The All-Consuming Passions of Mankind pt.1

The Differences between Love and Hate

In this first installment we will explore man’s definition of love, and in that the two all-consuming passions that utterly take us over and blind our reason forcing us to do both heroic and barbaric things to others depending on whether we feel love or hate for them.  In reality there is a very fine line between love and hate and in our brain there is virtually no difference between them.  That I know is a shocking statement in and of itself, but never the less this strange and scary construct has been scientifically proven to be true.  But before we go there let’s begin with scripture and then apply man’s definitions we have created for these two all-consuming emotions.  Let’s examine them biblically first then move into science.

1 peter

8 “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9

The Perfect Example of Love

The simple message carried throughout the Middle East and into Europe in the decades after the death of Christ by His disciples was a very basic one, “Love one another.” The absolute “Love” of God or “Agape Love” was the example and is today the hardest to achieve. I have to think that God would not have shown us such a perfect love if we as mortals could not attain it and in that we look to Jesus who throughout all the hateful things others did to him and others he loved never once acted out with anything in his heart other than this agape love of Gods.  So with that said we can extrapolate this purest of all love is attainable and should be our starting point in our search for the true definition of what Jesus really meant by;

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34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” ~ John 13:34

Love Defined

It has been long debated what love is, how we should love, what love looks like, how to handle heartbreak, and the strong emotion love overwhelms us with. We have undoubtedly struggled with this concept we call love and in our rational mind love makes us do things which makes no sense to our personal well-being but rather fulfills a basic need all people are born with from the start.  This struggle all people contend with in both their personal and professional lives is further complicated with our struggle to understand an equally overwhelming emotion known as hate.  Hate presents the same questions as does love and it appears as strongly in our hearts as does love. One could even argue that hate is loves evil twin who twists loves goodness into a pool of unrecognizable film of darkness.  Therefore, love is an emotion which is equal to hate, and the line which divides them is much thinner than we could have ever imagined.  It boggles the mind how love could be at the root of a hateful act, and vice-versa, how hate could ever be linked to love.  In an attempt to explore this paradox we must first start with the modern definition of love;

Love is defined as –

  1. A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
  2. A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
  3. Sexual passion or desire.
  4. A person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
  5. (Used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
  6. love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
  7. Sexual intercourse; copulation.  ~ Found online at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/love

First Form of Love

Each of the seven definitions covers a huge realm of emotions, feelings, and actions that are linked to other emotions that help to build this intense feeling of love.  An example of this is found in the first definition: a profoundly “tender”(the word “tender” is different than the word love and is uniquely described as being: weak, immature, easily moved, soft, young, delicate, not strong or hardy, and or gentle. ~ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tender ).  This word “tender” must then be viewed as nothing more than a supporting feeling of love linked in our actions for or against others while always playing a minor role in the background.

Example: I can argue in a “tender” way and thus be perceived as not being strong or weak on the argument. I can console another person “tenderly”, and thus be perceived as being soft and delicate. I can have a crush on another person and thus be perceived as being young or immature in my actions towards them, even biased when compared to others. None of which equals the emotion of love, but are qualities found in love. I could easily argue with my girlfriend or wife in a tender way so as not to hurt their feelings, I could console them softly, and act childish in my actions in private and when defending them become very bias because of my love for her. This extends to our children and other family members. We say this is love but in reality it is the expression of love in its weakest or mildest form.

Love Me Tender

So being “tender” is the first act of showing a growing emotion for another person and consequently the step to becoming vulnerable and complete exposed. It is proceeded by the second definition of love: a feeling of warm personal attachment – (here again we now are part of something bigger than ourselves and this most basic of emotions fulfills a primal need programmed into every person on earth by our creator – the need to belong. ~  http://listeningfaithfullyblog.com/2009/04/18/reflections-1-a-real-relationship-with-god-relationships-series/ )

In this first ever blog posting of Listening Faithfully I try to point out how we are hot-wired from the start by God in order that these emotions should guide us to serve our Lord emphatically.  However, the love that manipulates our choices and decisions are profoundly linked to first becoming willingly subdued to the strong over powering emotion of love. Therefore, the first sign of this would be to do something for someone else that in reality you would not have otherwise done and in this your actions are “tender”, others may perceive you as being silly or weak and even soft.  This perception can be both good and bad and carry with it a diverse volume of consequences, both unintended and intended.

