Living From The Heart
|A Christian usually lives not
the way he ought to live or wants to live, but the way he can live. So
should face facts, as Christian, often we cannot live the Christian life
we ought or want to live, but we must
live the life we can live. No one can live solely from love in the
heart, but we should live mostly from the
heart (love of God and others) as best we can. By making the effort, we
are not perfect but we are saved by
faith as Luther interpreted from scripture. We are saved by the Vision
even though we cannot implement it
We advise a fair effort should reason on morals, including the personal circumstances of our lives, along with the suggestions of wisdom and the Bible on what is reasonable and moral to be done in life. A good, grace redeemed heart, tries. I say the best life is living the call of the qualified heart. The qualifications of the good heart (that believes in love and God) are the circumstances of life, as we are all caught floundering in the net of society. Include also the considerations of reason, the sacred revelations, concerns for others and God that arise from living from the heart. Therefore reason practically, are you living love from the heart with a good mind, considering others, thanking God that you can help others, and walking in faith simply and clearly to merge the mysteries of a spiritual life with effective living on a material plane? If so, though you have sins, you are justified and therefore saved. (Romans 8:33)
Criticism can only be of limited usefulness to good people trying to live the best they can from their love, the grace they have, caught in a net-like society and worldly circumstances that bind. Ugly morality is often simply criticism that only lowers the self-esteem of good people doing the best they can by making a significant and sincere effort. They should be given qualified praise. And if criticism is to be given, it should be given as a qualification to praise. I am afraid too much negative criticism just makes the self-esteem of people less while lowering the threshold of their efforts. Unstopping criticism and moralizing does not encourage the heart in pumping life along as best it can through grace. Criticism just undermines it more.
No one is going to be perfect. That comes in Heaven. So it is best not to ask people to be what they cannot be, but ask them to rise to be whatever they may be. Ask them to truly make a sincere and significant effort in their lives. Now some will be or may seem to achieve more than others. Who are we to say what a spiritual motivation can do? God knows what can be. Most of us today are believers young in spiritual life and very raw. We are spiritual pioneers in a still young Christian faith not fully developed as of yet. (What is two thousand years to God?) A bagatelle! A beginning! A mite! An iota! A wink of time. The development of Christianity is just beginning. Who are you to judge time?
The world is still too young and naive in the exercise of spirituality to know what it is capable of in the spiritual realm. The spiritual dimension is still untapped and unexplored. Some rise to the spiritual life. Others deny the spiritual life. Others run away from the spiritual life. But God will use the ones who deny or run away in some way that will further His Kingdom. Every bad act teaches a bad lesson; good acts teach another lesson. All teach lessons. The good man is used in a good way. The bad act is used indirectly to help a good way the doer is not aware of. All the leaves in the Kingdom of God are accounted for and fitted into place. We are too brutal and rough in our thinking and evaluating to see clearly the indirect irony of God who is sovereign, supreme and redemptive in all things. God recycles everything, the wrong, those running way, evil, everything contributes to His Glory. God is everywhere, but such that no matter which way you run, you run to Him and not from Him. Wherever you go, God is there. Whatever you do or whatever you may be God, is making use of you in the redemptive cycles of earth and life and heaven.
Look above to the chandelier. Each prism reflects a greater light. Prisms made to, put by the light to reflect light. The prisms have to make no great decisions. They are beautiful in themselves. People are more than prisms; and Godís light, grace, can often be seen reflected by people and illuminating them. Grace at times illumines us. We have moments of grace. People were made to show forth the glory of God, to feel moments of grace and have impressions of divine harmony in our human groupings. God created us for His image and in His image to be seen and to feel such moments in our lives.
It is the way people were made, at their best to be themselves and to be admired in grace groups or in individual illuminations. We see them as snow lights sited in windows among natural prisms made of ice in winter. So it seems people are at their best as prisms: made to function by the power of God and under the power of light. It is when people are united to function spiritually under God that we see with what grace people were made to function. We see humanity at its spiritual best, connected by the grace of God while showing the splendor of God.
Do not be so literal that you see glory in a chandelier of prisms but you fail to spot the glory, also grace over the world, reflecting His brightness and warmth through people placed at times on this earth. We should be impressed by the illumination of Godís splendor and beauty. Only when now and then, we are illuminated by Godís grace, do we truly see the earth and people and ourselves as we were meant to be spiritually. We are made in the image of God to reflect Him and for His glory to be seen at times in our interaction and human harmony.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.