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A great day to all of you! Enjoy this day and I pray that we all move one step closer to our Lord and learn bit more about Him, that we praise Him a bit more and worship Him in our hearts and through our lips. I pray that the Holy Spirit continue teaching us, counselling us, guiding us and support us no stop, we need Him and we keep relying on Him and only, in Jesus Name, amen!

Luke 18v1

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

Galatians 6v9

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Hebrews 10v25

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

I believe that our Lord clearly tells us that we are/should not be quitters. In fact, He speaks to us not to give up in prayer and keep believing. He says not to give up meeting each other and keep sharing, supporting and encouraging. He instructed us to do good against evil, not to pay evil with evil but with good. In addition, He says not to give up doing so, doing good under any circumstances.

Christian life is not easy but it is not so complicated as some want to present it. There are few basic principles to be followed and when they are followed with a clear, pure heart, victory is on the way, success is there and our success and victory is when the name of the Lord is glorified.

Don’t give up in anything you know that it is from the Lord – for your life, for your community, your nation – no matter what others say. Listen to what the Lord says! Amen!

Love,

Dimitra

 

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Where is your confidence? Where you put your confidence?

What is your confidence? Do you know?

Who is your confidence? In who do you put your confidence?

We talk about things, meanings, ideas but sometimes we talk about different things as we understand the meanings, the words, the idioms in a unlike way.

So, in order to make sure what we are talking about, let’s travel among the pages of dictionaries and discover the definition of the noun Confidence.

Confidence has quite few meanings and is used in rather a range of ways. The first meaning we find is:

(1)   Full Trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed; (note this one; we will discuss it bit further.)

Then:

(2) Certitude; assurance:

(3) In confidence, as a secret or private matter, not to be divulged or communicated to others; with belief in a person’s sense of discretion: I told him in confidence.

OK! We know and agree about some of Confidence’s definitions and uses. Let’s move on.

Yes, confidence is about certitude and assurance. Life is a long journey, not always pleasant. Life is a long process and full of challenges, unfortunately, at times, we face tragedies. We, all humans, need assurance. By nature and by personality, we can feel lost, we can feel alone, abandoned, confused, vulnerable, flying astray.

Do you know what I mean? I am sure that you do. There is no person, no individual who has not felt some – if not all – of the above feelings. We do not need to be proud. We need to be honest, at least with ourselves.

What takes to feel assured or certain?

It takes someone or something that we can trust, isn’t it?

Success – as the world defines it – or money, house, food, career, health…and so on, could provide assurance in our life. The wonder is whether they are reliable sources of assurance. Can we say that those things will exist forever? We can’t. Success, career, money etc are refuge at risk. They appear and they disappear. One day, they exist, the next they have gone.

True assurance comes from inside us; when we know who we are, when we know our value and capability. The question to be asked is: who am I? Each of us need to answer this question.

Yes, it takes someone to trust. That’s where the chain of meanings merges: the primary meaning of confidence is Full Trust!

What do you trust? Who do you trust? I cannot give you the answer, but what I know, I give you; what the Lord speaks, I recall:

Jeremiah 17v7-8

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Wow! Wonderful, eh? “Like a tree planted by the water”…imagine the picture! We can see that the scripture speaks about confidence and trust. They go together, they mean the same. Where there is confidence there is no fear because we have the assurance. With confidence, fruits come. With confidence, results appear. That’s how important is where we put our confidence, into whom.

Speaking about trust, we need to highlight that trust is connected with faith. How can we say that we believe God when we cannot trust Him? That’s why it’s written that when we believe, we do not doubt. All is connected, they link to each other!

The remarkable thing is that digging in the etymology of the word Confidence, we discover that the word origins from the combination of Con+fidere. Fidere is the root from where the word trust comes, as well as faith!

Confidence is by etymology connected to faith, much more by theology!

So, let’s make our formula: trust+faith+confidence = assurance, security, self-esteem, self-awareness = results, fruits.

One more point:

Hebrews 10v35-36

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

There are those moments that we doubt, the moments when we are low, our self-esteem is low, our moods are low and we lose our confidence of who we are in Christ and who Christ is. Yes, it happens and happens often. He knows and understands because He was tempted as we have been; He was tested as you are.