Example: The irrational act of giving flowers or presents to a person you’re infatuated with without knowing their true feelings for you first – spending money you probably should have kept – defending a person even if it puts you in a weaker position with others – and my personal favorite, the games we play with ourselves when trying to justify these actions either to ourselves or others who have called us out on it.  However intense the act of being “tender” is in our own mind we are in reality sending signals out to the world like a probe in search of love – to test if this new connection will fulfill our most basic needs of belonging.

The Evolution of Love

Again, in all of this love is becoming stronger, our actions more manipulated, our ability to reason is more compromised, and this wonderful all-consuming emotion drives further into our heart and mind as it progresses into the next more powerful definition of love – that being: sexual passion or desire.  In this stage of love we as human-beings are able to express the deepest of emotions – the power to share without fear of being compromised – the need of confession is realized as is the bond between two people is thus born into it’s infancy not unlike an impenetrable bridge made of iron and concrete.  Sadly many people confuse the pleasures of this stage of love with the act of having sex which is a primal effort to pass ones genes on so as to insure the survival of one’s own lineage. In this confusion of feelings love becomes the act of having sex rather than the tenderness of giving flowers, or the soft manner we hold each other’s hand, or even the ability to argue softly with love in our voices. These pleasures are then lost as our bodies begin to crave carnal pleasure and our mind and emotions become detached from the true purposes of love. Therefore, what some would call love is in reality a sin and an abomination in the eyes of God. For no other reason is there so many divorces and children born out of wedlock.  For no other reason is there the crimes of passion we see played out nightly in the news, and the broken hearts of children who are left wondering why their parents are absent in their lives. ~ For a deeper explanation Click Here

FAMILY

On the other hand when these emotions are handled in a mature responsible way with dignity and respect do we see the miracle of God in the faces of our children, is there the foundations drilled deep that support a whole productive and balanced family unit, and in this do we see couples love and honor each other until death do they part.  But even this outcome is dependent fully on the trick of our minds and emotions that love weaves that allows us to do things we would not otherwise do with not clear benefits to ourselves but yet greatly benefits others around us. In this more complete definition offered by the bible do we find the root of love and also it evil twin – that of hate.

With that firmly rooted in your mind, I am always called back to the biblical definition of love – a definition where love is defined in a broader and more diverse way; one that goes far beyond the online dictionaries we have at our fingertips today and which I have quoted from in this posting.

1Corinthians_spread1.0

“4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

With this universal standard we can begin to understand what love really is and how powerful it can be.  We begin to fully view the greatest gift of all and how it manipulates our thinking, alters our actions, and provokes both heroic and barbaric deeds. We literally scratch the surface of this gift given to us by God and yet just start to uncover the deepest consequences it holds for all man-kind.

Amen

If you liked this Reflection – The All-Consuming Passions of Mankind pt.1… then please leave a comment.  Also please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this post with others.

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Reflection 10: What You Can Expect From Life: According to JOY

