In seventeenth-century England, convinced meant proven guilty. It was a term used in the courtroom, similar to “convicted.” A person became a convinced Quaker after being shown the errors of his or her ears, admitting them, surrendering to God’s judgment, and becoming liberated for a new kind of life. The Light reveals all the internal thoughts, mental patterns, and fantasies that resist the work of God. Although it is painful to see one’s internal conflict, continuing to face the Light and to see what it reveals in one’s own mind, heart, and behavior allows God to refine, or melt away, the inner impediments to the Light. – Marcelle Martin, Our Life Is Love, p. 62
In order to know real fellowship and connection, we must be willing to suffer.
We all want to be the hero of our own story. Unfortunately, every one of us has played the villain.
Do we focus on others’ vices to avoid looking at our own?
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” – John 8:42-47 I don’t know the origin of the notion that “we are all children of God.” It doesn’t seem to come from the Jewish …
The judgment of God isn’t pleasant to think about, but the idea that God makes no distinction between someone who suffers for righteousness and someone who cheerfully inflicts suffering is too terrible to contemplate.
What is the role of the Christian in Babylon?
It is easy to think that “being your authentic self” and living with integrity are the same thing, but are they?
Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be …
We are made worse when we look for the worst in others.