Oftentimes, in January we make resolutions about what we want to change in our lives. These are usually broad, sweeping and
unrealistic goals that are forgotten long before the month of February begins. Over the years, I have realized that all my
grand ideas about self-improvement just end up making me feel horrible when I realize that I didn't meet those goals.
I have often wondered why we are all so keen to have New Year's resolutions. I guess it is the appeal of a new beginning.
Everyone likes to start over after they have totally messed things up. We all long for a place and time when are past mistakes
are blotted out. Fortunately, as Christians, we can have a fresh start every day. Christ has blotted out all the past mistakes
if we ask for his forgiveness and continue to walk in his way. His act of supreme love has made us clean so that we can one
day stand in the presence of the Creator of the universe. Everyone needs to know about the new beginning that Christ can give
us. So as you are making your resolutions for 2008 here are some simple things that we can do to help the cause of Christ.
- Spend just 5 minutes more each day reading the Bible and try to read the Bible for at least 5 minutes each day.
- Focus on one quality in the Fruit of The Spirit where you most need to grow and work on it throughout the year.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness
and self-control.- Galatians 5:22-23
- Focus on one quality among the beatitudes that you need to incorporate to be more like Jesus.
are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
- Matthew 5:3-12 (ESV)
- Bring just one non-Christian to church services with you.
- Mend fences and build bridges with one person with whom you are at odds.
- Spend this year trying to master just one Old Testament book and one New Testament book.
- Try to invite just one new family into your home each month.
to one another without grumbling.-1 Pet. 4:9
- Try to increase the amount you give to God this year.
- Help your family adopt just one shut-in or elderly person and make their life happy in 2008.
- Find at least one new way to be involved in the church's work (options include visitation-- non-Christians, hospitalized,
nursing homes, transporting those in need to services, assisting in Bible studies, teach a Bible class, attend fellowship
activities,volunteer with youth, etc.).
- Spend at least one more hour a day with your family (opt for board games over TV,plan activities that give you quality
time with them, etc.).
- Add at least one minute to your private prayer life each day (suggestions: praise more, pray specifically for certain
people like the lost, elders, deacons, enemies, etc.,offer thanksgiving, etc.).
- Find a way to offer heartfelt, helpful encouragement to at least one person a week.
Don't think that these are suggestions for radical changes in our lives. Resolutions are easiest to keep if you make small,
steady changes instead of broad sweeping ones.. We don't start running marathons over night, sometimes we have to start with
baby steps. If you are not doing anything at all to feed your spiritual growth, perhaps the first step is to spend more time
reading the Bible. The idea is to find small ways to gradually increase our service, spirituality, sincerity and sacrifice
for our Lord. In this way, we can show our love for God, our families, our brethren, the lost and our own souls.
Wolves Enter In
In Acts 20, Paul met with the elders from Ephesus. It was a tearful reunion and parting. Paul was on his way to Rome. He did
not know if he would survive his time there. But he was sure that he would not see them again.
He tells them that they must be on guard against false teachers. He even tells them that some of the false teachers would
come from their group. It is sad to think that men chosen to lead and guard the flock would actually turn on the flock. Paul
calls these false teachers grievous wolves in verse twenty-nine.
Wolves can be vicious animals. They hunt at night. Many times they hunt in groups. They look for the weaker animals. If they
find a group of animals they will
attack the group. They will scatter the animals and look for the weakest. Then they attack that animal. They tear it to shreds
and eat it while it is still living. This is not a nice thing to think about. But this is the picture that God through Paul
gives of false teachers.
False teachers find a group of disciples. They enter the group and attempt to scatter or divide the people. They find the
weakest members and attack them strongly with their false teaching. It is important for each member to do their best to be
well grounded in the faith. Each member should study the Bible and learn all they can from it. Each member should be on guard
against false teachers. Each member should do their best to come to the aid of weak members when false teachers attack.
Study your Bible. Do not be the weak member that a vicious false teaching wolf attacks.
From Wisdom's Corner
If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?
But now God has set the
Grateful for the Work God Gives Us
members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.
