Getting the Big Picture

All things are wearisome more than one can say.  The eye never has  enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.  Ecclesiastes 1:8.


I’ve heard quotes from the Power of Positive Thinking many times in the past—I even own a copy which I’ve never read all the way through.  Most people take the advice from such a book to mean they can’t even acknowledge the negative because they might give credence to it.  The truth, though, is more complicated than that.  Negative thinking is dangerous and filled with pratfalls for sure, but so is refusing to look at it through the eyes of wisdom.

In the same way positive thinking to the exclusion of anything is self-defeating.  To think only positive thoughts isn’t the powerhouse many teach it is.  Just because I send out into the universe my wish-list and keep my mind positive doesn’t mean I won’t die in an accident or lose everything I own through some freakish market crash.  If positive thoughts could prevent disasters, don’t you think the world would be a better place than it is, since many people spend hours centering on a peaceful mindset.  To ignore the evil in the world is to deny reality just as much as obsession with the evil is out of touch. I’ve heard so many Christians refuse to look at a situation as something negative.  Most of us in the Christian faith have heard someone say, “I don’t receive that” as if a negative statement could force their future into it.  They point to Jesus’ statement, “By your words you will be commended and by your words you will be condemned,” all the while forgetting (or ignoring) how many negative statements the Lord made Himself.  This is a frustrating subject for me and I find it foolish in the extreme when I end up in a conversation with someone who refuses to even acknowledge the two truths.

What two truths, you ask?

We are dual natured, sinful and righteous; lost and found; good and evil; well-intentioned and full of selfish ambition.  The reason we need a Savior is because the old nature threatens to rule us to death while He’s healing us and guiding us out of it.  Believing anything else is foolishness by Biblical standards.  Outside of the Bible, however, anything goes.

It’s quite strange to me that other religions have less problems with the authenticity of their source manuals than Christians do.  For some reason we think because someone questions Biblical authority that the questioner and the questions are valid, which doesn’t add up all the time.  Most of the people who do the questioning have an ax to grind or do so in an attempt to justify their rejection of Christ.  The Bible is the authority of our belief system not because it wasn’t written by human sources but because it is the building blocks of our teachings.  If God didn’t inspire the writing, then everything we believe is bogus anyway.  If, however, He did inspire the message, then those who accuse the Scriptures of being merely manmade are completely foolish.  But whether or not the message is inspired matters little in the realm of knowing this is the source of our knowledge of Jesus’ ministry and message.

Our natures, however, deal us an incredible blow because we cling to the strong desire to rule our futures without God.  Very few will admit this truth but it’s nevertheless true.  How we know is that people will buy into the gospel just so far until it makes them look or feel good to themselves then they begin to macro- or micro- manage the teaching.  Of course, such “managing” creates a worlds within worlds of meaning to the Scriptures, which are pretty direct and clear for the most part—unless we get into prophetic studies.

Here’s my take on Scripture:  first we need to understand it as well as we can from its perspective and do our level best to grasp the teachings it claims are true from the original POV before we go off halfcocked and bring a bad smell to them.  It’s so irritating to me when people content themselves with surface interpretations of anything.  In other words, I’ve had people not understand the true intent of my words let alone the Bible’s and it’s so frustrating to communicate with someone who’s simply importing their own “truth” to what is being said.  Most of us hate this behavior and come to resent people who refuse to bridge the gap or learn anything more than their own perspective.  So I believe the people who will get the Scriptures the clearest are those who humble themselves to its perspective and refuse to impose their own preferred grasp of reality on it.  While they are doing such a task, they continuously question their views and conclusions in order to take their own understanding outside of the box they’ve either been educated to or have developed over years of social conditioning.

How does this fit into Solomon’s statement above?

The nature of mankind hasn’t changed over the eons anymore than the weather patterns or sunrise/sunset.  We still expect something for nothing, though nature itself doesn’t give us any hint that this could be true except by a happy accident.  We still expect to control the uncontrollable, which makes no sense when the world around us demonstrates daily the fallacy of such a view.  We are insatiable in our desire to see and hear but rarely take the time to consider either with the eyes and ears of wisdom.  Why Solomon is so frustrated as far as I can tell is that he feels like things are stuck in limbo—neither progressing or digressing much.

If all Scripture testifies to Jesus, then the limbo-cum-hamster-in-a-wheel state we’re in cannot be solved without God’s direct intervention.  Jesus came to interrupt this futile treadmill existence we suffer through.  Without Him life will repeat ad nauseam till we destroy ourselves.  The weariness of Solomon’s view reflects a life without the hope of eternity, yes, but it is also the reality without Christ in the daily perspective.  At the same time any reality which extracts the negative or positive from its view refuses to look at the whole picture and ends up with a fractured perspective full of half-truths.



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2 Responses to “Getting the Big Picture”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    This all goes with the fact that anything in excess becomes ordinary and in many cases detestable.

    Solomon shared a lot of wisdom with us but when we see his life from this side of the cross, there were many excesses and times when he didn’t apply the wisdom to his choices in his personal life. Sometimes I would swear I can almost hear the depression in his voice on certain topics. We all have those areas don’t we? If only we had listened to those who words that were trying to save us heartache.

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