On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 146: Two Paths (5/14/17)

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..” (Genesis 1:26  RSV)

God having made man in His image gave man the unique ability of free choice.  Freedom to choose is a divine attribute of those whose purpose is to become sons and daughters of God.  We have two choices that present themselves to us: the good path or the bad path.

Many of us have chosen the path that leads into the secular world and all the desires and passions that accompany it.  Self-love and self-centeredness guides our way.  We rely on our rational mind to know right from wrong.  Going to church is something that we just do and holds no true meaning or impact on our daily lives.  We seek our own enjoyment, entertainment, comfort and wellbeing with little concern for our neighbors.  We use the gifts that God has given us for selfish reasons, that is if we even realize what gifts He has given us.

 There are those that chose a different path.  God becomes the center of their life.  The many gifts which God has bestowed upon them by His grace when they were baptized become apparent to them and they use these gifts in their journey to Theosis, being in communion with God, as well as sharing these gifts with others, who also are on their journey to Theosis.  God made us to be “persons in communion” with Him and with the body of Christ, the Church.  Sharing the gifts that He gave each of us is essential and necessary for the health of the Church as well as our own physical and spiritual health.

Our life on earth is ephemeral, it is gone in the blinking of an eye.  Eternity is forever and we will all be there, some enjoying it while others are relegated to the “smoking” section.  God gave us the freedom to choose as He did Adam.  Adam made the wrong choice.  What about you?  Can you say you made the correct choice?  Did you choose the good path?  Do you recognize the gifts God has given you and are you gratefully returning them to the glory of God and the body of Christ?  Or, are you selfishly using them for your own self-aggrandizement?  The choice is yours, smoking or non-smoking!

If you have made the wrong choice until now, there is hope.  True repentance is the medicine the Church prescribes for taking the wrong path.  We do not know the day or time that our judge will come so if you are on the wrong path make the change of direction, metanoia, to the correct path.  Be a good steward of all that He has given you!

 This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.

Mark Your Calendar Now for the 2nd annual Stewardship Retreat will be held September 22-24, 2017.

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