Yes! It takes time, it takes perseverance, it takes patience but mostly it takes constant faith and firmness. Many of us have already done big part of the journey; are we going to give up now? Do we think that the Lord is a liar? Are we sure that we have heard from God? Thus, let’s wait and wait upon the Lord, full in confidence. Don’t throw away your confidence, you are too close now! Don’t throw away your assurance. Don’t throw away your trust. He trusted you with His blood, trust Him back!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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acceptance creates peace

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

–Ephesians 4v29-32

As we reflect on the above scripture in Ephesians 4v29-32, it is clear that we are requested as children of God to pay attention of what is our talk, of what comes out of our mouth. Interesting eh? We are responsible for what comes out of our mouth. Sometime ago, we spoke in the post “Listen and listen actively” about how important is not what we say but how we say it and how reflects through our body language. When we talk to somebody – of course for things concerning them, not our concerns – needs to be for their assistance, their benefit and the cover of their needs…not ours! Additionally it is to be said in a way that helps them to explore their own possibilities and not to try to teach them! Do you understand what I mean? (smiles).

The other thing that we learn from this scripture is that we can get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger and any form of malice. They will not disappear by themselves! We need to take action on them and with perseverance they will flee from our lives. For sure, the first step and ultimate is Forgiveness!

What am I trying to say? Imagine those two people who are in a relationship. One day, they have an issue; they have a conflict or a great fight! Ok, it is normal to get stressed out and even say things that we do not really mean; to be hard and rude. It happens and it will happen again. It is usually the first reaction and unfortunately we say words that they are laboriously forgotten. That’s life and we are not perfect! We need to do better next time. However, we did mess up this time! What we can do?

That’s why it is written:

Ephesians 4v26

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,”

The word of God does not say that we will not be angry. It says that we can do something about it. At the end of the day, God Himself gets angry when it is needed…check Old Testament…It is full of it!

Apologizing builds relationships! I love what Kami Garcia wrote:

Apologizing doesn’t mean you’re right or wrong, it just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”

Apologizing is important and needs to be genuine. What difference would make to apologize every time and the next time easily to do the same thing? This is not an apology that develops but an apology that just calms things temporarily and builds nothing. Honestly is the key!

Of course we ought not to get angry all times! There are people who seem like “searching” to find excuses to be angry with others…probably they are angry with themselves and in a great denial. Always it is somebody’s else fault. They are angry because of who did what, what society did to who and so on…Excuses, excuses, excuses…

James 1v19

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

Dear readers (including myself), we are not of this world! We became new creatures through the blood of Christ and we walk a path to become Christ-like! No excuses! Sorry, but that’s how it is. We can do it and change through Christ. We have the Holy Spirit living inside us…what else we need? The Holy Spirit is our counsellor, our teacher and our conscience.

It is essential for healthy communication to be slow to become angry. It will happen. We will become angry and we need the Holy Spirit to change us in time. We need, from our side, to remain conscious when the anger rises and keep it slow. We can do it! We are capable through Christ. Keep the focus on Him and so much can be done and change.

When angry or upset, we do not need to continue the conversation. We need to accept that we are not in a position to do so. We need to make peace with each other and let it go for a while till the day comes that we are ready to continue the discussion and to conclude. In the meantime we can use our time to re-think on the issue and cool down our adrenaline! I encourage you. It is possible. It does take some practice but we can reach to the desirable result: being angry but no sinners! Being angry but not destroying the relationship.

When we accept the true insight of where we are and what we truly feel, peace will cover our souls and our existence. When we apologise even when we are right, a freedom comes upon us and we find easier our peace.

Acceptance of who we are in Christ will guide us to become who we really are: a Christ-like individual. By accepting that we need to play with the rules of the Kingdom will allow us to keep remembering and being conscious of what comes out of our mouths.

There are a lot of ways to say the same thing and being beneficial instead of harming. But this is another discussion.

There are a lot of genuine lovable Christians who live in a permanent guilt because they have feelings. They have feelings of anger, feelings of fear and sadness. It is important, essential, and vital that we do study the word of God by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and understand what says. Read that Jesus Christ wept; read that He got afraid and asked that cup to be taken away from Him; He got angry and broke everything outside the Temple!

