Living from the heart

Share your experiences learning to live "In the Wild"
Post Reply
User avatar
AidaC
Posts: 3649
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 6:00 pm
the middle number please (7): 7
Location: South Carolina
Contact:

Living from the heart

Post by AidaC »

I spent some time yesterday with a friend who's having a very difficult time at work and she said that even though it's very hard at work, she's glad she's there. Then, she proceeded to tell me the great things that are happening because of the difficulties. When I heard her, I got excited because I knew she was seeing with the eyes of heart.

I've come to believe that God is at work even in the middle of those circumstances that we believe are bad and I'm learning to look for him there. I've found that when I can see circumstances with my heart, I get excited because I know I can trust God and it's going to be okay.
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
Jac
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:09 pm
the middle number please (7): 7

Re: Living from the heart

Post by Jac »

I am so sorry but I don't see it that way at all. Would be great if I could. Looking at my own circumstances but even more so at the terror pain and cruel affliction I see in the world around me. It is easy when we live in a more comfortable environment, like many in Western countries do enjoy, to blame others for their own afflictìon or pass it off as God teaching them something or "at work" in some way or other. I think God just does not intervene for some reason I am going to ask Him about if I get the chance to have my petty questions answered. Maybe one day it won't matter why He let babies and children be tortured or murdered etc etc. .... but I can't envisage such a circumstance. Maybe we really DO have free will (the pat answer to many sticky questions. If anybody had free will it was Adam and Eve. The rest of us are supposedly born sinners so our "free will" is pretty hampered. If free will really exists, prayers that ask Him about something that involves another person's free will decision are a waste of time. ) Maybe He just hurts and weeps with us when inexplicable evil happens and finds it as inexplicable as we do. He can't intervene or even produce that "good in the midst" of some stuff which is just plain bad. I find relief actually by not having to always find that elusive good work of God in everything. It is comforting to think He simply weeps with us. I am not meaning to cast doubt or scepticism on your experience of life. I am just experiencing and thinking about things differently. I am the first to admit I am really very confused and know nothing. No great insights here!
Jac
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:09 pm
the middle number please (7): 7

Re: Living from the heart

Post by Jac »

Sorry about my negatìvìty. I am not deliberately trying to be so. I just can't honestly put it all together. What does living from the heart even mean? The Bible does actually say, "The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked". I have reached the stage where i can't believe teaching based on the Bible about God that emphasises His love and grace and compassion etc and ignore much in there about Him being wrathful, vengeful etc. I know that we live in a different time but I am silly enough to feel for all the people in other times who did not know the love of God as we are supposed to know it. All the people in even our own time who have never heard of Him or the Bible teachings about love and grace. Many cannot even read let alone have access to a Bible. Does God have multiple personalities and we are lucky enough to not only know of Him but also to see the loving, kind, compassionate personality.
I guess what I am getting at in all this is that I don't see how we can trust the Bible. It really does say contradictory things. Surely we cannot really know Him through that book. If not where does that leave us with all the Scriptures we really like taken out of the picture? I suspect we can't have it both ways.
Maybe anybody anywhere in any time knows/knew God if they love/loved, regardless of whether they know even basic Christian teachings or even know what a Bible is or have any idea about being "born again" or things such as being "one with Him" or "complete in Him" or "having faith" etc etc. If we spent half the time we waste pondering all these doctrines and stuff instead just loving those around us we would make a better world. I don't mean the "love" that befriends people with a Christian agenda. I mean real love for love's sake. A love that is spontaneous and uncontrived; not forced in order to manipulate others or to feed our own pride as in "Look how good i am because i love people especially all those unlovable ones". I suspect pure love wouldn't even notice if someone was "difficult to love". Are human beings even capable of such love whether Christian or not? Does God even really love that way?
I just reread what i have written and wondering if by losing religion i have also lost my faith or maybe I never had any! Don't even know what "having faith" is. It seems to me to be a handy expression to answer unanswerable questions or to describe people we admire as having great faith or people who are struggling as having weak faith.
I am not sure if I should post this. After all I am hardly being encouraging or helpful to anyone. Can't even encourage or help myself! Sorry folks!
User avatar
AidaC
Posts: 3649
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 6:00 pm
the middle number please (7): 7
Location: South Carolina
Contact:

Re: Living from the heart

Post by AidaC »

Jac wrote:The Bible does actually say, "The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked".
That's an Old Covenant scripture which describes the situation prior to the arrival of Christ. In the Old Covenant, there's also a scripture that explains that there's a day coming when God's people would be given a new heart, the heart of stone would be removed and would be replaced with a heart of flesh. These are the days we live in today which is why in the letter to the Hebrews, it's stated that we live under a better covenant. Because the people of that day did not understand God's nature of love, Jesus came to reveal it to them. However, even in those days, there apparently were people such as David who did know him as a God of love. I believe God has always been willing to reveal his love to anyone from any generation who was open to receive it. Unfortunately, even today, some believers are not open to the god of love. Instead, they've chosen a vengeful, angry god.

I personally don't believe reading the Bible is a necessary part of our faith. However, I do believe it is a useful tool to understanding what believers have thought throughout the years. Since the letters were written by different individuals, there's bound to be contradictions as each person related their own personal understanding, beliefs and remembrances.
Jac wrote:If we spent half the time we waste pondering all these doctrines and stuff instead just loving those around us we would make a better world. I don't mean the "love" that befriends people with a Christian agenda. I mean real love for love's sake. A love that is spontaneous and uncontrived; not forced in order to manipulate others or to feed our own pride as in "Look how good i am because i love people especially all those unlovable ones". I suspect pure love wouldn't even notice if someone was "difficult to love". Are human beings even capable of such love whether Christian or not?
Very well said and yes, I believe humans are capable of this type of love. Love is like a circle. When we feel loved, we give love. If we don't feel loved, we have no love to give out. I believe love has to be put in us first before we can give it out. Sometimes another person is the giver of love but ultimately, all love originates with God and when we know that we're loved unconditionally, we can also love unconditionally. However, it is a journey so love deepens over time.

