June 15, 2017

It Depends on You

A lot of old-timers lament that rural areas no longer seem as friendly as they once were where people waved at everyone they passed on the road, whether or not they knew them. A couple of days last week I incidentally made eye contact with drivers and bicyclists and to my surprise each one acknowledged me with a smile, a wave or a tip of the head. I suspect that friendlessness in the community, and for that matter in the church, has more to do with our effort to make eye contact than it does with waiting for others to be the first to extend the right hand of Christian fellowship. Paul said, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Ro 12:18 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Forty years ago I bowed my head over the barrel of a loaded 8mm Mauser and searched for one reason not to pull the trigger. That reason was my mom. Really, it shouldn’t have been the only reason, nor the best. That reason would have been living faithfully for Christ through any situation. But the “mom reason” worked, obviously.
-----So there remained the what-to-do about my manic-depression. That’s where Jesus came in. For my next inclination after pulling that rifle away from my head was to go ahead and kill myself. I hated myself with an absolute passion. It’s funny how clear vision can get after death has brushed so close as to leave a scar. It wasn’t the body I needed to rifle. I needed to rifle my heart and mind. I decided to reject everything I had ever accepted, everything I had ever liked. I decided to brush everything off the table of my life onto the floor, and then begin sorting through it one thought and emotion at a time, examining each against the truth, straightening and placing back on the table what could be repaired according to the truth, and trashing the rest. With that inclination came the exception: Christ was my golden thread of life which I was unwilling to release, trash, or brush onto the floor. He became the comparison I made everything against.
-----To that point in my life, I had believed I was the composition of everything that had happened to me. So I had been blaming everyone else for my problems. If I recollect accurately, this was the first thought I straightened and placed back on the table. Indeed we are the composition of our histories. Looking at that bare table, holding that blaming thought in my hand, I realized that only my own volition would be restructuring my thoughts and emotions. Nobody else could think for me, except of course God, and He wouldn’t do that. He meant my thinking for me to do. I think that’s when I realized that to take the full control of my life that is meant by the self-control variety of the fruit of the Spirit, I needed to realize that I am actually the composition of how I respond to everything that is done to me, including what I’ve done to myself and what God does for me. In other words, if everything I am made of was my own doing, then it can all be undone and redone by my own doing as well, of course, not the things that were done, but my responses, which are what actually make me who I am.
-----I still thank God for Christ’s wisdom. Not that I have it all presently, but that what of it I need is available when I need it (kind of a Holy Spirit thing.) And what you wrote in your blog today is profoundly true; I know not only by the reason I am yet alive, but also by the fact that this simple principle you state is the same principle by which Christ and I overcame my manic-depression: deliberately do right, don’t expect right to just happen.
-----God bless you. And thank you for the profound truths you share.

Love you all,
Steve Corey