Let me say first that I’m not excusing adultery, fornication or any other sexual sin. These sins also result from an innate, natural desire that we don’t ask for, and people make a choice to commit these sins based on that desire.
However, there are many people who are now trying to defend homosexuality by saying that Jesus never addressed it, or forbade it. They say only the Apostle Paul addressed it, and some even try to contend that he wasn’t really talking about homosexuality.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet.
We all know there are several sins that Jesus never directly addressed…
To name a few.
Jesus didn’t even say directly that getting drunk is a sin. It was indirect.
He did address marriage, fornication adultery and divorce.
And, no one disputes that the LORD only permits sex within marriage.
In Matthew Chapter 19, Jesus repeated what He Himself said as The Living Word in Genesis 5:2 , yes He was there in the beginning (Elohim, the name for God in Genesis is a plural noun)… Matthew 19:4-5(NKJV)
4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made[a] them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’[b]5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?[c]
The context of the conversation here is marriage and divorce. Jesus specifically calls out MALE and FEMALE in the context of marriage. This is not a cherry picked scripture. It is Jesus in perfect harmony with what God established in the beginning.
Jesus clearly says let HIM (male) be joined to his WIFE (female), because some try to contend, ‘who says that a wife has to be a woman’.
This undeniably defines marriage as between a man and woman.
These verses (Genesis and Matthew) define marriage as between a man and woman. And, since God only permits sex within marriage, sex with any partner, heterosexual or homosexual is sin.
So yes, without saying the word ‘homosexuality’, Yeshua, Christ Jesus addressed it. Any other conclusion is conjecture…reaching…trying to fit a square peg into a triangular slot.
Of course you aren’t going to ‘click’ with everyone with whom you work. Yes, you can meet some life-long friends at work, and sometimes even a spouse. But, many times we work with people who are so much unlike us that we will never be buddies or friends.
However, we do have to learn to work with everyone in a productive and hopefully cordial manner. Whether you work in an office, a school, a factory or a store, we all have to work in a team environment. That’s why so many organizations try to integrate ‘team building’ activities to encourage healthy, productive, efficient and effective interaction.
WHEN DID FORCING PEOPLE TO ‘SOCIALIZE’ WITH THE CO-WORKERS THEY DON’T ‘LIKE’ BECOMING TEAM BUILDING?
Team building should take place during the workday. Team building should be integrated into the processes. It should be a part of the culture.
When you work on projects together…go to meetings together…have working lunches together…work on the line together…have in-service together…go on business trips together…when you WORK together, that’s team building.
It’s the organization’s responsibility to facilitate team building in or at the facility. Forcing people to ‘hang out’ together isn’t for everybody, and that should be respected.
In fact, after work is the time for FAMILY BUILDING.
After work is the time for SELF BUILDING.
After work is the time for BUILDING our RELATIONSHIPS with GOD.
I’m persuaded to believe that God intends for us to separate work from our personal lives. I think He wants us to have a healthy work-life balance.
Psalm 128:1-4 (NKJV)
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways.
2 When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the Lord.
Sometimes the best team building activity is time away from your co-workers.
The wisdom in the inspired word of God is amazing! It provides a guide, a measuring stick and a test for behavior that transcends time, culture and our own personal theologies, you know, what we CHOOSE to believe.
It’s easy to say I love you or to say I don’t love you anymore, but how do you know if it’s really love?
Well, the bible gives us an incredible test to tell whether or not behavior is actually love that we can use daily in our families, on our jobs, in our churches…in every situation.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not [a]puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, [b]thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
If it’s not patient…it’s not love.
If it’s not kind…it’s not love.
If it’s arrogant…it’s not love.
If it’s not humble…it’s not love.
If it’s rude…it’s not love.
If it is selfish…it’s not love.
If it is easily provoked to anger, lust, greed etc,…it’s not love.
If thoughts linger on things against the will of God…it’s not love.
If it rejoices and celebrates evil people, behavior or thoughts…it’s not love.
If it isn’t willing to carry the weight of those who are weaker…it’s not love.
If it isn’t willing to endure, no matter what the difficulty, believe through when belief and faith are most challenged, hope through the the most difficult and seemingly impossible circumstances…it’s not love!
Save this. Copy and paste this. Share this. Use this every day. Look at every situation, and use this as a test to tell…Is it really love?
There may be some reason that you aren’t looking forward to or may even be dreading tomorrow…. next week… or next month. It could be because of challenges in your relationship(s), on your job, your health.
It could be that your paycheck will not be enough to take care of your obligations.
It may be a promise you made that you already know you can’t fulfill.
You may have robbed Peter and still don’t have enough to pay Paul. You may be separated from loved ones and support.
It may be the expected or the unexpected.
I’m not here to promise a miracle if you share this post.
I’m not even promising tomorrow will be better or even arrive.
God hasn’t promised us tomorrow…but He has given us today.
That’s why He said…
Matthew 6:34 (NKJV)
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
If you have the strength or means to read this post or have it read to you, then God has abundantly blessed you.
In fact, no matter how much or how little money, food, clothing, strength or hope you have, He’s given you more than enough for today.
