Wisdom

273 posts

Comfort One Another This Christmas

The authors of 31 Ways to be A “One-Another” Christian have a simple yet life-changing message for you this Christmas: Comfort one another! Instead of frustration or irritation with people think of how you can bring comfort to them. That is radical!  This excerpt from the book is truly a special gift for you and those whom you love: True comfort comes not from limited human wisdom or a quickly dispensed phrase but rather from the ministry of the very words of God—that is, the Word carefully and compassionately unfolded within a sufferer’s difficult, fearful, or sorrowful context. Romans 15:4 states, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement […]

Love Is Not Disappointed 

If you love biblically, then your love for others will not be diminished by their failures. When love is all about you, bad things happen. Love must be defined by God, specifically by the work of his son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit tells us that we know what love is by how Jesus loved (1 John 3:16). By looking at Christ we see that love is other-centered and God-centered, not me-centered.  This means radical rethinking regarding the nature of love. Love is not about what makes you feel good or happy. Love is dying to your wants, your desires, your dreams. Only by loving Jesus first can anyone experience this sort of love. Thus, genuine love is not consistent with […]

Manipulation: The Subtle, Enslaving Sin

Those who manipulate often masquerade as lovers. Apparent care and concern are a tempting lure for those who are hurting and vulnerable. But the heart of a manipulator is really the heart of an abuser. Once someone commits to the masquerade, the care that appeared to be love morphs into the servitude of enslavement. The changes begin subtly. But the reality is that they were always present. Biblical love cannot be duplicated, only mimicked. Learn the true characteristics of love so that you can recognize the true intent of masquerading manipulators. Biblical love that is genuine will not be diminished by your failures. A manipulator will at first appear to tolerate or dismiss your shortcomings. He or she may even […]

Life is about Control

Humans like to think that we are in control.  Whether you want to control your own life or believe that another person is in control of your life, the conclusion remains: life is about control. The human quest for control always ends in tyranny or depression. The simple truth is that humans were not designed to be in control. Humans labor mightily for control. Some will continue to fight to be in control. For others, once that battle appears to be lost despair, depression, disillusionment and discouragement settle in. And then there are those in the middle — fighting for control and feeling it slip away. The quest for control starts at birth. Babies naturally want to be fed, dry […]

Faith + Courage = Gentleness

Gentleness requires at least two things: faith and courage. Faith Authentic gentleness is part of the Spirit’s fruit. Thus, faith is the only way to access the power of gentleness and show the wonder of gentleness.   Courage To do anything that is possible only by the power of God’s Spirit requires courage. Why? Because to follow God in any area means to deny the desires of our flesh. Being biblically gentle is not natural.  Now if you think being gentle is weak and non-confrontational, then you might not see why courage is needed. However, the Spirit’s idea of gentleness is all about confrontation and strength. Let me repeat that. Gentleness is about confrontation and strength! When a harsh or […]

9/11 and a Still Heart

Tomorrow is the anniversary of 9/11. Eighteen years ago, the word terror took on new meaning. It was the formal beginning of a war and a new way of life which shows no signs of ending any time soon. This war is fought by targeting children, shoppers, office workers, airplane passengers, and folks simply wanting to go for a walk or to go out to dinner. The weapons are not only instruments of war, but the ordinary vehicles of daily transportation. The battlefields are not marked by soldiers lining up for battle, but by city streets, or office buildings, or tourist attractions. The purpose of this war is not to win a piece of land or conquer a country. The […]

Thought Habits of a Healthy Heart

What you think shapes who you are. Worry or peace are the fruit of your thoughts. God makes a big deal about how and what you think. What you think determines your level of anxiety as well as your level of contentment and peace. Your thoughts are both the expression of your heart and the gateway to your heart. Your thoughts direct you to joy or to fear. Your thoughts produce worry or peace, not your circumstances. Your thoughts will lead you to God’s peace. In return, God’s peace will guard your thoughts in a way that surpasses human understanding and frees you from the tyranny worry and fear. Paul describes how your thoughts guard your heart by bringing God’s peace […]

Faith or Trust

TRUST is believing and doing what God tells me in the Bible, even when it is hard to do. DOUBT is attempting to find another alternative in the face of clear biblical teaching. FAITH is knowing the difference between trust and doubt and doing what God says over what I want or fear. FEAR is listening to doubt instead of faith. Thus trust is a biblical response to fear. The world is often a scary place. Life is full of things that you and I cannot control. We cannot eliminate the things that bring fear from our daily lives. We cannot will our children to safety. In response to fear God calls us to trust him: In God, whose word […]

Healthy Everyday Talk

Verbal communication is part of everyday life. Perhaps nothing else brings such a combination of joy and frustration than the way we talk with each other.  James expresses it the way: With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness. Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way. The Holy Spirit has provided tools and directives to keep your talk both healthy and holy. Here are some of them: Check your Heart Attitude:  Consider others more important than yourself. (Philippians 2:3-5) Let love be in control:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not dishonor […]

Self-Protection: A Destructive Response

When someone is unkind or attacks you, especially someone close to you, your first response is likely self-protection. If it is, things will go from bad to worse. The best way to protect yourself make sure you are honoring God with your response. For example, your 14-year-old says: “All you care about is your stupid rules! You care about your rules more than you do about me! Thanks a lot for not caring.” You feel hurt, disrespected and defensive. Your child is unable to appreciate the good you are trying to do. The defensive, natural response is to tell your teenager how wrong she is and telling her that her disrespect is the problem. Your teenager responds by thinking you […]