-1 Corinthians 12:17,18
The kingdom of Christ is a realm where definite work is done. To be a Christian is more than an honorary status conferred
upon us; it is a manner of living, a way of life. If we have the idea that "being" a Christian involves no more than the passive
enjoyment of being saved, we have a thing or two to learn about the New Testament. There, Christians worked and served, actively
and energetically. The body of Christ does things!
But just as the body of Christ has work to do, it's also true that the individual members of the body each have a unique part
to play in that work. If we're Christians, we don't simply have a generic contribution to make; we have a particular work
to engage in that is uniquely our own. Each of us is a one-of-a-kind package of strengths and abilities, and we're going to
have to answer for whether those gifts were used in ways that were well suited to us.
Most of us are aware that the church is compared in the New Testament to the human body, a unified organism made up of many
different parts, all of which contribute uniquely to the body's activity. Almost humorously, Paul asks, "If the whole body
were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?" The body simply could not
function without having different parts that do different things.
We know this, and yet what do we do? We identify certain types of Christian service as more important, and we spend our lives
fretting over who has which ability. In a word, this is sinful.
In the Lord, we need to take three steps: (1) We need to prayerfully discover what it is the Lord wants us personally to be
doing with the abilities we have (or can acquire). (2) We need to get comfortable in our own skin and accept the role that
is ours to play, regardless of where it ranks on any worldly scale of values. (3) We need to rejoice in our role and be grateful
for the work God gives us. After all, God has set us in the body "just as He pleased."
The Lord knows us as we really are. He gives each of us work to do.
He understands what is most appropriate for us, what will be helpful to him, and what will be good for others.
-Teresa of Avila
From Word Points by Gary Henry.
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Make The Most of Your Time
Zig Ziglar, well-known motivational speaker, tells the story about a thief who was robbed. The incident took place
back in 1887 in a small neighborhood grocery store when a middle-aged gentleman, Emanuel Nenger, gave the assistant a $20
note to pay for the turnip greens he was purchasing. When the assistant placed the note in the cash drawer she noticed that
some of the ink from the $20 came off on her hands which were wet from wrapping the turnip greens.
She'd known Mr. Nenger for years and was shocked. She pondered, "Is this man giving me a counterfeit $20 note?" She
dismissed the thought immediately and gave him his change. But $20 was a lot of money in those days so she notified the police
who, after procuring a search warrant, went to Emanuel Nenger's home where they found in his attic the tools he was using
to reproduce the counterfeit $20 notes. They found an artist's easel, paint brushes, and paints which Nenger was using to
meticulously paint the counterfeit money. He was a master artist.
The police also found three portraits that Nenger had painted - paintings that sold at public auction for a little over
The irony was that it took him almost as much time to paint a $20 note as it did to paint those portraits which sold
for more than $5,000 each.
We are shocked that someone would waste their time doing something so foolish when he had the opportunity to do something
so valuable. But we're all guilty of the same thing, aren't we? Think for a moment about how you spent your time yesterday,
or last week. Think of the hours wasted dong things that were unimportant (or maybe even destructive) -- time which could
have been spent developing your relationship with God and helping others.
We have each been given a gift by God of 1,440 minutes every day. In terms of time, no one is any richer than anyone
else, for we all get exactly the same amount. And, like the manna of the Hebrews in the wilderness, none of those minutes
can be stored up and used the next day. They must (and will) be used on the day they were given. But how we use those minutes
is our choice. Choose wisely.
"Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are
evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Alan Smith - From Hebrews 3:13 YahooGroup
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A Merry Heart
"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad." (Pr 12:25); "A merry heart makes a cheerful
countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry
heart has a continual feast." (Pr 15:13,15); "The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy. A
sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones." (Pr 14:10, 30); "A merry heart does good, like medicine,
but a broken spirit dries the bones." (Pr 17:22)
What does it mean to have a merry heart? Whatever it is, the verses cited above make it sound like it is something desirable,
something that can even benefit us physically.