Those days in your past that you have dreaded, even if they were as ‘bad’ as you expected…you’re still here.
The truth is that God is sovereign to do what He pleases with each day and each person He made.
He loves us, and no matter how bad it may seem, He’s working all things together for our good…
Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
The fact is either we trust Him or we don’t. Don’t worry about tomorrow if you don’t trust God with today.
If you’re worried about tomorrow… next week… or even next year…
SNAP OUT OF IT! And, make a conscious effort to do everything you can to enjoy every minute… every second… every hour of today.
Reach down inside and praise God and tell Him you love Him and trust Him with today.
If you don’t know what to say, I suggest…
Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
If you have enough for today, and only today then you are blessed. That’s what Yeshua the Messiah promised us…
Matthew 6:31-34 (NKJV)
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But (A)seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
The Lord encourages us to never worry about tomorrow. He wants us to totally trust Him with each tomorrow He gives us.
Remember, that if you have enough for today…you’re blessed.
If you have just one slice of bread left for tomorrow… that’s ‘overflow’.
How many ‘TODAYS’ have you missed out on because you’re worried about ‘TOMORROW’?
If you’re worried about tomorrow… next week… next month… next year…
SNAP OUT OF IT! Stop, make a conscious effort to enjoy every minute…every hour… every moment of today.
This piece isn’t intended to judge anyone for their level of reaction on social media. Any of us who participate have people with whom we’ve connected that get less reaction than others, and we really mean no harm.
So that being said, we all noticed that some friends react heavily to your birthday and family posts, but not so much when you’re sharing your accomplishments, creativity, humor, inspiration etc.
Sometimes people even get ‘in their feelings’ and announce that they are ‘removing’ friends and followers who aren’t engaged. We have all probably noticed ‘ADD FRIEND’ on someone’s page that you thought you were already connected…because they removed you.
So, here are 7 reasons why some of your friends refrain from reacting to your posts..
1. They don’t know you like that…
Yes, you’re friends. You have mutual friends that you may know or not REALLY know, but you’re not in each others ‘circle’ of REAL friends with whom you interact on a regular basis. The fact is that you know OF each other, but don’t really KNOW each other. So, don’t take it personal. Think of the friends in your social media circle that you don’t really know. How often to you react to their posts?
2. YOU post too much for them…
Notice that the heading says YOU post too much, and not you POST too much. Sometimes people get tired of YOUR posts, while they may react very frequently to someone else’s. They might not even know why, but for some reason they get tired of seeing YOUR posts. Sooo, this is ‘somewhat’ personal but not necessarily malicious.
3. They’re annoyed by your ACCOMPLISHMENTS, CREATIVITY, , MARRIAGE, HUMOR, POLITICS, INSPIRATION, COMPLAINING or FAITH…
When we step back and look at what we share, most of the time it’s centered around one or two themes…the pursuit of our passions, our accomplishments, our faith, happy marriages, complaining, politics or encouraging others. Many times we can almost predict what someone’s post will be about when we see their names. Personally my ‘friends’ react far less frequently to posts about my wife’s music, my blog or inspiration, but they react heavily to birthday and family posts. But, as I said, I catch myself doing the same thing.
4. They’re stealing from your creativity…
Many times your friends and followers aren’t ignoring you at all. They really secretly LOVE your content… your inspiration… your opinions… your creativity. They like it so much that while they don’t acknowledge they’ve seen your posts, they ‘steal’ from your creativity… They use your quotes without quoting that you said it first…. They use your thoughts in their conversations, speeches, sermons, songs, etc… and they don’t want you to know they saw that it originated with you. It’s one thing to be inspired by someone, and another thing to ‘steal’ from their creativity.
5. They don’t like you, but can’t disconnect from you…
Some people will see your caption, image or video and move their finger to react, then when they see it’s YOU, they keep scrolling instead. They don’t necessarily hate you (but they also just might) but for some reason don’t react but won’t disconnect. They enjoy ‘not liking you’. They enjoy using you posts as excuses to talk about you to others. Your posts are fuel for their attitude against you and provide material for conversations. They LOVE to HATE you. Disconnecting or ‘unfriending’ you would actually make their life a little more boring.
6. They don’t consider you to be a PEER but love to PEER at your posts…
You may be in the same profession. You may share common interests. You may feel that you are they’re PEER OR equal, but they still love to PEER or look at your posts. As an associate minister and blogger, SOME but not all of my Senior Pastor connections on social media may not consider me to be a PEER or their equal in the ministry, but that doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes VIEW, are inspired by and sometimes use my content.
7. They just don’t notice…
We all have people within our social media circles who we just simply don’t notice their posts. As they scroll looking for certain people or topics, they may miss some people in their circle. They don’t mean any harm…I think we all do this sometimes.
This short list is by no means exhaustive. Again, think about the reasons you may not react as much to some people in your circle. So, before you disconnect from people who don’t react as much as you like…think about the reasons you’re on social media. And, remember, don’t base you life and happiness on what happens there.
And remember that Jesus let us know that all of us are fickle at our best…
John 2:23-24 (NIV)
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.[a]24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.
