It comes so easily off our lips, but as spiritually noble as that sounds, there are some instances when you should not say, “I’ll pray for you”…
When you won’t do it…
How many times have you told someone you prayed for them, and whether you meant to or not, you didn’t do it. I find the best practice is to go ahead and pray right then and there.
When you don’t mean it…
How many times have you said I’ll pray for you because it was (SP) spiritually correct, but you never meant to do it. You weren’t being malicious, you just used it as a kind spiritual platitude…a nice cliché…it was right for the moment.
When you say it to belittle or insult someone…
Yep it happens, I have to admit that I have done it. Have you? When someone does something you don’t like, and it’s your way of saying, “I think you’re pitiful’.
When it offends them…
An unbeliever or someone weaker in the faith could be offended when you say, “I’m praying for you”. It may only push them off and harden their heart. Use discernment.
God holds us accountable for every idle word we say…
Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)
36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Especially if we are speaking or acting on His behalf or as intercessors…
Matthew 7:22-23 (NKJV)
22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Never turn, “I’ll pray for you” into a lie an insult or empty words.
Update: Here’s a similar post from another blogger…
If your parents, siblings, friends or even co-workers don’t like your spouse…
Ask yourself is it because of what you’ve said to them in your anger or frustration?
Part of honoring your spouse is bearing with one another through keeping some things between the two of you only. When you share something they have done to hurt or anger you with someone else, especially family, when the two of you have moved on…others may still hold a grudge.
Remember, your marriage is your business!
Ephesians 4:1-3 (NKJV)
I, therefore, the prisoner [a]of the Lord, [b]beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Don’t let the reason that someone dislikes your spouse be because of what you’ve said about them.
There is nothing impossible to Him, but there’s still a few things He can’t do…
He can’t die.
He can’t lie.
He can’t fail…
And, He can’t be a MOTHER.
Yes, I know we say He’s a father to the fatherless and a mother to the motherless…and He can fill those voids in our lives, but…
Notice what Psalm 68:5 says…
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.
It says that our loving heavenly FATHER is to the fatherless, but not a mother to the motherless.
He’s our FATHER, but,
God gave a special role to women. He gave them honor of being the first connection to every life on this earth. To nurture every life…to introduce every person to the world, and with that role comes a special bond. There’s nothing like a mother’s love.
Even when it comes to our salvation, in the fullness of time, God still didn’t step outside of the authority He gave to women by still using a woman to bring His Son into the world.
Yes, He could have made another man of ‘dust’ if He wanted, but He chose Mary to be a Mother to our Lord and Savior, Yeshua, Jesus Christ.
Galatians 4:4 (NKJV)
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law,
There’s nothing like a mother’s love!
That’s why it’s possible for some women who didn’t even physically birth a child into the world to still have the anointing to fulfill a mother’s role and love…it is a gift of God to the child and mother.
In those unfortunate circumstances when a mother does not live up to her role, even though a father can step it up or step in…nothing can ‘replace it’. Sometimes there is just a void, unless another ‘woman’ steps in (grandmother, aunt, sister, adopted mother).
So thank God for all mothers, even if yours didn’t live up to her responsibility, because that’s who God chose to bring you into the world.
Systemic racism is a contentious subject in the United States of America. Many people, especially among those who call themselves ‘Conservatives’, assert systemic racism is a myth and that it doesn’t exist. It’s the same people who will complain about ‘CANCEL CULTURE’ but enjoy the benefits of Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah) removing the penalty of THE LAW..
Hebrews 8:10-13 (NKJV)
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins [a]and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
When you think about it, the Romans in the bible who were in power during the Roman Empire had a government and culture systematically set up to the advantage of Roman citizens, and a disadvantage to those whom they subjugated.
To assert that’s not true in America is quite silly. The systems, attitudes, paradigms and sub-cultures established through institutional racism that weren’t seriously addressed until the mid-twentieth century have a heritage that continues in many ways today. I had uncles who fought in WWII and came home to second-class citizenship. Even today, when my wife shops for nail polish, NUDE or FLESH color doesn’t look like the color of my skin – that’s systemic!
It’s interesting and quite humorous to me however, that some of the same people who claim that systemic racism is a myth actually prove it’s true through their own assertion that the so-called American liberal media gives certain groups an inherent advantage.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson made the following statements in reference to the Biden administration:
“Unequal application of justice, law by administration should ‘frighten every American’
‘Our FBI, our Department of Justice is equally biased and they are not administering justice equally in this country’
SOUNDS SYSTEMIC DOESN’T IT?
Even claims of election fraud are claims of a system that was set up to give an advantage to one political party over another…That’s systemic!
If it’s possible for the media or an administration to give systemic advantages to certain demographics, then it’s possible for the systems established and nurtured for hundreds of years to give an unfair advantage to certain groups of people.
If the media had the power to influence attitudes and actions to the point that it gives an unfair advantage to certain people, then it’s possible for two demographics to be born in poverty, but the established systems make it easier for one group to rise from that poverty than the other.
The very fact that some people assert that presenting another perspective of history is CHANGING history is another example of SYSTEMIC RACISM.
It’s extreme arrogance for some people to think they own the one and only correct perspective and narrative of history.
There’s more than ONE perspective and narrative!