However, He lived on earth as man and He was sinless. The sin is not in relation to our feelings but what we do about our feelings or where we go with our feelings.

When we accept that we were created with feelings, we will find peace. When we accept that the important is what we do with our feelings, we will become more self-aware and more pro-active.

Acceptance creates peace in so many ways. Acceptance is a great tool.

The Alcoholics Anonymous participants pray the prayer of Serenity:

“God,

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.”

Certainly this prayer applies in a vast area of choices we need to make during our lives. I wish to use the task of this prayer and apply it on our relationships. I am talking about relationships and not just social contacts or uncommitted affairs.

Let’s look at the following scenario: two people (any people in any environment) meet, they like each other, they click as we say and they meet again and again trying to develop a relationship. Each individual is unique. Each of us has the same rights in life but we are different. If we wish to find people that they will think like us, they will like what we like and act as we act…we will reach to great disappointments in life. Even siblings who lived under the same roof for years, attended same schools, shared same relatives and early experiences and probably similar friends, they grow to be two absolutely different people, creating different lives. They even lived their common life – under the family’s roof – in different ways; their understanding of same facts is different and their perception or lesson learnt completely of opposite ways! This can happen even with identical twins!

As these two people walk the path of building their relationship, they realize the differences. They have at least two choices:

  • To accept the other person as s/he is, because it is vital to keep going with the relationship or because the differences are not vital;
  • To withdraw from the relationship as it is not the priority or the differences are essentials.

In both cases the individuals involved need to accept what they have to accept. Whatever the decision, it needs to be with acceptance and in this way to avoid the internal conflict that creates all anxieties.

If I decided to stay in the relationship (for any reason) I shall stop complaining about the things I do not like. Certainly, I will discuss and declare my dislikes but I shall do it once or twice and that’s the end. There is no reason to keep complaining! Or I stay in and accept the other person as s/he is or I move out!

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”

–Philippians 2v14-15

The biggest mistake we do within our relationships is to try – try hard indeed – to change the other person. If you think that this problem applies only between spouses, you are wrong! It happens again and again in all kind of relationships!

It is understandable that all relationships are not of the same nature. What about parents and kids? Should child move out from home as its communication with the parent is not good? Should husband separate wife as he can’t stand her middle age crisis (or the opposite!)?

Especially relationships with family or relatives can be hard as we do not choose them and we think that we have no responsibility with our involvement with them! I remember when i was 12yrs old, I had a fight with my parents and I told them: “did you ask me if I wanted to be born? You decided for me, not I!”

I strongly believe what is written in the Bible. The Lord has promised to leave our anxiety and concerns to Him through prayer. He can bring clarity and guidance of how to treat the really sensitive and more complicated relationships. We need just to ask and wait to listen from Him and not to follow our own ways and our own understanding.

It is also true that our kids are always are children, no matter how old they are and whether they have their own family. We need to remind ourselves that since 18yrs old they are citizens of this world and take decisions by themselves. We can discuss with them but we cannot change them and we cannot push them. When they live under our roof …we have an excuse but even then, even when they are just little ones, we need to recognize their characteristics, their unique personalities and treat them with love and understanding, using dialogue and exploring options with them. At the end of the day they copy what they learn at home…

Acceptance is a great part of Unconditional Love. We are loved unconditionally by our Lord and He accepted us as we were. He will still discipline us or make clear what He wants and what not, within the relationship but He makes sure that we know that He loves us. In the same way we can start showing unconditional love to others.

I remember a story I read some time ago. It goes like this: it was a woman and she decided to go to the forest, walk around and get some rest. So she did. After her walk, she decided to lie down and get a nap. As she did so the birds from the surrounding trees started their singing and it was impossible for her to sleep. She got upset! She started talking, yelling and shouting to the birds hoping that they would stop. But in vain! Finally, she decided that her nap was important and she could stop worrying about the birds and focus to her sleep. As she deepened herself in a light sleep, she realized that the sound of the birds was lighter and eventually they stopped being an annoyance. They became a nice song in her ears and helped her to sleep nicely and enjoy her nap in the fresh air!

