Monday, September 25, 2006

The Diversity of the Spirit

Peace and blessings,

This piece is something I felt God has been putting on my heart for the last couple of weeks. It seems like within American ideology there is this over-arching sense of and need to polarize beliefs, ideas, and groups. For instance, a large part of our livelihood tends to consist of a composite the choices we make from polarized alternatives. Either you're a Democrat or Rebublican, beautiful or ugly, fat or skinny, and so forth. I know these examples are somewhat simplistic, but the point is made nonetheless. Many aspects of our lives are dictated by an "either/or" framework.

Now I am not making a case for absolute relativism, because I believe that the enactment of absolute relativism, especially moral relativism, would pose a great threat to the human existence. Moreover, I believe that when it comes to how to live and how we should treat one another, there is an objective truth that governs these and all behaviors, and it resides in the relationship with God through Jesus Christ. With that said, what I am making a case for is for the acknowledgement of the spiritual diversity that derives from a relationship with God.

As a child, I thought of God as someone who was a strict disciplinarian who saw and knew everything. I thought that if I ever did anything that was contrary to His will, He was going to severly punish me, if not immediately, then eventually. Therefore, I attempted to stay away from trouble and be a "good boy," but for the wrong reasons. Although God is a sovereign and jealous God, our primary reason for living holy lives in accordance with His will should not be because we are afraid of what God will do to us. Instead, I believe that our primary reason for living for God is simply because of WHO HE IS! Once we change our conception of God from someone who is waiting for us to mess up so He can "lay the smack down" to someone who created, redeemed, and called us into a loving relationship with Him, we will be able to walk with Him, and thus live for better lives for Him.

Lastly, it is this "living for Him" part that inspired me to write this piece. Once we are in a relationship with God through Christ, we learn about the Christian docrtine and the principles of the faith. I know for me, there were times where as I was getting more into the Bible and into what it means to be a Christian, I would not only feel marginalized within a larger social context (e.g. there are just certain places and things a Christian is not suppose to go and do), but I would also feel limited in terms of the way I thought about God. I think it is often easy to confine our conception of God to the books of the Bible. Even though He is the same God, He also created each and everyone differently, and thus speaks to us differently. As I began to realize that, I stopped assessing my conception of and relationship with God based on others' conceptions of and relationships with Him, and found my own. That is the beauty of God working in us through the Holy Spirit, is that God not only meets us where we are at, but He also uses us according to our interests, personalities, and ways of thinking. For me, the way I view the world and the phenomena within it is heavily based on me viewing things in terms of connections, patterns and analogies. In order for me to truly understand something, I must develop a comparable analogy that explains it, or see how it connects to something else. It is no surprise that becaause God made me this way, that these are the ways in which I feel that I see God at work in the world. Things like how the little, everyday things we do (either by deliberate choice or out of reacting to the circumstance), can make the difference in receiving or missing our blessing, as well as in our opportunities to be a blessing to someone else.

Through my experiences and the constant changing of my conception of God, it is clear that while there are many people who do not have a relationship with God because for whatever reason they do not believe, there are also many of us who have a narrow conception of God and of the avenues through which He plans to use us to do His will. It is my prayer that we as Christians place substantial emphasis of the diversity of the Holy Spirit, namely the fact that our conception of God should never be limited, but to expand so that once we realize that God uses all of us according to our unique personalities, ways of thinking, interests, and talents (assuming of course these do not conflict with His will), we can put ourselves in a better position to serve Him. Stay blessed and as always, speekonit...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not only are you going to be a doctor in Education, you are also going to be a pastor!!!