Is the Holy Spirit psychopathic
Pentecost: When God's Spirit helps our small minds on the jumps
“When the disciples were together with the doors closed for fear of the Jews, the risen Jesus stepped into their midst and said to them: Peace be with you! As the Father sent me, so I am sending you. After saying this, he breathed on them and said to them: Receive the Holy Spirit! "
They sit like a pile of misery behind closed doors. They once burned for their Lord Jesus Christ. But now there is nothing left that drove them. They had already heard the Easter message of the resurrection of their master. Yet fear and small-mindedness fill their minds and prevent them from going out to face life.
The gospel of today's Pentecost makes it clear what the decisive turning point was: Only the Holy Spirit frees them from their inner prison and breaks the spell of fear.
Fear is not a good advisor
Fear is a poison that blocks and makes many things impossible even today. Unless a dangerous animal is chasing me, or I have invited an ax-wielding psychopath for coffee, or am otherwise directly threatened, then the fear is nothing more than bad management of my mind.
Fear has been given to us as a drive to avoid physical harm and to free ourselves from an imminent threat. It should not be more than a short-term effect and yet it has often established itself as a long-term tool in life to protect the sensitive ego. That's why nobody likes to talk about their fears, because it would come to light that I flee from myself much more often than from real danger.
The long-term effects should not be underestimated. I am losing my emotional center and mental clarity. I get timid and stressed. All thoughts and actions are increasingly focused on my self-protection. All ambitions and motivations that want to march bravely and without hesitation into the world, on the other hand, wither.
It is above all interpersonal constellations that inspire our fear and curtail our life energy. A fear-ridden past, in which critical parents, tyrannical peers, meticulous teachers or superiors have teased us again and again, has become a fear-driven present.
Doubt and indolence fuel fear
Fear has two effective partners by its side: doubt and indolence.
Doubt appeals to reason to protect us. His arguments all too often sound the same: “Be careful, you don't know what can happen. Are you sure you really want to do this? It's not you. It's not your thing.“So worries grow.
Our thoughts stop on what could possibly go wrong. We completely lose sight of the great things that could come into our lives with a little daring and passion. The corrosive power of doubt is to worry us so much that we question the value of our abilities, our path, and our actions.
Inaction basically defends itself against everything that costs effort and effort. If she has gained the upper hand, we firmly trust her whisperings, which make us know: “Oh, the circumstances are not really suitable yet, I'll start later. You can't approach things in such a rush. "
The misery of fearful man and the triumph of indolence over our souls is to know that I was silent when I should have spoken, that I did not fight when I should have defended my beliefs, did not live when I should have spoken Shied away from challenge.
Where doubts arouse insecurity through whimpering worries, indolence triggers real horror because the inner inhibition threshold grows and it requires an ever-increasing show of strength to act.
Turn around, but how?
Fear is also contagious. When we see them on a person's face, it frightens us. This mirror impulse is certainly justified and is a real blessing in times of great danger.
But since there are now fewer and fewer predators in our urban environment that target our meat, such an emotional transfer is quite dangerous. This was already known by Moses, the prophet in the Old Testament, who said to the people:
“Everyone who is afraid and discouraged should repent. Otherwise he just infects the others with his fear. "
I won't be able to stamp out my bad thoughts with my willpower alone. I need a thought to replace another thought with it. The apostle Paul says:
"Do not be uniform in this world, but be transformed through the renewal of your mind ..."
(Romans 12.2 ELB)
The Greek word for "renewal" means something like, a restructuring, renovation, a complete change for the better. It's about a general overhaul of our interior.
Jesus as a model
So who is my interior designer? If I want to overhaul and renovate my thinking, which interior designer will I entrust this job to?
The ancient Christian writer Tertullian had a clear idea of whom he left this task to.
“The Lord Jesus Christ (...) wants those who belong to him to be courageous and fearless. He himself shows how the weakness of the flesh is overcome by the courage of the spirit. This is the testimony of the apostles and especially of the representative who administers the Spirit. A Christian is fearless. "
This spirit, which makes Christians fearless and helps our weaknesses, roared through the living room of the assembled disciples on the day of Pentecost. He is the force that initiated personal development in you, that drove you out into the world and made you daring.
Suddenly they were preaching Jesus' message regardless of threats and prison terms. They left their comfort zone at home, got on ships and dared to risk everything for their mission. It is not for nothing that Pentecost is called the birthday of the Church.
