To be joyful is not to be against…

Discussion thought of the day:

I would have each of us, myself included, as how we define ourselves, who are we, and how do we stand in the midst of darkness.

I read this morning something which really gets to the heart of this:

“Your life, your work, should never be negative, nor anti anything. It is—it must be!—positive, optimistic, youthful, cheerful and peaceful.”  (1)

To often I think we define ourselves and let others define us based on what we are against.  A great example is in the present election.  It is not that I am for Candidate X, it is that I am dead set against Candidate Y.  It is not that I am for this, but I would never want that to happen.  Another example is that if I narrowly define myself against abortion, and take an “anti-abortion” stance, I have truly missed out on what it means to be for life – and life abundant.  It works in “religion” as well – I am neither anti-Muslim, anti-Sikh, anti-agnostic, anti-atheist (the latter two interesting double negatives!) but instead I find great hope in being claimed by Christ, and being freed of sin and satan and and the anxiety over death. And knowing that incredible blessing, it is that I want to share with others – for it does leave me “optimistic, youth, cheerful and peaceful” in the midst of an anxiety based world.

The depth of this idea is so freeing – if you have to be against things – create a list of all the things you have to be against, all the ways you have to defeat them, all the things you have to know. But if we are only looking for that which we are for, that to which we can entrust our soul, our life, everything we are, then we can say with the apostle Paul,

2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NKJV) 

Heavenly Father, as we cry out for your mercy, may the Spirit help us to keep our eyes simply focused on Your Son, help us to live deeply simply trusting in Your love. Amen

(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 575-576). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on September 12, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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