GOD OF JOY

16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” ~ Luke 10:16

Imagine if you will the light of Heaven raining down upon your face. Feel the warmth and love as it cascades through your body tingling every part of you. Let the love turn into absolute joy in your heart, mind, and soul. This is what God feels like when you meet him, this is Jesus as He stared into the eyes of His disciples and accusers all the same. Joy and love is God, and is in all of us even though we are all sinners. In this light there is only one truth, one happiness, one reason for living and it has nothing to do with our own ambitions  or selfish motives for all that in this light has died and past away. In this light God is the reason, the source, and His power and glory is yours freely because number one you accepted Him and in turn He accepts you just as you are. Imagine for a moment if everyone knew this, accepted this, and practiced this in every aspect of their lives, in how they spoke to friends, family, and strangers alike. Going farther imagine this governed our actions, in how we treated our neighbors, children, and strangers alike, doing random acts of kindness daily. The people in this world would have no need for money, carnal pleasures, or even grandiose possessions because they would have God. There would be no war, hunger, no need for lawyers, judges, Presidents, or governments because all men no matter their race or color would love one-another as they had been commanded to do by God.   Imagine a world that believed in God so much that everyone put down their wants and desires and felt love, really experienced true love, unconditional, open, free, unrestrained love and joy. In this paradise men and women would marry and never forget their love, families would never fight among themselves, and children would grow up with two parents and a village full of love. This is our God, our wondrous forgiving, patient, kind, considerate, all powerful God of Joy. This far off place in our imagination was one possibility in the beginning, one fork in the road we could have chosen but did not because of Satan. As a singular race we all have been robbed the bounty of God, we have been cheated and sold a bill of goods by Satan. This reality we live in today is from Satan’s imagination and his plotting, scheming, selfish battle with God for absolute control, dominance, and power over everything in existence. Satan wants so desperately to destroy joy, peace, tranquility, and even love that his cruelty knows no bounds, for there is no respect for creation and life within Satan. For his hate has fueled this battle or rejection of God and for Satan this is a war he will loose for he cannot conquer God, and all who believed in him will parish with him. This is the good news, the Gospel of God, for this dream we could have had we still can if we chose Him. In doing so God will rejoice in your name; He will count you as one of His many children whom was lost and now is found. God will throw a feast in your honor and your soul will be filled with such abundance like nothing else you have ever experienced in your life, for God will hold you tight to His bosom and love you for all eternity.

Our Mission of Joy

17 “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’ 18 He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’” ~ Luke 10:17-20

In Luke we find that Jesus appointed seventy-two people to go before Him with specific instructions which included, to not greet anyone on the open road, and when entering a house say, “Peace to this house”, they were to eat and drink what ever was given them, and they were to stay there not skipping from house to house.  Jesus knew he was sending these people out into the world of wolves and sin, He knew they would be rejected, and in some instances humiliated for their belief in Him. But upon their return to Him they reported with great excitement of their adventures and in truth all where turned into disciples of Jesus all spreading the word of God. Jesus however did not stop there, He has sent millions of us out into this world of wolves just as He did then, He still does to this very day. The rules have never changed, the servants of God are always blest and rewarded, and His love and grace is upon all who really commit to His will. Little by little God is transforming the face of the Earth back into this paradise lost, and will in His absolute grandest style pull all His children to Him and rejoice in their stories and experiences as Jesus had done two thousand years ago.

The Expectation of Joy

12 “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” ~ Isaiah 55:12

What we can expect from life according to joy is much like what Isaiah described, for when your heart is filled with the Holy Spirit nothing is to big, nothing is to hard, nothing is impossible, and your heart sings the songs of laminations to God the Father. In turn everyone and thing who crosses your path also fills with your love and joy, this in-turn creates a spontaneous reaction of harmonious singing within every fiber and adam in every organism which was blest enough to be present when you passed by. Think for a second how many people you see and meet in your lifetime, and who talk with you, or who really get to know you. In each of these instances you are presented with the opportunity to bring joy into the other persons life. How effective is this joy when this opportunity is embraced, is recognized for what it is, and is celebrated and freely given to everyone. Sadly all to often we allow our life to get in the way. We allow our anger, frustration, hatred, ambition, selfishness, and even monthly, weekly, daily mood-swings determine our level of joy and the spreading of Gods joy to others. When we do this we act in a childish manner, not fully grown in the ways of God, and thus we are left in our squaller. In all my life that I have known and loved God I can honestly say that He has never left me or let me down in any way shape or form. I have been presented with many chances to make things right and in many of these instances I have failed, but I never blamed God, rather I have done the opposite. In each moment of failure I have asked God to forgive me and to make me better and more useful and to help me learn and grow in His will. I accepted what He allows or does not allow in my life, because the people I have impacted with God’s Joy out weighs the many failures of my own efforts. Time tested and proven is the will of God, is His promise, is His forgiveness, is His joy. I have found more success in this life when I have accepted this one basic truth, share God’s joy and He rewards this with His unending love. It is a radical shift within our mind that has to take place because of how we as carnal sinners are wired from birth, but if we alter our mind we can unlock Gods power, truth, might, and His joy, in essence we unlock His promised bounty. Again, I have found more success when I allow God’s joy to radiate through me and into others. I have inspired more people by sharing with them God’s message, His promise, His love. It is true what is said about the force of action, (for ever action there is a reaction), if given freely it is of God, if forced it is not of God.

