Sometimes in our everyday lives we can get so used to our every day habits, emotions, diets, etc. that we don’t really stop and question why and where they came from. Do our habits and thinking come from our own source of original thought, or are we influenced somehow to beleive “this is the right way to do it”? A common phrase is, “Well, that’s how I’ve always been taught.” Whether it be how we think, how we stay fit, what foods we eat, what emotions or words we express, or our expectations. Most often, though not with every single aspect, there is at least one area of our life that we do based on traditions – whether it be cultural tradition, societal tradition, or family tradition – that influences the way we do certain things. And so, whether we know it or not, sometimes the traditions may be more detrimental than helpful to us. Let’s explore a few common subtle traditions or thought patterns that are stumbling blocks to knowing the truth about God.
Subtle Stumbling Block #1 – Thinking we can save ourselves
Sometimes, especially for a non-believer, one might say – “Well, whenever I decide to, I can just pull myself up by my bootstraps.” in an effort to give oneself the credit of success and the flexibility and freedom to save one’s self. This is an old phrase basically meaning that one can succeed or elevate themselves without any outside help. The problem with that way of thinking is that it is limited. Yes, we may be able to help ourselves become better to a certain extent, but we cannot ultimately save ourselves from ourselves – we need an outside force. The same can be said about the physical realm, from something as simple as observing Newton’s first law of motion. “Newton’s first law states that if a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line, it will remain at rest or keep moving in a straight line at constant speed unless it is acted upon by a force. ” So why do we think that the spiritual realm is any different? The spiritual realm has many of the same laws as the physical realm, even if we do not realize it or cannot see it with our own eyes. So let’s stop falling for the cultural lie that we don’t need to be saved or don’t need God’s help because you’ve adopted the common thinking of “well, I’m a good person and that’s all that matters.” That itself is a societal thinking norm that is totally false. Even if you ask people in jail, many of them might even say the same thing. So needless to say, saying “I’m a good person,” is solely based on each person’s own thinking and not based on God’s thinking. For scriptures even say, “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. ” So let’s make The Word of God and Jesus our point of reference for being saved and for our thoughts, instead of relying on our conscience which is unreliable according to scriptures. Even in the physical realm, ” In Aristotelian mechanics and in ordinary experience, objects that are not being pushed tend to come to rest.” Similarly in the spiritual realm, spirits that are not being pushed (by God) tend to come to rest (die). So let’s not follow the new age religion of self gratification and instead pull ourselves up to rely on Jesus to save us and help us. He is the best counselor for our success and saving.
Stumbling Block #2 – Misunderstanding the goodness of God
Many often question if God is real or if He is a good God because of all the evil things He “allows” to happen. Imagine if someone was watching a baby in a pool drowning and did not use their power to pick them up to save them from drowning. Of course, that is not good. In fact, I’m sure that kind of person would go to jail. Oftentimes, people think of God in a similar way – but it is a misconception. God is not involved in the evil of the world. That is Satan’s work – the prince of the air. So, we know that there is another entity in charge of worldly evil wrong-doing, yet somehow some people still blame God for the evil? The Misconception is that people forget that God is inside of us. He resides within human beings on earth and we must declare his power and presence in order for God to work in that situation. Thus, it is humans that are responsible for any evil that happens or does not happen. We live in a corrupt fallen world that is bound to have evil things happen. Our world is cursed by sin – what does one expect? God resides in heaven, and God also resides within people for helping us on earth. Thus, we cannot blame God for evil. For God is only in the goodness of the earth. He wants goodness, peace, healing and light more than we want it. “Now yes, yes creation sometimes screams a confusing message – fear, pain, grief,. Fire burns, rivers food, winds go hurricane, the earth shudders so hard it levels cities. But you must remember – this was not so in Eden. Mankind fell, surrendering this earth to the evil one. St Paul says that creation groans for the day of its restoration, making it clear that everything is not as it was meant to be. People come to terrible conclusions when they assume that this world is exactly as God intended. (An assumption that has wrought havoc in the sciences.) The earth is broken. Which only makes the beauty that does flow so generously that much more astounding. And reassuring. ”