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31 July 2013 Written by  James Washington

Spiritually Speaking…

With what seems like the whole world in such a state of conflict and violence, I guess you could say this is when faith is tested. For many of us, tragic world events might even make you question the existence of the God we all profess to believe in; that is, if you claim Christianity as your one and only. I often have to remind myself that most of what happens or happened to me was and is a direct result of my doing, the choices I’ve made, the lack of calling upon God in my decision making process. When I look around at the world and its manmade atrocities, I am reminded that a lot of it can be reduced to being religiously sanctioned. Some of you might think ill of me for putting forth this perspective. But a good part of today’s tension can be interpreted at a very simplistic level in terms of “radical” religious behavior and actions in the name of one God or another. News media tend to ignore this and give us a territorial point of view. It’s about oil, land, power and politics, and a bunch of money. Beware of class warfare. But those who die, if you check the record, are usually killed by someone of a different faith. That faith, or lack thereof, in many instances, sanctions murder, “terrorist” attacks, suicide bombers and righteous retaliation. 

The God that Christians serve demands a different course of action. Jesus teaches peace, love and understanding, which is a synonym for tolerance. I know it sounds awfully trite in the complex universe we all live in and the interdependence of shrinking world resources. But the Man was killed living a life predicated on love for fellow human beings and a definite intolerance of persecution and oppression, particularly fostered by the church. We should all know the source of His strength in the midst of what He faced. I guess my question to you is: what is the source of your faith in the midst of what the world is facing with you and me in it? That is not a rhetorical question. I find myself in prayer asking God to give me the wisdom to learn from whatever experience I’m going through, good or bad. Likewise, I’m also praying for wisdom to understand what in the heaven is going on in the world in which we live. The end result is usually the same.  

I ultimately have to put all things in the hands of the Lord. His Divine Will certainly supersedes my secular understanding and, that is as it should be. I must admit though, that I do think man has forced a lot of these issues and situations for the same stated reasons that I find myself going through hell in critical times, a lack of having the one true God embedded in the decision making process. It’s just when that does happen, peace (peace of mind in my case) prevails because the outcome is known. I win based on my faith in and acceptance of Jesus as Lord. In the end, the outcome is already known. God wins and those who believe in Him are the only true victors. In the complex world we live in, we can just all get along. It’s called peace beyond all understanding. 

May God bless and keep you always.