Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 21) Five Months … April 24th, 2016

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Five months ago I began this series on “Reasonable.”

I initiated the idea that it is completely useless to follow Jesus–being Jesonian–without offering to our planet a reasonable nature.

Let’s look at our consensus:

1. Free will

Human beings have the right to make their own choices.

2. Liberty

The more we promote freedom, the better off we are in the eyes of God.

3. Unjudging

Take a moment, go back and find the people you’ve criticized and tell them what a jerk you were.

4. Good cheer

We need to begin to believe in the joy of our own testimony and life.

5. Mercy

The only time that grace terminates is when we become ungracious to others.

6. Humility

There is a built-in reward for pursuing our dreams with excellence.

7. Considering

Demanding more is the best way to make sure you will get nothing. Find what you have and delight yourself in it.

8. Priority

Just uncover the best ways to bless other human beings.

9. Leavening

Silently, but persistently, insert good into the mix.

10. Resilience

Survive the critics. Avoid criticizing.

11. Peaceful

Always arrive prepared to listen, and chat up if you must.

12. Repairing

Find reasons for commonality.

13. Logic

Consider science in understanding faith.

14. Living

Don’t be in a hurry to call something dead.

15. Doubt

To question is to care.

16. Purity

Just keep it simple.

17. Quietly

At least half the time, try not to be noticed.

18. Wounded

Use your wounds for healing others, while being proud of your scars.

19. Apolitical

If the government is of the people, then work on the people, not the government.

20. Silence

It seems that wisdom always arrives an hour later than opinion. Wait for it.

The beauty of these twenty axioms is that you could pursue one and change your own life and enhance the lives of those around you.

You could try one each week and literally create a radical revival.

Being reasonable is not a noble task taken on by saintly believers–it actually is the only reason that we are able.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 20) Silence … April 17th, 2016

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Silence is when I select to shut up before someone says to me, “Shut up.”

It is the definition of wisdom.

It is the personification of understanding.

It is the reasonable approach that an intelligent soul makes when further speaking will only produce more dissension.

Jesus often chose to be silent.

Matter of fact, history tells us there were many cults, religious groups, violent terrorists and wicked organizations around him–and he never says a word about any of them.

Why? Because they were irrelevant.

A rabid dog will eventually die. Your job is to avoid its teeth.

Therefore, it’s reasonable to be silent.

It is brilliant to choose silence at the right moment.

I choose silence when:

  1. Argumentative people are on the warpath.
  2. I am surrounded by those determined to prove they are knowledgeable on a particular subject
  3. Ignorant people are proud of their ignorance and would have no personality without it.
  4. It is obvious that I am not as up-to-date as others on what is being discussed.
  5. And I merely have an opinion instead of an idea.

We must understand that the passing of years, the passing of the torch, the passing of scriptural verses, the passing of a test or the passing along of tradition is not grounds to be heard.

But to those who believe it is, no amount of reasoning or cajoling will convince them otherwise.

Silence is the protection we place around beauty … until it can reach the eyes of the right beholder.

 

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 18) Wounded … April 3rd, 2016

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He asked me if he could have a moment of my time.

We went into his office, shut the door and he sat down in his over-stuffed leather chair behind his huge mahogany desk. With a gentle, understanding tone, he said, “I’m just concerned that you’re ministering from a wounded place.”

I gathered from his approach and facial expression that he thought doing so was a mistake.

I replied, “Yes, I am. I wouldn’t trust any ministry that wasn’t.”

Jesus was the greatest minister of all time.

He was also very wounded.

Long before they hammered nails into his hands and feet, he was born of a virgin, considered a bastard, chased out of Bethlehem, exiled in Egypt, rejected by his home town, denied by his family, criticized, mocked, marginalized, cast out, called a sinner, a drunkard, a glutton and even proclaimed to be Satan.

These things hurt.

The truth of the matter is, none of us are worth a damn to be healers until we’ve survived the wounds.

For lacking the experience of transformation, we have a tendency to be impatient with those who have difficulty getting over the pain.

Life is not about whether you’ll be wounded or not.

You will be.

It’s about what you do next.

And the first thing you should do after being wounded is bleed.

Not a lot. You don’t want to pour out all of your life flow and confidence–just enough to dispel infection. Then stop the bleeding, cease the self-pity and clean the wound.

Take what you know to be true–memories of how you’ve been blessed–and tenderly use all of these affirmations to expel the dangerous rot that would attempt to infest you.

Bandage it.

Your healing process is nobody else’s business. It could be ugly. Other folks do not need to see your scabs. Take a private moment to heal–and then, when you’re all done, remove the bandages and proudly display your scar.

A scar tells everybody that you’ve been through the battle but you’ve endured the wounds and are coming out on the other side, healed.

