|Making human decisions within power of God|
|Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor|
|Friday, 21 September 2012 08:44|
(Editor’s note: This is the 29th chapter of a series focusing on various aspects of God’s power and energy.)
While selling supplemental accident insurance many years ago, a man came upon a group of construction workers who professed not to need any insurance as that would show a lack of faith and trust in God. One of the workers further explained they do not believe in lightning rods nor other protection for their homes or barns.
While the salesman was ready to concede having to “agree to disagree,” the other man got on his soap box and despairingly declared, “You have a hard heart for Jesus.”
In his view, it was out of step with biblical teaching to suggest he may have wanted more protection for himself and his family. Yet, for him it was not out of line to presume what connection to God was in someone else’s heart.
Similar arguments become more personal and complicated when the decision is about seeking or withholding medical treatment. Some people believe only God can heal while others allow the talents God gave to surgeons, physicians and other medical personnel to assist in the process.
Some religious sects prohibit blood transfusions, while others spurn all medical attention and instead focus on healing only through faith.
Both issues revolve on reliance on God versus taking an active role in human solutions.
Despite what many believe, the phrase, “God helps those who help themselves,” is not actually found in scriptures.
In fact, quite the opposite. The Bible teaches God assists the helpless.
There are, however, firm biblical roots of how God encourages humanity to work toward their own betterment as well as toward the kingdom of God. It does no good to pray to win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket. It does no good to pray for a job, yet never apply for one. The same basic truth applies to numerous aspects in our lives.
Two favorite expressions for living are, “God gave you a brain, use it,” and “Let go and let God.”
Getting those divergent principles to align in one’s life can be a tricky task; it is one of our greatest challenges as believers.
God has the power for miracles far beyond our imagination, while at the same time our Creator gave us free will to make intelligent choices.
We like to be in control. There is great satisfaction and pride in what we can accomplish on our own. Yet, there are often times we need to step back and merely acknowledge we can’t regulate everything in our lives. We especially have little or no control over other people’s thoughts and deeds.
Few issues divide believers and others more than the debate between those who consider themselves pro-choice as opposed to those who espouse the pro-life side.
Many find it mind-boggling how people of faith violate their own belief systems and take violent and sometimes fatal actions against others who disagree with their position.
Perhaps, looking at this from outside a religious context, one could argue logic says either life begins at birth or at conception.
Few people, if any, would be in favor of allowing abortions a day or a week prior to a child’s birth. Some say it is when the baby becomes viable.
At what magical point in time does the child become “viable” to live on its own? It is an arbitrary point in time and has become earlier and earlier through advanced medical technology.
No matter your religious beliefs or view on abortion rights, a logical argument can be made for an infant’s life beginning at conception. Decisions based on that conclusion remain very personal.
When faith beliefs are also considered, many believe through the power of God the infant is blessed with a soul at conception.
End of life issues also frequently venture into debates of God’s will versus human decisions. Should life support be used and/or maintained for a loved one diagnosed as “brain dead” or with other incurable diseases? Is assisted suicide ever warranted for terminal patients?
Such choices have torn many families apart, pitted doctors against family members and have tied up the courts for years, if not decades.
Few people agree 100 percent with all the ramifications and debates over the numerous faith-related issues of life. It is most-often a personal issue for each individual and their private relationship with God.
Thus, all we can do is honor the power of God. We also should cherish the limited power given us and acknowledge and respect that power within others.
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