MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: Life: bright or dark
The other day I found myself in a room that seemed unaccountably dark until I realized I was still wearing my sunglasses from the bright outdoors.
Using the sunglasses as a metaphor for life, we see our lives darkened by our perspectives. We are all at risk for having our outlook on life altered by past experiences, sleep deprivation, hunger, drugs, the opinions of others, solitude. The list goes on.
Without a strong reality check, we tell ourselves the worst about ourselves, with no room for improvement. Are we doomed to exist forever in the bubble of a dark past, aware that a better life for others exists, but unable to breach the confined space in which we live, and not even daring to try to break out and risk the disappointment of something worse? We have already tried various self-help plans, and nothing worked.
The Ten Commandments were given so that we could have a standard by which to live. Keep the Law perfectly, and you will be right with God. Unfortunately, there is only one person who never sinned- Jesus of Nazareth. Everyone else was born with Adam’s sin nature.
So, the whole world is flawed, as the twenty-four hour news networks remind us with unending repetitiveness. We try to console ourselves by saying “At least, I never did that,” whatever ‘that’ is.
We also console ourselves by idolizing a place, thing, or person- or category of persons: the home, the career, the spiritual advisor, the spouse, the politician. Finding out they are flawed can result in fear and contempt for everyone and everything associated with them. This is why some people choose to be homeless, give up on their careers, renounce marriage, consider Christians hypocrites ,think of all politicians as
We know that something we did, or something done to us hinders us from accepting life as it is- flawed, and yet- Enter Jesus Christ. He came that we might have a more abundant life. How? He gave us two additional commandments: love God; and, love one another as He loved us. While we were yet sinners, He died for us.
Loving everyone sacrificially, including people who have hurt you, is naturally not easy. But, with God, all things are possible. Seeing life clearly, rather than through the dark lens of a painful past, we shall be able to stand against any temptation the devil puts in our way- in the Name of Jesus.
Homer McQueen serves as assistant pastor of Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ, secretary at In His Shadow Outreach Ministries, chaplain for the Sherman District Parole Office, ministry volunteer for the Texas Youth Commission and Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a part-time pharmacist, and a full-time husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Herald Democrat.