Monday, September 13, 2010

Connecting Life with Faith: Truth and our Experiences

In the whirlwind of information available through various media: i.e. internet, magazines, and television; we hear a lot about the lives of others.  Now with social media we can even get a glimpse into the minds of our friends, celebrities, or other people we admire at the push of the button.

I know for myself being exposed to so much information and many opinions about the studies of culture, ethics, science, and religion has changed the way I view the world.  Opening our minds to hear the voices of others can be difficult sometimes.  It can be frustrating to listen to somebody we don`t agree with.  We can easily get lost in our emotions or react defensively to protect our own principles.

The challenge is filtering all these opinions and the validity of the information we interact with.  The truth of a matter can easily get blurry in the midst of the chaos of forums, postings, and tweets.  Even news reporters are having difficulty dealing with trustworthy sources in this instant information age.

One thing we must confirm before we engage in discourse on any subject is: Truth is universal. 

If someone is to believe that truth is not universal and that we create our own truth then we are dealing with a form of insanity.  Unless you are a physcologist or physciatrist, don`t waste your time.

However, while the TRUTH of any matter is universal, individual experience is not.  Ahh "there is the rub."

That is the struggle of our existence.  How do we understand what we are experiencing?  How do we take in facts that may be contrary to our experiences?  What happens to our perception, our faith, and our actions?

I am a fan of easy answers, but sometimes there aren`t any.  The apostle Peter admonishes us that each of us should be ready to "share the hope that lives within."  I think the best way for a follower of Christ to be ready is to be thinking and listening to what the world around us is saying.  Don`t just give the Christian answer, but a well thought out, inteligent reply to those who ask.

Remembering that God is at work in all lives is important.  I think Christians can become rather egocentric about our dealings with God.  We can get lost in our own way of thinking and easily become like those who we read about in the Scripture.  We think God needs the church do His work.  Ultimately, God uses those who are watching and listening to Him.  Think of Jesus saying about His own ministry, " I tell you the truth that the Son can only do that which he sees the Father doing..." (John 5:19)

Jesus and his followers at the time were not considered to be main stream, but were made up of the outcasts of society.  Though some were from the upper class and religious background, most were poor and destitute: widows, low income families, beggars, and even people in unrespectful industries, like the prostitutes and tax collectors (con-men).  Yet these people were attracted to the truth that Jesus spoke and the way He demonstrated these truths to them.

We all carry the way we grew up around with us.  We carry our memories and experiences with us.  The truth is meant to help us understand our experience and the truth is from God.  The truth can help us understand our past and helps us order our lives for the future.  The truth doesn`t just belong to the church, but all people of the world.  God has given each person a desire to search for it and the Holy Spirit is the revealer of it.

As we try to live in the truth of God`s Word, we must remember that we share these truths with other religions and philosophies, and what better place to approach these people from than by expressing your the love of the truth with them.

Celebrate what is true and
May the truth of Christ set you free today!
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