Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Light of Christ, Choose It and Share It!

Living in harmony with our conscience or being able to sleep at night are some of the many ways that people often explain or address the subject of that inner balance in life, essential to keeping stress and anxiety at a minimum. 

To be in harmony with our conscience we acknowledge the good in our conscience and choose the right, although the right is not always an easy choice. But, how we end up feeling has a lot to do with the choices that came before. An old tale of two wolves adds a little thought to the subject: 

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said: "My son, the battle is between two "Wolves" inside us all: 

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. 

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith." 

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?" 

The old Cherokee simply replied: "The one you feed." 

Following our conscience brings inner peace and balance, while going against our conscience brings confusion, unrest, anxiety and stress. Some might also know our conscience by terms such the Light of Christ, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Christ or the Light of Life. These are all references to a force of light or good, and like our conscience compels us to do good or to do the right thing. Following our conscience or the Light of Christ will lead to repentance, redemption, inner peace, optimism and hope. 

Why would conscience and the Light of Christ be the same thing? I could ask it in different way: What good is a conscience that does not compel you to do the right thing, take the "High Road" or keep you from sinking to someone's level that perhaps has chosen a more selfish, deceptive or less ethical path? 

Without a Light of Christ, God would not be God, and there would be no difference between good and evil, because there would be no God and without God there would be no reason to be good. All reasons to do good has to rest in deity or it would just be a matter of what everybody can get away with, without getting caught! Yet, the strange fact remains that most people, even self-proclaimed atheists usually believe in doing good and dealing fairly with other people. Continuing a differentiation between good and bad, right and wrong should be redundant to the atheist, yet they usually have a conscience compelling them to do good? How can that be, if they seriously deny God's existence? 

We have a dog in our family. It's a BIG dog and it's also a good dog but our dog has selective hearing, just like some teenagers do. Our dog sometimes conveniently makes a choice when to hear us and when to hear absolutely nothing. Atheism with a set of ethics is like having a selective deity, saying I'll choose the things that are good, for myself, for me and my best interest. However, when you are the the one that sets the standard for what is right, what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, you choose to recognise the existence good and bad (sometimes known as truth) but choose to adapt and bend it for your own selfish purposes. You can't bend truth or good and bad, and when you do, you conveniently place yourself above God in the chain of command, essentially making yourself the object of your worship. 

Without good and bad, or God and devil, there would no foundation for just laws. There would be no good or bad choices, no right or wrong but only choices that suit the individual best without any consideration of who else might get hurt. 

Although not the same as the Holy Spirit, the Light of Christ may help us make good choices or judge right from wrong. "... the Spirit of Christ is given unto every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade  to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is from God." (Moroni 7:16) 

Given a way to judge, comes an accountability for how we judge. A responsibility for our decisions: "... seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged." (Moroni 7:18) 

When absorbing light, some light will always reflect and when light is absorbed, light will show and add light to the surroundings. Those who pursue the energy, power and influence found in the Light of Christ will in some way share in it themselves, and in some indescribable way radiate that same light to those around them, and therein lies a further responsibility that others may share in that same light. "Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." (Matthew 5:15) 

We all depend on light, it's what life is made of. Enjoy the light, pass it on and share it without any expectations, limitations, obligations or conditions. Choose the light and share it! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Ultimate Price: Have I Been Worth It?

In the midst of Easter Parades, Easter Egg Hunts, Easter Bunnies and Easter Eggs, amidst the abundance of pink and yellow ribbons overflowing the shelves in the supermarkets, we might be reminded of the meaning of Easter through days with names like Passover Thursday, Atoning Friday and Resurrection Sunday, that Easter had a beginning and that beginning is about making the choices in deed, and in courage, and in faith; choices that must be made to be true to who we are and what we believe, in response to the charge given us with the atonement.

Jesus Christ paid the price for our every wrong, that as we repent we may be freed from our sins or payment would reach into the eternities. Through the atonement we were given the possibility to repent, to receive forgiveness, and go on, without having to carry the heavy burden of every wrong we ever did.

Because our Saviour, Jesus Christ atoned for us, suffered and paid the full price for our every wrong, we can actually receive forgiveness from God. As we realise our wrongs, do not repeat them, and to the extent that this might be possible, do our best to correct our wrongs; we may if receive His forgiveness and once again find peace in our hearts.

This payment for our sins didn't happen because it was easy or convenient but because of His love for us. While it would be impossible to fully understand how Our Saviour Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, it may help us trying to imagine how difficult this might have been, even for the Son of God. As we remember the words of Jesus, when in Gethsemane: "... Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done... And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:42, 44)

I imagine that in this dark and sad moment of history, God would desperately want to reach out and lift the pain, to stop everything. Yet, it went on and in preparation for the crucifixion Jesus was beaten, whipped, mocked, rejected, humiliated and treated as a criminal; all while His and our Heavenly Father must have cried heavy tears.

"And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him," (Luke 23:33) our Heavenly Father, Father of Jesus Christ must have trembled to His very core, with tears flooding His eyes, hearing Jesus lovingly, in a Spirit of kind forgiveness praying and pleading for His assailants:  "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."(Luke 23:34)

Still, amidst a constant flow of mockery, the crucifixion continued in what must have been an abundance of tears and empathy from those who loved Him.

What must have been hours later, drained, fatigued and thirsty, as pain and feelings of abandonment would seem overwhelming in what must have been the most lonely hour of His life, Jesus, overcome with agony of the whole experience cried out in a loud voice of ultimate loneliness: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34)

Hearing such a plea, our Heavenly Father certainly would want to reach out and spare His only begotten son from such suffering. As the literal Father of Jesus Christ, He must have wanted to respond in ways I can't begin to imagine. Even with God's perfect knowledge and understanding of what had to happen, He must have have agonised as His son was beaten, whipped and crucified, and finally left to die while hanging on the cross. The Heavens must have grieved and cried that day, to see the Son of God suffer such misery!

Jesus had walked the earth, shared His teachings and dealt with people's doubts, hypocrisy, lies and mockery, all while they conspired against Jesus the Christ to ultimately crucify Him. He had preformed miracles, helped where He could and in return suffered the full extent of evil in the world. Jesus Christ was subjected to a process of blind injustice, suffering every measure of trials, agony and difficulty that we might ever face in a lifetime, only to finally suffer a crucifixion with common criminals. He had truly earned the right to finally say "It is finished." John 19:30 and "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." A long and hard road had finally and mercifully come to an end, and He gave up His Spirit.

Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ both suffered this, all of this, out of love for us that we may be allowed repentance. And, as we truly repent of our wrongs, we may be allowed redemption, to once again find peace in our hearts and sin no more. He walked this long and hard road alone, that we don't have to, and after reviewing some small understanding of what my Saviour did for me, I can't help but ask myself: Have I been worth it, will the sum of my life and what I have done with what I've been given, all be worth His great sacrifice or have I rejected it all with my many shortcomings?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...