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There’s More Than Legalism ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: June 27th, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower, Common Sense, Hope, Humble, Inspirational, Love, Meek | Comments

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The primary reason that our legal system is structured the way that it is (innocent until proven guilty, beyond reasonable or any shadow of a doubt) is that it’s actually much harder to PROVE that we didn’t do something, than it is to prove that we did. We need protection from false allegations, be they subtle or rampant. There is evidence to prove that we did something, but only the absence of evidence to prove that we didn’t. Absence is hard to prove. There are means, motive and opportunity to speculate why and how we could have done something, but only no ability, reason or availability to suggest that we didn’t. Again, absence is hard to show. A credible alibi might prove that we didn’t directly do something, but even that can’t prove that we didn’t somehow indirectly participate in the doing of something wrong. That requires testimony or the absence of testimony. That’s why we aren’t suppose to have to prove our innocence. Here’s the catch in our system, we are a flawed people and we judge indiscriminately, absent of unbiased reasoning, wisdom and evidence. We don’t really care about incontrovertible proof, we simply get satisfaction out of judging, somehow it makes us feel better about ourselves. About our flaws, and oh yes, our sins. Innocence fell apart in the Garden of Eden, when the serpent (satan) convinced us to judge God and His motivations. It’s been a mess ever since then. Our destinies should never be decided, influenced or destroyed by biased judges or false accusers. It’s easier to see and understand this, if we ourselves are the accused, rather than the accusers. It needn’t be the same alleged crime or action, it just must include the futility of false judgement at work against us. “God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?” (James 4:12 MSG).

We almost literally jump to our favorite conclusions, leaping right over common sense, principles and trust, in favor of getting to what we want, when we want. This may simply be a matter of punishing others whom we have falsely and ignorantly suspected, are somehow worthy of said punishments. Rumors are incredibly treacherous. It’s not such an intellectual stretch to envision how this behavior can boomerang on us or evolve into massive chaos when unloosed. Moses had a lot of wisdom from God to relate to us about judgement and yet Jesus was still so disenchanted by our nature when He arrived, that He went beyond what most of us would consider even reasonable anymore, to try and stem the tides of our behaviors and their consequential destructiveness. “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” (Luke 6:37-38 MSG). Whether they be crimes, behaviors, attitudes or words, we probably don’t have the full picture about others to judge others. Every year we read or hear about someone being released from incarceration or a destructive albatross because new evidence has finally proven their innocence. Sometimes 10, 20 or 30 years later. That’s a terrible, unpardonable injustice which simply can’t be rectified. So, in the wake of Jesus’ counsel, the giving away our lives for someone else’s mistakes or conscious trespasses is a tough pill to swallow. Jesus however did swallow it whole and chokingly, so He can say that to us and we should listen. Maybe we can start our own rectification process by not judging, picking on, criticizing or condemning others, in time God will do that more effectively? Maybe we can find and deliver the benefits of the doubts. Maybe we can try giving instead of focusing so hard on getting (even). Because … generosity in every form, begets generosity, which paints a more mellow sunset of the landscape we’d all like to live in.

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Self Promotion ~ JC Calkins

Posted: August 26th, 2014 | Category: Humble, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Meek, Praise | Comments

Self-promotion is an essential skill set in this world, but in the world which our God created, it’s an unwanted, unnecessary and unwelcome distraction. Taking any sort of credit for that which God has enabled (regardless of how He has done that) will one day come back to bite us. “Moses and Aaron told the people to meet together in front of the rock. Then Moses said, “You people are always complaining. Now listen to me. I will cause water… read more