I recently heard two successful businessmen, on separate occasions, ‘joke’ about being away from home so much. They both eluded to fact that their families are actually glad when they ARE NOT at home, and dread seeing them return. It reminded me of someone confessing to me years ago that some days, they wished their spouse would have a fatal accident on the way home…they have a strong happy marriage today though.
Family life, whether it’s just two, but especially if there’s several people in the house can be challenging. No matter what’s going on, what energy to you bring into the house…positive or negative?
Everyone brings negativity and dysfunction SOMETIMES, but at TIMES it’s SOME more than others. It can cause people who genuinely love one another to dread seeing each other.
Dad or mom may be grumpy…for whatever reason…
Husband or wife neglecting responsibilities…
The children may be unappreciative or feel neglected…
The siblings may feel one is favored over the other…
Someone in the family responding too harshly…
The daily challenges of work, school and life may be brought home…
Arguments might end without apologies or closure…
Unspoken grievances and complaints with one another fester…
Personal flaws, faults and idiosyncrasies cause harsh feelings towards one another.
For whatever reason, good or bad, justified or unjustified…sometimes each of us can be very hard to live with. Sometimes we ALL can make home life unpleasant. It can become a vicious cycle of responses to behavior that no one even remembers where it started.
This is why sometimes people may either say, or quietly think to themselves, Wow! It sure is more peaceful in the house when ________________ isn’t at home!
Love (just like God’s unselfish, sacrificial love) is the glue that holds families together, and love is always most powerful as a VERB rather than a NOUN.
Real love isn’t just when we are laughing, joking and treasuring one another, but when we are stretching one another’s patience to the limit. When we dread confronting one another, when we are at odds, but still want to be around one another. Real love is being the one who can stop the vicious cycle of reactions to bad behavior with good behavior.
God has solutions in His word to help encourage peace and harmony in the home, and he leaves all of us responsible and accountable. Here are a few scriptures that I have pulled that should relate to everyone…of course this is not exhaustive. There are many more scriptures and accounts in the bible to teach us how to have peace in the house and enjoy one another. Read the verses, if anything applies to you, do your part to keep peace in your house, and remember that 1 Peter 4:8 teaches us, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS”. And, that 1 Corinthians 13:8 exhorts that “LOVE NEVER FAILS…”
When our relationships fail, it’s not because love has failed, it’s because we failed love.
1 Peter 3:7
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them(wives) with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:1-2
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.
1 Corinthians 7:2-5
Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
1 Timothy 5:8
8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Think about all the times God watched us deny, and betray Him…yet He still is always ready to forgive us.
He expects us to do the same.
Ephesians 4:31-32 (CJB)
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted; and forgive each other, just as in the Messiah God has also forgiven you.
The people who are closest to you. The people who you enjoy being around most, and who most enjoy being around you.
Our circles really say quite a bit about who we are.
It’s interesting to see YOUR place in YOUR circles. All circles have those who have the greatest influence…they are the leaders. And, some have those who are either followers, or just glad to be in a group of people like them.
I think that people can be defined by three types of circles. Circles with people who are:
These people have one basic thing in common. They are all making it. They are all getting by, but they are all JUST getting by. They are doing what it takes to survive, and there’s not much more time or money to do anything else. Some are content with this and some aren’t, but they are all just surviving. Within, the group of ‘survivors’ there are still some who are ‘surviving’ better than the others in the group. If this is you, where do you fall in place with your group of survivors?
This group also one thing in common…they are all doing extraordinarily well. They are living in ‘overflow’ of everything they need and the freedom, ability and access to what they want. But, much like the NBA team with players who are superstars, while others are multi-million dollar superstars…they are all in the same prosperous circle, but some are prospering much better than others. If this is you, where do you fall in your thriving circle?
This circle’s common denominator is struggle. Not only is surviving a struggle for those in this circle, but it seems that everyone seems to be losing ground. They aren’t necessarily lazy, but some may be. They may work hard. They may even be wise, but have unfortunate circumstances. Even in this group, some are losing ground faster than others. And, within this circle are leaders and those who have greater influence. It this is you, where are you in your circle?
What ever your circle may be, you can still be a light for God…you can still be a positive influence. Because the truth is that these circles will always exist…
And, God needs to be found in all of them.
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
So, no matter what your circle, make sure that you aren’t just the GOOD influence, make sure you’re the GOD influence.
Mom said, “Hurry and get cleaned up Eric! You’re going to be late for school!”
Eric was still sleepy, so he dragged himself out of bed as mom continued to scream, “I want to hear that water running NOW!”
So young Eric went into the bathroom, lathered up his washcloth and quickly washed all ‘the important parts’ so he could tell mom that he did it.
Not long after getting to school, Eric began itching badly. He tried to discreetly scratch his bottom, but the itching was so intense, he didn’t care. He aggressively scratched trying to get some relief.
It got so bad that his 4th grade teacher called mom. She came to school, picked up Eric and scolded him for not washing his behind.
Eric told his mom, “But, I DID wash it mom!”
Eric‘s problem was that he quickly washed, but didn’tproperly rinse away all of the soap, which made him itch, so he had the same effect and symptoms as if he didn’t wash at all. His going through the motions led to some uncomfortable consequences.
WHAT‘S THE LESSON HERE?
