It’s that time of year when some people worry if they’ll offend others with a seasonal greeting that might hint at a possible religious or ethnic affiliation, and others insist ion feeling offended if such a greeting is not their kind of greeting. And so many of the rest of us are just happy that someone wishes us well, including in their own terms.
I see this as an opportunity to learn how much we actually have in common. Once we do that, there’s no limit to what we can do!
Some questions should not have to be asked! As an example, I have ridden on many busses and have never asked the bus driver if he or she were sober! Some issues should be presumed resolved by the time you’re involved. The recent special election in Alabama is an example of questions being asked which should have never needed asking.
Standards might change. In the 12th and 14th centuries, it was not uncommon for a girl to be married at 12, but now we consider anyone at that age to be a child. The needs of society dictated the change, and it does not get changed based on some whim or temporary sentiment. Similarly, it was once not uncommon for certain people to own slaves, but no more.
We need to know what our standards are, why they are there and follow them!
I’ve spoken about prayer in the last few episodes, and that leaves us with one question. The problem is, the question is so obvious that some don’t even see it as a question. Very simply: to whom should you address your prayers? And some other questions would follow. For instance, if what works for me doesn’t work for you, or vice versa, does that mean that one should impose their faith on the other?
The answer to this and other similar questions can be found, and found clearly, even in the Christians’ Bible. People who can keep their preconceived notions from interfering with the actual content will understand.
We’ve spent a fair amount of time discussing prayer in the last couple of episodes, and not flatteringly in the case of some who seem to mis-use or actually avoid real prayer. It’s time to see how prayer can actually be made to work, and work effectively!
To begin with, understand that praying for what you need is not greed, but also know that praying for others does help them. In fact, I am aware of a very recent and well-documented case that proves that point.
With every major tragedy on the news, especially storms and mass shootings, many politicians and others say that the victims have their “thoughts and prayers”. I often wonder if their “thoughts and prayers” are a euphemism for doing nothing. But, people who want to do something can transform genuine thoughts and prayers into powerful action! And, it is well within our grasp!
Not only is it within our grasp, but many of the tasks are ones you do anyway, and look forward to doing! Let’s see what can happen when we turn other people’s insincerities into genuine action!
Following a question by Peter as to how often he is supposed to forgive someone, Jesus goes into a parable of a king who called his servants into account. We’d call it an audit today. And, one servant was found to owe ten thousand talents, a lot of money. But he begged the king forgiveness, and the king forgave him. But the servant wanted to press severely for payment of a fellow-servant whose debt amounted to pocket change. What the king does as a result shows that we will see the level of mercy we give to others.