We are living in an age where hatred and violence have become common place; we wake up to bad news of shootings (in schools, churches, malls, at Walmart), and in the last episode there were two of them within 24 hours!
I will give you a little background story and try to demonstrate (in my own views) what I think God is searching for out of us, and I hope, maybe, it will help you—the general population (or whoever reads this)!
Going to church as a young child often felt like a scary experience—I knew that the priest was often telling us ‘not to do something,’ and that if we did, ‘we would go to hell’ and God would not let us into heaven.
Don’t get me wrong, though, I have many beautiful memories of attending mass, especially on holidays. But I distinctively remember being aware that I had to learn more than this, because I knew that just going to church would not give me the full experience.
I knew God was great, but I wanted to understand him better. God was not one of vengeance and retribution, God was not one eager to send people to the fire pit; I knew God loved me, and even more so, now, I’ve learned how much He loves the outcast, those who are difficult, and even unlikable.
As an adult who has read and done my own research, sought after truth, studied and prayed (a lot), I have some favorite authors and people that I follow, some of which I have never met. But they are on my Twitter (Thank God Twitter is about more than the tweets of Donald Trump)!
So much of our faith is about love. There is a place referred to as ‘Hades’ in the bible, but I’ll admit, I’m not sure exactly what the translation is, I believe it means some form of hell, though. I am no Greek scholar, I do not know Latin, and I am no expert on the bible. However, I have read many parts of it. In case you’re interested, the NIV is a favorite version because it is so clear.
But one thing I’ve learned throughout my studies are, God wants you to give: I believe that when we give, we receive. You reap what you sow. But the whole point of giving is not to receive, it is just for the sake of giving! Jesus was a giver. Give to charities, give through your selfless actions, give through acts of kindness, give through a smile, give through advice, give through anything that would be pleasing to him.
God wants us to reconcile, also: we have to live in community with one another. Although we live in an individualistic culture, realize your reliance on each other. That is why we should forgive, forget, let go, and move forward. Of course, there should be boundaries after people have hurt us. But we are not meant to live alone, we are meant to live among each other.
Isn’t it nice when you know the names of your neighbors? When you can greet someone you know at the market with a smile, or when you run into an old friend? Doesn’t it feel good when someone comes to visit? We are meant to live together.
God wants us to be peacemakers. He says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Kingdom faith means living among one another; kingdom faith means being meek and humble; GIVING and knowing you will be comforted no matter what.
Give, love (the people that God would love, all people) and be a peacemaker!
Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival” and her forthcoming book, “Hope After the Storm” will be the second in a II part series. Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 200 of her very own articles. She works as an English teacher in the Detroit area and has been an educator for twenty years. She’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. She’s taught at automotive corporations like General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. She’s worked with numerous children and accumulated many jobs throughout the years. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. She currently home-schools at churches and teaches creative and structured writing as well as other Language arts courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.