“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” –John 8:31-32
Dear members and friends,
One of the biggest questions that is rarely asked by religious people is “what does it mean to have faith in the teachings of _______?” There certainly is much scientifically-proven evidence that having a religious faith improves one’s psychological and physical health. Although we know that religion is beneficial to us, there is something unsettling about this fact as well. Is the purpose of having faith to feel comfortable and thus to have a healthier and arguably better life on earth?
Above all, the Bible emphasizes that having faith in God means to be willing to live according to the statues and commandments of God, which are different from the statues and laws made by humans. In other words, at any given time having faith in God might mean that a faithful person will struggle living alongside people without faith. This is not because the faithful person is intentionally causing problems or opposing the unfaithful, but simply because the faithful must face the differences in the priorities and principles of life compared to the unfaithful. And the fact is, there are many more unfaithful people in any given human community than faithful ones. In other words, living with faith in God means one must be willing to embrace these challenges and struggles, and yet not be overcome by them. This does not sound like a very peaceful and stress-free life!
The comfort that Jesus promises is not the external kind, but internal. As we all know, we cannot change the nature of the community into which we were born or where we are currently living, much less the characteristics of the people around us. However, it is possible to effect change in our community and the people around us through the changes we make to our very self. This is what Jesus meant by “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” We should set free our own mind from all prejudices and presumptions before we can act and live a new and godly life. Then, we might be able to express our changed attitude towards others. There is a high possibility that they will react to us in a changed way as well.
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee