How on earth can we all get along?
If you haven't noticed, there are a lot of us. There are many different beliefs, cultures, life styles and value systems. There are differences in education, social status, wealth and skill. And the list goes on.
As a believer in an intelligent and personal origin of all that exists and working in a secular environment, I pondered on how can I get along where most everything around me is contrary to what I believe?
The Secret: Two Laws
I think that I learned the secret. I wish that I had thought of it by myself; I didn't. I got the idea from Richard Maybury who is called "the 2500 year old man" because of his thorough study of the last 2500 years of history. He identified two laws as the root of the success or failure of civilizations. It seems that when people followed these two laws, they tended to prosper.
I believe these two laws contribute immensely to the solution to our question: "How on Earth Can We Get Along?"
The first law in getting along is: "do all that you have agreed to do." This means that each word you speak has meaning - no "cheap" talk, no threats, no lies. A mother may say to her child "you go across the street and I'll kill you." We know that there is no intent to follow through on those "cheap" words, but a thought process has been put in place that says "I don't really mean what I say." We should say only those things we have the ability and intent to follow through on -- business deals, family relationships, any time two or more make an agreement. This includes everyone - parents, teachers, students, children, grandparents, et al.
The second law is: "do NOT infringe or encroach on another person's property or person." This means Mind Your Own Business, Keep Your Hands Off Other People's Stuff". If every person followed this law, criminal destruction of property, theft, rape, murder would end. We would not force ourselves or our ideas on others. Force is the operative word; forcing ourselves or our ideas with the threat of harm is essentially what this law prohibits. Individuals and governments would be well advised to heed this law.
It is interesting that all of the laws of the Bible regarding how people get along are summarized in the above two laws -- found in both the Old and New Testaments.
Upon the foundation of these two laws we can consider two things about God. God does what He says He will do. We can count on that. Based on 4000 years of recorded human history, we can see the evidence in Scripture that God keeps His Word and His Promises. This wonderful trait can be duplicated by us, we have that ability.
One of the most vital aspects of God is that He does not infringe nor encroach upon humans in any way. God does not manipulate; God does not violate a person's thinking or person. In order for His creation, us, to be totally free to choose, God has "hidden" himself, so that we can come to God through the historical evidence that is available to each of us. God has provided a well-documented resource, the Bible, that gives to us the information we need to make an informed decision about God. We are free to observe the order and design of the universe. We are free as to whether we learn of His purpose and will for our lives, not as imposed upon us, but because we believe that the evidence is sufficient to make a rational decision about God.
God will not violate the second law - He will not force us; He will Not coerce us. His persuasion to us is the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. God has provided adequate evidence of His love for us. Through study of that evidence, we are free to choose God's love provided through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. God will not force anyone to do the right thing, that is totally up to you.
These two laws will enable us to get along, they provide insight into man as well as God. They are the core to an orderly civilization and the beginning point of how to understand the God Who is there.