By Nancy Virden (c)2022
We are jumpers. Everyone jumps to conclusions and jumps when told sometimes. If we are to be more critical thinkers, caring about facts more than rumors, and interested in truth above any group’s approval, we will learn new jumps.
We all come down after jumping up, too. When our faith, or lack of it, depends on the moment, we might say we are wishy-washy at worst or confused at best.
Jump 3: Jump up and down (or believe whatever seems right in the moment).
New Jump: Choose Stability
Jim Elliot was a missionary in the 1950s who lost his life to a hostile tribe. Before he died he said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” He meant that disciples of Jesus cannot lose their souls and that for them eternal life in heaven is assured. Why do we fight that truth sometimes? What are we clinging to so tightly that there is no room for commitment?
It may be comforting to ride with the wind and not think critically about much. Ephesians 4:14 describes people who live this way as “…infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” As long as we only believe whatever seems right in the passing moment, we will not know stability of thought.
Jim Elliot was certain of Who he lived for and was willing to die for him. Do we have such convictions or are we mere infants?
True disciples of Jesus do what he says, imperfectly, sometimes with huge failures, but with hearts bent toward obeying him and honoring him with their choices. Each of us has a “sinful nature.” That is, we are selfish and want to be in control. Doubt it? Think about toddlers. Do they have to be taught how to lie and hide behaviors? No, they do these things without any help from us. As humans, we each have this sinful nature.
The book of Romans was written by an ex-murderer whose life and purpose changed after meeting Jesus. He wrote that we have a choice as to what (or Who) will control our thinking.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God (Romans 8:5-10).
Jim Elliott lived with a passion for his purpose. I can too and so can you. Jesus draws us into a life of courage and focus. Our beliefs do not have to jump whenever the time seems right. We can know that we know that we know, and stand on that solid ground. -COMMENTS WELCOME
Today’s Helpful Word
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. [italics mine]
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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