Friday, August 31, 2012

Not A Change of Heart

Across all the Abrahamic religions, one thing remains constant aside from God having created the Earth. That's Moses' righteousness. Islamics, Jews, Christians, Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses; we can all agree that Moses was righteous in the eyes of God.

In Exodus 32, God was going to destroy the Israelites. He didn't because Moses pleaded with Him to spare them.
A mere mortal, a single man -in comparison to God, man is less than an insect is to us- asked God to do something differently, despite the fact God had already made up His mind. And He relented.
God, the One who confounds the wise even in His foolishness, the Sovereign, the Almighty, the All-Knowing; He changed His decision not because He's fallible--quite the contrary, he did so because He is infallible. Because He is love. And, because love is understanding, He listened to the plea of His child. He met Moses half-way because He loves.

I don't think God changed His mind or His heart. I think that, because God is love, He chooses to do the merciful thing, despite being infallible. Love is patient, love is kind. Love never fails.

But Moses, not standing up to God but standing up for what he believed, though it was contrary to what God had decided, was how Moses respected God.
Moses didn't dishonor God by asking Him to do differently. Moses was honoring God by doing so. Backing down and saying "Okay" when you feel someone might be in the wrong is dishonoring them. Saying "Here's what i believe, and it doesn't line up with what you believe" is actually honoring them.

If i was infallible, i would have no reason to listen to anyone else's opinion. But i'm a human--i am fallible, just like all of you who may read this, yet i still can't get out of my own train of thought to see things how another would. A fallible man with a finite mind set in what he believes to be an absolute is usually in the wrong. I'm usually in the wrong.
I want to learn to love, so i can understand things from another's perspective, even if i am fallible, finite, and absolute in what i have decided.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vanity or Glory?

I've been working out for the last few weeks. Getting in better shape, building muscle, getting my heart beating a little better, stuff like that. A lot of the driving force behind it, to be honest, is appearance. It's altered my appearance, though very slightly, and that's not a bad thing. It's quite encouraging. It wouldn't be all too unappealing to look handsome and muscular and all that. 
Where's God in my reasoning?

It says in 1 Corinthians 10 that, whatever we do, we should do it for the glory of God.
If i'm working out to appear attractive, 
i’m not doing it for the glory of God, but for human/earthly reasons. That's wrong. That's as bad as the opposite end of the spectrum, gluttony, of which i've been guilty of so much it's not funny (i'm down to 200-205 from 245lbs)

Also, in 1 Corinthians chapter 6, it says that my body is a temple to the Holy Spirit. It’s referring to sexual sins; all other sins are outward sins, but sexual sins are inward sins. But despite the context it’s used in, our bodies are temples to the Holy Spirit. We should have them at their best for that reason.

Even if a church is purified because only those who have been made righteous attend (Romans 3 says none are righteous, but i believe that living in a pure way for God and having Jesus in our heart makes us righteous to God, because 1 Samuel 16 says that the Lord looks at the heart—if Jesus is there, He sees righteousness, not our sin; He sees perfection, which makes up for our imperfections) … 

Getting back on course, If a church is pure inside but has an exterior that’s not kept up, it’s hardly a shining light. It's not really shining if all the light is hidden within. It needs to attract the unrighteous to lead them to righteousness in Christ.

The body is a temple; we don’t paint graffiti on the walls of a temple. I’m not saying tattoos are a sin, because i honestly don’t have an opinion on them, but i’d never get one for that reason. We don’t put holes all over it and fill them with flashy decorations. Again, not saying piercings are a sin, just something i’d never consider.

We keep the walls of the temple clean and healthy, well maintained, and pure.
What’s more important than the walls is the structure. Keeping our body pure for God is the structure i’m speaking of. Without a proper structure, the walls prevail against little more than a breeze or a light shower. A storm would tear it down to its foundation; sand.

God's opinion of us doesn't change because of our appearance. 1 Samuel 16:7. It's man who sees the appearance of fellow man. God can cast out a handsome or pretty person and instead use someone who society has deemed unattractive. God sees us all as beautiful creations; His children. We are all beautiful to Him. It's society that messes with our heads and definition of beauty.
But to be an example, to bring glory to God, we should be encouraged to maintain our temples, and to keep them in as excellent shape as we can. God doesn't look at the walls--people do. To do our best to bring people to Christ, i think we should make ourselves more appealing to them. Not for vanity's sake, but for the glory of God.

Different means to the same end.
So many things can have the same end, but it's the reasoning behind it that changes everything. And so far, i've had the worst of reasonings. Vanity. Vanity. Vanity.