Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Watering the Kernels of Truth

Lately, God has been changing how I look at the people around me and what I’ve been focusing on. I’m seeing more and more that this journey isn’t about who’s right and who’s wrong but it’s about people and relationships. Religion has convinced us that what we believe is what is most important and we have to do whatever we can to convince others of our truths. While I do think it’s important to have correct doctrine, I think we’ve blown it all out of proportion and the result is that believers think that it’s their job to correct wrong beliefs, even the smallest ones.

The truth is that the Holy Spirit is the teacher of the church and, while he may work through other believers, he usually does it through relationships. In concentrating its emphasis on correct doctrine, I believe the church has gotten off and the result has been a church that is divided into various camps based on what each group believes. The result is anger and vicious attacks on one another and on those outside of the camp.
However, when we focus on relationships, the fighting stops. While I’m not saying that we should compromise our beliefs, I do believe we need to recognize and appreciate the kernels of truth that are in all of us because each of us has some aspect of truth that’s alive in us. I’m coming to believe that instead of focusing on what I view as a person’s wrong thinking and feeling like I have to fix it, I now want to water and encourage those kernels of truth that are shining so brightly in them and watch them grow.

Recently, one of my friends was describing a conversation he had had with another mutual friend of ours. During the conversation, our mutual friend said, “I don’t care if you’re right or wrong. I care about you.”

That simple statement exploded in my heart. I really believe that’s the secret to this journey in Christ. I’ve determined that this is how I want to live my life, seeing and encouraging the life of Christ that’s in each of us and giving others the freedom to grow and to discover truth in their own way and time.


Frances said...

Yes! I heard someone else say something similar about the way we read and understand the Bible---that understanding it is best worked out in community. Of course the tough part is finding a way to be together long enough to have discussions and work things out.

bibl774 said...

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas!!!!


Aida said...

Frances, I’ve learned so much when I’ve been able to have conversations with others and have heard what they believe. Even if I still end up disagreeing with what they’ve said, it helps me to process what I do believe and it’ll either strengthen it or I’ll see the gaps more clearly. Right now, for me, the best way is through my online discussions. Face to face just isn’t there for me but I have benefitted quite a bit from the conversation on the forums and other online groups that I’ve been a part of.

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Aida said...

Thanks, bibl, and I hope you and your family also have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. Thanks for stopping by.

zinger said...

Hey Aida, I've felt for a long time that modern Christianity has been an exercise in missing the point. Far too much emphasis is placed on what we believe, in stead of on who we are hear on Earth. The results speak for themselves and are in fact a general turn off, to all around.

Thanks for sharing...Enjoy your heart and the thoughts...


Aida said...

Jon, you said, “I've felt for a long time that modern Christianity has been an exercise in missing the point.” Great point!

I believed the emphasis on what we believe has caused more division and hurt than anything else in the church. People struggle to believe when the “correct doctrine” isn’t even in their hearts. If we could just stop stressing about doctrine and focus on love and kindness, we would see a church that’s alive with the power and joy of the Lord.

Thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate your comments. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Resting in The One said...

Like your quote above, I also heard someone say once, "It's not about what's right or wrong, it's about whether to love or not love." When I heard that, I was changed forever. That saying has hounded me for the last 20 years and shaped my life in ways I never imagined. It's not my job to figure out if a person is right or wrong. My only job is love them.

Aida said...

That’s a great quote, Resting, and I can understand how it would change your life. I’m finding myself giving up looking at who’s right and who’s wrong and instead seeking the relationship. It’s definitely been a process but I’m learning it’s not my job to fix anyone. All I’m called to do is to love them and let them grow in their own time and way.

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to post a comment.

MaeganV said...

It seems God has been showing me the same thing recently. I keep thinking about how God is first and foremost LOVE, not Judgment. And if we are supposed to be like Him, should we not first be LOVE? I'm really having to deal with my own judgments of other people as I'm telling others to stop judging people so harshly. But that's another topic altogether. It seems that the KEY here is simply RELATIONSHIP... Relationship with Him; relationship with others. Which brings the scripture to mind, "Love the LORD God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Paraphrased because i don't remember the exact wording or where it's found). But I think that's the key. Have a RELATIONSHIP with Him; have relationship with others; and in doing so, you're fulfilling God's will. It seems God has many of us on the same page right now. I find that refreshing. :) Nice blog! I like it!

Aida said...

Hi Meagan. You said, “ I keep thinking about how God is first and foremost LOVE, not Judgment. And if we are supposed to be like Him, should we not first be LOVE?”

That is so true. Love should be the foundation of all that we do and, if it is, we won’t judge harshly. Instead, our judgments will always be tempered by love.

You said, “It seems that the KEY here is simply RELATIONSHIP... Relationship with Him; relationship with others.”

Relationship should be the primary thing. When our focus is relationship, right or wrong seems inconsequential. All that matters is the person.

I appreciate you taking the time to comment and I hope you’ll drop by again.