Good Thinking By Don Kuehle

What’s Missing?

I recently bought a jigsaw puzzle at a garage sale; the picture on the box was of a rainbow over a green meadow. When I got home and opened the box, alas, some of the pieces were missing. I could not get a complete picture; there were gaping holes where the missing pieces were supposed to be. That’s how it is with life! Without God, life is not complete. Separated from God, there are gaping holes in our lives. So, what’s missing? The Apostle Paul lists those things which come only from God (Galatians 5:22-23) – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control. I would add three more things to the list: Life, Generosity, and Hope. Apart from God, a person has none of the above! LIFE! In order for one to be alive, one must be attached to the Source-of-Life. A leaf remains green and alive as long as it is attached to the tree; when it becomes detached from the tree, it dies – it merely exists. People who reject God only think they’re alive; they’re not! LOVE! True love comes only from God. Without God, there is only erotic love, romantic love, friendship love – all of these types of love tend to be selfish and self-centered. These kinds of love are temporary and will not last. JOY! People want to be happy. Happiness, however, is temporary and depends on human circumstances. Joy comes from a loving relationship with God; Joy never depends on human happenings and joy last for all eternity! PEACE! People are restless and dissatisfied and anxious because their lives are not tied to God; they are never at peace. God’s people have a peace, despite the storms & turmoils we face. PATIENCE! The un-Godly want what they want — and they want it now! They have no patience nor tolerance for anyone who dares to differ with them. God’s people have a lot of patience; they tolerate much and endure much. SELF-CONTROL! The Godless have a desire to control everything and everyone. They cannot control anything: not the weather, not time, not events, not themselves, not even the common cold – much less control God Almighty! Christians, do exhibit self-control; with God’s help, they try to bring their live into harmony with God’s will for them. HOPE! Those who rebel against God have no hope! They exist, they die, they are consigned to hell. Because of Jesus Christ, the people of God have hope for the “good life” here and now – and of a life a million times better in Heaven! Also lacking in the ungodly are kindness and gentleness and goodness and generosity. The Bible clearly states that all of us have sinned and are not humanly capable of any of the above; these gifts are enjoyed only by Christians – because they are gifts from God Almighty! Praise be to a loving, caring, generous, merciful God! Dr. Don Kuehle United Methodist, Retired Jackson, Missouri