1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Nehemiah, Ezra, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John prove that. God presents the SAME history from several different perspectives. People have twisted much of the bible to fit their preferred narratives — That’s systemic too!
Many people in America need to learn that admitting the ugly parts of our history rather than glorifying or hiding the wrongs we have done isn’t unpatriotic. The fact is that it’s biblical…
Leviticus 26:40-45 (NKJV)
40 ‘But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,
41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies;
if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—
42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember;
I will remember the land.
43 The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them;
they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments andbecause their soul abhorred My statutes.
44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them;
for I am the Lord their God.
45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God:
Pray is such as special gift from the God of our creation.
We may not have instant and direct access to the President, the governor, the mayor, the CEO, the Athletic Director, your pastor or even one another sometimes…
But, we always have direct access to God through our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
the Bible teaches us through prayers and supplications to make our requests made known to God…
Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
There have been times that after I have finished praying, I have wondered…did I miss something?
I thanked God.
I asked for forgiveness of my sins.
I prayed for provision, protection and other things.
I prayed for others…
Did I forget something?
But, then I remembered that we are created in the image of God. That means that we can have His character…His essence.
We can love like Him. We can nurture like Him. We can take care of our children the way He takes care of His children.
So, our children don’t have to make a point to specifically ask every day for us to:
Provide the things they need.
The fact is that many times if they simply come to us, unsolicited…
If they approach us ‘out of the blue’ and with obvious sincerity expressing, I LOVE YOU…and we know that it’s real.
That sincere and unselfish expression of love provokes us to WANT to do something to show them how much we love them. Sometimes it makes us want to do something special for them.
I think we have that reaction because we are created in God’s image. Maybe He sometimes reacts the same way towards us when we bow heads prayer or lift our hands in praise and unselfishly, sincerely express I LOVE YOU! I TRUST YOU! I BLESS YOU! And, I JUST WANT YOU TO BE PLEASED WITH ME!
Remember, prayer isn’t only giving God a laundry list of our needs, but an opportunity to express our love for Him.
Every now and then, just thank God and tell Him that you love Him.
Psalm 103:1-2 (NKJV)
Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
Sometimes it’s unsolicited. Sometimes it’s because of something you said or did. Sometimes it’s a response to something you posted…
An insult is hurled at you!
It happened to Yeshua the Messiah often. They called him…
A drunk (winebibber)…
They accused him of being possessed by a demon.
He was mocked the night before He was crucified. He endured all that foolishness for us.
And, He warned us that we would be treated the same way too for speaking up for Him…
John 15:18-25 (NIV)
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.21 They will treat you this way because of my name,for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[b]
So, what do we do when someone insults us? Do we insult them back?
The Lord made it very clear what we are to do…
1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing,because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
We are to bless them.
“God bless you.”
“Peace to you.”
“I love you with the love of Christ!”
Even though it’s not your intention to offend them, it usually frustrates people when you respond to their insult with a blessing. The demons that are provoking the insult get irritated, just as they got restless when Yeshua, Jesus, approached them in the Bible.
Matthew 8:28-29 (NKJV)
28 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the [a]Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
After blessing them, pray that God softens their heart to His love, will, and word.
And remember this…
Matthew 5:10-12 (NKJV)
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
In our society today, many people consider blurting out exactly what’s on your mind equates to strength and assertiveness.
How many times have you wished that you could have some visceral response back and ‘unsay’ some words that you released?
Many people claim that…
“I couldn’t help it!
“I couldn’t hold it in!”
“I just had to say it!”
In doing so, many people have embarrassed themselves or ruined their name, reputation, career, relationships or sown discord and driven a wedge between close friends or relatives.
Or, worst of all we can ruin our testimony for Christ.
Sometimes it’s best to just HOLD IT IN!
The same people who say they can’t hold in their verbal response will hold in their flatulence.
No one is going to blurt out a loud, smelly fart that will embarrass them in public.
Holding in the hot air that comes from your mouth and behind both take the same level of restraint!
Even the word of God tells us that it’s best to sometimes ‘keep it to ourselves’…
Proverbs 13:3 The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a [a]perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 [b]Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of [c]iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of [d]nature; and it is set on fire by [e]hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the [f]similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? [g]Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
As we ask God to help us to guard our tongues, let’s remember that SELF CONTROL is a Fruit of the Spirit.
Sex is a gift from God. Even though it’s the means He intended for us to be fruitful and multiply, it is also meant to be enjoyed within the bonds of holy matrimony between a man and a woman.
Our bodies with their various curves, shapes, textures, contrast of colors, smells etc., are meant to provoke sexual arousal. It’s up to us to control these urges so that they are only fulfilled within marriage.
One of those divine combinations of curves, shapes, textures, and contrast of colors is the female breast.
Yes, these were created for mothers to make sure their children are nourished, but that’s not all.
They were also created for the mutual pleasure of the husband and the wife. Breasts were created:
As a means of seducing her husband…
For her pleasure during times of intimacy…
To be aesthetically pleasing to entice her husband…
For his enjoyment during times of intimacy…
The fact is that even though God created female breasts to nurse their children, that boobs aren’t just for the babies. Check out these bible verses about female breasts and intimacy within marriage.
Proverbs 5:18-19 (NKJV)
18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be [a]enraptured with her love.