Even the wisdom of this age recognizes that our attitude affects our physical health. I have personally witnessed a physician
tell a patient's family that without the will to live (definitely a positive attitude toward one's life), the physical treatment
offered by his staff would be insufficient to keep him alive.
Surely we can sing the praises of having PMA (positive mental attitude). All the great sales gurus (Ziglar, Stone, Nightingale,
Hopkins, et. al.) chant that mantra. But that is not the central thrust of a "merry heart" in Proverbs. God does not just
want people to "feel good about themselves." Without a proper basis for "feeling good," positive attitude alone is inadequate,
if not downright empty.
What then is to be gained from passages that speak of having a "merry heart?" First, we must understand that "merriness" in
these contexts is not happiness at any cost. It is not a "don't worry, be happy" stoic-like response. It is not a worldly
"eat, drink and be merry" as expressed by Solomon or the "rich fool" (Ec 8:15; Lk 12:19). The term has a greater meaning than
The word translated as "merry" appears five times in Proverbs. In 2:14 and 29:16 the term appears as "rejoice," in 15:13 and
17:22 as "merry," and in 17:5 as "glad." Elsewhere in the old testament it appears three times as some form of "merry" (1
Kgs 4:20; Es 5:14; Is 2:7); three times as a form of "glad" (2 Ch 7:10; Es 8:15; Ps 126:3); and twelve times as a form of
joy (usually "rejoice", cf. Dt 16;15; 1 Kg 1:40, 45; 8:66; 2 Kg 11:14; 2 Ch 23:13; Es 5:9; Jb 3:22; Ps 35:26; 113:9; Ec 2:10;
Am 6:13). The Hebrew term (sameach) simply means joyful, merry, glad; which is why it is usually translated as some form of
Second, an evaluation of the term "merry" in its contexts in Proverbs and elsewhere, demonstrates that the "merriment" ("rejoicing")
intended is one closely tied to a knowledge of God and God's word. This is especially important as we see how that term is
also tied to the term "heart" in Proverbs. "Heart" is usually associated exclusively with emotion, but biblically the term
also refers to the intellect, as well as the will of man. These latter two elements are most notable in "heart" passages in
Proverbs (cf. Pr 2:2; 10; 3:1, 3, 5; 4:4, 21; 6:21; 7:3; 10:8; et. al.)
Third, in Proverbs the "heart" that is "merry" is a heart that knows God and His will, is living in obedience to it, and willingly
expresses praise and devotion to God (i.e. rejoices). This is borne out in numerous passages. Godly rejoicing occurs because
souls recognize God, His majesty, His truth, and His activities in behalf of His people, and express that recognition. Ungodly
rejoicing occurs when souls fail to recognize God, His majesty, His truth, and His activities in behalf of His people, and
express that lack of recognition in evil ways.
In the second chapter of Proverbs we plainly see the emphasis placed upon knowing God's word in our heart. Verse 10 of this
passage says "When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul..." The application of this "wisdom" (the
"discretion" of vs 11) comes because "knowledge" of God's will is "pleasant" to the soul. Thus we see that there exists an
intrinsic connection between "joy" ("pleasant"-ness) in knowing God's word and the godly rejoicing that is manifested in a
Those who despise God's wisdom and knowledge and "rejoice in doing evil" (2:14) can never have the "merry heart" that God
desires for souls. All the positive mental attitude in the world, beneficial though it might be, cannot take the place of
a godly believer, who loves God, loves to learn God's will, loves to put it into practice, loves to teach it to others, and
loves to focus on eternal life in the presence of God. Truly, these people have the "merry heart" that God wants us to have.
By Jody L. Apple - From TheBible.net website
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Don't Worry So Much
The most wealthy, healthy, intelligent, highly-advanced, enlightened generation ever to occupy this orbiting
sphere is literally worrying to death. It is remarkable and unfortunate that Christians are not immune to this disorder. They
have been known to be just as insecure as those whose feet have never stood on the Rock of Ages, whose eyes have not looked
to the hills from whence cometh their help, and whose minds are not set on things above. Most saints know they ought not worry,
so they worry about worrying.
