Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

What to Keep, What to Give Up Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

What to Keep, What to Give Up Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

If someone asked you to give up something you really loved, would you do it? Do we ever have to give up happiness? No, not when the source of that happiness is God. God is Love itself. God does not ask us to give up anything good.

Abraham learned the lesson that God's nature is only a loving one (see Genesis 22:1-19). Abraham thought he heard God ask him to take his beloved son Isaac and sacrifice him, in order to prove his love for God.

Before I understood this story in its true light, I really disliked it! I wondered how God could be like that. Then I learned a fundamental truth: God would never ask us to do anything to hurt one of His daughters or sons. Abraham soon learned that God did not intend for him to kill Isaac. God never had required him to sacrifice his son's life. Abraham then understood more clearly that God's nature is loving. The Bible implies that he learned to give up mistaken thoughts about God-thoughts that would misrepresent God as vengeful, unjust, unloving. Once again, God is Love. Growing in the understanding that God's nature is only loving enables us to grow in discerning right from wrong, truth from error. To hear God speak. To recognize what He is really saying to us. This brings good into our lives more and more and enables us to be obedient to God. As we begin to understand God's nature as loving, it becomes clearer that our own nature must be loving also. Why? Because God has made us each in His likeness (see Genesis 1:26). It is actually unnatural for any one of us to express qualities that are less than loving. While this may not seem believable or practical at first, it is possible to begin freeing ourselves from impatience, criticism, hatred, jealousy. How? By keeping gratitude, patience, tolerance-thoughts and acts of love-alive in us. We are asked to give up the unlovely traits, which God didn't make; but God will certainly never require that we relinquish anything from Him. …

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