Song of Solomon 1:12-13 (NKJV)
12 While the king is at his table, My [a]spikenard sends forth its fragrance. 13 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, That lies all night between my breasts.
Song of Solomon 4:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Your neck is like the tower of David, Built for an armory, On which hang a thousand [a]bucklers, All shields of mighty men. 5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle, Which feed among the lilies
Song of Solomon 7:2-3, 8(NKJV)
2 Your navel is a rounded goblet; It lacks no [a]blended beverage. Your waist is a heap of wheat Set about with lilies. 3 Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle.
Song of Solomon 7:8 (NKJV)
8 I said, “I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of its branches.” Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine, The fragrance of your [a]breath like apples,
Song of Solomon 8:10 (NKJV)
10 I am a wall, And my breasts like towers; Then I became in his eyes As one who found peace.
Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
1 Corinthians 7:2-5 (NLT)
2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.
3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.
5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
So, couples enjoy one another, and may your marriages…
You may also enjoy these BE BLESSTIFIED articles on Godly marriage…
It’s easy to make our relationship with God ALL about us if we aren’t careful.
God called us to make disciples of Him through His Son and our Savior Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Go [a]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [b]Amen.
One of the best approaches at studying the bible is to look specifically how the Lord REACTED to certain situations, conditions and behavior.
Look at the Lord’s reaction when He silently looked upon a multitude of lost people…
Matthew 9:35-38 (NKJV)
35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease [a]among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were [b]weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Now look at how He reacted at those who had hard, hypocritical hearts…
Mark 3:1-5 (NKJV)
3 And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might [a]accuse Him. 3 And He said to the manwho had the withered hand, [b]“Step forward.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored [c]as whole as the other.
Above in Matthew, Yeshua, felt compassion for those who were lost. He wasn’t judging why they were in their particular situations…He felt compassion. Then He commanded us to pray to THE LORD OF HIS HARVEST to send workers into HIS harvest. How many times have you prayed for that? How many times have you had an interaction with an atheist and instead of praying for them, felt contempt. How many times have you gotten intensely angry at a drug addict, gang banger, racist, politician, someone who you consider to be a ‘great sinner’…(we are all sinners saved by grace Romans 3:23). These are all opportunities to plant seeds of God’s…
I have had to stop and ask God to help me make that a priority in my life. I have had to ask myself, “Aldtric, do you really care enough about God’s harvest, are or you just concerned about your own?”
Now, let’s quickly look what made the Lord angry above in Mark Chapter 3. It wasn’t compassion, but anger at the religious leaders were looking for a reason to accuse Him, ignored the good He was doing, and was angry at their hardness of heart. Again, this is a sign of someone who is lost and doesn’t know that they are. God expects hypocrisy and hardened hearts to make us angry, but we must respond to that anger with lifting them up in prayer, praying that God softens their hearts to His love, will, word and salvation.
Have you ever asked yourself if you hare concerned enough about those who are ‘lost’? Have you stopped to consider how you react to those who claim to be His own, but aren’t exhibiting their best behavior?
How often do you pray for HIS HARVEST rather than your own?
Don’t get it twisted. This is not just a self-righteous, judgmental platitude…it’s biblical truth.
Why is God anti-gay?
Because God is anti-adultery, but not anti-adulterer.
He’s anti-fornication, but not anti-fornicator.
He’s anti-murder, but not anti-murderer
He’s anti-malice, but not anti-malicious.
He’s anti-hate, but not anti-hater.
He’s anti-lie, but not anti-liar.
He’s anti-foolishness, but not anti-fool.
He’s anti-pride, but not anti-proud person.
He’s anti-greed, but not anti-greedy person.
I think you get the picture. God is anti-sin, but He is not anti-sinner. Even though there are those trying to now establish that homosexuality is not a sin. It still is. Even though many people are trying to say that that’s not what Sodom and Gomorrah was about. It still was (Genesis 19). Even though many people are trying to say that Jesus never addressed homosexuality, He still did (Matthew 19:4-6)FOR THOSE WHO SAY JESUS NEVER ADDRESSED HOMOSEXUALITY…. And even though people are refuting what Paul said about it, it’s still truth (Romans 1:24-27).
Please allow me to sub-title this piece, “JUST LIKE JUDAS”, since I couldn’t make up my mind.
Many of us shake our heads in self-righteous shame at Judas betraying our Lord and Savior for 30 pieces of silver.
But, if we think back on our lives, sometimes we don’t have to think very far back, we will realize that we have betrayed Him FOR MUCH LESS THAN 30 PIECES OF SILVER.
Each time we sin… Each time we know right from wrong…Each time that we know His holy standard…Each time we have a clear choice and think, “No I should not do this”, and then choose to do it anyway, we betray Him just like Judas did.
Those seeking to put Jesus to open shame and kill Him presented Judas with a transaction, and he agreed to a price to complete the transaction.
Matthew 26:15 (NKJV)
15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
The enemy daily presents us with transactions (usually through our desires) seeking to hurt…to discredit…to put to open shame our Savior Jesus, and daily we accept them – and consequently betray Him.
James 1:14 (NKJV)
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
So, how much have you accepted to betray Jesus?
What transaction does the enemy prevent to you to convince you to sin?
What level of attention?
What level of affection?
What level of influence?
What level of affluence?
