Monday, March 1, 2010

Temptation and Truth

This week’s gospels seem to try to pack as much into one week of Lent as we could possibly try to take in. The readings give us opportunities to begin to change our outlooks and to seek to serve Christ and to make Him a habit this Lenten season by ending with the reminder of the covenant (promise) we have made with Him because of His death on the cross for us. Gn 15:5-12, 17-18

The gospels began this week with the devil tempting Jesus using God’s own words Lk 4:1-13 “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Of course Jesus did not try God, but answered the devil with his own wisdom, “It also says, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

As long as we are following God’s Truth, then God will guard us; but if we KNOWINGLY twist the Gospel’s message to meet our own needs, to follow not the Church’s teachings, but a person who is teaching less than the Truth, we put our destination of Heaven in jeopardy. We are putting God to the test, a God who as long as we are being the best we can be, is here to guard us and support us in all of our failings.

This reminds me of the times I have been in a continuing ed class, or listening to someone I believe to be an expert, where the instructor/expert said something as if it was the truth, yet, in my heart, or for whatever other reason, I felt like something just didn’t quite make sense. I would go home and search for more documentation, and, yes, the teacher had taught or said something in error. Regardless of whether the teacher outright “lied” or just misinterpreted something else that was written, everyone else in the class or listening at the time, probably took the instructor to be “right,” to be telling the “truth.” And unless someone sends an email to everyone, retracting the mistruth or telling them that the instructor had made a mistake, than there are probably some that will always believe this “lie” to be the “truth.”

I also think of the times I have heard someone say, “do as I say, not as I do.” We must not only hear and speak the Truth, but we must act the Truth as well. This is especially true when it comes to being good role models for our children. We can’t say it’s not okay to smoke, and then smoke ourselves; or tell them that eating a certain food is unhealthy but yet never exercise, or buy junk food for them to eat. Or what about when we disrespect our spouse, by talking poorly about them to our friends, and yet tell our children that marriage is a sacrament between two people who are committed to love as one, and as God loves us.

We are bombarded everyday by commercials telling us to eat this, don’t eat that, do this, don’t do that. What do we believe? What motive does a person have for telling us the truth, or for making up their own truth? Do they want to sell us something, make us feel good, or maybe even make themselves feel good because they get us to follow them? Who are my mentors? Who am I following? Are they telling me the Truth? Where do we find Truth? What can I be sure is the Truth? Do I study God’s word and the Church teachings?

We must be on the continual lookout for the “devil’s” who may tempt us by twisting God’s own words; or the “teacher” who is teaching less than the whole truth, or possibly twisting a truth, like the devil did, so that we follow the devil rather than God.

God gives us free will, and the freedom to choose, but God doesn’t say “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” He says “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jn 14:1-6

So is our choice God’s Truth or the devil’s truth? Is our choice Liberty and Happiness, or God’s Way? Do I try to avoid suffering at all cost, including the suffering caused by following God’s Truth? Where do/did our “teachers” beliefs come from? We believe in one God and God says there is one Church, a church undivided, a church united by Christ. We must study to learn and then be ready to prove what we are taught. We must be the best we can be, and live to fulfill God’s covenant by living in faith, not fear.

Dear God, I give praise to Your Truth, the Truth will set me free. I am sorry for the times I knowingly listened to a lie and believed a lie because it fit my needs. Thank you for giving me time to read, and the time to listen to your words, and the time to figure out what is really Your Truth. Thank you for giving me choices. Help me to always seek your Truth and to use that Truth to make the right choices and follow You, not just when I want, but all of the time. Amen.

This week I will seek the Truth.
Blessings on your Faith Journey this Lenten season,

PS: If you want to read more about the choices of Truth, and the Lies our society believes, check out the following article written by Andy:

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