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Loving God is a never-ending process, says migrant

Loving God is a never-ending process, says migrant

"How can you say that you are a Christian if you cannot forgive your enemy?" or "How can you claim to love God if you utter unsavory particulars about others?" These are just a couple of questions that we will encounter as we earnestly work toward the ultimate goal of pleasing God.
The list is more than a mile long, for people will always come up with clever questions designed to make us feel insincere about our actions. Some of them are quite earnest in their desire to bring us to God. Others use a kind of distorted logic to make us feel guilty. They accuse us of spreading lies and hurting others when we try to right a wrong. Initially, the issues might put us on the defensive, or worse, even drive us to desperation, for by asking these questions; our commitment to God is being doubted. Refuse to be deceived. Do not despair!
When we cannot forgive our foes immediately, we must not think that we are all "bad." Forgiveness requires the grace of God. It is a process that can take years to reach. We cannot forgive our enemy out of sheer willpower. We need to pray for the grace to forgive. When we are open to God's will, then and only then, will we receive the grace to forgive.
Clearly, as children of God, we must be totally dependent on Him who created us. During our lives on earth, it is our human nature not to achieve perfection easily and immediately. We slip and slide along the narrow path to our heavenly home. The trick is not to give up, but to rise, seek forgiveness, and get back on the trail. Never give up!
Some people who sincerely want to lead others to God have the mistaken notion that if someone fails to fit their preconceived idea of the perfect "Christian," a good scolding is in order. I do not believe in this punitive method of instruction. It fosters disappointments, depression, and desperation. It drives away would-be believers and makes Christianity a burden, rather than a joy.
After all, did not our Lord, Jesus Christ Himself dine with sinners? To condemn people because they do not fulfill one's expectations of "being a Christian" is utter folly.
I believe that a more encouraging approach is better. We need to encourage one another whenever one of our brethren falls. To cultivate compassion and understanding is more difficult than to admonish and reprimand. Admonishing someone else makes us feel superior and holier than others who fail. This mindset is just like the Pharisees and Scribes during the time of Jesus. These people were so busy looking at the faults of others that they failed to recognize their own errors.
Now let me share something I read before. I could not remember the title of the book. However, it went something like this: "Do not be impatient when leading someone along the path towards God. In your haste, you might be blocking the other person's view of God." Each person has a different character make up. Each one has a different timetable. Thus, each of us will eventually become God-conscious in God's time. The only requirement is to allow God to mold us to perfection. The key word is total obedience to His will.
Finally, let me share some tips on how to live a life that pleases God:
Pray daily. You may start with traditional prayers. You can move on to offering your day to God, and eventually hold a running conversation with God as you go about your daily chores.
Meditate at the end of the day. If you can, without endangering the house or the factory you work in, light a candle while praying and meditating. Meditation helps us to be more receptive to the word of God. Praying is not incessant talking. It also means quiet moments concentrated on God, opening our minds and hearts to Him.
Try to be humble and cheerful at the same time. However, do not let others trample on your rights as a child of God. This means that we have to learn the art of discerning when to speak up for our rights. This is between you and God. That is why the "quiet moments" are so important for our spiritual health.
Be modest in our dress and language. Avoid "sins of the flesh." Plainly said, if you are married, honor your marriage vows. If you are unmarried, do not commit fornication, which is sex outside of marriage. Keep yourself pure, not only for your spouse or your future spouse, but especially for God.
Surround yourself with friends who will not lead you to temptation. Give up those who trouble the spirit. They might be fun now, but will they be fun in hell?
To deprive ourselves of earthly pleasures might seem too drastic to most. But then again, it is just a matter of perspective. Let me illustrate. When Blessed Nivard of the house of Fontaines, then 12 years old, was informed that he will get the castle, the lands, the serfs, the title, and the wealth, while his brothers went into the monastery. This is what he said: "What's great about it? You take heaven and leave me the earth. I don't see anything great in that. It's not even fair. I don't want it!" He went on to become a monk, too!
Now, my dear readers, which would you rather have - heaven or earth?


Updated : 2021-05-07 05:31 GMT+08:00