Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"What Matters Most"

Galatians 5.6 NASU

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
There’s a wrong way and a right way, the way of the flesh and the way of the Spirit, my power and the power of God. One way seems right but results in disappointment, discouragement, depression, and destruction. Another way requires discipline, courage, and trust and eventually leads to joy, fulfillment, and life. [1] However, the distinction between wrong and right, flesh and Spirit, my way and God’s is not always easy to determine.

Passionate arguments abound on all sides of every issue. Conversations about religion, politics, health care, the military, environment, or government spending have the power to transform reasonable people into militant crazies hellbent on advancing their view and creating long-term relational rifts.

These issues, sacred positions, theological stands, political dogma may mean less than we think. What if nothing really mattered except “faith working through love”? The choice of whether or not to be circumcised as an adult Gentile was a burning hot topic in the first century church. For most engaged in this historic debate, it was a matter of eternal life and death. The Apostle Paul, who held a strong opinion on the issue, nevertheless claimed,

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision
means anything, but faith working through love.”

In my fervent search for truth, I must constantly strive to be “in Christ Jesus”. I must endeavor to maintain “faith” and “love” when making hard choices. Like a plane rising above the clouds or an elevator lifting its burden to a higher floor, I am called by Christ to leave behind the all-consuming, yet not-so-all-important, human way of dealing with my personal issues and step up to the higher ground of “faith working through love”.

Faith demands that I have a vision for a new way, a solution, a better world. Working implies a solution that’s not free. I must labor to achieve the vision. Though Love requires me to care more for people than my cause.

“Faith working through love” is what matters most.

[1] “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14.12; 16.25).

I found the image above in the on-line article "Brain Fight: Who’s the Decider?" by Roger Dooley, author of 856 posts on the subject of neuromarketing (http://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/brain-argument.htm).

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