TO GAIN a direction in life, we need some understanding of the world and humankind. This understanding may come through reason and science, but more often we are influenced and guided by the testimony of others – by their words, attitudes and personal qualities.
It is thus that those in love discover one another, friends accept each other, a career is decided upon, and a religious or political commitment is made. It is also thus that the Word of God is discovered. Therefore, Jesus speaks of the testimonies that accredit him: - his works, that is, his miracles – John the Baptist’s testimony in pointing him out as the Savior. – the words of the Bible that refer to him.
Some people say that since the Bible is the word of God, they do not need anything more than that to guide them. Let them know that just as God spoke through events and through prophets, he continues speaking to us through actual events and through spokespersons of the Spirit. Jesus rebuked those who believed they possessed the truth just by having the Bible, but did not believe in him whom God as sending them.
God instructs us in his way when we listen to what others teach us; in daily life and within the Church we meet people living according to the Spirit, whereas others only pretend to be religious and upright persons.
How then do we distinguish between what is true and what is false? How do we recognize those who speak of God’s ways from personal experience?
Jesus says that those who love the truth recognize those who speak the truth. Everyone values the testimony of an equal. To recognize the messengers of God, we must be the people who do not look for praise from one another, and thus are not enslaved by false values. Whoever seeks the truth and mercy will recognize a communication of the Glory of God in the words and actions of God’s more humble servants.
It pleases God when we recognize his witnesses. He desires everyone to honor the Son just as his Father does. By believing in his Son, we show ourselves worthy of his trust and thus become God’s children, open to his life.
The theme of my column is the Living Spirit. I believe that the Spirit of God is alive all around us and in the whole of creation. If we are really open to that Spirit we know what is true and what the testimonies of Jesus are.
Let us always remember that God is in control of our life and the life of others, and be open to that Spirit.
That is the implication of Christian Faith.
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Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 05, 2017.