What level of pleasure?
What level of revenge?
Who was it?
What was it?
Was it only a kiss?
Was it only a promotion?
Was it only a glance?
Was it only a taste?
Was it only a touch?
Was it a laugh?
Was it a whisper?
Or, did you do it for free because you were angry at Him?
Did the enemy use you as the ‘middle man’ to provoke someone else to betray Him?
It’s not hard to identify how the enemy manipulates and provokes us to betray Him. The bible makes it clear. It’s usually…
1 John 2:16 (NKJV)
16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
Always remember that Judas realized the 30 pieces of silver weren’t worth it, and wanted to give it back. It’s the same for us today the enemy pays you to hurt our Lord, but the ultimate wage is horrible…
Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So, at the end of each day, thank God for His grace and mercy to forgive us when we repent. Then think about the choices that you’ve made and ask yourself a powerful question to help you refine your walk and relationship with Christ. Think about the spiritual transactions you’ve made and ask yourself…
Most American’s are passionate and protective of their right to free speech…
Or are we?
How many people have willingly signed away their right to free speech because of their job or career.
Companies, school systems, municipalities, government agencies, and even religious organizations don’t want their employees making them ‘look bad’ or liable; so they make one of the conditions of employment a contract that ‘limits’ what they can say publicly if they are to remain employed.
I’m talking about speech that’s respectful and responsible, not reckless.
Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary [a]edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Colossians 4:6 (NKJV)
6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Are you free to say what you want to say about your company and where they stand on issues?
Are you free to say how you feel about the culture of your organization without fear of retaliation?
Is there something that you want to responsibly express or share about your organization… about your faith… about what’s in your heart, but if you do so you know you could lose your job?
How many people endure toxic cultures, bullying, inequity, unfair policies, abuse of authority, basically from people who are merely ‘working for a living’ just like them because they fear losing their job…career…even their retirement?
Is that freedom of speech?
Restricting our ability to respectfully and responsibly be critical and hold accountable the leadership in our places of employment or our concerns about social or spiritual issues is quite frankly not allowed in many workplaces.
It can’t be equated to shouting ‘FIRE’ in a public place. That protects life. And there is some speech that is not protected by the constitution because it’s a threat to the ‘public good’ however, withholding what’s on our mind about our employers sometimes only protects egos, reputations and the threat of litigation.
Think about this, Americans are more free to say how they feel about their national, state and local leaders… their pastor… their loved ones… than their boss.
Many people even express their criticism to God Himself before the do so to their boss!
We are more free to tell God how we feel without fear of relaliation than the person for whom we work.
Psalm 142:1-2 (NKJV)
I cry out to the Lord with my voice; With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.
God is more willing to ‘reason with us’ than many of our places of employment.
Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
Is you freedom of speech that’s protected by the Constitution, surrendered in your contract?
Think about it, but be careful what you say about it at work.
Forgiveness isn’t easy. That’s because there’s a spiritual battle going on in our mind. The battle comes from the anger, shame, embarrassment, disappointment resulting from the betrayal or whatever was done, said, (or not done or said) to hurt us.
But, you can win that battle. You can chose what you think about.
Stop focusing on what they did to hurt you, and think about they ways they have shown love to you…
…every time those painful thoughts enter you mind. When you find yourself thinking about the ‘unforgivable’ things they said, think about how they comforted you in the past when you were down. Think about the good times you’ve had with them.
Remember, you control your thoughts…
Philippians 4:8-9 (CJB)
8 In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy. 9 Keep doing what you have learned and received from me, what you have heard and seen me doing; then the God who gives shalom will be with you.
Everyone wants to look good. Men want to be handsome. Women want to be beautiful. Do you know anyone who doesn’t?
Many people work towards looking good and being healthy – and yes there is a difference. That’s why when you see or hear advertisements for gyms and diet plans, very rarely is it that they promote good health. Think about it. Most of the time it’s about…
Getting into shape…
Buns and abs…
We groom. We work out. We watch our diets. We purchase clothes. We do what it takes to look and feel our best. We do what it takes to maintain our health and a good quality of life.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good as long as we don’t become obsessed. Consider what the word of God says…
1 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)
8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
1 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV)
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
The bible isn’t saying it’s a sin to ‘get your hair done’, wear jewelry or wear nice clothes. It’s saying that you shouldn’t rely on that to make your beautiful. It’s saying that your true beauty should come from the godliness that’s inside your heart. He wants you more concerned with your inner beauty than outer beauty.
Even those who don’t have the so-called characteristics that society deems ‘beautiful’ in the context of each individual’s culture, can be viewed as beautiful and attractive when you can see the light of God on the inside – their loving, vibrant, lively, humble spirit shines through!
Have you become obsessed with your appearance? Are you feeding your flesh more than your faith? How many times a day do you check yourself in the mirror?
HAS YOUR MIRROR BECOME YOUR PLACE OF WORSHIP?
Here is a great test to give yourself…
Are you spending more time with your face in a mirror than your bible?
Do you use the camera on your phone to view yourself more than you use your bible app?
Do you know anyone obsessed with their appearance? Is it you?
There’s a thin line between good health, looking your best and worshiping oneself.
Please don’t let your mirror become your place of worship.
One of the most difficult things to understand in the Bible is used by unbelievers as one of the first bullets they shoot to say there is no God.
