By James A. Washington Jr., Publisher, Dallas Weekly Newspaper
Here lately, I’ve come to clearly understand that some things that serve us well in the natural world oftentimes work against us in the spiritual one. It is an ironic realization one must make upon their own personal faith walk. Independence, ego, self-reliance, never say die attitude, talent, drive — these and other human characteristics, including just plain determination — give us a sense of accomplishment that, if we’re not careful, will seduce us into believing it’s all about us.
We even admire and envy those whose lifestyle we would otherwise condemn simply because we deem them special, gifted, geniuses or simply famous. At times, we forgive their otherwise despicable behavior because he or she is “special.” We honor and celebrate their individuality and subconsciously strive to be like them rather than trying to achieve the same distinction by emulating the only one really worthy of trying to copy, my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Please hear my point before you turn me off.
In order to honestly accept the reality of faith, I believe we must become naked in those things that God expects and adores submission, selflessness, humility, reverence, charity, love and more. We all know the world to be a cruel place for people who demonstrate these qualities. The world can be lethal for those it views as submissive and passive and humble.
History is full of pacifists and peace lovers who have been tortured, victimized and yes even assassinated. Become an advocate for peace and justice and watch yourself become a target of greed and injustice. Many of us don’t want to be associated with those we deem unwilling or unable to fend for themselves. It’s just a fact of the world in which we live.
Now the bible teaches us that through Christ, faith takes us to a level of conviction and purpose that supersedes everything we think we understand about this world. Pride and ego then become dangerous to our very existence, spiritually speaking. Determination and drive without spiritual purpose invites suicide. Self-reliance, by itself, becomes nothing more than human folly.
We exist at the pleasure of the Master of this universe and perish in the ignorance of this. We are, I am God’s child. He made me and should He choose to, He can take me out. I do understand though, that His love for me is so great that even on my best day, I cannot comprehend it. I have nothing to compare it to. I only hope to return His love in some small way by being obedient to His Word.
That effort, that code of conduct and behavior, that adherence to the values of Christ, is all that matters. The bible says, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” Matthew 16:26. Kind of gives new meaning to striving to get ahead, doesn’t it? Forgive me if I ponder and pray on this for a while.
May God bless and keep you always.