Acceptance is peace and creates peace! There are things that we can control and others that we cannot. Let’s keep praying to our Father in Heavens to guide us through His Holy Spirit what to accept and stop fighting it and on what or who we should never give up!

The people who I have accepted as they are, I am in peace with them. I might not click with the way they are but I have seen them for who they are (the positives and negatives) and I love them as they are, even if I am not with them. If I do not click but still I need to keep a relationship with them, I will just go as far as I know that it would be comfortable. Things that I can’t share with them, I will not. I will share them with somebody else!

Love doesn’t mean that we need to share everything with others. Love doesn’t mean that we need to satisfy everybody or to be satisfied by everybody. Love doesn’t mean that we do anything somebody asks us to. Relationships are not based in dependency or independency, they are based in interdependency! Amen!

 

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samaritans and jesus

This blog has entered its sixth year of existence. The supportive and faithful readers of LovingMinistry’s blogs know my passion with peace and search of harmonious ways, if possible. I believe that unconditional love is directly connected with peace. Unconditional love is not accepting abuse in the name of love. It does mean that while protecting one’s self at the same time one might extend a peaceful act towards the “opponent”! It can be a blessings and prayers, it can be a peaceful way of communication when it is creative or cover needs when it is possible.

Who is the “opponent” within our environment, community, workplace, family and friends? Obviously, anyone who attacks, manipulates, abuses, harms us in any physical, emotional and spiritual way. Also, “Enemy” – by many – is considered anyone who believes otherwise. “Enemy” is of another ideology, philosophy, culture. In few: the one who is different as we feel that s/he maltreats our “stability” and/or might, a probability of harm.

The platform of faith has to present great debates, great wars, great contradictions, great worries and discriminations.

Jesus Christ was not worried too much. We have examples in the Bible where He met people, such as Samaritans. Who the Samaritans were? Faithful Jews kept away from Samaria and Samaritans. Jesus, our Lord, was a Jew.

In Luke as He speaks in parables, He used a Samaritan to be the good guy! Strange eh! That’s from where the expression of the Good Samaritan comes. We are at the point that a man was injured by thieves and nobody cared for him except a Samaritan! Read:

Luke 10v33-34

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.

So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he st him on his own animal. Brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”

Later on He met ten leper men. He healed them but only one returned to praise Him and give thanks.

Luke 17v11,16

“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

(…that’s where He met the lepers…one comes back…)

“and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.”

We see that Jesus Christ, at first, went through Samaria, not a practice of a Jew. In addition, He healed without asking who was who and strange enough it was the “bad” guy who humbled himself and gave Him the glory. The Samaritan.

We read in John’s Gospel:

John 4v4,7,9

“But He needed to go through Samaria.”

….

“A woman in Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”

….

“Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jew have no dealings with Samaritans.”

Truly, the Lord, turned the world upside down: healing Samaritans, passing through Samaria, using Samaritan for a good example. Not to forget that He healed during Sabbath…Genuinely radical!

Jesus Christ had no problem to speak parables, moreover good stories regarding Samaritans. He had no issue to go through Samaria when He had to, without changing His plans. He did not criticize the Samaritans. He had great conversations with them or about them, He did not feel threatened or minimized by doing so. He performed miracles upon them. In fact, I believe, He saw each Samaritan for who s/he was without contemplating any past experience or history between the people and according to laws.

I love Jesus, He is great! The true one to follow and honestly many times I loath in listening to teachings, preaching, acts and prayers based on personal insecurities and fears than on who really the Lord is, what He teaches and what He acts upon. The “suffocation” of His word truly breaks my heart.

Always remember that we live in the time of grace, grace we received, grace we give. Amen!

 

 

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Friends travel together through life…no matter the transportation, D.S. ©

 

I do not know about you but talking about my life, I have to say that friends are so important. When still an atheist, friends were the number one in my life. Since I became a Christian, God is number one and very, very close my friends follow.

I can’t imagine how my life would have been if not with my friends. I always try to respect them and stay loyal to them. True friends remain passionate for each other even when they have not seen each other for long time. When they meet… is like no time passed by!