The Difference Between Joy ans Sorrow

15 “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. 16 In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.” ~ Psalm 89:15-16

To often people mistake the sounds of joy to be something other than what it truly is. Just a few of us hear it and recognize it when it comes along. To often do we replace this sound of joy in our minds to comfort us, to console us when we have done bad to others. We lie to ourselves when the true sounds of joy ar replaced in our lives, and it is very obvious the problem but the solution eludes us because the stain of the lie is so great and we are so fearful the effort to fix the problems have become like climbing Mount Everest, it becomes to tiresome: to heavy to bare.  Those people are easy to spot in a crowd for they talk a good talk, but refuse to walk the walk, they do not sing the joyful songs of God in their hearts and they do  not seek Gods countenance. Likewise, these people do not rejoice in the things that bring joy to others and to God, instead they hide from it. In all its totality righteousness is not within them because they do not know God. There is a stark difference between these people and those of us who call ourselves Christians and actually practice our faith daily. What makes a person of faith loyal to God is His joy that we experience with each good deed privately done for others, with each loving act randomly done for a stranger, in every kind word that inspires others to be better than they currently are, and in the awesome love given freely to Gods children who are so full of joy its contagious. In everyone of these things joy is at the root, it exalts God, and it is righteous.

A perfect example of what I am talking about can be found in my own life’s experiences here in California. The kind of person I am is known by what I do and say to other people who are around me; as this general rule holds true for everyone of us in this life. I choose to help others, I choose to teach, I choose to write, and I choose to share the message of God’s word for no monetary reward, as I do not earn money for this blog, or any other writing I do that are published online or in print. It is true I have published a book that costs money to buy it, but the money earned goes back into all my activities that help the children I teach at school, so there is no real impact on my financial gains, instead its a write off as donations.  In my professional life I earn money for my efforts but it is so far below the national average it really cannot be called a pay-check. In addition to this my ex-wife has chosen to steal from my little amount in my bank account, she has chosen to force me into poverty as the Family Court System is mandated  by California law to enforce  child-support, by way of reducing my time to the point I would owe money where before I would not have based upon the timeshared agreed upon in 2003, (even though we had previously chosen not to partake in this and to support our child by giving her an education and food, clothes, and presents, ect. on our own custodial time), thus decreasing the little I earn by 50% of my total earnings. Yet in comparison she earns over $100,000.00 a year, thus her actions are ones taken by a person who does not know God. Her actions does not bring joy to our daughter, nor anyone involved except for herself. I write this to show how cruel people are and how money has corrupted their eternal soul. I would rather live in poverty, suffer daily without food or a shower, I would rather live in a hole in the earth than to bring such suffering to another human-being, to be so unfair to my fellow man. I do not see my daughter because my ex-wife has chosen to move her 800 miles away, and has placed in her heart all the wrong things, involving her in all the court action, forcing her to say the most cruel and hurtful things which do not honor anyone other than herself. All of this was done for monetary gain on behalf of my ex-wife, as she took advantage of California State Law. No court in the land will stop her, no one on this earth could bring an end to this suffering but her, and she refuses to do so. I do not write this to bring shame or to make anyone feel guilty, rather I write this as an example of how people have chosen to believe in the ways of Satan, in the lie he spread that made man sin and to separate us from our God. I am not the only one by far who has suffered in these ways, and I will unfortunately not be the last. There is sin and corruption in our laws, in our courts, in our hearts which make such things possible. It is important to call everyone out into the light of God to make it visible before the world to end it before it harms others. Forgiveness can be granted if only the wounds would be left to heal, if only my child would be allowed to have that time given by the Courts, that ironically the courts themselves refuse to enforce. Forgiveness can be granted if only a sincere apology could be given in its stead. But forgiveness starts with the one who committed the affliction, and it is between them and God first. Therefore, I say to you these things bring no joy, only pain, and is abomination in the eyes of God. Remember I said to you that true Christians bring joy to others selflessly, true people of God bring joy to those who are in pain, mercy to those who cannot help themselves, and they do not ask for monetary reward for doing the work of God. Everyday I get up I try to help others and this is my true mission with or without money being earned because God always provides and I will not lie that this has been a hard path to follow. But my God is so great that He shows me everyday that He is with me because I chose Him, and there is nothing more joyful to God than one of his lost sheep coming home for good.  In truth I hope all those who suffer in these ways and for those who seek this manner to force the other biological parent into poverty that the light of God be shown to you to both give you mercy, to help you forgive, to force your heart to sing the laminations of God so as the pain is lifted forever from your collective hearts for your children’s sake.  Again, we fool our selves and commit such depravity and hurt upon our children when we as adults act like children and do things in such a selfish way. I say to you all… STOP IT! Allow God’s joy to penetrate your heart, mind, and soul: do His will and your life and relationships will be forever altered into what God originally intended them to be. 

