A program of attraction, rather than promotion.OR
"If I be lifted up.. I will draw all men unto me"
(this line lovingly added for those who really don't understand the first line)
There's a lot to be said around this, but as I was talking with a close friend last night, my head was spinning with principles that were founded in 12 step recovery, steps that apply to a relationship with God and the foundation of a spiritual program. So often we promote Christ and Christianity with our mouths. We wave the bible, the commandments and use them as tools like crusaders to force a conversion or compliance within another.Our actions indicate that we believe that we must lift Christ with a sword or a threat. I hear folks tell others what Jesus thinks all the time. However, whenever Jesus was involved...it was all about attraction. Jesus never sent folks out into the street with tracts advertising his latest big speech, or made announcement on Temple Radio. People were drawn to him once they saw who he was. To his closest, he issued an invitation - once he saw their interest. The masses never needed inviting. He showed up...and they started showing up. That's attraction in its most magnetic form.
The question is, with His life as our example - why do we feel the need to do it differently? The difference I suppose, is religion - not relationship. I love and respect my closest. I love and respect their families. Because I love them, I want to live the best life I know how so that within me (as I saw with my own mother) they will see something to aspire to. They will see (as I have see in scripture and in my life) failures, stubbornness, bad decisions but also humility, willingness to change, thoughtfulness. My wish is for them to never see that it's all about me. But that they see it's all about the process of the relationship with God. And that process has nothing directly to do with anyone else other than me ( not the church I go to, the work I do or the people I know - or think might judge me). My life, My testimony, My story is my sermon. The choices I make, the things I say and do become my personal witness without ever quoting a scripture (that no one asked to hear), or providing my opinion on what God thinks (aka doing the work of the Holy Spirit). You know a tree by the fruit it bears. You know a person by the impact they have.
What we must all do to be champion attractors for deep spiritual walk with God - is to go within, examine the barriers in our own lives - confess those to God and others so that they may be cleared from your life - admit our state of powerlessness over EVERYTHING that we cannot change - give it to God - and then taking his hand become partners in making it better.
I have seen this process work in more lives that you can imagine. However, most of those lives have NOT been within the organized religious circles. Many who have this process sit in those circles - but many also sit who do not. Most of us do not have 40 years with which to wander around in the wilderness trying to figure it all out on our own. Take the first step towards peace and serenity - now.
This seems almost too simple to be true, but acceptance -- accepting things exactly as they are -- can be the key that unlocks the door to happiness.As you read the passage below replace "alcoholism" and "sober" with the things/behaviours/people you cannot accept - then read it again.
It may be one of the most referenced passages in recovery literature. It's from Page 449 of Alcoholics Anonymous or The Big Book as it is widely known:
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.
In its simplest term - that last sentence is a prayer. "Lord, change me.....fix.....me." If that's all you asked for and God granted....the end result .....happiness