Why would a loving God allow people to be stoned to death? They go on to say, ‘who would want to serve a God like that?’
I’m quick to say, ‘Me!’ And, this is why.
Relationships fail because of expectations not being met. The Bible is a narrative about two relationships, God and those who claim to be His, and those who don’t.
There are also two dispensations of these relationships… Old Testament and New Testament.
The powerful thing about the Old Testament is that it’s where God gave us His expectations through His relationship with Israel and Judah.
Through THE MOSAIC LAW, we learned what behavior God loves and what behavior God hates. When we look closely at how God reacted to Israel’s behavior. Yes, sin is sin, but to put it simply, some sins piss God of more.
For example, if a stranger were to hack your bank account and stole one dollar, you would be angry. You would be angry that they invaded your privacy and sacred space. You would be angry that they stole from you, but not as angry at the amount they stole. But, what if someone close to you hacked your retirement, stole your life savings and used YOUR money to hire someone to kill you to get insurance money as well? How much MORE angry would that make you?
In the Old Testament there were some sins that led to being exiled, while there were other sins that led to death.
During that time, Israel was our example to let us know God’s level of displeasure.
1 Corinthians 10:10-12 (NASB)
10 Nor grumble, as some of them [a]did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
God allows different things happen in different times. Back then they had the benefit of great miracles and hearing directly from God. Today we have the benefit of their experiences and technology that would seem like magic to them.
It’s in the Old Testament that we learned God’s expectations…
Romans 7:7-25 (NKJV)
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, (A)I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, (B)“You shall not covet.” 8 But (C)sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evildesire. For (D)apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, (E)which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.12 Therefore (F)the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
However, when Yeshua came and fulfilled the law, His death satisfied not only the penalty of eternal death, but also extended grace that the law didn’t. For example, look at His response in these two situations..,
John 8:1-11 (NKJV)
8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Now [a]early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and (A)taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, [b]this woman was caught in (B)adultery, in the very act. 5 (C)Now [c]Moses, in the law, commanded us [d]that such should be stoned. But what do You [e]say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they (D)might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with Hisfinger, [f]as though He did not hear.
7 So when they continued asking Him, He [g]raised Himself up and said to them, (E)“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it,(F)being[h]convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up [i]and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers [j]of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, (G)“Neither do I condemn you; go [k]and (H)sin no more.”
Matthew 19:7-8 (KJV)
7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
So was the level of consequences left for our example in the Old Testament fair to the people living then relative to us today? Maybe not, but God never claimed to be fair, only just. GOD ISN’T FAIR, BUT HE’S JUST…
Because of this today we know God gets just as angry now at forsaking His day of rest by working unnecessarily, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, idolatry, or witchcraft as He did then. Now we know that stealing or coveting makes Him angry, but not as angry as the fore mentioned sins…yet all are sin.
The law and its consequences is our teacher.
Galatians 3:24-25 (NKJV)
24 Therefore the law was our [a]tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
I encourage you to read through the Old Testament from the perspective of intentionally noticing how He reacts to Israel’s behavior. It gives great insight into how He feels when we do the same things today.
The purpose of this article is not to defend nudity, but to remind us as to how it’s been presented, even academically, has continued a narrative that encourages racism.
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I will always remember the excitement of seeing a teacher roll an ‘old school’, reel-to-reel film projector into the room. It was a welcome diversion from normal classroom activities. However, I recall my spirit dropping and a feeling of dread when I saw that the ‘educational film’ was set in Africa, or the America’s where the nudity was described as ‘indigenous’, ‘native’ or tribal.
I would look around the room at some of my Black female classmates, and they would look embarrassed…I was. I could hear some of my classmates who were not Black laughing and giggling, but not the same way if they would giggle if the pictures were in an ‘adult’ magazine or movie. This nudity ‘indigenous’ was not presented as sensual, sexy, or erotic, but it equated to watching animals at the zoo who didn’t wear clothes. The males and females in these films were portrayed as uncivilized, unappealing and helped continue the narrative that people who lived in or originated in these countries were….less and inferior.
Was it stated explicitly? No. Was it inferred? Absolutely.
Respected publications such as National Geographic would be accessible to everyone on the shelf, while magazines with topless women would be hidden. They both contained nudity.
All of this helped established a paradigm that ‘indigenous’, ‘native’ or ‘tribal’ nudity was not equal to the European or American nudity that is accepted as art. While colonizers were savagely conquering ‘indigenous’ people around the globe, they portrayed these people as ‘savage’ and inferior.
So, why isn’t nudity displayed by people who are born in the United States or Europe considered ‘indigenous’ or ‘native’ when that’s the case by definition?
Why are some articles of clothing that are close to the color of ‘lighter skinned’ races considered ‘nude’ or ‘flesh’ color?
As the discussion about ‘cancel culture’ continues, quite frankly, some things should be canceled. Bringing an end to spiritually and culturally destructive traditions is one of the reasons the Pharisees and leaders sought to kill Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ…
Mark 7:7-9 (NKJV)
7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—[a]the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
9 He said to them, “All too well you [b]reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Even if we didn’t participate in establishing the cultures that cause division today, when we don’t work to change them, we are still guilty of participating by allowing them to continue.
