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Dize: In ever-changing world, Bible still gives us helpful guidelines

There is one thing we can always count on and that is change. Nothing ever stays the same. We know this very well, yet we have a difficult time adapting to the changes. We adapt slightly better if the change is gradual rather than abrupt. We seem to need time to get used to something. But whether we are ready for the change or not, the world does not wait for our readiness.

Personally, I’ve had a difficult time realizing that by living a casual life, you still get behind, for time marches on. I could use up the rest of the words in this article by mentioning all the things that change from the weather, to fashions, to technology, to aging of products, to even our own aging. Meanwhile, through it all, our bodies are busily fighting to stay healthy, second by second, in spite of, the nourishment we do or don’t give it.

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In one of the churches where I was appointed, there was talk about not letting community groups meet in the church space. The reason they gave was that the groups messed things up. Seems very trite that we don’t realize, any space requires maintenance from the activity performed there. That goes for maintaining ourselves as well. We all know we are going to die, but the problem is that we live as if we will be here forever.

Some spend their whole life resenting new things and wishing things were like they were in the past. Some call them, “the good old days.” We need to remind ourselves to live life now because some day the now days will be the good old days.

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I believe things today are ... as they always have been. Yes, the world and all that is in it, is constantly changing but we are basically still the same. There are still the same seven deadly sins: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth with which we need to contend. The difference is that with technology and cultural changes things are not as hidden as they used to be and we also hear about it faster.

I’m surprised what some “nice” people say on social media that is truly evil and hateful. Their hurtful remarks need to be identified. Let’s call a spade a spade. Those who lambast the character of others are not being kind or helpful.

When someone is hurtful, we need to be outspoken about it, truthful and direct. Some leaders spend their time only degrading others. The gnashing of teeth that the Bible refers to, is blatantly being practiced openly and with pride. Let’s identify what they are doing for what it really is: covetousness, anger, envy, pride. Those things are not of God.

Jesus, our role model, states in Matthew 23:27 NIV, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

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Even though our world is constantly changing, the Bible still gives us helpful guidelines today, that if followed would give us a more righteous world containing righteous inhabitants.

The Rev. Ellin M. Dize is executive director of nonprofit NRS Inc. and facilitates A Course in Miracles spiritual discussion group at St. Paul’s UCC. She can be contacted at NRSsolutions@yahoo.com.

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