Saturday, August 15, 2009

Life's purpose

I believe that God has a plan for us. I think that He has a vision about what we were meant to be. I think at the core each and every one of us is a singular sort of person, complete and whole and able to be with God in the flesh. But Adam and Eve were the only people to have ever been this kind of person. Then they sinned and everything went bad. All of Adam's descendants are now damaged, from birth. And what's worse? The damaged people of the world damage us even more.

Even as a newborn baby, we are damaged because of original sin. But, severe as that taint is, the infant is at his LEAST damaged the moment he is born. He will never be as undamaged as he was the moment he left his mother's womb, until he gets to Heaven. The world's damage to the infant is incalculable.

We are in fact so damaged that we are blind as to what God wants us to be. We might believe something about ourselves and not realize how wrong we are. We have been brainwashed by the world. And with the power of the media and the moving tide of "progress" today, the brainwashing has never been so complete.

So I think that one of God's purposes for us is to heal us. To undo the damage done when Adam and Eve ate the fruit. Obviously, we can not do it ourselves. Our greatest healer is Jesus. We are to look to Him for healing. But we can not ignore other people. They are one of Jesus' most important tools. He doesn't just use people though. Of course we have the Bible as our main word, but we might learn from other books as well, even secular ones. Sometimes a TV show can offer us inspiration. Even nature can offer us some insight. Seeing a rainbow at just the right time can give someone hope. Watching animals behave in a peculiar way can actually teach us something, even change our hearts. All of these come from Jesus and the Holy Spirit and we should look for them daily, no, as often as possible.

Truly God wants us to be whole again. He wants us healed. Once we are healed we can be with Him completely, as Adam and Eve were. That is what God wants. He wants to be with us again. That is what I think we are meant to do here on Earth, to help one another to become whole again, with the power of the Holy Spirit. Open ourselves up to Jesus and accept His gift of forgiveness and healing. We will of course never get to perfection on Earth, but we can look forward to receiving it in Heaven. And we will. God be praised.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Getting people to do things "your way"

I happened upon a reality show where one roommate was making life difficult for her roommate because she wanted them to be as ecologically sound as possible. They had to take 3 minute showers. They had to turn off all the lights all of the time. They had to watch what they were doing constantly. It was aggravating how controlling that girl was.

Here's some advice to anyone wanting other people to do things "your way." If it really matters how people do things, make it easier for them to do it your way. You want the lights turning off when someone leaves the room, install motion activated switches. That way they never have to even turn a light on. You want to conserve water, capture rainwater or grey water to use in toilets and such. They won't have to worry about water at all. You worried about energy usage? Install solar panels. You don't like them adjusting the thermostats? Install programmable thermostats.

These are of course examples, expensive ones. Not everyone can afford a solar array. But the point remains. If it's harder for them to do it your way, why would they want do it your way? Especially if you have a bad attitude about it all? If you are incapable of making it easier for the other people to do things your way, then you'd be better off picking your battles and compromise.

You'll never get people to do things your way with a controlling attitude. The leader's job is to make the follower's life easier, not harder.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's difficult to fall in love with someone you don't trust.

Have you ever known couples who fell in love and married in a very short amount of time? Months? Weeks??? I have heard of some, curiously all Christian, which seems bizarre considering the Christian stance on divorce. But these couples seem to make it work somehow. How do we explain this phenomenon?

My guess is they get to really know one another very quickly, because they already know what to expect from a true Christian. I realized something, a reason why I am hesitant to say that I love a girl too soon, despite extreme feelings of affection for her: trust. I have always said that love is selfless, that if you can't put them above yourself, then your affectionate feelings are selfish. If it's about how they make you feel, then it's not love. It's infatuation. It's not necessarily a bad thing understand. It's part of the process of falling in love for most of us, because we are programmed (by society) to look out for number one. But as you grow in your relationship with that special person, you start to realize that the "whole you" (which includes that other person) is actually more important to you and you naturally start to put them first.

Here is the first explanation of Christians falling in love very quickly. Christians who have been able to genuinely practice putting themselves last all of their lives are more able to put their significant other first more quickly because they don't need to make that transformation from me to we. They never think if themselves first and as a consequence they are able to very quicky demonstrate their faith to the person they are interested in.

Another reason why they fall in love so quickly is regarding trust, or at trust's root, knowledge about the other person. It's difficult to fall in love with someone you don't know... or know to trust. So how do you know that you can trust them? Generally time is the only answer, but... if you are a particularly strong Christian, and you find yourself attracted to another particularly strong Christian, you might be a candidate for finding love quickly.

What I really think I understand now about these Christians who fall in love so quickly, and the reason why in the past I would take time to fall in love (a couple of months, maybe 3 or 4), is that I didn't quite trust them. Why not? Because we were both a bit too worldly. Because they were worldly, I was unfamiliar with their beliefs. I had to learn about them first to determine how much of my beliefs I would have to compromise to be with them. Some girls made me realize that I would have to compromise too much. Other girls made me regret doubting their faith. They fell in love far quicker than I and my reticence left them disappointed. By the time I'd caught up, it was too late.

Now I see that it should be easier as a strong Christian, not more difficult. Christians have a specific set of core beliefs that make us who we are. If you are a strong Christian falling for another strong Christian, finding that trust should be easier because we know what to expect. Finding trust with a worldly person is more difficult because you don't know what they believe in. There are so many belief systems, many of them incompatible. You have to learn more about that person and really examine how compatible your beliefs are. If you don't strongly subscribe to and understand an established belief system, like Christianity, you will always find it difficult to trust another person you date because you will never know what to expect from them*. If you don't have any obvious common ground with the person you are interested in, you have to learn a lot about them first. You have to learn what beliefs they subscribe to. But if you are, say, a Christian, all you have to do is learn how strong of a Christian they are. Find out if you are both at the same point in your development as a Christian.

Sure, it's not 100% automatic. You'll always need to learn about people you date, and even strong Christians differ on many core beliefs. But knowing that you share a majority of your core beliefs from the start gives you a sense of security that you cannot have with anyone else. You don't have to be so protective. You don't have to focus so much time learning about each others' core beliefs. You can spend more time learning about the other things that make each of us unique and attractive.

Many Christians doubt other people A LOT. Comes with the territory. But amongst the Christians that we trust, we can put real faith in each other. All you have to do is prove to each other that you are a strong Christian, and you will automatically know a lot about each other, especially your beliefs. So if you are a traditional strong Christian interested in another person, all you have to do is find out if they truly aim to embody Christ's love in the world. Once you do that, as long as there is chemistry between the two of you, love will surely bloom. True love. Unfailing love.

*The world's answer to this problem is to create a blanket "acceptance" of all belief systems and to not intrude, force your beliefs on them, and not meet in the middle. Curiously this "open mind" actually encourages closed mindedness because we aren't "supposed to" challenge one another's beliefs. Progress is slow without challenge. Christians challenge each other's beliefs all the time. It kind of defines us. We try to become better through Christ every day. We can only achieve that by listening to advice from other Christians.