You might be asking, “What does all this talk about faith, God, Jesus and the Bible have to do with family connections?”
DEVELOPING OUR IDENITY
I have come to believe that as we develop our identity as a person and interact with other people, this topic of spiritual well-being is at the foundation of our understanding of ourselves and our relationships with each other in the family. We gain wisdom for life and relationships from the Bible. We find out who we are and how we belong with a worldview that includes God and Jesus.
IS THE WORLD AS IT SHOULD BE?
Why would I say that? I would challenge you to look at the world and ask the question, “Is the world as it should be or is there something wrong?” I believe you would be hard pressed to say the world is as it should be. So, what is wrong and how did it get that way?
LIFE FROM THE 35,000 FOOT VIEW
I would like you to join me in exploring your identity and family relationships from a different perspective. I would like us to zoom out and look at our lives and relationships from a 35,000-foot view.
Ok, here we are at 35,000 feet and looking at life. The first thing I notice is: There is good and evil; right and wrong; light and darkness; life and death. There appears to be two opposing forces in life.
This idea of opposing forces is explained differently in different cultures and based on the worldview you have embraced. I have been experiencing & studying the effects of these two opposing forces all my adult life, just as most of you have. I have had experiences from both forces. I have been wounded deeply by actions I have taken as well as actions of others toward me. I have wounded others with my actions, damaging important relationships in my life. I also have created healing in relationships in my life and have enduring friendships that have been life-giving and been healing to my wounds. Through all these experiences I have concluded, I want to be aligned with the good, the right, the light and life.
ALIGNING WITH THE GOOD, THE RIGHT, THE LIGHT AND LIFE
So how do I align with the good, the right, the light and life?
At the risk of sounding simplistic, there has been only one person in history that has told us how to align with the good, the right, the light and life. That person is Jesus Christ. Jesus said He came to give us life and demonstrated how to love the poor, the diseased even people with messy lives as well as enemies. He loved to the point of willingly putting himself in a position, as an innocent person to die a painful death for seemingly no reason and forgave those who killed him. His life and teachings can’t just be considered good teaching about life. Jesus doesn’t give us that option. He made many bold statements including this, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” He was either a liar, a lunatic or who he claimed to be.
As C.S. Lewis once said, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [that is, Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse…. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
The final actions of Jesus to validate his divine nature was his resurrection from the dead, appearing to his disciples and ascending to heaven. There is no grave with the bone of Jesus to visit.
I will explore this further in future blog posts.
Next, we will explore the needs we all have and how to meet those needs.