Once again, as so often in history, the world seems to be rising up in violence and protest. The struggle between freedom and domination has always been evident in the lives of men, so while it is not new, it seems to have become more consuming and prominent.
Maybe it’s because technology puts world events on center stage with the flick of a button. So we witness violence and revolts as they happen from the comfort of our homes as though it were a movie.
Central to this world chaos seems to be religion. So wouldn’t we want to stay away from religions and instead rely on our own intellect and reason?
Beliefs and Character
Central to character development is examining our beliefs. But answers for developing character are not found in religious practices, but in the principles and truths that religions focus on.
If you believe that destruction and chaos will serve who you follow, your life will demonstrate that. If you follow reason and intellect, which philosopher, humanist or current enlightened culture will give you the answers that endure over time?
At some point, we are faced with our fallibility and shortcomings. Do we continue to rely on man’s intellect and power, or reach beyond ourselves to a higher source of knowledge and power? Until we recognize that we are sinners, we won’t recognize our need for God.
Within the pages of the Bible, we find people just like you and me who struggled to live. Their lives were not perfect. Consider the following:
- Noah had a drinking problem
- Cain was jealous and murdered his brother
- Jacob was a liar and conniver
- Joseph became a victim of jealousy and hatred
- Gideon was afraid
- Samson was a womanizer and his lifestyle had disastrous results
- Rahab was a prostitute
- David had an affair and his adultery led to murder
- Samuel, a faithful servant of God, was a terrible parent
- Elijah had depression
- Jonah ran from God and had a bad temper
- Job lost everything and was taunted by his religious friends
- Peter denied Christ
- The Disciples fell asleep while Jesus asked them to pray
Within these stories we find ourselves. They were not perfect and neither are we. But we also find throughout the bible, redemption and forgiveness and the precepts to live principled lives. And even more important, we find a God who reaches down to us. We find a God who sent His Son to die for us. His love is that great.
Feb 28, 2011 – Marlene Anderson
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