No human being can escape the wounds.

Jesus didn’t.

But we become reasonable to one another when we allow the healing process to move forward, while simultaneously offering to others exactly what Jesus said to Thomas:

“Come see my scars.”

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 15) Doubt … March 13th, 2016

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Somewhere between faith and unbelief lies doubt.

As faith is promoted as a God-pleasing virtue and unbelief is denied by those who are fearful of coming across calloused, doubt is universally regarded as a negative. Yet doubt is the most prevalent sensation that inhabits the human heart.

Yesterday, former First Lady Nancy Reagan was laid to rest next to her husband, Ronald. When asked, the most common response given by the surrounding mourners was, “At least Nancy is where she wants to be–with her beloved Ronald.”

No one knows that to be true.

No one is certain of any factor that occurs after human life has ceased. Our information is not even anecdotal.

It is based solely on faith–or a deep, abiding worry that we will be considered unbelievers if we don’t say something hopeful.

Actually, we all doubt.

So the correct way of addressing the issue should be, “I do think it would be Nancy’s hope to finally be back together with Ronald.”

That’s factual.

That comes from a place of uncertainty that keeps us searching, and also humble.

Jesus, himself, had doubts.

There were moments when he spoke to the crowds with great faith, saying, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

But time would pass, rejection would come his way, and in unbelief, he would turn to the multitudes who were leaving him because of his teachings, sigh, and ask his disciples if they were going to go away also.

Yet he would then land in the middle of doubt, where the balance of his hope and the tentative nature of his mortality could mingle, and he spoke in great mercy: they’re human. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

Even as he was hanging on the cross, he shared with great faith, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” But only moments later, he cried out in an agony of unbelief, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

But realizing that only his death would reveal ultimate truth, with his doubts intact, he cast his eyes to the heavens and said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Doubt is a powerful emotion:

  • It lets people know that we have hopes that we cannot prove.
  • It informs those around us that we still keep pursuing even though the present moment offers no reinforcement to our contention.

Without honoring doubt, we give up too soon, we divorce too early, we despair too often, and we abandon frequently.

Doubt is where our miracle begins.

It is when we continue to believe without being sure.

It is Jesus who shouted in faith, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son,” only to be cast aside by his brethren and to bitterly tell them “not to weep for him, but for their own children and themselves.”

Not positive, not negative, but with a certain amount of doubt, he finally landed on the balance:

“Whosoever will may come.”

Doubt is where faith continues its work–to avoid the emptiness of unbelief.

 

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 13) Logic … February 28th, 2016

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Logic is knowing what to use, how much to apply, how long to pursue and who to involve.

Logic is often avoided because people want to revere words like “faith” or “perseverance.”

Unfortunately, because we’re human beings, we often ignore logic–not out of some noble venture of scanning the heavens but rather, due to a stubborn nature or lazy disposition.

There are even those who contend that if they are true believers in a Divine Being, they must reject logic in favor of hope.

But in the Jesonian, we have the balance:  it’s knowing when to apply the right measure of faithful effort.

For sometimes …

1. Let it pay out.

In other words, get your hands on it.

It’s not anybody else’s business but yours. It is in the scope of your ability. It is part of your daily bread. It is the talent that has been given to you, which needs to be multiplied. It is God, sitting back in his easy chair in heaven, waiting for you to take authority.

It is important to know when we are supposed to get our hands on it and mold it into something beautiful.

2. Let it play out.

Get your hands off of it.

Once it has become obvious that our input is counterproductive or useless, the quicker we abandon the present dilemma and move on, the better the chance that the Natural Order can play it out and good things can be born.

We spend too much time arguing at walls about why they are there. We are not called to knock down walls. We are to avoid the walls, and let Mother Nature tear down the barricade.

People ask me what I think about certain issues. Truthfully, I don’t. They are often anti-human, anti-kindness, anti-wisdom and certainly anti-logic.

My job is to let it play out and get my hands off of it.

3. Let it pray out.

Get God’s hands on it.

There is a gap between what we are able to achieve and what needs to be done. It is what the Good Book calls the “need” that God is prepared to supply.

God will always give us wisdom and strength, and sometimes it is His good pleasure to give us the Spirit to intervene on behalf of humanity.

When something is important and your hands cannot touch it, and other hands need to be removed from it, then put it in God’s hands.

This three-part anointing of logic will suit you well in everyday life–just by simply posing the question:

Whose hands are needed here?

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 12) Repairing … February 21st, 2016

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Jews hated Samaritans. And by the way, the Samaritans were very willing to do their part to uphold the grudge.

Pharisees despised Romans. The Romans basically ignored them–until they occasionally got a murderous urge.

Zealots fought the Legionnaires. It was an unfair battle–Rome had too many weapons.

