For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.(2 Timothy Chapter 1 verse 7)
We awaken today in Britain to a divided country. To say whether I am happy or unhappy about the result would take this blog down a path that I don’t intend for it to go, and according to the statistics of the result may lose me half my friends! The blog really is about real help for real people from a real God. Its purpose is pastoral, rather than to trumpet causes, beyond trying to help us hear with Christ’s love and compassion the voice of the weak and the poor and the persecuted.
However, I do want to briefly speak of a regret: much of the campaign of both sides leading up to the vote was based on promoting fear rather than addressing or acknowledging or discussing facts. To me, regardless of how I or you voted, it concerns me that facts are often dismissed in a cavalier way these days, especially when they do not back up what I want to be the case. Henri Nouwen says that growing maturity is an ability to adjust to newly discovered facts and take them on board. I am not sure we saw much encouragement to maturity of decision making coming from either side. I cannot prove it but I wonder whatever way people voted if fear was quite a strong “reason” behind the decision they made, albeit that it might have been in there with other more positive reasons why people chose to vote as they did. By the way, I acknowledge that not all fears are groundless. Some are based on fact.
I hope you know that as a Christian it is never a good idea to base your living on fear – see the text above from 2 Timothy. I hope too that you have a faith that is mature, that is able to take facts on board as you meet them. For some this day that may be the fact of long term illness,of prayer not being answered the way we had hoped, or the fact of what is happening in your family, or the fact of what is happening in the country.
I mainly inhabit a part of the Christian world that can sometimes shun facts and stay in a place of immaturity. People that I love dearly and admire greatly have told me over the course of my illness in the face of disappointing medical reports etc that these tests and reports are lies and I am to call them such. I cannot and will not do that, for it is an encouragement to live life as though facts were not facts, a world of immaturity of faith. (I can imagine some saying right now, “Well. there you are, that is why Kenny has not been healed!” Though it sounds arrogant, I humbly say to that on behalf of myself and the hundreds of thousands of unhealed Christians, “Rubbish!”) Truth and reality must ever be linked. We are not on the ground of faith when we call facts lies but are on a road to fantasy and possible mental illness. Faith is not calling facts lies or refusing to give them full weight. It sees the way things are, but it sees this too, that God reigns. It knows that our God is able to deliver but if He does not deliver in the way we hope, then we are not suddenly going to give up our loyalty and faithfulness to Him, nor lose our faith in Him, but will ask for His help to praise Him and trust Him still.
I hope today in the face of facts you might not give way to fear, but that the grace of God and Holy Spirit strengthened faith in Him will help you to lay hold of the power and love and sound mind that we can discover in Christ.
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