So many times as adults we can get in a hurry, especially when overwhelmed, and simply go through the motions of what we’re SUPPOSED to do, but don’t do it properly.
We mutter a quick prayer just to say we did it…
We robotically read a ‘verse of the day’ rather than really reading and studying the bible…
We rush through blessing our food without putting any real thought into what we’re saying….
We quickly say The Model Prayer (popularly known as The Lord’s Prayer) rather than having an intimate moment with God…
We say I love you to our family rather than showing I love you…
We hypnotically ‘go through the motions’ on our jobs without thinking about the real reasons we’re doing them, or the implications and consequences if we don’t do them properly and correctly.
We ‘go through the motions’ with our spiritual, personal and professional lives and wonder why our ‘butt won’t stop itching’.
Don’t just go through the motions just to say you check ✔️ed off a box….figuratively WASH AND RINSE THOROUGHLY!
Eric learned his lesson, and it serves as a good reminder for us.
Simply going through the motions can lead to uncomfortable consequences and ‘sticky’ situations.
Colossians 3:23 (ESV)
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
There are negative stereotypes of every race, gender, geographic region, culture, nationality, religion etc.
This is one article that needs no evidence or examples because as you read it those negative stereotypes of which you are aware easily come to mind.
I don’t know what’s worse, negative stereotypes or those people who seem to do their best to support those stereotypes with their thinking, attitudes and behavior.
Even in the bible, the apostle Paul mentions a stereotype that was supported by the behavior of SOME of the people of a certain group, that projected to all of them…
Titus 1:10-13 (NKJV)
10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle (A)talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, (B)for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 (C)One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. (D)Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
Notice that Paul said, “THIS TESTIMONY IS TRUE”. That’s because that…
No matter hard some people work to remove negative stereotypes of their particular ‘group’, there are others who seem to be committed to helping those stereotypes to live on.
Unfortunately, some stereotypes are like rumors… most (but not all) rumors are wrapped around a kernel of truth.
Think about the many groups of which you are a part, and the negative stereotypes of those groups…
Which of those stereotypes does your thinking, attitudes and behavior help those stereotypes live on?
Be careful, sometimes our stereotyping someone fits a stereotype within itself.
Leadership can be a lonely place. Ask any coach, politician, principal, president, pastor or parent. Leadership is a roller coaster of highs and lows…love and hate.
Jesus Christ is the model of non-wavering servant leadership, and He suffered second guessing, doubt, denial and betrayal from those closest to Him.
As sincere as we try to be, people are fickle. Jesus attested to this early in His earthly ministry after His first miracle…
John 2:23-25 (NKJV)
23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the (A)signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He (B)knew all men,25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for (C)He knew what was in man.
People who support you can suddenly become your worst enemy.
Of course when you make horrible decisions people will come for you.
However, every dedicated leader reading this knows that when you make the toughest, most difficult decisions that make life uncomfortable and require sacrifice…people will plot against you.
But wait! When you make great decisions that people love, SOMEONE is always going to get jealous of your great leadership. Someone will always get pissed off at you doing the right thing?
During my years as a corporate marketing manager before becoming a teacher, I realized that even when an advertising agency is doing a stellar job for a client, companies sometimes get rid of them simply because they want to try something new.
So, it really doesn’t matter, whether you’re an exceptional leader or horrible a horrible one, someone will murmur, scheme or plot against you.
Why? Because if it happened to Jesus, it will happen to us. The fact is that it’s only fair that we share in what He endured…
1 Peter 4:13 (NKJV)
13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
So, don’t be surprised.
Approach every single day with focus, integrity, passion and courage.
It’s been said that “hurt people, hurt people”. How many times has someone hurt you…disrespected you…betrayed you…embarrassed you…abused you, or hurt, disrespected, betrayed, embarrassed, or abused someone you love — and you wanted to see them hurt too?
You want to see them experience the same pain that they caused. You want them to know how you feel, and regret how they treated you or your loved one. This is wrong, but this is natural and one of the burdens of our sinful nature.
There is a classic example of this in the bible. Easu, Isaac’s first born twin, was enraged at is brother Jacob for taking his birthright and stealing his blessing…
Genesis 25:29-34 (NKJV)
29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called [a]Edom.
31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”
32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”
33 Then Jacob said, [b]“Swear to me as of this day.”
So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Genesis 27:1-29 (NKJV)
27 Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim thathe could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.”
And he answered him, “Here I am.”
2 Then he said, “Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. 4 And make me [a]savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it.6 So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, “Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, 7 ‘Bring me game and make [b]savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.’ 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. 9 Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. 10 Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.”
11And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.”
13 But his mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.” 14 And he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made [c]savory food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18 So he went to his father and said, “My father.”
And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”
19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.”
20 But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?”
And he said, “Because the Lord your God brought it to me.”
21 Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him.
24 Then he said, “Are you really my son Esau?”
He said, “I am.”
25 He said, “Bring it nearto me, and I will eat of my son’s game, so that my soul may bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near now and kiss me, my son.” 27 And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said:
“Surely, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field Which the Lord has blessed. 28 Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine. 29 Let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, And let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, And blessed be those who bless you!”