Jesus eluded to this as well…
Matthew 23:29-32 (NKJV)
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and [a]adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’
31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt.
We all know that no matter how we portray ourselves to the world, God knows what’s really inside our hearts…
1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have [a]refused him. For[b]the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
None of us are perfect. We all have areas in which we need to grow. Sometimes our weaknesses, bad attitudes, selfishness, prejudices, pride etc., are hidden in our hearts from others and even sometimes from ourselves. Our lives are a lifelong process of learning our true selves.
But, God has a way to allow issues, circumstances and even opportunities to arise and reveal what’s really inside us.
Sudden wealth can show how selfish we really are.
Political issues bring to the surface the true feelings and passions of many.
Lapses of or lack of emotional control can quickly reveal what’s really in our hearts.
So, just the same as we want someone to tell us that there’s something in our nose, that our pants are unzipped, or that our underwear are visible, let us also hold one another accountable when we are showing how we really feel to make sure it aligns with the word of God.
This article is primarily for those who call themselves to be disciples of Christ. God is sovereign. And His sovereignty is on His terms, not based on our terms and the narrative that we desire.
There are many who have judged within their hearts and others have vocalized or published that they don’t think George Floyd should be the face, or name for a movement. They feel he doesn’t deserve to be a martyr.
They feel this way because of his past, because of the mistakes he made and because of the life he lived.
I humbly submit to anyone who feels that way to consider this…
GOD STILL CHOSE JACOB (LIAR, DECEIVER & THEIF)
God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. But, most of you know what Jacob did. He lied to and deceived his father (with the help of his mother) to steal his brother’s blessing. (Genesis 27-29). God STILL CHOSE HIM to establish the blessing and heritage that He promised to Jacob’s grandfather Abraham. Does Jacob deserved to be honored? If that happened today, how do you think self righteous people would react?
GOD STILL CHOSE THE 12 PATRIARCHS (SCHEMERS, LIARS, MURDERERS, FORNICATORS)
God chose the 12 sons of Jacob (Israel) to be the foundation and patriarchs of His chosen people, despite their character flaws…
They hated their younger brother so much that they conspired to kill him, but later decided to sell him as a slave and allow their father to go for years thinking he was dead. (Genesis 37)
Jacob’s fourth born son, Judah, thought he was sleeping with a prostitute but was actually sleeping with his daughter-in-law, who was tricking him so that she could have children by him. When he found out that she was pregnant, he wanted her killed until she presented his signet ring to prove he was the father. So, he solicited a prostitute and bore children with his daughter-in-law. However one of Israel’s most prominent tribes bears his name (Judah means PRAISE). God STILL CHOSE HIM despite his character flaws. Does he deserve that? (Genesis 38)
GOD STILL CHOSE LEVI AND SIMEON (DECEIVERS AND MURDERERS)
A man named Shechem, a prince of a neighboring land, sexually violated their sister Dinah, however he fell in love with her and asked if he could marry her. Of course her brothers were pissed off. But, they agreed to allow their sister to marry him if he and all the men of the land would be circumcised. He happily agreed. Three days after they were circumcised, Levi and Simeon went and killed all the men while they were in great pain from the ‘surgery’. Even in their anger, this was deception and murder. God STILL CHOSE THEM to be among the patriarch of His chosen people. Their crime did not disqualify them.
GOD STILL CHOSE MOSES (MURDERER)
One day when Moses saw an Egyptian beating one of the children of Israel, he intervened, murdered him and then fled. God STILL CHOSE MOSES even though he committed this crime. Did he deserve to be chosen to deliver Israel from Egypt, lead them to the promised land, and present God’s law to them? Was God wrong? (Exodus 2)
GOD STILL CHOSE DAVID (ABUSED HIS AUTHORITY, ADULTERER, MURDERER)
Everyone knows the account of David and Bathsheba. How David saw her bathing and lusted after her, but it didn’t stop there. He abused his authority as king by summoning her, he slept with her and got her pregnant. To hide the pregnancy, he had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah, who was one of David’s mighty men of valor (very loyal to David), sent to the front lines of battle so that he would be killed. David then married Uriah’s wife. The prophet Nathan confronted David with his sin, and he sorrowfully repented. Their son Solomon, grew to inherit the throne and was the most wise man to ever live. God STILL CHOSE David in spite of this horrible sin. He is still considered to be a man after God’s own heart because of his repentance. Does he deserve that? (2 Samuel 11)
GOD STILL CHOSE SAUL, ALSO KNOWN AS PAUL (PERSECUTED THE CHURCH, IMPRISONED CHRISTIANS, CONSENTED TO THE DEATH OF STEPHEN)
Saul was passionate about persecuting the church. He was greatly feared by the early Christians, but God still chose him to be an apostle to the Gentiles. He called himself the least of the apostles because of his past. But, God STILL CHOSE HIM while he was on his way to Damascus breathing THREATS AND MURDER against disciples of Christ. Did Saul/Paul deserve this honor and responsibility.
God has always used imperfect people to carry out His perfect will. God has proven that He has the sovereign right to chose who He wants.
We are not allowed to critique who and why God chooses. We don’t determine the narrative based on what we feel the ‘qualifications’ should be.
