Friday, May 28, 2010

Thoughts on the Spirit...

I had the idea for this blog some weeks ago when the Journey began its series on health choices. Shawn delivered his message, and it sparked this blog. I'd intended to write it then, and I may have lost some of the thread, filler, point, or other parts of it, but hopefully nothing important. Shawn, I'm somewhat ashamed to say I really don't remember anything else about that message... eek.

So, in the course of his message, Shawn said something about all of us being connected by the Spirit once we become Christians and receive Him into our hearts. That short statement sparked this train of thought. If anything, I'd always visualized the indwelling of the Spirit as a... shadow? color? that fills the heart of each person. As a small, individual thing that we each have within us.

While listening to Shawn, I suddenly, and for the first time, had this completely different vision. I saw the Spirit as this large cloud. Inside this cloud (overlaid on it, if you will) moves each of us who has the Spirit within. This cloud not only connects each of us, it is larger than all of us, let alone any of us. It made me think; as Christians, our actions and attitudes have an effect beyond just ourselves and those immediately connected to us (Shawn may also have made this point). When we say or do something, positive or negative, it can, and often does, affect the larger body of Christ, whether through doing actual harm or simply affecting the perceptions of non-Christians.

We, as Christians, cannot afford to have the attitude of the rest of the world, the "ME FIRST!!" that is the mantra of most. "Me first" results in a thinning of the Spirit, a dilution of His power in the world. Not that we humans make God less powerful; that cannot be done. No, since He chooses to act through people in most cases, we dilute His power in the world by reducing the effectiveness of the body as a whole.

Paul says there is one Body, and we are all members. I'd never thought of how that should affect us. Think of a human body. If one cell goes bad, and affects other cells around it, making them go bad, and they affect others, making them go bad, we have a name for that. It's the most basic, simple definition of cancer. Even skin cancer can have an adverse effect on the body as a whole if left untreated. Similarly, as I've always envisioned each of us as cells in the Body (as opposed to things like fingers, feet, etc), if one of us is simply acting like the world, or worse, it spreads like cancer in a human body. In extreme cases, the tumor must be removed. The same is true in Christianity... to a degree. This is where the analogy breaks down; "cancer" in the Body of Christ can often be healed well before it reaches the point where it needs to be removed, which is the opposite of common medical practice.

So, since we are all connected to something (Something) larger than ourselves, we need to consider that before we act and speak. What does all this mean? Pretty much that. Christians can't be "me firsters". It's not the right way to do things.

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