So, because of this, Esau comforted himself daydreaming about killing his brother…
Genesis 27:42 (NKJV)
42 And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you.
Even if you didn’t want to see them killed, how many times have you comforted yourself with the thought of seeing someone else hurt?
Be careful! When you judge in your heart that someone else deserves pain because of the pain they caused…that’s condemnation and judgement. And, we all know what the bible says about when we judge (condemn) someone else…
Matthew 7:1-2 (NKJV)
7 “Judge[a] not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what [b]judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
You are pronouncing that judgment on yourself!
Remember, we have all hurt, disrespected, betrayed, embarrassed, or abused someone. Even if we didn’t intend to do so, their pain was real.
When those thoughts enter your head, immediately ask God to forgive you, then pray and ask God to forgive them and touch their hearts with His love. Bless them…
Luke 6:28-36 (NKJV)
28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, [a]hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
We encourage others when we testify of the depths of sin from which God delivered us… when we admit how low we allowed the devil to convince us to go. It can help others who are going through the same struggles, but be careful…especially with the details.
You must use wisdom, discernment and discretion when sharing your ‘testimony’. You don’t have to and sometimes can’t tell ALL YOUR BUSINESS and give all the details when sharing your lowest and worst. Why?
Because just as others can and will draw strength from your story of ‘how low you allowed yourself to go’, and how God delivered you…others can and will be discouraged or feel justified in their sin.
Some details are best not shared.
Some experiences that God allowed to remain secret, should remain secret.
We all know that Saul/Paul persecuted the church, but God didn’t give us all of the details.
We all know that Saul/Paul had a ‘thorn in the flesh’, but God didn’t allow us to know what it was.
We all know that Peter denied Christ, but we don’t know any of his other sins.
Think how Paul expressed his internal battle with good and evil…
Romans 7:15-20 (NKJV)
15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Some people aren’t concerned about the spiritual lesson in your story, they’re just nosey.
Yes, we should encourage others who can benefit from what we’ve gone through, but pray for wisdom in what needs to remain between you and God.
“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph…”
It happens every day. Maybe you’ve been on either side of this situation.
You have an amazing interview, and they can’t wait until you get started. YOU’RE HIRED! You immediately come in and do what no one else in the world can do better than you… Do you! Be yourself! Do your job the way only you can.
You have stellar performance reviews. You do exactly as you promised in your interview. You have months and years of success…and then it happens.
You have a new boss who doesn’t know the person who hired you, and for whatever reason, they’re not a fan of you…NO MATTER HOW WELL YOU DO YOUR JOB.
It could be because they want someone else for your position.
They may not like your personality.
They may feel threatened by you.
They may simply not like you for no reason at all… And, from that moment, he or she begins to start finding a way to get you to leave, or get rid of you.
You’re just like Joseph of Genesis, the son of Jacob who found favor with the king of Egypt (Pharaoh) and not only set up Joseph as second in command over the entire kingdom, but set up his entire family with land and provisions during a time of famine, but eventually…
“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph…”
6 And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. 7 But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and [a]grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.
8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses.
This happened to me. Along came a ‘king’ who didn’t know the person who hired me.
After awesome relationships with previous Directors and VP’s and several years of positive reviews in one of my former corporate jobs, a new Senior VP and Director arose and for whatever reason, they weren’t fans of me. To make a long story short, they eventually found reasons to get rid of me. But, God is sovereign over any ‘boss’.
It was painful.
I felt ambushed.
It was embarrassing.
It wasn’t how I planned to leave.
But sometimes God has a plan for our lives that we can’t see, and He has to deliver us from situations that we wouldn’t leave ourselves.
The bible proves that deliverance isn’t always easy or comfortable.
Israel wasn’t destined to be settled in Egypt, but in the land God promised Abraham. And, the way that God got them to that promised land wasn’t easy. It was also delayed because of their disobedience, but He continued to deliver them time and time again until His promise was fulfilled.
Back to me.
I’ve always had a desire to teach, but never followed through. So, I finally took two PRAXIS tests (for teaching) before taking my last corporate job and passed both of them, but I was called for an interview with a Fortune 300 company for a mid-level management position. It payed much, much more than a teacher’s salary, and I went for the money. Within ten years that job went from ‘thrive to struggling to survive’. As I said, they let me go.
But, God stepped in and gave me an opportunity to become part of a fellowship to get me into the classroom. He gave me the ability to transition to a new career at 50 years old. I’m making half as much money, but God somehow has my family living much better, and I’m much happier and much more fulfilled. I’m even working at the same school as my veteran teacher wife in an awesome district.
And, God is allowing me to be effective and bring glory to Him by how I do my job. I couldn’t do it without Him…
Remember God has ultimate control over your life, not your boss. And, if you happen to be granted that level of authority over someone’s life, never forget who has authority over yours.
It’s not always easy to praise God. That’s the reason it’s sometimes called “the sacrifice of praise”. I pray this sermon excerpt blesses you:-)
Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)
15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, [a]giving thanks to His name.
