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Where The Rubber
Meets the Road

{One man's opinion.}

Sometimes We're Just Fooling Ourselves

At any time, in any situation, we make decisions about the world around us. We make choices as to what we believe is true. What do we base those choices on? What we see and hear, or our PERCEPTION of what we see and hear? Is it possible that we choose our beliefs based more on past experience and training than on the evidence at hand? How adept are we at experiencing the present without being coloured by the past?

Sometimes it's hard to learn new things when we're used to saying things like: "I can't believe that!"

Never say: "I can't believe that". The only way it would be impossible to believe anything would be if one were dead or unconscious. Even then can we really be sure? Maybe when we are unconscious we are actively believing we can't wake up! (I wonder if that could be a factor in some comas?)

Or how often do we say things like: "That CAN'T be true" or "an addict CAN'T change" or "I CAN'T help myself"?

I invite you to think about this for a minute. Isn't it tempting, when you have a bad experience with someone of a particular group of people to say that you 'CAN'T' trust any of them?

How about when people say: "I can't believe that". Have you ever had the experience of telling someone something you know to be true, only to have them fire back at you: "I can't believe that!"? Kind of insulting, right? When you come to think of it, it's not a true statement. We always have the ability to believe, we simply choose not to.

So what's that all about? It's about not being willing to take responsibility for what we believe. If I were to say to you: "I can't believe that", I would be calling you a liar. I'd be saying, in effect: "What you are saying is not possible, therefore you are lying to me".

It's time to stop blaming the messenger if we don't like the message! We could say instead: "I don't believe you" or "I find that hard to believe". What is the difference? Personal responsibility! We are now saying, as it were: "I have chosen not to believe you and it is my problem if you are right and I am wrong."

Surely, sometimes the message is too scary or challenging and we want to avoid the truth so we try to blame the messenger. How often our pride causes us problems when we find out in the end we were wrong! We can be a lot easier on ourselves if we stay aware of the fact that we can never know everything.

Now how does this come into play in daily life, say in the areas of science, politics and faith? Any time we come up against a theory, policy or doctrine which makes us uncomfortable and we start looking for ways to support our stand, we fall into a very common trap. We set out with a premise based on a preconceived notion of what MUST be true and then go about looking for the evidence to support it, often rejecting any evidence to the contrary that presents itself.

I have often heard an argument that goes something like this: "I CAN'T BELIEVE that a loving God would condemn anybody to a fiery hell!" Well, you can, actually. The choice is up to you. God, speaking through His Son, Jesus Christ, gave a very graphic description of hell (Luke 16:23,24). Why call God a liar? And by the way, Jesus didn't come to condemn us (John 3:17-19). God's plan is to save, not to condemn- we already do a fine job of self-condemnation.

And we cheat ourselves, when we secretly tell ourselves that God 'CAN'T' love us. Not true. He does. He said so. Believe Him. You are loveable simply BECAUSE YOU ARE LOVED.

And how hard it is to forgive when we believe: "There are some things I just CAN'T forgive!" Why can't we? Are we better than God? He forgave. His forgiveness is available to ALL. Christ's blood was shed FOR ALL! Only when we allow that truth to bury itself deeply in our minds and hearts are we able to see our righteousness as nothing in God's sight; for who are we to hold unforgiveness in our hearts towards ANY human being, knowing that for that person our Lord also died and has ALREADY PROVIDED THE PERFECT SACRIFICE?

Is it easy to forgive? No, quite often it is not, especially when we are hurting deeply. We want revenge. We want to usurp God's authority. But the Lord taught us to love those who do us wrong and to pray for them. God's grace is available to ALL. ALL have sinned. ALL have harmed others and all have been harmed by others in some way. Consider the cycle of unforgiveness: when we don't forgive, we have bitterness. When we have bitterness we lash out. When we lash out, we need forgiveness- and we need to forgive.

We can. It's just a matter of choice.

Jesus came to teach us freedom through forgiveness- by example.


Revenge is:

-not sweet
-a vicious circle
-a road that leads to death
-a choice
-not a consequence
-being out of control
-a downward spiral into oblivion
-the offspring of pride- which is the offspring of hate, which is the offspring of fear
-a myth

Revenge doesn't work!


It is not what we see that upsets us; it is what we THINK about what we see- that is what upsets us.


(Where the rubber meets the road.)