Last week I mistakenly subtitled my article as “The Bible of Faith”, which is nonsense. It was supposed to be “The Bible on Faith.” After giving some teachings and examples of faith, I concluded it with: “Do we really trust God? Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Ro. 14: 23). But faith is a gift we can pray for (Ephesians 2: 8) One way He answers is to provide creative ways of thinking about our situation.” In order to apprehend such answers, we need to stretch our perceptions, or think outside the box.
Try this exercise: connect these 9 dots with 4 straight lines only, without lifting pen or pencil. (Very few people ever succeed, even college teachers.)
Give up? You may be “seeing” a box made of the four sides, and not stretching beyond it. This happens all the time. A there are doctors who refuse to consider non-traditional, non-pharmaceutical remedies, even though they have many times the curative power over fatal diseases like cancer, with no side effects. One oncologist was in a Baguio hospital suffering from Stage 4 colon cancer, depressed, not wanting to have traditional treatments used on him.
After taking a neutracitical remedy for a week, he got up and drove himself home, and has been fine ever since. Several of his family, all oncologists, were excited about this new approach, but other oncologists told them “If you go into this, you’ll destroy our industry!” There are Muslims in Europe and the U. S. who believe all other religions, and political systems, are wrong, and should be destroyed. There are Christian fundamentalists who preach eternal hellfire for all those who don’t believe as they do, e.g., about the Bible or being “saved”. The religious leaders at the time of Jesus could not, or would not, “see” God at work in his ministry, and this led to his crucifixion. Their god was trapped in their box, and therefore wasn’t God at all.
More to the point of this series, when the government in the late 70’s encouraged parents to work overseas to help solve the poverty problem, they were using inside-the-box thinking, and many overseas workers may be trapped in the same thinking, or non-thinking, at the expense of marriage and family relationships.
Here’s the solution: Notice how the 4 straight lines stretched outside the imaginary “box.” The Bible is full of attempts to stretch people’s perceptions about what God is like, and how to live, and how to be good and effective marriage partners and parents. I’ll be explaining some in future columns.
Now I’d like to conclude by suggesting two alternatives to working overseas. 1. Share with others alternative health products which really work. Imagine the satisfaction of helping cure all kinds of diseases and conditions, with no side effects, and earn a good income too! 2. Develop with others cooperatives/credit unions whereby limited resources could be pooled to establish little businesses. For more ideas and information, please email me at email@example.com.