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Monday, June 18, 2012

The Virtues - Part 2

So, we begin with the top of our chart:

Let's assume that someone is taught about God.  The addict (or anyone else for that matter) learns who He is and come to believe that He will help him in his struggles.  God is the addict's "Higher Power" not in the sense of being a bully, but being someone who will love and protect him in his struggles through life.  In essence, this God is the proverbial 'cavalry,' who comes charging in at the last minute when all hope seems to have vanished.

This opinion about God is 'Faith,' but faith is more than an opinion.  An opinion is something that is taken for granted.  This is not.

The original word used in the New Testament is πιστις (pronounced 'peestees'), which was translated into English when the word 'faith' meant more like 'faithful' than 'opinion.'

Faith means not only that you believe something to be true, but that you act according to it no matter what.  Faith means you can walk into seemingly impossible circumstance and press forward even when you cannot see how you will get out the other side.

It is the only cure for fear.  If you do not have faith, then all you have is either certainty in a good outcome or fear that a bad outcome is approaching.  Fear and faith are polar opposites.

With faith, we no longer have a need for pride.  You cannot have uncertainty without a certain degree of pride, and the more uncertainty you have, the more you will have to rely on pride if you want to make any kind of progress.

The biggest delusion we can have is that we can fight our pride by deciding to be humble.  This is a falsehood and a type of hypocrisy.  So long as you have fear, you cannot be humble.

Humility has a foundation in certainty.  Even to be 'humiliated' bears with it the certainty of the embarrassment.  That's the difference between humiliation and shame: humiliation is the end result, but shame is not only to be put down, but subject to even worse outcomes.  Shame goes on and on.  Once you are humiliated, the bus stops and you get out.

Humility is the sense that one has 'arrived'.  Things do not need to change, they are exactly as they are supposed to be.  There is no further need beyond what one already has, and the outcomes are guaranteed by faithfulness to the source of one's faith.

One cannot have faith in one that will not save.  This is also very important.  You can't have faith in an idea, because ideas do not have the ability to cut through the entanglements of reality and get us out of our predicaments.  There must be a will behind what we have faith in.  Faith demands action.

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