“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34 NIV)
The Big Brother, the Big Media, the Big Business, the Big Cop, the Big Gun, and the Big Religion all want us to live in fear. That’s how they multiply their wealth and power exponentially.
I suggest we resist that. By looking at reality through an alternative worldview, by embracing an alternative value-system, and by living an alternative lifestyle.
Kingdom and Righteousness. These terms represent the values of truth-and-love, justice-and-mercy that are inherent in God’s character through which God rules. These are better understood as “God’s governing principles” — the bases of what is ethically right.
No human individual, no human family, no human institution, and no human power could claim direct representation of God’s divine rule and impose such representation on the people. This is not a basis for the historically-unjust concept of the ‘divine rights of kings’ that became the religious basis of colonialization and other forms of social-political oppression done in God’s name.
We can only submit to these principles of truth-and-love, justice-and-mercy and apply them to our inner lives. As a result of our personal-spiritual commitment to these values, our public behavior and decisions then would reflect truth-and-love, justice-and-mercy in public policies within our respective spheres of influence.
Do not worry. A lifestyle that is truly governed by truth-and-love, justice-and-mercy is liberation from fear-oriented outlook.
Truth. Authentic living—that is being truthful before the Creator, being truthful with our being, being truthful with others, and being truthful with creation-care—free us from all forms of ‘fake news’. The worst kind of ‘fake news’ is the witting or unwitting habit of lying to ourselves. Authentic living liberates us from worries that ‘people might find out the lies we might be perpetuating.’
Love. Being the Creator’s love-funnel liberates us from worries. Loving one’s self with self-love leads to selfishness. One must learn to love one’s self with the unconditional love of the Creator. Offering our being as a funnel of the Creator’s love frees us from proving to others that we love them based on our selfish, conditional, limited source of love. Loving our neighbors as we love ourselves means being a funnel of the Creator’s love.
Justice. Living a life characterized by what is just and equitable to all frees us from worries. Treating others unjustly is like spitting upward; the spit inevitably returns to one’s face. A social activist claiming to be an advocate of justice must show proof-of-concept before the household, before the neighborhood, before the town or city, before the province, before the region, and before the nation. Unjust lifestyle at home would be reflected in one’s justice advocacy for the nation. A person’s justice-oriented lifestyle multiplies exponentially into various segments of the society. This is the basic foundation of any genuine, peaceful, radical social transformation.
Mercy. This gives us freedom to let go of the ‘knives and daggers of betrayal’ that have been thrust into our being. Mercy is a decision ‘to get hold of those knives and daggers off our backs.’ Mercy is first of all being merciful to ourselves. Mercy is being merciful to ourselves and being forgiving for our own sin of allowing someone to abuse us—that is, for letting others to continually hurt us by allowing their knives of betrayal to stay thrust in our being. Mercy is getting rid of those knives and not using them back against those who hurt us. Mercy is allowing our wounds of betrayal to heal. Mercy is allowing those who truly love us, those whom we trust, to embrace us again and not pushing them away because of too many knives thrust in our being that cause us to hurt when others touch them by embracing us. Mercy is being worry-free. Mercy is freedom!
Being liberated from a fear-oriented lifestyle one day at a time is what Jesus expects of us. The way of truth-and-love, justice-and-mercy is best practiced on a daily basis.