is like taking poison,
for the other person to die."
-- Malachy McCourt
I'm guessing that the Bible has been interpreted in so many different ways as to be whatever anyone wants it to be or to say. It is also probably the most quoted book in all of history. As well, there are many facets of religion that surround and attach themselves to parts of the Bible. In addition, the Bible has been used in healing and as a weapon, as it also has brought people together, and held them apart. As well, it continues to be those things today.
I was thinking about Christianity in general, and Christians specifically, partly from some reading of late, and mostly from personal interaction and experience in the same time frame.
It is said that a Christian is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, termed The Christ, and known with the combined first name and the job description (Messiah or Christ) as Jesus Christ. And from my limited church training, I was to understand that to be a Christian is to be a follower of Christ (Jesus), and that the ultimate objective in this is to be as "Christ-like" as possible. In other words, to become as Jesus taught--to become like Him.
In all my studies of the Bible, and countless other things, it has been my interpretation that to be Christlike is to love unconditionally. To love our enemies, to love our brothers and sisters, to love our neighbors, to love the less fortunate, to love ourselves. When I think of Jesus, I think LOVE. To me, He is the embodiment of that which is love, and not just any kind of love, but agape love, or what I term as unconditional love. To love in spite of. To love in lieu of. To allow others to be as they choose for themselves, without any insistence that they satisfy me.
It's a high goal. It's challenging. We might think it is more challenging today with all that is going on in our instant communication world, but I think it has always been challenging. It requires a choice--to choose to allow, to love, and to forgo ourselves, and by forgoing ourselves, I don't mean to be selfless, because that often takes away loving ourselves. What I mean by forgoing ourselves is the last line in the last paragraph: To allow others to choose for themselves, without any insistence that they satisfy us. That IS unconditional love.
So, when I see or hear of Christians, and especially those who have claimed that for a long time, or leaders in their church, who are resentful and angry at other people, tearing down the other's buildings so theirs can be the tallest and so much more, I wonder what their definition of being a Christian is. And, of course, this doesn't just apply to Christians, but all people really.
To see brothers and sisters at odds with one another because of something as simple and yet so powerful as a thought. And when that thought is thought often enough, it becomes a belief. As it becomes a belief, it guides our actions, as all of that determines our character. It is sad to see the separation of people in this way, but it is their choices that I honor, whatever they may be.
If I could be even the tiniest influence to those that I touch, it would be my ultimate objective, passion, and desire to remind people of the depth, joy, and reverence of unconditional love. And, that to be Christlike is to be that, live that, spread that, and grow that love--practice that. Because, I really do think that when it all comes down to the basic foundation of all of life, it is love that is the energy that runs the entire show, and as we line up with the vibration of that energy, we thrive, and as we are out of harmony with it. . . well, that is the rest, isn't it? Or maybe the word is unrest.
If Jesus Is Love, If God Is Love, Then We Are Love.
Spread Some Joy Today--by being willing to practice allowing the joy within you to touch others today, and every day.