Parables and Positive Psychology 09/22/20

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” (Luke 8:19-21)

Today’s post will be relatively short and sweet, especially considering that this reading does not require much of a summary outside of what is already written.

What we can focus on here for today is this very verse, which states “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it,” (Luke 8:19-21). First, it is important to consider what the word of God is. Then, it is important to consider how those who willingly receive the word conduct themselves.

The word of God, to use the character strengths and virtues handbook, is perhaps above all characterized by love. Individuals who enter into a relationship with God can feel close to Him and receive warmth and kindness from the Lord Himself. This foundational relationship with the Lord can help us to be lights to others around us as well, giving them this same sense of warmth and kindness that characterizes love. This ultimately ties into our overall sense of the virtue of humanity.

Those who receive and act on the word of God with an open heart should exemplify leadership, all the while being sure to display humility in their acts. They should also have an overall sense of curiosity and love of learning for the word of God itself. And finally, they should conduct themselves honestly in all their affairs. These tie into the virtues of wisdom, courage, and justice. As it is written, “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice,” (Proverbs 21:3).

Finally, Marty Seligman’s PERMA model comes to mind when reflecting on this verse. When we listen to and engage in the word of God in our lives, we strengthen our relationship with him, as He gives us ultimate meaning as well. He is the source of positive emotions in our lives, including gratitude and forgiveness, which can influence how we treat others as well. An overall sense of accomplishment stems from conducting the Lord’s work and seeing it bear fruit in ourselves and others around us.

I hope you all find this relatively shorter post somewhat pithy. Please feel free to add your own thoughts as well! Until then, I hope you are all doing well, and God bless you!

Works Cited:

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