True greatness

“I understood that true greatness is not found in a name but in a soul.”

St Therese of Lisieux wrote that in her autobiography when she made a pilgrimage to Rome (before she took her vows) and she saw many dignitaries of the Catholic Church behave as they are – humans – and not the perfect saints she originally thought them to be.

How often I make snap judgments about spiritual people – as a person who identifies with Christianity I tend to be most critical of Christians. I forget that they are human with foibles and faults. Maybe the expectations I place on them are really the ones I burden myself with.

Maybe I should remember that true spiritual greatness is not found in a name or title but in the heart and soul of a person.

Maybe I should give them and myself a break.

which version do you read?

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
-Marcus Aurelius

When I was ‘saved’ in a fire and brimstone Baptist church I was taught and believed that the only version of the Bible, or The Word of God, that was legitimate and directly from the Mouth of God was the King James Version. Perhaps it thought so because it was the only version available to the average person for centuries (I believe the King James translation came out in the 1600’s?) and because, in modern times, or for me, the 1970s, the language was (and is) so beautiful and formal and at some points beyond the average man or woman’s comprehension.

Some denominations still believe this to be the only acceptable version of God’s Word. But now there are many different versions, e.g., the Living Bible, Revised, New King James, to name a few. Whatever a person’s reading or comprehension level there is a Bible to meet that need. Me, I prefer the King James or the New King James. It is what I grew up on and feel most comfortable with. But KJ or NKJ is not for everyone; and that is a good thing.

For my brethren who believe rigidly in only one version of the Bible, I love you, but I do wish you would open yourselves up to God just a bit more. By accepting the Word of God in only one version you are seeing only the smallest facet of a multi-faceted God. There is no one version of God. The Old Testament showed the righteous anger of God. But the New Testament reminds us of His Love for us. And, those are just two of the innumerable sides of our Beloved.

God is bigger than you or I; He is bigger than any version of the Bible; He is much more than the Bible or Bible stories. We will never truly know Him until we have rejoined Him in Eternity because whatever version of the Bible we read it still has the taint of man’s opinion and perception on it.

The stain of mankind can’t be helped because God uses flawed men and women to disburse His Love and Light. Once that is accepted and that the Bible may, indeed, be flawed, the soul rejoices at the limitless possibilities that is God. The scripture, “The truth shall set you free” applies here because God is Freedom as much as He is Love and Help and Healing.

So be free in God today. Remember that all we know of God is what other people have told us and what we ourselves have perceived. And that knowledge and perception is flawed and distorted but God is not. Trust in the Eternal Nature and Constancy of God. Trust in the Eternal Love of God.

Sometimes you have to let reason go by the wayside and simply Trust in God.

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who am i to judge?

There is no right or wrong path,
There is only the path that you choose.
Whatever you choose, there will be many opportunities
for you to grow and expand.
-Kuan Yin

Just as there is no right path or wrong path to God, there is no right or wrong path to walk in life – as long as either path does not go against the Divine and Universal Laws of love and light to all fellow creatures, human or not. Who am I to judge the women who choose to serve God in the form of the Goddess? Who am I to judge the people who serve Allah? Or Buddha? Or Jehovah? Or The Great Spirit? Or ????

There are more aspects of God that my simple mind can ever possibly be aware of. Just as I, who was created in God’s image, have more facets than even I am aware of, there are as many ways to serve God. I have never held with the notion of ‘if you don’t serve God as a Christian, you are doomed to hell’ and ‘if you are not born again in the blood of Jesus Christ, you are doomed to hell’. Who am I that I can make such a hefty judgment call? Especially when my day to day life isn’t always in service to God but in service to self?

Who am I to judge? Only God is remotely qualified to make that call. Only God is able to see into the heart of the matter, the heart of the believer. Only the God who created me, created all of the world, can decide if a path is of Him or of self. If I spent the same amount of time loving others as I do judging them, what a different person I would be!

If I am in no place to judge anyone for anything pertaining to God and their paths toward him, then why do I feel compelled to do it? Why must I compare my relationship with God to others in similar or even not so similar relationships with God? Why do I feel so superior to them? What makes me so special that I get to be God’s right-hand woman with the vast wisdom and knowledge to judge?

There is a delicate balance between feeling confident, yet not arrogant; secure in God but not complacent; knowing who I am in God and knowing who I am in the world. These are skills I am still learning. So I try and try and try not to judge others, especially those who serve God. The bigoted grooves in my brain get in the way at times and I have to manually push the needle onto the next track.

My only hope is to continue moving forward with an occasional step sideways or backwards, but always, ultimately, moving forward.

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