Three Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood: On Power, Love, and a Sound Mind
The power-grabs of governments to extend their borders and, consequently, their hegemony are not a recent invention–nor are the arguments mustered in their defense. Both have a track record that reaches back to the beginning of civilization. But just as surely as they had a beginning point, they are destined for an ending–and it may not be all that far down the road.
For power-hungry governments the ending may yet be a little further down the path, but for every power-hungry individual the ending happens (as for all humans) just a little more or less than a century from the time it began. And that ending, whether for unrelenting oppressive governments or un-repenting, abusive individuals is utter, eternal isolation.
Power, of course, is NOT the problem; the problem is the mindset with which it is pressed into service.
There are basically three basic postures humans can take in all social relationships, and each can be expressed in English in five words: (1) “What is thine is mine”; (2) “What is mine is mine”; and (3) “What is mine is thine.” The first two approaches will lead, sadly, to complete and utter and eternal isolation from everything and anything that is good–truly a living Hell.
This is not “rocket science” (even though rockets are part of the power that nations wield). The first and second mindsets NATURALLY run counter to healthy, loving relationships with others.
Hell, then, is not the arbitrary punishment of an angry, egomaniacal “Divine Despot”; It is the natural consequence of a self-centered approach to life that runs counter to a loving Heavenly Father’s intention for every being whom He brings into existence.
The apostle Paul reminded Timothy, his young ministry colleague, “God has not given us a spirit of fear/cowardice, but of power, love, and a sound mind (self-control)” (2 Timothy 1:7). Love puts power in its proper place. Love acts in the interest and benefit of others. Love is “the most excellent way” (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:31b ff.)
Placing the welfare and benefit of others at the top of one’s life priorities, being willing to live simply, so that less fortunate others can simply live, indeed, being willing to lay down one’s life for the eternal benefit of another has never been a popular life path–but it is the only path to true peace.
In the Christian worldview, the quintessential example of the third path (the “more excellent way”) is, of course, Messiah Jesus. If what the Bible tells us about His “ending” is true–and I believe the empirical evidence points conclusively in that direction–there IS life (not mere “existence,” but the highest and eternal quality, relational LIFE) after death!
And so, it would appear that “[THREE] roads diverged in a yellow wood, and [we] . . . ? if we “[take] the one [least] travelled by, “that [will make] all the difference!” #Christianity #governmentpolicy #sharing #loveandkindness #sacrifice #governmentaffairs #governmentrelations #mutualrespect