Now back to George Floyd. Millions of people around the world of all races have been united to fight for social justice for Black people. That thrills me. Especially when I wonder how many Pastors week after week, and year after year and never preach a sermon about social justice and civil rights to their congregations. Quite frankly, many of the same people who frown on George Floyd’s past find every reason in the world to excuse Donald Trump’s who not only has never been known for his character, integrity or faith, but was unrepentant when confronted with statements he made about grabbing women by the vagina, and bragging about pursuing married women.
Plus, most of the people chosen in the bible didn’t ‘apply for the job’. And, George Floyd never volunteered to be a martyr.
John 8:7 (NKJV)
7 So when they continued asking Him, He [a]raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
Last year in 2020, I published a piece addressing how many Christians consider being “sheep” an insult. I published it in the morning. Later that day I noticed a more prominent individual tweeted about the same topic with the same verbiage… That was too much of a coincidence. WHY DO SO MANY CHRISTIANS CONSIDER BEING CALLED ‘SHEEP’ AN INSULT?
I often see bloggers, writers, artists, musicians and ministers requesting money for what they have shared. I don’t have problem with that,
As a Christian blogger and professional copywriter, if you really want to bless me, cash isn’t necessarily…
But, if you’re inspired to the point of sharing what I have written or said…
That’s how writers gain credibility…
And, for writers, CREDIBILITY IS CURRENCY!
Jeremiah 23:30 (ESV)
30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another.
Anyone who believes in God has been asked these questions.
Most if not all believers, if they are willing to admit it to themselves, have asked some of these questions.
Not only are there some difficult things to understand in the Bible, but there are things God does today that are difficult to explain.
Why does God allow babies and children to suffer with terminal illnesses?
Why does the bible not explicitly forbid slavery?
Why does God allow abusive parents to have children, while others who would be loving, nurturing parents to go childless?
Why does God allow some people to be healed but other people, some we would even call ‘good’ people, to not be healed?
Luke 4:27 (NKJV)
27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
There are countless questions that atheists and some believers ask concerning God, either arrogantly or anxiously waiting for answers.
God gave us the example through the Psalms that He will allow us to question Him in humility, as long as we continue to trust Him…
Psalm 13:1-2 (NKJV)
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death; 4 Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
5 But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
If you’re like me, sometimes you feel pressured to give a quick and definite answer to ‘defend’ God. Sometimes you want a definite answer to satisfy yourself.
But the truth is that some things we simply don’t know.
That means sometimes the best answer is…
I DON’T KNOW!
Even those who depend on science to shape their beliefs have to admit that with all of our advances in science and medicine, there is still more that’s unknown than is known.
Scientists still have to sometimes say…
I DON’T KNOW!
Doctors have to sometimes admit…
I DON’T KNOW!
There are times that after a deadly diagnoses that the illness sometimes disappears and the physician has to admit…
I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!
So, no one should really scoff when a believer says they simply don’t know.
The fact is, there is great peace in admitting that even though you don’t know…you still trust God. He has told us that there are things that will be beyond are human minds, and even science helps prove that. There is much in science well beyond the reach of scientific knowledge.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Don’t deny yourself the blessing and peace of simply saying…”I DON’T KNOW!”
Psalm 131:1 (NKJV)
Lord, my heart is not [a]haughty, Nor my eyes [b]lofty. Neither do I [c]concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too [d]profound for me.
Admitting that you don’t know doesn’t confirm God isn’t God, it just confirms that we are human.
7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And[a] honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”[b]
10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
Jesus called the religious leaders “Hypocrites”, which was a pretty significant insult in that time. So much so, that His disciples called Him to the side and said in today’s terms… “Uhhh, you know you pissed them off right?”
But, Jesus didn’t say it to make them angry. Jesus didn’t say it to insult them. He didn’t say it to hurt them, He said it to help them, and help us too.
Jesus didn’t insult them, but they were insulted. But, many times we all are when we are confronted with truth about ourselves…we sometimes naturally get defensive.
Even today, truth is a viable defense when accused of defamation. If it’s true, it’s not libel or slander…and what Jesus said about them is true.
But, we should only say something BAD to or about someone if there is some GOOD to come out of it.
We should only say something bad to or about someone with an intention to help them and not hurt them.
It should be our intention for them, or those who hear it be better. It should be our intention, help them submit to God’s will, His word…His standards.
Jesus also proved you should never say anything about someone who you would not say to their face.
If Jesus had called them hypocrites to hurt or embarrass them, it would have been wrong.
If Jesus had called them hypocrites when they weren’t present to belittle them, it would have been wrong.
But, Jesus never sinned, so we know He wasn’t wrong. We know His intentions. But even when you have good intentions, it doesn’t mean that people won’t be insulted.
The same goes with us today. We should be willing to give and accept constructive criticism, so we can grow and mature in the LORD…that’s when an insult isn’t an insult.
We should pray the discernment to determine when to be loving and when to be sharp.
How many times have you sincerely told someone something to help them and they were insulted? When was the last time someone told you something to help you and it was insulting?
It doesn’t even have to be as sharp as calling them a hypocrite.
“You are unorganized”
“You are lazy”
“You are selfish”
“You’re too promiscuous”
“You’re too loud”
“You’re too insensitive”
“You’re too sensitive”
“You don’t listen”
“You’re too wasteful”
“You’re a bully”
“You’re too timid”
“You are a coward”
You are intimidating”
And the list goes on and on.
