by: Keren May B. Busaing
The admonition to revere and fear God sometimes leads some people to dwell on it, forgetting their freedom and joy in pursuing God’s righteousness. To fear and revere God, does it mean we have to shake and tremble before Him? While this is the case - that we tremble before His holy presence, we would like to bridge the gap between fear and freedom. Understand that reverence and fear of God doesn’t contradict the joy, peace, and freedom we find in Him.
A few people might find it contradictory that we are to fear God and be taught that we should find joy and freedom in our relationship with Him. This, of course, is not the case. Instead, we can receive joy and freedom if we revere Him. As we do so, we discover the inner depths of being free and the immense joy securely locked in our hearts as we consistently pursue righteousness. In other words, fearing God doesn’t mean that we live in fear, restricted by “thou shall nots” and the fear of consequences and punishment. If we do this, there is no freedom and joy, and it reflects God as wrathful and merciless.
God’s love for us is so much that it took His Son to redeem us from sin and darkness. We have been saved and are now free from the clutches of evil. We are free to pursue God and His ways; as we do so, we live with peace and joy. To fear and revere God means walking the straight, narrow path toward the Light.
We revere God because we are fearful of being without Him. It is more terrifying not to have Him in our lives. Not having God means we live in darkness - a life characterized by uncertainty, insecurity, and worry, leading to sin. Moreover, we may pursue righteousness without Him by our strength, might, and standards. This will eventually lead to despair and slavery. We are mere humans, and the world is too much to bear, especially if we go against wickedness and corruption. Self-righteousness will eventually lead us to grow weary, and we become enslaved by the rules or standards we consider right or wrong. It is a lonely battle to advocate righteousness, and the question if not because of God and His righteousness, is what or who are we doing these things for? The only way to weather these storms is by doing it with joy and freedom that can only be attained through God and his presence in our lives.
Revering and fearing God will naturally come if we fully understand His nature, will, and purposes. We will naturally manifest this value because we know His love for us and is not because He is wrathful and without mercy. Revering Him means loving Him, and we regard or lift Him King over our lives. We will not resent His ways; instead, we become his advocates, and such purpose brings about joy and freedom. The reason to do what is right is for Him, and as we do so, His presence will fill and overshadow us, enabling us to do great and mighty exploits. Isn’t this great? To live with power and purpose characterized by peace, joy, and freedom.
Now, let us desire to deepen our relationship with God. If the joy and freedom we describe here are unknown, let us pray to the one true God to reveal Himself. Let us pray for a God-encounter that can turn our life around and uncover the mystery in Him. We recognize that some of us may find this incomprehensible, but an excellent place to start is by establishing that there is only one God, and all power belongs to him. A sincere cry in our hearts to encounter Him will surely please Him, and one that He is more than willing to answer. This is the way to the peace, joy, and freedom we long for. It is the kind and level that we are fearful to lose, one that we will treasure and will lead us to revere and fear God truly.
by: JESUS V. SISON, PTRP
Deputy National Director, CRFV
As humans witnessed countless evolutions of ideas, acts, and deeds, does originality and authenticity still exist to inspire change?
People nowadays, if not pressured, are inclined to keep up with the present trend in our society, specifically in social media. As an example, let us refer to the AI-generated images of a person. We cannot help but notice a growing popularity among individuals to post or share their AI-generated photos. It looks fun because they can have the hair, skin complexion, looks, and outfits they never had. However, such practices collide with who we are as a person - our originality and authenticity. Conflict within oneself arises when one tries to stand out and subvert the expectations that the world has formed about who they are. Not everybody seems capable of handling the risk of rejection if they cannot meet the people's perceptions, public opinion, and society's suppositions. So, they surrender to adapt to what is popular, imperiling the worthiness of who they are, how they are built, and why they exist.
Who we are, how we were built, and the purpose of why we exist define our originality and authenticity. Cambridge Dictionary defines originality as the quality of being special and interesting and different from anything or anyone else. It sounds daunting. Sometimes, we think of a witty comment or inspiring quote as somewhat unique, only to realize that someone has said it before and somewhere. We have executed an activity or an action only to hear that somebody had done it before. Does that mean we have nothing meaningful or sensible to say or distinctively do that could be considered original?
This entails returning to who, what, and why we are. Even if something has been said and done before, as humans, we progressively build on the ideas and concepts that came before us. We develop innovative, creative, and exceptional acts, answers, and viewpoints through that. So yes, sharing our thoughts on things is valuable, even if somebody else has said and done that already.
We take, for example, the recently concluded Annual VRO Capacity Building held in Cebu last October 10-13, 2023. We've been doing this event for nine years and listened to countless testimonies and sharing of the different agencies' best practices as they implement the Values Restoration Program. Were those things heard before? Were those programs, projects, and activities done previously? People might answer yes, but listening intently close to every word and observing the details, those practices were innovative and progressively built to bring forth excellent and impactful results. Every action's authenticity and truthfulness were captivating; one would have thought we had never heard such things before. Everything was unique, engaging, and different from the other values programs and advocacies. We can't help but shed tears as every report brought inspiration, encouragement, and reinvigorated passion for the nation's transformation. The originality of such ideas gave the participants a more profound sense of purpose and instilled in every heart that there is a bigger vision for everyone to attain. Reports of innovativeness and uniqueness created an environment where dreams for the agency and nation live and become alive again. It mustered self-re-discovery of inner strength and who they are, thus making them thrive from within. Lastly, it established a culture where people view the benefit of investing in enormous ideas that contribute to something much more daring, inspiring, and bolder than the day-to-day up-and-down routines of implementing VRP.
Despite technological advancements, AI-generated ideas and the evolution of principles, originality, and authenticity still exist to inspire change toward national transformation.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.