I don't think faith is this big mysterious thing that only a few people have. I think of faith as peace. Whenever I have a situation arise that troubles me, I can choose to believe that it's going to be okay because God is in it with me. That doesn't mean it's going to work out the way I want it to work out but it does mean that in the end, I'll look back and I'll see the good that came out of it even if it was hurtful in the process.
Jac wrote: I am not sure if I should post this. After all I am hardly being encouraging or helpful to anyone. Can't even encourage or help myself! Sorry folks!
It's okay. For too long, we've hid our true feelings behind a mask. We want you to be honest here. None of us have all of the answers but by sharing our thoughts as well as our doubts, hopefully we can all come to a deeper understanding. It is a journey and we're all on this journey with you. None of us have arrived so don't be ashamed to express your doubts.
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
Jac
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:09 pm
the middle number please (7): 7

Re: Living from the heart

Post by Jac »

Thankyou for your reply. I do see where you are coming from. But I still have questions I cannot get around.
If we grew up in a loveless home it can be very hard to feel loved unconditionally. Also it is hard when you believe you have escaped the shackles of lovelessness and determined to love as you were never loved only to have it all come back to crush you. Love became weaknesses and naivety.
Why did God wait so long to send Jesus. I don't think we choose to receive God's love any more than the OT people did; we are not somehow more deserving. Did David feel loved and forgiven when the child died? Then in the NT we have the story of Ananias and Sapphira. I don't believe God acted out of character for some special reason then. The whole idea, and it was highly effective, was to spread fear. Yet we are expected to not fear according to many who quote other bible verses saying that. (I sometimes wonder if Peter or one of the other church leaders actually killed them, that they had the power in earthly terms to actually enact the death penalty. But that idea is a bit radical, eh?) But there does always seem to be that vengeful God lurking even for those who know His love. I don't believe that in any instances of God being wrathful or vengeful it was only because the people chose not to know His love.
I guess i just can't put it all together. I guess I insist on feeling sad for people who have never heard of Him and His love simply because of where or when they were born and that in turn comes between me and a full comprehension of His unconditional love.
Last edited by Jac on Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
teresap
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:02 am
the middle number please (7): 7
Location: Epworth, England

Re: Living from the heart

Post by teresap »

Hi Jac, it could be that your feeling sad for people who have never heard of him because of where or when they were born is in reality God loving them through you. A radical thought I know but when you are so honest to express the doubts you have expressed then I think you get radical answers.
I've had to change almost everything I thought I knew about God and I've questioned the things you question so if it helps, you're not alone.
Love, Teresa X
If you ask God a question be prepared for him to lead you (very gently) outside of your comfort zone.
Jac
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:09 pm
the middle number please (7): 7

Re: Living from the heart

Post by Jac »

Thanks Teresa. It really helps to know I am not alone. The questioning road can be a scary lonely road if we don't connect with others on the same path.
ianstephenson
Posts: 693
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:25 pm
the middle number please (7): 7
Location: Southern Hemisphere

Post by ianstephenson »

.
Last edited by ianstephenson on Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Image
Jac
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:09 pm
the middle number please (7): 7

Re: Living from the heart

Post by Jac »

I agree wholeheartedly with what you said. But there is the whole being lost or saved thing. That is one area of Christian teaching that really is confusing. (I am looking for a better word than "confusing" ; maybe just plain "wrong" would do! ) It almost boils down to being miserable in this life if you want to be happy in the next!
I think that the whole Christian thing has had a bad effect on my connections with people but I am sixty-one so I am waking up rather late.
User avatar
teresap
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:02 am
the middle number please (7): 7
Location: Epworth, England

Re: Living from the heart

Post by teresap »

Hi Jac,
It's never too late . .I'm 63 :)
It seems to me that the Christian religion is so mean spirited and controlling. We are lured in with the promise of eternal love and as soon as we say yes then we are given a whole load of things we must do or our salvation is in doubt . . .TOSH. It is so narrow minded and self serving and I suppose it has to be if it is to survive, unless it keeps people in it's congregation and that's done by fear then the money stops and the organisation goes under, it is a hugely self serving institution which treats it's members as cash cows. . . and I'm not having a go at the members of the churches but the organisations.
The biggest threat it can use is hell and I don't intend to get into theological arguments as these are my personal opinions but honestly, if there is a hell ( and I certainly don't believe there is) then Jesus would be right there at the doors saving everyone who was despatched there . . once a saviour always a saviour.
. . .and whilst I'm on the subject . . the old testament . . why is it included in the bible . . but that's another discussion.

and Ian I think we limit God so much. If God is love then isn't anyone who loves manifesting a part of God? we christians are so elitist . . .

Best wishes, Teresa x
If you ask God a question be prepared for him to lead you (very gently) outside of your comfort zone.
Mark
Posts: 467
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:18 pm
the middle number please (7): 7

Re: Living from the heart

Post by Mark »

.
User avatar
free2behis
Posts: 906
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:06 am
the middle number please (7): 7

Re: Living from the heart

Post by free2behis »

Mark wrote:.
Very insightful indeed....
Meditating and reflecting on the experience of having a mind...
Post Reply