Sunday, October 27, 2019

Trust in the Lord

There will be times in our lives when God will ask us to do or experience very difficult and even scary things. Sometimes those things may seem to contradict common sense or our best interest. But the Lord knows the end from the beginning. It is very often the difficult road that takes us to where we want to be, and the easy road that leads to distractions and pitfalls. The way we determine which road will ultimately lead us to the most happiness is to seek the Lord's guidance and then trust Him when we receive it.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Without Charity

It doesn't matter how spiritual we are or even how right we are. If we do not exercise charity--that is, the pure love of Christ--when teaching or correcting someone, it amounts to nothing. Coercion may yield immediate compliance, but will not result in long-term repentance or conversion.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Yoked Together

The warning from Paul to be "not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" has been interpreted in a number of ways. Some have taken it to mean that we should not associate with or enter relationships with those who do not share our beliefs. But I don't think Paul's words are of a spirit of separatism. After all, his and our Lord associated with those considered to be the dross of the world and commanded that we do as we saw Him do. Paul warns against adopting incorrect traditions and practices from others, but I think there is another, deeper but no less important meaning to the caution against being "unequally yoked together." When we associate with others, we should not assume a superior or adversarial position to one another. To do so is akin to trying to pull each other in opposite directions: it wastes a lot of energy without accomplishing much (other than making ourselves feel exhausted and irritated). Rather, we should try to pull together. After all, there is much we can learn from one another, even when we disagree on important matters.
There may be times when our efforts to pull together do not yield productive results. At such times it may be the right thing to simply leave the yoke rather than to continue in contention and strife. But there's nearly always some common good that we can put our collective efforts behind. When we focus on doing that, we'll find that we strengthen one another and accomplish much good together, especially when the yoke that we share is the one given to us by the Savior (Matthew 11:29-30).