Because the disciples had benefited little from their Lord and Master Jesus. They heard him preach and were present at his miracles, which were really impressive: healing the sick, turning hundreds of liters of water into wine, raising the dead. But all that did surprisingly little to them.
Allow the spirit to be the driving force
Even during his lifetime, Jesus had to give exasperated tutoring in order to ensure success in learning about trust in God and following through constant repetitions and explanations. Almost all hand-picked and personally called apostles fled at the moment of Jesus' capture, contrary to their full-bodied statements. Except for the handful of faithful women and the tender-feeling Johannes, none had made it up to Golgotha and under the cross.
Even Easter morning hadn't really been able to convince the fearful men and women of the cause of Jesus. The disciples had already heard of the resurrection, had met their Lord and yet again withdrew behind closed doors. It is true that they had received the commission from Christ to carry on in the world, to proclaim his message, to lead people to him. But first and foremost, they were afraid and doubted.
Since Jesus knew about the condition of his fellow combatants, he gave them a clear hint in advance:
“I am telling you the truth: it will be better for you if I go. Otherwise the helper who will be there for you in my place would not come. When I am no longer with you, I will send him to you. "
(Joh 16,7 HFA)
It was not until Pentecost, only with the reception of the Holy Spirit, that the disciples were really changed from within. It was only the Holy Spirit that evidently managed to get knowledge from the head to the heart, that faith developed its life-changing power. The Spirit of God is that sustaining and driving force that lets you keep going, sometimes against all reason. He is the hope that is filled with confidence and trust.
The Holy Spirit is not a solution to embarrassment
The Bible offers various images of the Holy Spirit: the dove flying down from heaven, the roar of the wind, the tongues of fire. What they all have in common is a dynamic. The Holy Spirit does not want to be known, he wants to work. He wants to make himself noticeable. Above all, he wants to live relationships and inspire us in a variety of ways. In the truest sense of the word, he wants to breathe a life into us that can only be won with him.
The Holy Spirit is not a solution to embarrassment, not a bad substitute for the "real" one who is now gone. But on the contrary. The Holy Spirit redeemed the disciples from dependence on their Master. He encourages you to come of age and speak for yourself. From now on the disciples will step out of the shadow of Jesus and find their own ways and words. They become Christs themselves in order to carry his vision out into the world.
The spirit at issue here is the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. This power is incorporated and entrusted to the disciples. That must have an impact on their existence. So Paul writes:
“Because the Spirit of God, which you have received, does not lead you into a new slavery in which you would have to be afraid again. Rather, he has made you God's sons and daughters. "
(Romans 8: 15-17 HFA).
This spirit is what it was according to the old, dark words of the prophets: namely, the dreamer. So it says in the Old Testament Book of Joel:
“I will pour out my spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters will be prophets, your elders will have dreams and your young men will have visions. "
The Holy Spirit takes us with him into his dream of the future of this world, so that he gives us visions and lets dreams arise in us of a better world - more than we would ever have dared to dream. Visions of a world that is good because justice prevails and wounds are healed, because those who suffer are heard and understood. And this dream, the spirit, the dream dancer of God, wants to realize with us.
Every day is the first
A beginning that frees me from my past, from my preconceived notions, from all too narrow boundaries. A beginning that frees me from habits that prevent life more than allow life. Pentecost is a beginning and at the same time remains a promise.
This promise is expressed for me in a prayer formulated by Dag Hammarskjöld:
“Every day the first. Every day a life. Every morning the bowl of our life should be held empty to receive, carry and give back. Empty enough, because what was before should only be reflected in its clarity, its shape and its width. "
What I believe has power. If I just focus on living rightly without paying attention to correctly believing, then I will experience only temporary breakthroughs based solely on my willpower or self-discipline.
The day of Pentecost is therefore a constant inquiry to my perspective on life: Do I live according to what I see or according to what God sees? I may not be able to stop negative thoughts from wandering through my head or unhealthy emotions like fear from constricting my heart. In any case, however, I can confront my thoughts and emotions with this promise that the Spirit of God will help me in my weakness.
This is where God's Spirit works: Where people grow up, free and beautiful, where they dare to do something, where they outgrow themselves. And that is exactly what God wants to give today, as in all times: A new Pentecost for all who need it and can believe.
Martin Korden has the editorial responsibility for the show
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