Monday, March 24, 2014

Being Good

I would get caught up as a teenager about how far to take "being good."

"So what your saying is I can't listen to any song that has suggestive lyrics ever? So basically anything produced past 1950? And I'm supposed to just sing hymns?"

"And it's in everyone's best interest to do this?"

And because these two thoughts would often be overwhelming, I would usually just resort to what was appropriate in my own family, how I was brought up (which is definitely not a bad place to start!).

But as an adult, my understanding has increased and I don't have that teenager brain that makes it so hard to see the big picture. I have reconciled these answers.

The answer (my answer) is this: start with the basics and revealed truths. Then, follow the spirit. Don't worry about if its sustainable, if it applies across the board or in every instance. The spirit may even guide you in a case-by-case basis.

And as to if it's in everyone's best interest, there is no telling (again, excepts for revealed truths. I'm talking about specifics here). It might be hard to understand in your so-focused-on-me teenage brain, but not every stimulus has the same effect on every human being. What might be tempting to me may not be the same for someone else. What may bring up bad thoughts or unkind ideas may not be the same ones conjured up in someone else's mind. I have absolutely no way of knowing someone's complete, inner heart.

All you need to worry about is you. What brings me, personally, closer to Christ?

Understanding this has freed me in the past couple of years. It frees up my time and energy from judging other people, deciding if they are doing it "right" or "wrong." It keeps me from assigning things that have been specifically revealed to me, my heart and my situation, and putting it on all people everywhere.

And I now feel directed in basically every aspect of my life

Music & media use
Temple worship
Keeping the Sabbath day holy
The role of women in our world
Money use & budgeting
Political policies
Scripture reading practices
The marriage relationship
Parenting ideals
and the list could go on and on.

In fact, a lot of those specifics I have gained are recorded in places throughout this blog.

The result is I feel led in my life. The Holy Ghost is a force that moves my life. And it makes me feel closer to Jesus Christ. It creates a personal relationship with my Savior, where he is involved in the details, my personal cheerleader for very specific "good" thoughts, actions, and feelings. He is on my team, and gently prods me closer to Him.

My dear sweet three children, you don't want to miss out on this. This culture that we live in, people argue specifics. And we can go on rants and raves about what is "right."  And we preach to the people who will be in our "camp" and despise the people who won't.

I don't want to be a part of this. I can choose to not engage. I will seek out those women and influences that touch my spirit and draw me into a better world.

A person can get lost in judging, the specifics of "right" and "wrong." One can spend so much time judging or feeling judged, that they forget what really matters. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the true source for our strength, and his relationship with us can be the ultimate guiding force in our life. Give him the chance to guide you in "being good."

Who can know the heartache you are feeling deep in side?
Who can know the burdens you've carried all your life.
Darkness fills the daylight and the road is much too long.
Where are heaven's answers and the strength to carry on?

When the night is lonely and your pride and fear depart.
When the tears have fallen and the questions fill your heart.
Think of how He loves you, how He longs to bring you home.
Reach out for His guidance.

He has walked your path alone.
Let Him Heal your heart.
Remember every promise He has made.
Reach into your soul and forsake a life of sin and
He will shine that light inside again.

Let Him help you start to live again
and feel His endless love.
Let Him hold and teach you--
love and reach you.

Let Him heal your heart.

There's no simple challenge.
Every road is not the same.
But every wrong decision is forgotten if you change.
Feel His warmth surround you.
See His arms are open wide.

Know that He stands ready when you start to change your life.
Never doubt His goodness.

Don't believe that it's too late.
He sees your every struggle and he knows the trials you face.

Follow and believe Him.
Put your trust in Him again.
Change your heart forever.
Let the miracle begin.

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