You Can't Have One Without The Other
Authored by: Airam K Batdorf
I'm sitting in Puerto Rico sipping some local coffee and talking with my best friend. I still have bedhead, and she had tortilla chips with Tapatio for breakfast. She comes to our little round table as I have my Bible open and says, "What word do you have for us today?" After reading Judges, I said something that struck my spirit profoundly. I said, "You know, it's so interesting how we really can't know one thing without knowing the other." She looked at me intently, ready to listen as she always does. But most of the time, when I say things, people don't realize the Holy Spirit is speaking to me at the same time.
I watched Inside Out, the Disney Pixar movie, yesterday while getting some work done (which is a MUST see, by the way!), and the main message that I received from the movie was that we all want to feel only joy. We think that if we have joy, fun, and pleasure all the time, feel joy all the time, then it will solve everything. We shouldn't have to feel anger or sadness, and if we feel high all the time, well, we'll have perfect lives. But, life is messy. It has lows. We live in a fallen world where there is sickness, heartbreak, betrayal, sin, loss, injustice, and pain. It is part of our lives to experience disappointment. And, if we force ourselves only to feel joy when those disappointments come, it's counterproductive. Inside Out shows us that we cannot experience happiness without sadness sometimes (I won't ruin the movie for you...Promise me you'll watch it!). To process, get to the other side, and build something new, sadness needs to be experienced. Despair is what pushes us to the other side. And, without sorrow, we wouldn't know true joy.
I started explaining to my friend how we cannot truly grasp the importance, profound meaning, or feeling of one thing if we do not know the other: We cannot understand and exemplify the way Jesus loved if you do not also know and experience the capacity for us or others to hate. We cannot see the power of God without understanding that the devil is very much real and was defeated. We cannot know and truly feel and understand grace if we do not accept and experience conviction from the Holy Spirit. We cannot know true love unless we know God's love for us first. We cannot know that the paradise of Heaven exists without truly conceptualizing and knowing that Earth is temporary, fleshly, and fallen. We cannot understand the Holy Spirit's true gift without realizing that even though God is in Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit so that we wouldn't be without Him in the present time! We cannot have a desire to truly fight for good unless we understand the mission of evil. We will not know how to stand powerfully in faith if we do not know how to monitor fear and doubt. We will not know how to continue to do right until we have done wrong ourselves.
It is impossible to know one without the other. So what is it you want to experience?
The ability to exemplify love and compassion- you must understand the human heart can be what the word calls sick and deceitful, and has ability hate or do hurtful things. None of us are exempt. You need to choose love over hate in your heart. Love others and treat others the way that Jesus freely loves you despite your flaws, shortcomings, and sin, and the way you want to be treated.
Redemption- know the complete darkness, betrayal, the mocking, the price that was paid, the laughter hell had when they believed they won, only to see Jesus walk out of that tomb. And, for the very same people who crucified Him. The Bible is filled with redemption. Believe in it. No situation is impossible for God.
Grace and forgiveness- you need to carry your cross of allowing the Holy Spirit to convict you (not accuse you) so that you can change within your heart and find repentance. True repentance (which can be challenging) to the Lord will allow you to have HIS liberation, and then, you will feel how powerful His grace is. And, you will be able to extend the same to others.
The ability to know how to do good and know good- you need to study what the word says is wrong. Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are a great place to start.
To know true love- you need to study how and why he calls Himself the groom and us the bride. When you see how He is committed to us, the way He loves us, and the natures of His love- you will be able to know what true love is.
To stand powerfully firm in faith- you must identify and know what fear and doubt are. You must understand truth vs lie; God's word vs the enemy's whispers. This takes true discipline and restraint.
To stand on the side of Good- you need to understand the things evil uses, why evil wants to overcome you because of how valuable you are, and how you have the power within you to fight against it. And above all, believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and won it all. And that good, always wins.
I thought of my unending love to watch the way the ocean moves; How the water moves, and how sometimes it can be powerfully vicious and colossal, other times, utterly serene and gentle. Did you know, "Waves transmit energy, not water, and are commonly caused by the wind as it blows across the ocean, lakes, and rivers? Waves caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun are called tides. The ebb and flow of waves and tides are the life force of our world ocean." See, friend, we need the chaos, and we need the calm. We need to experience the pain to know the joy. This is the beautiful makeup of you. The way He designed you. Let Him be your life force, and you will unlock everything you are seeking. To know one and the other is wisdom, love, and power.