The Joy of Jesus

11″These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” ~ John 15:11

Remember Jesus loved us so much that He willingly died upon the cross for our sins. God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to accomplish salvation. In this is the ultimate message of joy, which is linked to love. To truly love another person is to also find joy in them, joy in their actions, joy in their thoughts, joy in their very presence. God finds joy in everyone last human being in this manner and thus loves us more than our own hearts could every possibly understand or comprehend. In it’s totality God is Love, He is Joy, He is all that we truly need. With this truth know it is not hard then to understand why God wanted a paradise full of joy for us, he wanted mankind to live in peace and harmony. God wanted something that man could never attain on his own and our world would be so much more blest with His bounty ever present, His love raining down upon our faces, His joy filling our hearts, His peace upon our souls. God’s promise can be granted by choosing Him, believing in HIm, by trusting in His wisdom, love, joy, peace, and mercy. Jesus left our world better than when he found it, He lived, so we could also live, He did so we would not have too, He rose so we could be with Him forever. 

THE CHALLENGE

To spread joy is to spread hope and love to everyone and in this we are commanded to freely give these things to others on behalf of God. Therefore I challenge you spend every day of the rest of your life doing spontaneous acts of kindness that bring joy to others. It doesn’t have to cost you money, but it does have to bring joy to a stranger. As Jesus once said what good is it to be kind to those you know, where is the good in that? So you must do something for a complete stranger which brings joy to their heart. It could be something as simple as listening to them, helping them across the road, buying them dinner, or even opening the door for them. Remember it must be random and it must be joyful and you must not boast about what you have done because this act of kindness is between you and God. 

Amen

If you liked this Reflection on JOY please leave a comment. Also please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this post with others.

Brian Keith

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Reflection 9: What You Can Expect From Life: According to HONESTY

11 “‘Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.” ~ Leviticus 19:11

Honesty 

When confronted with this word, I think deep down inside we all want to be honest, but yet we are still very much intimidated by it. Honesty carries with it some very rigorous implications, like a two edged sword that could just as easily cut the wielder as the opponent. As imperfect human-beings this word, “HONESTY” scares us just a little because we all know this is the ideal we sinners can never live up too. For the majority of people however, this ideal is very much ever-present in our minds, hearts, and souls as it is the one aspiration which can revolutionize how we think, feel, and operate on a daily basis and again that notion is a bit scary. So, with this firmly stated and excepted as the truth, no one is perfect, thus when we reflect upon this word there should be no one who takes offense of the remainder of this blog. Rather when reading the contents I ask that you reflect deeply upon your own life and experiences and ask yourself how honest have you truly been to your loved ones, friends, and of course yourself? How honest have you been with God? Also as a disclaimer I want everyone to know I am not perfect and I too struggle with  this word everyday. But it also should be known that when we are not honest we are breaking a covenant with God, as mentioned above, God did ordain it to be so for all mankind to be honest with each other, to not steal lie, or deceive. Because when we are not honest with one another then we separate ourselves just that much more from Him. We destroy what should have been and allow an abomination to take its place.


