What should you do when they see a need? My parents instilled in me the mindset of being proactive about taking care of things that need to be done. Its applications are seen in examples like not walking by the trash on the floor, opening the door for someone who has their hands full, giving a little cash to the guy on the corner with the sign, or providing a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on for the emotionally distraught. The motivation for this behavior comes, not out of obligation, but from an understanding that we are all one. Assisting one person helps humanity as a whole by both the benefits of the action and the example shown. Why then, do so few people operate in like manner? I think it is because society has lost focus from the ‘collective-we’; we have forgotten how to be neighbors.
Many people believe themselves to be part of the ‘collective-we’ because of their being part of the larger society based on their extensive social media network, having ties to a sorority or social club, or even joining a local church congregation, but these platforms severely distort the idea of being a neighbor. They blind people from seeing the needs of those around them by providing a false sense of community. In substitute for compassionate actions, one need only click the crying emoji to get the feeling have had compassion. That three-second emotional fix gained by clicking the emoji is quickly replaced by laughter at the next item in the scroll, and so it goes as we the cycle creates in us a numbness to reality. That numbness allows one to observe a need without being touched enough to address it; she has become blind the true ‘colletive-we.’ That blindness separates one person from the other in a manner that we no longer exists. It creates a mentality that says – there is only me and mine and if anyone wants access to it they must ask, and I will determine if their need is worth my attention; if it should be my problem to solve. This mindset is contrary to the ‘collective-we’ i.e. the Biblical example of being neighborly.
The Bible has many guidelines for how society should function inter-relationally as a ‘collective-we,’ and Jesus specifically addresses the idea of the ‘collective-we’ in the parable of The Good Samaritan. This parable speaks to the truth of who should be considered a neighbor by showing how different people react to seeing a man in need. It tells of two people, a Priest and Levite – both holy men, who were too focused on their travels to stop and give aid to a wounded man along the roadside who was obviously in need of assistance. It goes further to tell of another man, a Samaritan – considered unholy by society, who saw the same man in need and had compassion enough to pause from his travels long enough to see that the man in need was cared for. He didn’t just throw money at the situation; he went as far as to take full responsibility or the care of the wounded man by offering to come back through and take care of any expense accumulated in caring for that wounded man.
What should one do when they see a need? Go back to those values taught by my parents and preached by Jesus himself. Take action to meet the needs of your neighbor. Begin to cure society of numbness and blindness to need by providing stimulation and light through example in action. If you see a need, do something to meet it!
God wants the best for you. He wants you to live a life that is full abundant and overflowing. He wants you to be the best you in every situation or circumstance, in every area of your life. He has even provided for you the way, ability, and strength to be so. Trust in the leading, guiding, and direction of His Spirit in your life. Even when you don’t understand how; He knows the end result before you begin.
We often find our sense of purpose, our value and worth our happiness in what we feel we’ve accomplished for the Kingdom of God. It is human nature to keep score, but in doing so we sort of are “counting the wind”. We take a since of pride in having done something for God and we push our chest out a little further believing we’ve added to our heavenly account. The movement of the wind (Movement of Holy Spirit in the earth) cannot be credited to an individual or certain group of people. It is solely under the charge of God Himself. We have no right to try to add that to our account. We can take no credit for what God has done.
We can participate with the wind by not resisting His movement allowing ourselves to go along with His current. We can even benefit from the atmospheric changes brought about with His movement. We can and must and celebrate Him for that which He leaves behind as He moves through our lives. But we most definitely cannot count the wind. Only God can get the Glory for what He has accomplished in the earth; it is His work alone.
The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to pro-duce valuable and lasting result
Now that the Presidential election is finalized I see many fearful of what comes next. I was going to address that by writing about t the importance of our praying for those in leadership positions, but I have found a great article from Franklin Graham that I will recommend your reading instead. The article entitled ‘Praying for Those in Authority is a Biblical Command’ was written September 2014. As we move forward with our new President elect, it is important that we follow the Biblical imperative to pray for those in authority.
My Sunday school class is utilizing Chip Ingram’s R12 True Spirituality study materials to learn to become an “all in” Christian. The topic we covered in this week’s session discusses how to let go of the worldly values to avail oneself of God’s way of being. At the end of the session we have the challenge to commit to a media fast to help facilitate that process. I have determined to take the next five days Monday – Friday, to do just that. The time I would have spent using social media or watching TV will be spent in prayer or reading the Bible or other spiritually enriching materials. I will share the results of the fast with you on Saturday. I would love if you would join me, and comment with your results.
There is a concept of being driven wherein you are motivated by an internal force to use any and all necessary action to attain your desired goals. This kind of motivation is usually a good thing, but I have had to ask myself if being a driven person could be a bad thing.
Over the past several months Holy Spirit has been asking me “what is driving you?”
I have been one such driven person for most of my life; always pushing to attain the next level of success. Over the past several months Holy Spirit has been asking me “what is driving you?”. I have not slowed down long enough to answer the question. I only made a note of it and kept being propelled towards the goal I’d set fo myself. Within the last week, I had the thing I wanted within sight and had to make a decision whether to keep pushing to make things happen. It was at that moment I was again reminded of the question Holy Spirit has been asking me, “What is driving you?”. I have been so immersed in the process of attaining my goal that I’d not even consulted Holy Spirit as to whether that was the path he had for me. I was taking the world’s path to success rather than seeking out the best that God has for me. When I finally slowed down enough to have a conversation with God and be real with myself, I had to take a different course of action than what I’d been pushing so hard for over the past several months. Initially, my pride hurt for not taking the more socially accepted course of action towards attaining success.
However, once I took a few days to settle into the truth of what taking that path would have meant, I understood why God had a different direction for me. This was an opportunity to learn to be guided by Holy Spirit rather than driven by my desires and expectations. My prayer is that my desires align with His and that I have peace in whatever direction he takes me from here.
Artificial light can not awaken you. Only the Son can bring enlightenment which stirs the spirit and soul birthing you into the understanding of the truth of God and His plans for your life. He is the light of the world which gives the light of life.
No longer do I carry the weight of my past or the guilt of my sin consciousness. I know freedom in letting go of former self-grasping to me found in HE who even when I did not know goodness spoke over me ‘it is good’; showed mercy delivering me from myself; created of me a new creature in His likeness and image. His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and righteousness are the beginning of His plans for me. I give Him thanks!
The Opinions of others are not what establish who you are. Be defined by the truth of who God has spoken you to be before the foundation of time. What everyone else thinks about you doesn’t change who you are one way or the other. Positive opinions if taken to heart only puff you up beyond measure, and negative ones only bring you beneath your promise. Don’t worry about opinions – just stick to the truth!