Easier now?

If only that is so. “When the world and I were young, just yesterday, life was such a simple game, a child could play. It was easy then to tell truth from lies…” These words from a song are more than just sentiments. I used to like true or false tests cause they were easy. Not anymore.

Today, even the innocence of children are preyed upon. There is this insidious incessant voice planting doubts, confusion and dissatisfaction with yourself, your identity, your color, size, gender. The only choice left seems to be “be yourself.” But which “self”?

Then there is another problem. Self-deception is human nature, which usually wins. To be yourself is actually self-defeating. Just think of the many ways we try to self-define. There is the blurring of feeling and reality, past and present, style and substance, comfort and corruption, means and ends, fact and opinion, reason and desire, human and machine, freedom and depravity, compassion and bribery, safety and irresponsibility, science and indoctrination, tissue and fetus,… Oh, I hope I didn’t lose you with that long list. But I felt a knot in my stomach just running that list in my mind. You see that blurring confuses and clogs the brain.

To unclog, we need wisdom. It is the ability to discern that brings clarity. And how we need that since truth is not neutral. That is why aim for clarity first, not for agreement. Fluidity which erases the lines is not freedom but brings chaos. Fortunately, God draws all the lines to maintain clarity and order. And to erase the lines does the opposite.

For example, He divided the light from darkness since the beginning. Did you know the sun was created to mark the day and the moon to mark the night? Animals are distinguished from plants and animals differ in kind from each other. That is how we can tell if we are eating chicken or beef. Of course, they are distinct. Adam knew Eve was distinctly different, more similar to him than the animals. Note that God set the time of a week since creation. Imagine if we are free to count 8 days a week or call Monday a Sunday because we feel like it, because we have a right to our own time or because the differences are just man-made? The farmers who rely on this 52-week calendar knows it is not to be tampered with.

Hmmm… Let’s take a practical road test. How do we navigate the road when the basic markers are erased, when the individual decides to stop or go based on feelings or ideology? The scariest thing is what this will amount to – power without boundaries. Isn’t that a definition of evil? I’m sure I did not make that up either. God said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil …”(Isaiah 5:20).

Without true markers, woe to us. We lose the ability to think clearly which makes us easier to prey on. We also waste time and effort reconstructing the basics. Truths that are taught in the Bible and have been self-evident throughout civilization. What can we expect from chaos if not weakness and unhappiness? Without true markers, especially moral markers, evil reigns. Woe because we are lost.

“Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth.” Jn 17:17

Small step: As you go forward, do you have to clear some clutter, I mean in your brain, heart and relationships, not just your closet? To have a more fruitful life, restore order and clarity, start making a list of markers you need to respect. And if you happen to uncover some lies you have, awesome. Remember, you are welcomed to share your list and bless others as well.

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