- Ada, Oklahoma

April 23, 2014

Life threatening concerns

Tom Yarbrough Guest Columnist

Ada — We live in a day when most personal boundaries have collapsed. If we consider all the available electronic connectedness, we could say all boundaries have buckled. While easy connectedness may have some positive merit, if viewed with God principles, many results seem negative because of an emerging fear.

 Up through our culture has percolated a social anxiety. While almost anyone can pick up a cellphone and connect, a subtle fear has developed that concludes most persons are willing to give up certain freedoms in order to “feel safe.” This hidden reality becomes evident when we feel some alien way of life creeping in to erode our underlying American values. Christians have allowed this event to occur because our God-based American values have slipped in priority. They have been replaced by a warped American dream. Individuality as “every man for himself” has established a foothold and become like an American creed for survival and safety. Too many systems, businesses, even churches put on the guise of other-centeredness, but remain self-centered, expecting something in return when any action happens.

As individuals, we now feel threatened, not only from the fabled, universal missile holocaust, but by the super forces of commerce, marketing, and financial collapse. Our relations with competitors, politicians, and even our neighbors have become hostile and estranged. We do not know who to trust, what words ring true or where rests any peace and prosperity. These disturbing facts create a growing isolationism because we feel threatened on all sides. The value of “love your neighbor” has become “love yourself first right now.” Any standard for remaining patient and waiting on some significant item has become as ancient as the dial telephone. A whole college generation appears to have evolved with little sense of history. They pass over the idea of the “have and have nots” and simply demand “I want what I want right now.” Multitudes want education, marriage, babies, a house, and a good job earlier and earlier. Many feel left behind if they have not acquired some of the things mentioned by age of 23.

Unfortunately, our cultural leaders, whether in education, politics, religion or art show just enough cooperation and caring with good will to others to keep our civilization limping along. But, we still see our moral and spiritual reserves depleted. We have struck the high center of trying to buy our way into everything, especially people’s hearts, in order to promote some kind of security. And now, we are left with the overpowering result to discover that the thing we valued most---finances--- cannot and will not buy us genuine love. Love and authentic affection are the true paths of security. And the right kind of love must major on other-centeredness, expecting nothing in return. So, what is the truthful answer? God does not just DO love, He is unlimited love. The Kingdom of God guidelines are still in place. Live them!

Ada resident Dr. Tom Yarbrough retired from a marriage and family counseling practice and university teaching to write full time and enjoy family time. The author of four works, his most recent book, "Treasures of the Kingdom," is available at the Good Book Store and online sources.