HEELHEID-Week9-Dag1: Sosiale gewete/Social conscience

St Bonaventure (1221-1274) het gesê …

Op die pad na goeie waardes staan ons nie stil nie; iemand wat nie daagliks vorentoe beweeg nie, gee grond prys. Om stil te staan is onmoontlik; hy wat nie wen nie, verloor; hy wat nie opstyg nie, daal. As ’n mens nie die leer klim nie, moet jy afklim. As ons nie oorwin nie, sal ons oorwin word.

2 Petrus 1:3,5-8: Sy Goddelike krag het ons alles geskenk wat ons nodig het om te lewe en Hom te dien. Dit kom deurdat ons Hom ken wat ons geroep het deur sy heerlikheid en mag. En juis om hierdie rede moet julle alles in die stryd werp om julle geloof te verryk met deugsaamheid, die deugsaamheid met kennis, die kennis met selfbeheersing, die selfbeheersing met volharding, die volharding met godsvrug,

die godsvrug met liefde onder mekaar en die liefde onder mekaar met liefde vir alle mense. As julle dit alles besit en dit neem steeds toe, sal julle met ywer en met vrug ons Here Jesus Christus beter leer ken.

In navorsing oor ons geestelike ontwikkeling word telkens verwys na die sosiale aspekte van geloof. James Fowler, byvoorbeeld, verwys in sy sesde fase van geloofsontwikkeling na die ontwikkeling van die sogenaamde selflose passie vir alle mense. Ons begin verstaan dat alle lewe op een of ander manier verbind is. Medelye met mense se nood en vreugde word kenmerkend.

Wanneer ’n mens geestelik en emosioneel groei, besef jy dat die lewe om baie meer as jou eie redding gaan. Hoe belangrik dit ookal is dat ons in ons lewe sekerheid het dat ons kinders van God is en eendag hemel toe gaan, mag dit nooit daar bly nie.

Dis duidelik uit die Bybel dat God se mense al minder oor op hulleself fokus. Dis asof die Heilige Gees ons uit die tronksel van onsself bevry. Ons ontwikkel ’n passie vir God se koninkryk, sy wil, sy naam, sy mense sonder brood, sy mense wat vergifnis nodig het en sy mense wat uit die strukture van boosheid verlos moet word.

Wanneer mense geleer het om God Vader te noem, sien hulle skielik helder en duidelik. Dis asof ons dan deur die oë van hierdie Vader na die skepping, ander mense en onsself kyk. Ons sien die blomme, voëls, berge en see, want ons het die oë van ons Vader. Ons sien sy ander kinders, die broers en susters wat hy vir ons gegee het, raak.

Kortom, ons ontwikkel ’n sosiale gewete. Dis nie ekstreme mense wat so is nie. Dis nie gereserveer vir Ghandi, die Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela en Martin Luther King nie. ’n Sosiale gewete is kenmerkend van hulle wat deur God die Vader, Seun en Heilige Gees heelgemaak is. Dit kan nie anders nie. Dis ’n simptoom van mense wat naby die hart van God lewe.

Vader, leer my om met u oë na die wêreld te kyk, deur die krag van u Gees. Amen.

St. Bonaventure (1221-1274) said…

In the way of virtue, there is no standing still; anyone who does not daily advance, loses ground. To remain at a standstill is impossible; he that gains not, loses; he that ascends not, descends. If one does not ascend the ladder, one must descend; if one does not conquer, one will be conquered

2 Peter 1:3,5-8: His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Research on our spiritual development focuses regularly on the social aspects of faith. James Fowler, for example, refers in his sixth phase of faith development to the development of a so-called selfless passion for all people. We begin to understand that all life are in some way connected. Compassion for those in need and sharing in their joy becomes typical.

When people grow spiritually and emotionally there is a growing realisation that life is about a lot more than our own salvation. How important it may be that we should have assurance that we are children of God and will go to heaven, it cannot be all there is to faith.

We know from the Bible that God’s people are focusing less and less on themselves as time goes on. It is as if the Holy Spirit frees us from the prison cell of ourselves. We develop a passion for God’s kingdom, His will, His name, His people without bread, His people in need of forgiveness and His people in need of deliverance from the structures of evil.

When we learn to call God Father, we see clearly. It is as if we begin to look through the eyes of this Father at creation, other people and ourselves. We see the flowers, birds, mountains and sea, because we have the eyes of our Father. We see his other children, the brothers and sisters he has given us.

In short, we develop a social conscience. It is not extreme people who have this conscience. It is not reserved for Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. A social conscience is characteristic of those who are healed by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It cannot be otherwise. It is a symptom of people living near the heart of God.

Father, teach me to look with your eyes at the world, through the power of your Spirit. Amen.

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