Has anyone said any of the statements to you before? Have you ever said any of them to anyone?
It’s WHY it was said that determines whether or not is an insult.
Now, most people who are confronted with something that needs to change about themselves will initially be insulted. But, much of our growth comes from that uncomfortable moment of truth and self-examination.
When Jesus called the religious leaders hypocrites, it was His intention for them to acknowledge it, repent and grow.
So the next time that someone, ‘insults’ you, even if they meant to hurt you, ask yourself, “Is this true about me”?
Even if they meant to insult you, if it’s true, you can take what was meant for evil and turn it into good. You can turn what could have been bad fruit into good fruit.
Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)
20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
There are few things more valuable than good advice. It’s one of those intangibles that can help us grow and mature. Whether it be that we ask for it ourselves or it’s given unsolicited, listening to and accepting good advice is an act of humility that can be very rewarding.
Proverbs 19:20 (NKJV)
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days.
Proverbs 12:15 (NKJV)
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.
Matthew 23:12 (NKJV)
12 And whoever exalts himself will be [a]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be [b]exalted.
Fortunately, we all have people in our lives who are always full of advice.
Unfortunately, sometimes these people have too much advice. There are no humorous, fun, carefree conversations…it’s always advice.
If the advice is good, take it. But, remember this…
WATCH OUT FOR PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS HAVE ADVICE BUT NEVER HAVE ENCOURAGEMENT!
Watch out for people who always have an…
“If I were you…”
“I tell people all the time…”
“You don’t need to do this…”
“You don’t need to do that…”
But never have a…
“It’s gonna be okay…”
“We all make mistakes…”
“I’m praying for you…”
Many times these people are more concerned with their EGO than helping you GROW.
Proverbs 16:24 (NKJV)
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And (A)I have walked in Your truth.
Psalm 86:11 (NKJV)
11 (A)Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; [a]Unite my heart to fear Your name.
If you consider yourself a disciple of Christ, you must be very careful of a popular affirmation these days…
I’m living my truth!”
Sometimes our truth is sin, anger, wrath, rage, lust, jealousy, prejudice, betrayal, hate, blame,a hardened heart, refusal to read God’s word, refusal to pray, forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, worshipping our desires, satisfaction of our flesh, rebellion against God.
The truth is, we can’t trust our heart or our ‘truth’ because without the truth of God’s word…it’s wicked.
Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)
9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And [a]desperately wicked; Who can know it?
I’ve heard and seen this so many times, verbally, on social media and in the comments of blog posts… Someone responds to a comment with , “DO. YOUR RESEARCH!”
The level of arrogance inferred and implied in that statement is amazing to the point it’s almost comical.
To tell someone “DO YOUR RESEARCH” implies three things…
You assume that they haven’t already done their research.
2. You assume that your research is superior to theirs.
3. You assume that your sources are more credible.
People love to research, discover and present the FACTS that support their desired narrative. One of the things I learned after years as a Marketing Manager for a Fortune 500 company and years in the radio industry is that research, information and ‘facts’ can be manipulated to support a desired narrative.
This is why in a court case, you will find an ‘expert’ witness for both the prosecution and defense telling two different stories.
Of course, there are some sources that are more credible than others. However, filtering through our biases and perspectives is the real challenge.
Besides, my desired source is to study the word of God, and the history and culture necessary to put in all in proper context and perspective.
Remember, we represent God in how we reason with one another. If God has offered to ‘reason’ with us, then we should be willing to reason with one another with respect.
Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
There are many HUGE blessings that we can sometimes take for granted in our materialistic, self-centered society. And, I’m not necessarily talking about those things that we usually STOP and thank God for too.
I’m talking about those blessings that aren’t really even thought of as blessings, kinda like air conditioning in a new car or indoor plumbing…we see them as a ‘givens’.
1. THE ABILITY TO BATHE YOURSELF…
Ask anyone who has to endure depending on someone else to bathe them every day. There are some things that you don’t want either loved ones or strangers to have to do for you.
2. THE ABILITY TO WIPE YOURSELF…
I’m going to push this point a little further… farther? You know what I mean:-) Imagine if you had to depend on someone to clean you every time you went to the bathroom. Never take the blessings of being able to do this for yourself for granted.
3. THE ABILITY TO HAVE COMPLETE BOWEL MOVEMENTS…
While we are thanking God for the ability to walk, see, hear and even think for ourselves, let us not forget to thank God for a healthy digestive system. Have you ever felt the misery of constipation?
4. THE ABILITY FEEL PAIN…
As annoying as pain may be, God gave us pain for a reason. It often let’s us know that something is wrong with our bodies. What if you didn’t know you were leaning on a hot stove? Sometimes pain is a warning to an underlying health condition.
5. THE ABSENCE OF PAIN…
And, as much as pain can be a warning, there are those who live in constant pain daily. Never take for granted the blessing if ‘feeling good’.
This short list is by no means exhaustive. I just wanted to provoke us to thinking and thanking. What are some other things that we often forget to forget when giving thanks?
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
If my blog blesses you, I gladly accept donations of $2 or less. 1 Corinthians 9:14 (CJB) 14 In the same way, the Lord directed that those who proclaim the Good News should get their living from the Good News.