world. For without a strong conviction in God they are open to the experiences that corrupt good character. According to Drew Dyck a staff writer from Christianity Today who wrote an article called, “The Leavers: Young Doubters Exit the Church”, that stated, “There has been a corresponding drop in church involvement. According to Rainer Research, approximately 70 percent of American youth drop out of church between the age of 18 and 22. The Barna Group estimates that 80 percent of those reared in the church will be “disengaged” by the time they are 29.” ~ Dyck (Nov. 2010)
The Right Relationships
20 “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” ~ Proverbs 13:20
A priest came to my school when I was new into the Catholic Schools as a teacher with this perplexing problem; “How can we keep more people in the church?” The teachers in the room suggested stuff like cater better to the community by holding different masses in the languages of the community. One suggested that our parents need to be Catholic from the start i.e. all our children would then be Catholic and the numbers would be better for retention. Still another teacher who did not like any of the suggests said, “The Church needs to be more accepting to people from other denominations and other faiths.” I sat back and thought, (as a Baptist), ‘that God does not discriminate so why should there be any discrimination among His many churches?’ This idea became something that bothered me for many years after that first conversation with that priest. I after changing my views many times, debating this question with many different people from many different Christian upbringings have sorta settled upon this on core idea. It’s not about retention as much as it is about our morality, what we do, think, feel, when we are alone in our personal lives. It is about our beliefs in both humanity and in the eternal forces which guide or shape our lives from cradle to the grave. It is about the accepted statuesque that is constantly shifting and changing. For religion to grow man must have-buy in, but for there to be belief in God, we must first know God, view His never-changing word and actions. We must understand that the right model for man is the model God has already demonstrated over two-thousand years ago. If we teach what we believe and do it daily and it is based in the word of God then our children when they ask the proverbial, “WHY” then our answers will be aligned with Gods answers to those questions that others had asked in biblical times. Because the word of God is never-changing the answer will be the same for our children’s children and so on as it was intended by God. The gift we then give to our children is an ever lasting relationship with our creator without blemish, stain, or misconceptions. The relationship with God allows all of our other earthly relationships to grow, and thus our wisdom grows with others who are like-minded and the fools of the world will be left to toil alone and condemned alone. Therefore, our walk with God would begin at birth and remain with God throughout our entire lives.
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