35 “You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume.” ~Leviticus 19:35

It’s interesting that God chose the word, “INJUSTICE”, when warning us about our sense of judgement. I feel He saw our civilization coming and knew we would be a people of great laws, and even greater hypocrisy and corruption within those laws. I think He knew we could not live up to the ideal He set forth so we would try and replace His perfect laws with ones of our own, ones less perfect in nature more befitting mankind. Laws riddled with loopholes that would allow Judges from all branches of our Justice System to skip happily through rules they feel strongly about but while ignoring the words “Shall Do”, ignoring the laws in-favor of making a point or changing how people perceive specific guidelines and policies. I think God saw our lawyers who argue their cases based upon lies and misdirection, never caring who they hurt but instead whether or not they win their case. Justice goes hand in hand with ethics, but our civilization too is so far removed from this our most honest of men sit and let immoral people change the definitions of words like, “Marriage” to include two people of the same sex, which again is clearly an abomination to God. I am still waiting for people to protest scenes in our T.V. shows who have snuck in under the radar that depict two men kissing, or two women making out. For these perverse things our children are being desensitized too and will someday be voting adults. This is how perversion is first spread and rots out the core of a nation. The older I get the more my students become accepting and down right argumentative to what it means to them to be married, what it means to not have pre-marital sex, and even more shocking how they feel violence is acceptable behavior when someone disagrees with them. But, this of course is the final result of our long lived policies of stripping our public schools from saying prayers in their classrooms, prohibiting our children to engage in their faith on public property and to keep our children from having pride in our country by abolishing the national anthem in school for the fear it might hurt a specific groups sensibilities. It’s interesting how far we have slid since those policies where adopted over thirty years ago, and I must now stand up and forewarn you all that God will turn His back on us as surely as we have turned our backs on Him. Our judgments on issues of morality are the cause to our grief as a country, because they are filled with injustice of both measure, weight, and volume. The days of honesty in Government is over, honesty in our courts is over, honesty in our media has become a thing of the past as well.

17 “Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am theLord your God.” ~ Leviticus 25:17

Ironically, the injustice in our country is primarily a symptom of our rotting souls as we seek to oppress instead of find common ground and common respect. Our fear of God sadly too has become a thing of the past as to many of our evangelists preach about a loving, tender, forgiving God that is no-longer vengeful, no longer judgmental, or temperamental as found in the Old Testament. To many feel what was then does not apply to us today, thus removing ourselves from under the harder aspects of what God really expects from us as His people. At this juncture I would like to point out the only being that which was the same a million years ago is still unchanged and perfect. Therefore, God is unchanged since the beginning and His views, wants, desires, hopes, and aspirations for mankind is also unchanged. We have become spiritually soft and I would hazard a guess this is because no one or collective group of thousands or tens of thousands of people all in unison have not heard from God lately. To even admit you hear God’s voice in your heart and mind in today’s world is looked at as strange. But, yet two men or women kissing each other isn’t strange? This perversion is truly the hallmark of the days Jesus predicted would come. Oppression is found in every avenue of our great society from how we oppress men’s and fathers rights, to how we oppress other people from other countries when their land holds something of value we prize and want to control it based upon the, “Holy Grail”,  of excuses called “National Security”. We oppress people with our hypocritical view of the 1%ers  to how we tax those who can no-longer pay taxes nor catchup in what they owe because of the meager wages they earn. Again, we have forgotten honesty, integrity, and hard-work and have replaced it with a dollar sign and loophole in the tax code called shelters. Who would have ever thought our money would need a shelter?