What friendship means? Is it an important relationship in our life? Can we exist without friendship? What is the definition of friendship?

Searching back in time we can locate the first definition of friendship through the writings of wise ancient Greek philosophers (philosopher = a word that means “friend of wisdom”. Philia means friendship in Greek, Sophia is wisdom = do the maths!)

Checking in Wikipedia under Aristotle & Philia, we read:

“Aristotle gives examples of Philia including:

“young lovers (1156b2), lifelong friends (1156b12), cities with one another (1157a26), political or business contacts (1158a28), parents and children (1158b20), fellow-voyagers and fellow-soldiers (1159b28), members of the same religious society (1160a19), or of the same tribe (1161b14), a cobbler and the person who buys from him (1163b35).”[2]

In his Rhetoric, Aristotle defines the activity involved in Philia as:

“Wanting for someone what one thinks good, for his sake and not for one’s own, and being inclined, so far as one can, to do such things for him” (1380b36–1381a2)”

And when we look at Friendship, we read:

“In recent times, it is postulated that modern American friendships have lost the force and importance they had in antiquity. C.S.Lewis for example, in his The four Loves writes:

To the Ancients, Friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world, in comparison, ignores it. We admit of course that besides a wife and family a man needs a few ‘friends’. But the very tone of the admission, and the sort of acquaintances which those who make it would describe as ‘friendships’, show clearly that what they are talking about has very little to do with that Philía which Aristotle classified among the virtues …”

Apologies if I overwhelmed you with too much information. It was necessary, as it seems that in our days everybody searches for a friend but we have forgotten what friendship is and how it is applied – at least, in some cultures and societies.

Friendship takes two! It is like tango: it takes two to tango! As any other relationship, it does take two committed people, it does take effort, it does take communication and mostly, it does take LOVE!

Who taught us to be friends? Nobody! We learnt on the way and so many times, we got it wrong!

Aristotle told us what Friendship is. He gave us its definition. The very true and interesting observation is that friendship is not a limited love. It is an Unconditional Love. It is attached to lovers, nations, towns, colleagues, neighbours, churches, mosques, synagogues, tribes and clans. Friendship exists within other relationships. There is friendship between couples (not only lovers or parents), between co-workers, between believers. Any other kind of Love includes the meaning of Friendship.

Though, it is the Lord who comes to teach us what friendship is, through that amazing book called Bible – the written word of God:

What can we learn?

  • To be called friend IS IMPORTANT;

James 2v23

“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.”

ü  We share important things, small and big with friends;

John 15v15

“…no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

  • Friends are not only important, they are a necessity in life;

Ecclesiastes 4v10

“If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

  • A true friend is a friend forever, especially through the difficult times. A true friend is more important than blood or just a fellow believer;

Proverb 18v24

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

  • A friend acts in a certain way, as described below;

Proverb 17v17

“A friend loves at all times…”

John 15v13

“Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”

The last scripture speaks tons! That’s how Jesus proved that He is our friend: He gave His life for us.

As we meditate on the above, let’s think – be honest – whether we have truly loved our friends, whether we have appreciated them and let them know that we have. (Keep remembering that friendship needs feeding, independently of its length in time.)

Let’s remind our self that the closest and greater friend we have is Jesus. Do we truly appreciate Him? Do/will/have we really give (n) our life for our Friend?

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(THIS POST WAS WRITTEN NOVEMBER 2012, IT IS A REPUBLISHING)

You would wonder how the only thing I need to say concerns James Bond. Probably I am triggered by the latest James Bond movie, which I have not yet watched; but trust me; I have not missed any of the previous ones!

What is it so extraordinary about James Bond? What does he represent in our life? He is the hero! He is the hero who we expect to save us, or perhaps the hero we hide inside us? It might be just a good entertaining story, well written, well said and well-directed.

I have to say that the last two movies disappointed me a little. We watch James having a human and emotional side – but this is not James Bond. Our hero is not about emotions but about perfection, neatness, elegance, precision, achieving the impossible for Queen and country! It is the impossibility that attracts us, I think. Otherwise we could watch a romantic or an existential movie of the great 20th century’s Italian or French directors.

