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Eternal Perspectives: We All Have the Need to Belong


Our human nature might rebel about having to depend on others. As a kid, my twin sis and I relied on each other for almost everything. Later I learned to live without that dependence, but I also learned that I can’t live happily without some outside dependence. I’ve learned that I can’t live happily without depending on the Lord for my needs. How is it with you?


ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair


Belonging


The Lord created us with the need to be with others. The book of Genesis declares such a truth, that of providing Adam with a wife and resulting family. Family is important. We even see it in most animals. Cows and elephants stay in herds, sheep in flocks, and, as the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together.


Yet many of us reach a point in our lives when we dream about being on our own, being more independent. Who hasn't rejoiced, on reaching age 21, in the freedom of belonging only to ourselves? Even many married couples, though relishing the safety and comfort of belonging to each other, often keep some of their autonomy and independence.


No one is totally free of constraints, belonging only to themselves. All of us, even the most self-sufficient person, must depend on others for the necessities of life: food, clothing and shelter, companionship, love, and acceptance. Each of us must choose on whom we should depend for our needs. Who should guard our house, the neighbor, or a security system? Who should we trust with our secrets, a good friend, or the neighborhood store clerk? Can we trust anyone for all our needs?


The truth is, only God is trustworthy enough to fill all our needs. And depending on the choices we make, we either belong to God or not. If we choose to belong to Him, we gain freedom from sin. That's quite a paradox—freedom by belonging—because belonging implies slavery.


The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 6:22-23: "Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Many other biblical verses enumerate the benefits we reap when we choose to belong to God.


Paul’s biblical truth is dramatically brought out in films such as "The Passion of Christ" by Mel Gibson and other Christian films that portray such a dramatic truth. What better time to watch an uplifting movie than during our present pandemic, or during a time of difficulty, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual?


Lord God, forgive us for wanting to be independent of You. Help us to remember daily the marvelous truth of what You did for us through the suffering and death of Your only Son, Jesus. Cause us to want to be totally dependent on Your love, peace, and wholeness. Thank You for freeing us from the punishment of sin so we can become slaves to You. In Jesus' name, amen



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