Isaiah 61:3New King James Version (NKJV)
3 To [a]console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Stay woke is an urban idiom that implies stay informed to the truth in the midst of biased, filtered information…Don’t get hypnotized by current trends, pop culture or status quo…Don’t let it dictate your thinking. It can also infer don’t believe your own hype.
‘WOKE’ has recently been politicized beyond its original meaning.
That being said, from a Christian point of view it simply means don’t get caught up in the world.
I can’t say it any better than how God said it through the Apostle Paul…
Romans 13:11-14 (NLT)
11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. WAKE UP, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
Are your children ever disobedient or disrespectful? Come on, now even ‘good’ kids have their moments.
Are your adult children ever unappreciative, disconnected or disrespectful?
Mark 7:8-13 (NKJV)
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 reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’;[b]and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’[c]11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God),12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother,13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
Most if not all Christian parents love to remind their children of what the bible says about being obedient to parents…
Ephesians 6:1 (NKJV)
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Colossians 3:20 (NKJV)
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
And, most parents get frustrated and angry when their children…
Don’t appreciate them…
Don’t ask for their advice…
Don’t take their advice…
Don’t talk to them…
Respect others more than them…
Or, even rebel against them.
Have you ever had, or are you going through any of these situations as a parent? Did you put your parents through any of these situations?
All parents want their children to listen to them…to honor and respect them. And, they don’t want it to be a ‘burden’ to do so. They want them to do it freely out of love for them.
So, parents, the next time you are frustrated because your children aren’t listening, or aren’t giving you the respect you deserve, remember this verse…
1 John 5:3 (NKJV)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
Then, I ask you to join me in asking yourself, “Is this how God feels when I…
Don’t appreciate Him…
Don’t ask for His advice…
Don’t take His advice…
Don’t talk to Him…
Respect others more than Him…
Rebel against Him…
Don’t listen to Him?
Why should we expect any more out of our children than we give to God?
Maybe, just maybe, God is sometimes trying to teach us a lesson through our children.
Hymnals are an important and beloved part of the Christian tradition during worship service.
Many hymnals sung in churches were written centuries ago, but the lyrics are just as relevant today.
However, God raises up talented, creative and anointed psalmists for every generation. Yes, there’s plenty of meaningless, forgetful music out there intended to appeal to the senses and not the spirit, but there’s also tons of Christian songwriters and musicians who focus on honoring the scriptures with their music.
They write powerful, scriptural lyrics that live in specific genres to connect with believers all over the world.
Just as much as these ‘new hymnals’ are contemporary, those old songs were once ‘new school’ too.
The truth is, that as powerful and meaningful that, “Yield Not To Temptation” may be, the song and songs like it just won’t connect with some people in our generation or generations to come. However, all sincere believers have favorite spiritual songs that deliver the same message and help them connect with God.
None of the traditional songs that are so reveredtoday (except for the Psalms) were writtenduring ‘bible times.’ They’re spiritual but not scripture.
There are some Christians who will make you feel guilty about omitting classical hymnals during worship and using ‘bible apps’ instead of bound bibles.
They must be reminded that classical hymnals were once new, and bound bibles were ‘new technology’ after scrolls.
God DOES accept your worship as long as the songs are God-inspired and scriptural.
Traditional hymnals are a beautiful tradition, but they’re still just that…tradition NOT SCRIPTURE.
One day, the new songs written today will be Old School too.
Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another (A)in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
I remember during my years in school as a student the occasional teacher who would give an assignment during winter or spring break. I also remember the same as a parent when my children were in students.
I hated it then for myself and my children, and I hate it now.
Now, after years in corporate America, I’m now an educator, and I refuse to assign work to students over breaks. My wife is also a high-performing, veteran educator.
We work in an amazing district and have administrators that actively look for opportunities to lighten teachers’ workloads in a macro-culture of unrealistic expectations, responsibilities and legal liability…many teachers are overworked and overwhelmed.
All breaks are earned and well-deserved. And, a BREAK should be a real BREAK. It should be a time when one doesn’t have to do or think about work… a time of refreshing.
That being said, as an educator, I feel it’s hypocritical for any educator or administrator to expect children to do work or think about school over their breaks as well….it should a time of refreshing and being a kid.
Most cake recipes call for a little salt. Many of us like to satisfy our sweet tooth with a good slice of cake. In fact, when it’s really good, one bite just makes you want another. The right amount of salt makes cakes taste just right…making you want more with each bite. However, too much salt will make us quickly spit it out of our mouth.
Colossians 4:6 tells us to let our speech be full of grace and seasoned with salt. Ecclesiastes 7:16 says, “Do not be overly righteous,” Nor be overly wise:..”
It’s good to have passion for the Kingdom of God, but when we are over-zealous, arrogant, mean-spirited self-righteous, we can turn people away rather than attract them to Christ. All things in moderation. If we are trying to talk about the Lord in EVERY conversation, claim we never do anything wrong, or down people who are unbelievers, we can make people avoid us, dread seeing us coming and destroy any influence we may have. But, if we cleverly chose the right moments to ‘sprinkle the salt of the word’ when it’s applicable, people are more likely to listen, receive it, and even soften hardened hearts.
