Sentiment or Sediment?
Sentiment or Sediment?
We (Pat and I) received a lot of Christmas cards this year that contained the words faith, hope and love. Which is great and we appreciate each one, but I can’t help but wonder if the sentiment is real. The question which jumped into my mind is, did these words just look good in a verse written inside a card or did these words describe what is in the heart. This quickly became an important issue for me as I now ponder on the reason of why it even caught my attention in the first place.
One of the first things that I discovered in these three meager, yet extremely dynamic words is, they are dead (meaningless) on paper. We and I say we because I don’t feel I’m alone here, throw them around individually and in concert with little to no hesitation and unfortunately even less thought. I guess that is why I am being convicted to examine my heart and mind in this area! I got to tell you it only took mere minutes for me to figure out that as a Jesus follower I have a responsibility to all the people whom I grace with this and every greeting I deliver. It becomes my responsibility to help them achieve faith, hope and love; in as much as I have the capabilities and the call of Jesus. It should be more than a, “sound good saying;” it should be a personal commitment, in as much as they will allow me (or you) and God to help.
I have found it helps me to get a better understanding of this or any subject, if I look up the definition, both worldly and biblically; ergo I looked up the word faith in, dictionary.com, Faith; confidence or trust in a person or thing: belief that is not based on proof: belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.. For me that means believing in something so much that you trust it to be true, without needing absolute proof. The bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1 (NLT), Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Faith is a vital part of finding that elusive thing we call total peace (peace that passes all understanding), as well it is the foundation of joy.
The second term used in my greeting is hope and again turning to dictionary.com, Hope; the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. The bible spells hope out this way, Romans 8:24-25 (NLT), 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) Hope is the confidence which is needed to help us through those times of hurt, doubt and fear. Where we find hope, we find a way to cope and the more faith we apply to hope the more real it becomes. I think it is accurate to say we all secretly hope that there will always be someone around to care for and to care for us. Hope is the structure that protects our joy and secures our total peace (Philippians 4:7 (NLT), Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus).
The third word in the greeting is love, in-which dictionary.com describes as, Love; a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person: a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend. Again, the bible tells us in, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NLT) 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! As one can see, love is not a natural part of humans as we are born without it and as far as I can tell with my research, it seems most scientist and psychologist equate love to be the attraction for mating purposes. However, the bible tells me in, 1 John 4:10 (NLT), This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Love is the corner stone that insures the three words (faith, hope and love) work together to maximize our example of the lifestyle of Jesus.
Jesus gave me the hard line through all this research! I have to start backing up all these sweet sentimental verses enclosed inside all those pretty little greeting cards, I so eagerly send out. You see, I have to believe and mean what I send in print or say in word with true sincerity. It becomes my responsibility to seek God’s help in living a transparent life of good deeds through the love of Jesus Christ and to grow unyielding with my belief in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT), Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
My prayer for all going into the year 2020 is found in Romans 15:13 (NLT), I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit: and Colossians 3:14 (NLT), Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. Amen
May you receive God’s favor throughout the New Year!!!
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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