HONESTY VRS THE FALSE BALANCE

11 “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.” ~ Proverbs 11:1

All the above indeed has caused a false balance, one so greatly exacerbated that our very economic system will implode its just a matter of when. Largely this problem of economics is based upon a decision made when our country was still very young and it was made through weakness of the President of the time and Greed from the banking institutions. This of course of which I speak gave rise to the modern money system we enjoy today, one based upon credit and interest. A system we force feed the rest of the world and yet we are surprised upon the eve of its failure of why the world hates us? I say what a short memory we have and what a wonderful ability to spin the truth we have developed. A false balance created through lies, manipulation, and dishonest behavior. As with our nation so too many people around the world have fallen into this greed and sin as their personal lives spin out of control spiraling downward from the lavish  spending and while spouting aloud that this looming doom will never happen, turning a blind eye to the obvious as well as turning a blind eye to God. Simple truth is when we as mortals feel we are more powerful than the most powerful being in existence. When we examine this in full detail it  seems to me to be something seriously wrong with how we view ourselves, and how unbalanced we have as people, as well as, a nation have we become.

27 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” ~ Proverbs 3:27

Again “HONESTY” is the ability to recognize the truth, to tell the truth even when it is not in ones best interest, and it is our obligation as believers to keep our brethren from lying, cheating, and stealing from others. But the sin which is greater than the total sum is when a person in their own heart and mind willfully ignores the truth, ignores honesty, and withholds an honest man his due. In this any victory is hollow, any triumph is rendered meaningless, and all effort to that end have thus become futile. When we are given the opportunity to tell the truth and we ignore that obligation we then are turning our backs on what God wants, we thus change the circumstances to fit our own personal wants, stopping what was supposed to come into fruition and instead allowing an abomination. Everyone of us is guilty of everything thus far mentioned, but some of us more so than others. It is a hard reality when we wake and see ourselves in such a stark light, but nevertheless something we all must eventually do if we want God’s grace to shine upon us.

8 “Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues with injustice.” ~ Proverbs 16:8

Profit over righteousness? This has become the true question. Who should we be loyal to? Which master will be more forgiving in the end? Which side should we be on in these days of such turmoil? Jesus professed there would be such days where we would be blinded to what was real, man would sircome to evil and nations would crumble and fall because of their greed. The depiction of the end by John of Patmos is truly horrifying to say the least, but how much more bizarre and alarming was it to the disciples when Jesus spoke of those days. In fact Jesus was more in line with the idea that even the smallest amount of righteousness was better than none. It’s funny how people of those times mirrored those of us today who still clammer and bicker about who should or should not, ignoring that it would be righteous to find peace and accomplish the task together for the benefit of all. Both time periods are largely incased in vast greed, and the pursuit of happiness and truth through money and possessions  again something Jesus emphatically instructed not to do. I would hazard a guess that Jesus was talking to them and us and our children, and all people until His glorious return.

THE CHALLENGE OF HONESTY

9 “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 andhave put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” ~ Colossians 3:9-10

Therefore, in what has been thus written a collection of mankind’s collective sins against God. Here before everyone of us is the sin of dishonesty and the challenge to reverse or at least atone for our ignorance. For God has so declared for all mankind to be honest, to not lie, to not steal, to not manipulate, and  to never pervert the truth in anyway. God commanded us  to not bare falsely against thy neighbor  and to love one another as you love yourself. The challenge before all of us as sinners is to change and be more honest with God, with ourselves, and with our loved ones. To cast off our old sinful ways, and cling to our new more incorruptible selves. The challenge of honesty is real, it is ever present, it does not ever go away, and it above all it is absolutely, brutally honest. As I have stated before, a lie is a lie and will always be a lie, but the truth is the most honest things we could ever possess in this life. It is the ideal we should all strive for, we should all help each other stay devoted too, and it is that goal we can taste but never truly own.

Amen

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Brian Keith

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