Sometimes in life people make bold statements that they just can’t back up. Politicians and sports coaches saying things are going to change and if they don’t we will take steps to ensure they are successful. However, I believe it is always dangerous to predict definitive outcomes.
Jesus said,” truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” I believe what Jesus was saying was be careful about what how you express your words because it is what people will judge you on. Can you back up your statements or are they just made to justify your position?
Jesus didn’t mince his words he believed everyone has opportunities to be successful it just comes down to whether they are willing to take risks and suffer some pain that determines the outcome. Furthermore Jesus through his death and resurrection demonstrated that we must never lose hope. All we need is to have the faith to believe our words will match our dreams. Until then keep striving to achieve positive outcomes.
“Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matt.16: 24)I believe Jesus is exhorting us to have a social conscience. A person demonstrates this when they act for the benefit of others despite the fact that it might be at their own personal cost. However this is what we must be prepared do if we want to be followers of Jesus.
Just imagine if everyone took up that challenge of doing something for someone else even if it meant they were risking pain or suffering for themselves. The world would definitely be a different place if everyone was looking out for each other rather than seeking their own self-aggrandizement. Envisage a world without poverty, hunger, war, or unemployment perhaps then everyone’s life would have meaning and purpose. Hence we all would be valued and respected and thus not seeking power over others.
Consequently what Jesus proclaimed through his words and actions was the message of service not selfishness and this is the challenge if we want to take up the cross and be his disciples.
In Matthew 16:15-17 Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter replies, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
But how did he arrive at that answer and how do we know who someone really is?
I believe your opinion of someone is nearly always shaped by their appearance, actions and their communication skills. Firstly, the way they look can always create a false impression of a person it is certainly not going to give me a true indication of their thoughts and ideas. If I were going to judge someone on his or her appearance it would be both unfair and shallow as a prerequisite for further contact.
Secondly, how they act is often arbitrated by how I perceive they should behave. Does it concur with my actions or beliefs or are they entirely different to my views? Hence does that preclude them from my approval? I would argue your actions often mirror your opinions but it is always important to compromise to allow you to continue to build relationships.
Finally, communication skills are defined by how opinions are expressed. Are they done with honesty and sincerity and open to comment or given with force and denying anyone the opportunity for discussion? Hence there is no opportunity for compromise or respect for someone else’s opinion.
Jesus never worried about what people looked like, how they acted or what they talked about. He just asked people to express compassion and forgiveness for others and on this message he would never be compromised.
Sometimes our faith is tested due to the circumstances we find ourselves in. Circumstances that we can’t change but we feel conspire against us to make our lives difficult. An example of this is shown in Matthew 15: 23-28 the Canaanite Woman’s faith.
In the Gospel the disciples urged Jesus to send the woman away because she was not a Jew. However Jesus spoke to her and healed her daughter because of her faith in Jesus’s healing power and Jesus as a person.
There are two important things to take from that scripture. Firstly, never give up despite the circumstances and obstacles that we feel are placed in our way.
Secondly when forced into circumstances we have to put our trust in others and in God because we can’t solve every problem or control every situation ourselves.
I believe it is only when you view things differently that change can happen as situations and people are viewed from a whole new perspective.