We need to ‘love out loud’ and ‘live out loud’ to let people see God in our character rather than beating them with the bible, making every conversation about God, or punctuating every sentence with a spiritual cliché. Wisely ‘sprinkling the salt’ of God’s word in conversations can make people hungry for more, and establish you as the go-to person on your job, your team, your school, your family when people want to know more about God. Being over zealous makes us seem crazy, and people can conclude, “I don’t want what they have.” God expects us to use wisdom and do everyone His Spirit of excellence. Notice how Paul reasoned with the Epicureans, Stoics, and people of Athens with respect and wisdom in Acts 17. He didn’t ‘beat them over the head’ or talk down to them. He wetted their appetite so that some wanted to hear more.
Psalm 19:10 proclaims God’s word is sweeter than honey in the comb. Yes it is! I love it. But if we don’t handle it wisely, people will spit it out, and we can do more harm than good.
God is a forgiving God and He is willing to forgive us of
all our sins as long as we truly repent and have a forgiving heart towards
But, sometimes we can wonder if we will ever recover from
the consequences of our bad decisions.
Let me give you a quick reminder that God loves us and He is
bigger than or bad decisions.
Any parent who has punished or disciplined their child will
look on them in pity and remove the punishment or give them relief from the
consequences if It’s in their power to do so.
God does the same thing…
Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But [a]joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 103:9-11 (NKJV)
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not
dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
So if you’re living out the consequences or results of a bad
decision and you have truly repented, pray that God deliver you from the
Pray that God gives you relief and peace. But, make sure you
pray that He does so to his glory and for His names sake…
Psalm 25:10-11 (NKJV)
10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth,
To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. 11 For Your
name’s sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Psalm 143:11 (NKJV)
11 Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake!
For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
Isaiah 48:8-10 (NKJV)
8 Surely you did not hear,
Surely you did not know;
Surely from long ago your ear was not opened.
For I knew that you would deal very treacherously,
And were called a transgressor from the womb.
9 “For My name’s sake I will [a]defer My anger,
And for My praise I will restrain it from you,
So that I do not cut you off. 10 Behold, I
have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
Once I was driving at night and didn’t see a small ditch. I drove right into it! I had to drive IN the ditch for a while until I could find a place to drive OUY of it. Sometimes you have to remain in a ditch until you can find a place to be pulled out our pull yourself out.
Even though you may remain in a ‘ditch’ because of you’re a bad
decision, God can pull you out.
Have you noticed that people treat Christmas shopping like a duty, an obligation… almost like a job?
One person will ask…
“Have you finished your Christmas shopping?”
“Are you ready for Christmas?”
and another will answer…
“No, I HAVE , GOT to get it done!”
During this season, people spend enough money to make or break many retailers’ fiscal year…
During this time of year some people are prepared because they’ve saved for the holiday…
During this time of year some people spend money they can’t afford in order to buy presents…
During this time of year some people borrow money and end up paying for this Christmas into and beyond the next.
Are any of these people you?
Think about the fervor, the diligence, the stress….
Think of the hustle, the bustle, the FUSStle…
Consider this. What if people approached benevolence with the same attitude they approach the holiday?
Have you given to the poor? homeless? needy? orphaned?
Have you visited the sick? lonely? imprisoned?
No, but I HAVE GOT to get started!!!!
If we, in the Body of Christ, approached cheerful, unobligated giving all year as we do at Christmas…what kind of world would this be?
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV)
7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
Just think about it…
Matthew 25: 31-46
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[c] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him,[d] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Think for a moment about the professions that are considered to be honorable.
Think for a moment the professions that earn the most money.
Now, think which professionals and workers you would miss the most if they went on strike.
For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many found themselves missing professional sports but…
Who do you think would be missed first a person’s favorite team collecting wins, or someone collecting their garbage?
Sanitation workers are the most essential of essential workers, but are often forgotten and not given the respect they deserve, and definitely not the pay they deserve.
The bible tells us to give honor to whom honor is due…
Romans 13:7 (NKJV)
7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Those whose profession is the very fabric of maintaining civilization itself deserve honor. In fact, it was on behalf of sanitation professionals that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was visiting Memphis when he was taken away.
The next time you take out garbage and don’t have to think about it anymore, thank God for your sanitation workers.
And, the next time you see them doing their job, give them some love, honor and respect.
As the thought of watching thick, fluffy snowflakes fall creating a beautiful blanket on the ground makes the holiday seem more cozy to some…
It strikes the deepest dread, fear and anxiety into the hearts of the homeless.
As one parent asks, “What are we gonna eat tonight” wondering what snacks they’ll munch on while enjoying the snow with their children…
Another parent asks himself or herself, “What are we gonna eat tonight” because they’re wondering if they’ll have anything to feed their children.
As one child counts the money they have gotten for Christmas…
A homeless parent counts the dollars they were able to collect at an intersection, along with sneers, stares, insults and judgement as to how they got in that situation. They are trying to decide should we eat with this little money? Or try to get into the homeless shelter.
So, before you watch the weather forecast hoping for snow at your address…
And if possible, do something to show love to someone who has no address.
