If I practiced any religion, I guess, it would be Judaism… given that I am Jewish…
Until a certain point in my life I adhered to the “religion” of dialectic materialism, which teaches that matter is the defining and spirit is secondary. I even argued with my Jewish philosophy teacher.
I admit, I am not smart enough to even know what that means. That is what I learned. The words.
All my life I hated Christians. Automatically.
I am just, maybe the first time, looking why. Jews are hated automatically. I have been thinking about that, digging into that more and more. I am starting to have a deep understanding why, and I have stopped blaming the Christians.
This article has been immensely helpful in accessing my own feeling what it is that I find distasteful in Christians.
I am getting clearer… The hardest thing to know for humans is themselves. And yet, I have learned, over the years, from Christian religious booklets and articles.
This article has allowed me to understand what happens to a person when they decide to pay me for their starting point measurements… and what happens when they receive it.
Read this article, and I’ll continue explaining what I learned after this quoted article.
Why Do We Major in the Minors?
from R.C. Sproul May 14, 2016 Category: Articles
The Pharisees distorted the emphasis of biblical righteousness to suit their own behavioral patterns of self-justification.
Jesus frequently confronted the Pharisees on this point. Jesus said to them, “You tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness” (Matt. 23:23a).
On numerous occasions, Jesus acknowledged that the Pharisees scrupulously obeyed some points of the law. They paid their tithes, they read their Scriptures, they did a host of things the law required–and Jesus commended them for their actions, saying, “These you ought to have done” (Matt. 23:23b).
However, it was the emphasis that was out of kilter. They scrupulously tithed, but in doing so they used their obedience to this lesser matter as a cloak to cover up their refusal to obey the weightier matters of justice and mercy. That distortion occurs today.
It is much more difficult to measure the disposition of our hearts than it is to measure the number of movies we attend.
Why do we have a perpetual tendency to major in minors? As Christians, we want to be recognized for our growth in sanctification and for our righteousness. Which is easier to achieve, maturity in showing mercy or in the paying of tithes? To pay my tithes certainly involves a financial sacrifice of sorts, but there is a real sense in which it is cheaper for me to drop my money into the plate than it is for me to invest my life in the pursuit of justice and mercy. We tend to give God the cheapest gifts. Which is easier, to develop the fruit of the Spirit, conquering pride, covetousness, greed, and impatience, or to avoid going to movie theaters or dancing? We also yearn for clearly observable measuring rods of growth. How do we measure our growth in patience or in compassion? It is much more difficult to measure the disposition of our hearts than it is to measure the number of movies we attend.
It is also our inclination as fallen creatures to rate as most important those virtues in which we have achieved a relative degree of success. Naturally, I would like to think that my moral strong points are the important ones and my moral weaknesses are limited to minor matters. It is a short step from this natural inclination to a widespread distortion of God’s emphases.
This excerpt is taken from How Should I Live in This World? by R.C. Sproul. Download more free ebooks in the Crucial Questions series here.
People who write to me have some inkling that they are not all that… All that they fancy themselves to be. All that they pretend to others to be.
Why? Because their lives don’t reflect that. And your life doesn’t lie.
“In life, to get what you want you, need to deserve what you want.”
People swear to me, for example, that they are grateful and appreciative. But saying so and being so are two different things. Saying “I am grateful” doesn’t make you BE grateful, unless your vibration is already in the human being heights, around 400. Grateful is not a mind-phenomenon… Not a feeling either! Feeling grateful lasts a few moments, and besides: it is all about you!
As the article says, using its terminology, that is a disposition of your heart. And not a momentary phenomenon. A disposition is somewhat permanent.
What makes you deserve what you want is “the disposition of your heart.”
Your actions, intended or not, are always in sync, in harmony, with the disposition of your heart.
Pretend actions don’t raise the disposition of your heart, while the disposition of your heart will be truly expressed in your actions.
Cowardly, stingy, self-centered, arrogant, etc. disposition of the heart will result in cowardly, stingy, self-centered, arrogant actions. No exceptions.
Even when you pretend, some way you show your real colors.
By the way, this is why everyone’s integrity is so low. Because one thing everyone misses in the integrity statement is this: if you do what you said you would do, but your attitude is all about you, disempowering, then all your actions are on the side of no integrity.
“Nothing hidden, being truthful and honest, doing complete work, working from an empowering context, and doing very well what you do; doing it as it was meant to be done or better, and without cutting corners.
Integrity is being true to your values, standards and ideals.
“In other words, HONORING ONE’S WORD: Doing what you know to do, doing what you said you would do and on time, doing what others would expect you to do even if you haven’t said you would do it, and saying when you are not doing this as soon as you realize you won’t be doing it or won’t be doing it on time.”
Now, back to the article I am quoting:
In the work I teach, you actually need to BECOME someone higher than you are.
I know, I know, it’s a tall order. It’s hard… you don’t have to tell me. It’s a lot of targeted, purposeful work. It also takes time.
I now have four men who have proven to me that they mean business.
I have, at present, almost no women who are proving to me that they mean business.
WTF, right? What is it about women that they will take themselves off the hook, settle for less, settle for make-believe, settle for no growth… regardless of what lip service they may give me. When the rubber hits the road… they hit the break…
If you grow 1% a week, by the end of the year you’ll be 67% “bigger”.
1% a week is not that hard… But you have to work at it daily. A good spiritual practice, a different one every week, or keeping the one you have… and taking it a notch higher, will do it, will accomplish it.
Here are four examples:
- One of my students practices being a value recognizer.
- Another practices to become an idea machine.
- A third is practicing to become a Black American male without the baggage.
- A fourth is practicing seeing his voices and other people’s voices not effect him.
All these practices can be kicked up a notch week by week.
And by the end of a year enjoy a 67% growth.
Can they do it faster? No. The beingness needs to go deep. Needs to be consolidated, tested, become instinctual.
This is exactly what I did, by the way. 1% growth a day.
I am still doing it. It didn’t get easier… in fact, just like with weight loss, the last 10 pounds are the hardest…
I am working on the last 10 spiritual pounds. It is sticky, and giving me a hard time.
But I am not quitting. I am doing it for me. Not for you, not for Source, for me.
I am in the last phase of my life, I am 70 years old. I like to go out on the top of my game… Life is not an exception.
What is my “10 spiritual pounds” practice? I am working to become someone who I matter to myself. Who says: I am important. Who can choose myself.
Yesterday I asked for help. Now I need to accept it… both are wicked difficult for someone who decided, somewhere, that they don’t deserve to live…