There is only one James: the untouchable, the one who is always ironed and clean, the one who has no bureaucratic issues with his boss, contrarily everybody just admires him. This is the hero I need to see, this is the hero I want to be! I want to achieve the impossible! What about you?

I admit, in spite of everything, that a hero never becomes a hero by being unemotional. It is just that we, I, prefer to see him strong and in control. Or all the above might be just my imagination as I write this article in my warm bed in a nice hotel just outside the Dublin airport in Ireland, and just a few hours before I catch my plane to Africa (the article was written on 1st November 2012). It might be the strength I imagine that I need for the new adventures ahead, for the new decisions to be taken.

Nevertheless, my true James Bond is not the one of Ian Fleming! My true Hero is my Lord, my creator, my provider, my protector, the one who is always in control, always neat, trustworthy and who, for sure, achieves the impossible, brings light and truth, covers me throughout and gives me a vision higher than any MI6!

We have a hero inside us – we carry the Holy Spirit, we the believers!

So, let’s allow this Hero to lit, let’s show our Hero God and let’s be James Bonds for our Lord!

Let’s allow Him to work with us, so we can do all heroic acts – and not only – through Him!

Amen!

Love,

Dimitra

 

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“two seagulls  (Christians ???!!!)…in conflict! Looking at different directions…”, DS

It is a fact: Christians, we live not always in unity! We do not always dwell in peace between us! We are not real followers of Christ when it comes to the way we understand the Word of God and its application. Obviously, our problem does not remain within our community, as we are part of a whole  society and planet Earth. That’s why Mahatma Gandhi said the famous quote:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

I assume that Gandhi had read the Bible or maybe not. We know that he was not a believer. When we are not believers – that means, not guided by the Holy Spirit – our capability reaches up to just read the Bible but the word is not alive to us – if you know what I mean. Gandhi and so many others might have read the Bible but when it comes to application of its value, they need to see relevancy between the teachings of Christ and what Christian communities act upon. When they do not see words and acts to come together…so, they wonder! Mark Twain said that we may be the only Bible that somebody else reads. We carry a great responsibility!

I will repeat one of my favourite verses (yes, I know, you are tired to read it often in this blog! sorry…)

Ecclesiastes 1v9 

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

We discuss about our differences within the Christian Community as it it something new. It is not! It was happening since the beginning of the existence of the Church. We read – a lot – in the Bible of how the first Christians quarrelling between them.

Of course, through the History of the Church – a period of 2000 yrs – we learn of all divisions of the Body, the splits, the wars, the killings. All take place sadly…in the name of God. Not a God that is debated between different faiths but the same God who we, Christians, believe in and the only Lord of lords, God of gods and King of kings.

Let’s have a look of what was happening 2000 yrs ago in the so called first churches. We might learn something that we can apply today. We might learn to focus on our similarities as various parts of the same Body, than dwell into our differences.

We are a family. Families are related by blood. We are related through the Blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It is true that we do not chose our family but we always try to find a way to stick together and keep supporting each other. It is the same with the Body of Christ.

Let’s have a look on some issues in the first Churches:

1Corinthians 3v3-5

“You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task.”

We can see that there was conflict, jealousy of who was better, more righteous, more productive, who was bringing more people to the Lord. It seems that there was a competition within the Body, trying to prove who is better! They have forgotten that it is the Lord who saves, the Lord who creates, the Lord who heals. They forgot that it is not by might or by power but by His Spirit, says the Lord!

2Corinthians 12v20-21

“For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.”

2Timothy 2v14-18

“Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and
who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away
from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.”

James 4v1

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”

Honesty, I wonder what else can be added on the above verses! We read about quarrels, jealously, anger, slander, gossip, wrong teachings, creation of doctrines out of the Word of God! Wow, it is overwhelming! Does this description reminds you our days?

Do you really wonder why Gandhi said what he said?

The most important to keep practising is:

Happy Moments – Praise God.
Difficult Moments – Seek God.
Quiet Moments – Worship God.
Painful Moments – Trust God.
Every Moment – Thank God.

IT IS ALL ABOUT HIM and not about our doctrines and our self – righteousness!

Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

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