The Good, the Bad, and the Not-So-Ugly

Imagine a world where we do not judge as to good or bad, lovable or unlovable. What if we accepted the fact God loves us with all our flaws and imperfections, and our only goal was to love others in the same way? Would the world change? Maybe.

Gandhi first changed himself - his awareness, his reaction, his behavior - and then non-violently brought attention to the harmful actions of others. In doing so he changed the world. 

He wasn't perfect. He did not end all suffering, and he had many critics, but he tried to make a difference and history records his efforts.

No one but God has a full understanding of suffering,  why it exists. The best theologians can only offer the theory this world is flawed, and suffering is the result. In his book, The Naked Now, Richard Rohr offers a simplistic definition of suffering: when ever you are not in control. 

Criticising, worrying and stressing give the false illusion of control. What if we changed all that?  Imagine the ripple effect if each of us gave up the desire to control another's behavior by criticism, legislation or violence, and changed ourselves: our view point, our priorities, our need to be right? Scripture states we need to remove the beam in our eyes before we consider the splinter in our neighbor's eye.

I realize much of my desire for control stems from ego, as mentioned in an earlier post,  Ego. I have worked to let go of the need to be right, tried not to be judgemental, and I found more joy and less worry. I see more of God's blessings and tend to reach out to others without the need, or desire, to judge if they are worthy of that love. I still fail, catching myself being judgmental, arguing a point to prove I'm right, but with effort and persistence I will change my  mental attitude and behavior, one thought, one act at a time.  

Letting go of judgment and control,  I am more inclined to trust God for everything - trust Him to lead others on the right path -  His idea of right, not mine.

It is freeing. I do not spend my quiet time chastising myself or re-counting the wrong deeds of others. I do not dwell on some future time when everything will be idyllic (in my mind) - and as a result I am happier than I can ever remember being in my life. The uncertainties of my future, the faults of myself and my neighbor (trust me there are plenty of issues if I chose to revert to negative reflection) no longer dictate my thoughts, actions and emotions. Instead I remember the words: nothing is impossible for God, with one key difference. I stand back and allow God to decide which impossibility will be possible.

Comments

  1. Such great thoughts, Ceci! And you are so right...letting go and trusting God is freeing! Releases us to enjoy His guidance and presence. Blessings to you!

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  2. Thank you, Lynn. Yes, giving up control makes life so much easier! Letting Him make all the big decisions does leave us free to just enjoy being His child.

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  3. Wow, this is good. Love the simple definition of suffering...whenever you are not in control. That is something to think about. And very true. I might have to borrow this. Thank you for such an insightful post.

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  4. Richard Rohr's book is filled with these nuggets of wisdom - and you are welcome to borrow anytime!

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  5. Hmmm, seems like we're going through much of the same thing, Cecilia. We'll get there a little ego-slaying at a time! :)

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  6. Yes, Jolina. It seems there are many ways of addressing the issue with ego, and they keep popping up in my readings. They will eventually take root and blossom, one step at time.

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  7. Once again a word I need to hear and have transformed into my life...allow God to decide which impossibility will be possible...oh my, all I did was list all the impossibilities this week instead of letting go and letting God.
    Ego...well mine, I am seeing is very large...not a good thing, but the Holy Spirit can transform what I can not

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  8. Janette, I know. I felt the same way when my devotions prompted this conviction. I've got that written down and set close by so I remember it is not always what I want, but what God wants for me. And, yes, my Ego still wants to get in the way.

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