Lepers were separated from healthy people–and not nicely, may I add.

Men hated women. Women were in bondage to men.

Merchants killed thieves. Thieves stole from merchants.

This is the scene that was in full force when Jesus of Nazareth stepped into the melee to express his voice.

What pressure was put upon him? “Pick a side.”

  • The Jews got mad because he wasn’t Jewish enough.
  • The Romans were unimpressed because he was raised Jewish.
  • Even the Judeans and the Galileans–who were both Jewish–looked down upon one another, always pushing and shoving for predominant favor.

What did he do?

He set out repairing.

Rather than picking the Jewish side or the Samaritan side, grabbing a placard and protesting, he went to the Samaritans and to the Jews with the same message.

Rather than grabbing a sword and becoming a Zealot, his communication was that it was more important to give to the Romans what belonged to the Romans and to give to God what belonged to God.

He upset the Judeans by inviting Galileans to be his disciples.

And he really pissed off the boys from Galilee by appointing the Judean to be treasurer.

He touched lepers to heal them, which scared the hell out of his hypochondriac-followers.

And rather than submitting to a teaching arena, which was segregated for men, he blended men and women into a common camp of discovery.

You can’t repair if you’re going to insist that one side is better than another.

For instance, you will never be able to solve the problems in the Middle East if you favor the Jews over the Muslims or the Muslims over the Jews.

It is a reasonable process to go about the business of repairing. But to do it, you have to keep three things in mind:

1. Find the breach.

In other words, where has this group over here decided to hate that group over there, and how willing are you to stand between the two?

Since the black community feels persecuted by the police, and the cops feel targeted by that community, it is important for someone to stand in the middle, clean up the corruption in the police force, and teach the black community how to represent itself clearly and well in our society.

If you’re always going to try to find the victim, you’ll spend all of your time bandaging wounds instead of healing conflicts.

2. Situate yourself in the middle.

Black lives matter. Absolutely. No doubt about it.

Policemen have to make too many split-second decisions while holding life-threatening weapons. Absolutely.

Both camps need to realize the weakness and the strength of the other.

You can’t minister to Republicans if you’re a Democrat. And you sure can’t reach Democrats if you’re pounding them with the politics of Ronald Reagan.

Situate yourself in the middle where repair is needed and the breach is obvious.

3. Reach out in both directions.

Jesus found himself on the cross, nailed between two thieves, one hand reaching to the right and the other to the left. From that position, he was trying to salvage two lives which would soon be extinguished.

You can not repair if you choose to believe that one side is better than the other.

It is reasonable to go about the business of repairing.

You will have to free yourself of the unnecessary need of having an opinion on everything … and instead have a yearning to bridge the gap.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 10) Resilience … February 7th, 2016

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Your personal resilience is truly a great gift you can impart to yourself, and even a greater blessing to bestow upon others.

Walking through life believing that you’re going to overcome all difficulty through perseverance or prayer is a cruel and unusual punishment.

Life never intended to please you. This is reasonable. Life actually offers a blank canvas which occasionally arrives already marred.

There are five tribulations which are common in the human experience. Failure to realize this causes us to develop a childish mentality. It begins this way:

I plan something.

Reaction 1:  Inconvenience. In other words, something came up.

I’m sure you know people who become exasperated over inconvenience, when it is actually the least pernicious of the five tribulations. If I am going to be a reasonable human being, possessing resilience, I must be prepared to evolve.

Because often, after inconvenience comes obstacle. Something is in the way.

I’ve never had a plan that didn’t require some adjustment. It is inevitable.

And obstacles often lead to resistance. Someone is disagreeing.

Truthfully, I can’t think of any statement you could make without having someone disagree with it. This is why each and every one of us must make sure that we actually believe in what we’re doing and we’re ready to reason with our adversaries instead of attacking them.

And I’m sure you are fully aware that resistance can lead to criticism. That’s when those who disagree with you decide to take a stand against you.

Butting one’s head against the wall is what produces headaches. When I run across people who are against what I’m doing and reasoning has failed to reach them, I know it is time to relocate. A plan that fails to work in Location 1 might work better in Location 2, where you don’t have to struggle with your enemies.

And finally, you can run across downright refusal. Progress is blocked.

This is when you must count the cost and have a Plan B ready, which honors Plan A, but separates itself enough from the original idea that those who have blocked your “A game” plan are ill-prepared to prohibit the new idea.

For instance, I’m not so sure that Jesus was supposed to die on a cross, but when human beings became hypocritical and religious, God had a Plan B to grant us salvation.

Resilience is knowing that inconvenience, obstacles, resistance, criticism and even refusal loom on the horizon.

Those who are reasonable in the Spirit have prepared for such eventualities by evolving, adjusting, reasoning, relocating or if necessary, even implementing Plan B.

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