Proverbs 21:13 (NASB)
13 One who shuts his ear to the outcry of the poor Will also call out himself, and not be answered.
Leaders are very highly scrutinized and often criticized if they ‘don’t have it all together’. We can find ourselves expecting them to be near perfect. But, when we read the bible, we find that many of God’s most anointed…those whom He gave great responsibility were lacking in many areas.
Moses and the Apostle Paul weren’t the greatest speakers.
Exodus 4:10 (NKJV)
10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
2 Corinthians 11:6 (NKJV)
6 Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things.
Eli the anointed High Priest and Judge had corrupt, disobedient sons (1 Samuel 3).
1 Samuel 3:13 (NKJV)
13 For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.
Peter was quick to speak before he thought, and was even rebuked by Paul for being a hypocrite to the point that it influenced other leaders.
11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
Just because one is anointed by God doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t need any help. Every great leader needs a strong support system. They need to be surrounded by gifted, anointed people they can trust to delegate responsibility and help with their weaknesses. I think that’s God’s system of checks and balances.
We sometimes see charismatic, polished and sometimes affluent leaders and assume they have ‘it all together’ and that we could never qualify for leadership in God’s Kingdom because of our personal issues and weaknesses.
But, let me assure you that all leaders…
ARE NOT CHARISMATIC
It’s easy to confuse charisma for anointing or confidence. Many great leaders are soft-spoken and reserved. There are many of charismatic leaders who can motivate a crowd but have absolutely no vision. There are others who have the WRONG vision and can motivate millions to do the wrong thing. Never confuse charisma with anointing. Check out this post for more on that… 4 WAYS TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PREACHING & A PERFORMANCE….
ARE NOT GOOD AT MANAGING MONEY
The ability to manage money can either be a gift or an acquired discipline. For those of whom that it doesn’t come so naturally, they can struggle with the discipline, detail and organization it takes to be a great money manager. Remember how one of the devoted prophets in the Old Testament died in poverty leaving his sons to be sold into slavery…
2 Kings 4:1 (NIV)
4 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.
ARE NOT ORGANIZED
Here again some people are more naturally inclined to be organized. They pay great attention to detail. They are uneasy when things aren’t in place. They even organize things in their minds as they observe them, while others struggle to be organized. They make a sincere effort, but slowly find themselves slipping into their old habits. Notice how the rich nobleman in Luke 16:1-13 had a shrewd manager hired to manage his affairs.
DON’T HAVE THE BEST BEHAVED CHILDREN
Yes, I know what the bible says…
1 Timothy 3:4-5 (NKJV)
4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)
…and this is not a contradiction. I had a friend tell me that his dad, a very sincere, devout man of God resigned as a deacon because his son, (my friends brother) was addicted to drugs and in and out of jail. Well, the devil found out how to move a great leader out of the way. We are all God’s children and we don’t always behave as He commands us, does that mean that He’s not a good Father? Does that mean that God is not a good leader? No! God set’s the standard of behavior and doesn’t waver. He tells us, “NO!” to certain things. It’s up to us to love and respect Him enough to obey. That’s what God expects us to do…set the rules and boundaries in the home. To say, “No!” and don’t waver. As mentioned earlier, Eli, a great man of God, didn’t restrain his sons in 1 Samuel Chapters 2 and 3. But, he was still highly respected and used by God.
DON’T HAVE THE PERFECT MARRIAGE
Any stromg leader will tell you that leadership itself is a challenge to marriage. Responsibilities sometimes force the leader to choose between his or her spouse and duties. Leadership cuts into quality time, occupies the leaders mind during personal time, and even sometimes affects the desire for intimacy. It was obvious that ministry took some apostles a way from their wives, which is sure to put a strain on marriage…
1 Corinthians 9:5 (NKJV)
5 Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
DON’T HAVE A GREAT CREDIT SCORE
Of course God expects leaders to honor their commitments and responsibilities…
Psalm 37:21 (NKJV)
21 The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
But, when responsibilities aren’t met, it not always due to intentional carelessness. It’s not necessarily because of over extending, but sometimes life happens. Sometimes illness, job loss, an unwanted divorce and other things beyond the leaders control can happen damaging his or her credit.
ARE SOMETIMES TROUBLED BY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES
Jesus Himself was troubled in the garden the night before He went to the cross.
John 12:27 (NKJV)
27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
Sometimes we don’t expect our leaders to be visibly troubled by circumstances. But, that only shows their humanity. If Jesus Himself was troubled, the greatest leader of them all, then surely we will be too.
These are only a few of the reasons is why good leaders should be honest with themselves and aware of their natural weaknesses, so they can surround themselves with the right support to carry out their vision. They must also be confident enough in themselves to not be threatened by their support, but have the discernment to know who may actually be a threat to their leadership.
And, those whom they lead must be humble enough to follow in spite of their weaknesses, offering help towards the vision where possible. They must also realize that some weaknesses don’t disqualify the leader from leading. For example, the prophet Nathan didn’t tell David that he wasn’t qualified to be king after murder and adultery. (1 Samuel 12)
Leaders are only human, and they will all have lapses in character, but overall they must be…
Calm in Crisis…
One who unites rather than divides…
One who resolves conflict…
And, most of all led by God and a student of His word.
Remember, God uses imperfect people to carry out His perfect will. All good leaders need good help.
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