What does the Owner’s Manual say to do about this malfunction? Jesus discussed the subject of anxiety in the Sermon
on the Mount (Matthew 6:25-34). He says, “Take no thought” (merimnao) for life (6:25), food (6:31), and tomorrow
(6:34). This does not mean it is wrong to plan tomorrow’s menu, buy winter clothes in the summer, or purchase home or
health insurance (cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:16-17; 1 Timothy 5:8; Proverbs 30:25). It means that we are not to “be anxious”
for these things.
The birds teach us not to worry (6:26). Whoever said that “worrying is for the birds” was off the mark. Birds
don’t worry! Whoever heard of a bird taking ulcer medication, committing suicide, or dying with a heart attack? Birds
are not concerned with the future, yet they form no lines at welfare offices. God cares for them. Surely, God could not be
charged with watching out for sparrows and neglecting His own children! We are made in the image of God and infused with a
soul from the Father (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7; Hebrews 12:9). Birds are not. Thus, if God cares for them, He cares more for us
(Matthew 10:29-31; cf. Romans 8:32).
The yardstick teaches us not to worry (6:27). Whoever heard of a short man worrying himself into a larger size? Was it ever
reported that worrying lengthened someone’s life? No! Worry is useless. Stature (helikia) in verse 27 indicates a stage
of growth whether measured by age or height.1 Jesus says worry will not make you older (though it may put wrinkles on your
face) or taller. “Worry never climbed a hill; worry never paid a bill; worry never dried a tear; worry never calmed
a fear; worry never darned a heel; worry never cooked a meal; worry never composed a song to sing; actually, worry never did
a worthwhile thing.” “Worry is like a rocking chair, it keeps you busy, but gets you nowhere.”
No one can lengthen his life by worrying, but there is evidence that worry can shorten it. When it comes to long life, what
we are eating is important, but what is eating us is more important. Studies indicate that 70 percent of all illnesses are
psychosomatic (“relating to bodily symptoms caused by emotional disturbance”). The old English root from which
we get “worry” means “to strangle.” Many people are strangling their lives with anxiety. Worry is
a leading cause of heart trouble, high blood pressure, stomach disorders, and respiratory ailments. Dr. Charles Mayo said,
“I have never known a man to die from hard work, but many who have died from doubt.” If for no other reason, we
should not worry because it destroys the Spirit’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Worry falls into three classes. (1) Things that have already happened. Reader’s Digest observed, “Most worries
are reruns.” Why worry about the past? The score can’t be changed, eggs can’t be unscrambled, and toothpaste
can’t be put back in the tube. Paul learned to put the past behind him (Philippians 3:13-14). If sin is involved, we
should cleanse it in Christ’s blood (Acts 22:16; Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:7), and then go on.
(2) Things which must happen. All the worry in the world cannot change some things, for they will happen anyway. We are going
to die (Hebrews 9:27), so why worry about it? Prepare and let it come (Philippians 1:21).
(3) Things which will never happen. One lady said, “I always feel bad, even when I feel good, because I know that it
will not be long before I feel bad again.” Sad! “It is not the tornadoes that get us, but the termites.”
It is said that 85 percent of what we worry over never happens. Why waste the time (Ephesians 5:16)? Time should be invested
in working instead of worrying. The ant wastes no time worrying about the future. Instead, it constantly works to prepare
for tomorrow (Proverbs 6:6-8).
We must learn to concentrate on today instead of yesterday and tomorrow. Philippians 3:13 teaches us to forget the things
of the past. Matthew 6:34 teaches us not to worry about tomorrow. That only leaves one day to concern us: today. Yesterday
is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; only today is cash. Spend it wisely! God wants us to walk in the light
He gives us and not worry about the darkness ahead. When we get there, His light will make it clear. When we drive at night,
the headlights do not shine all the way to our destination. They shine just a few feet in front of the car, but as we move
forward, they keep ahead of us. God’s light works the same way. He says, “Live one day at a time.”
A child teaches us not to worry(6:32). Children can lead adults in many ways (Isaiah 11:6). One way we should imitate them
is to trust our Father as they trust their parents. Worry is sinful because it says, “I do not trust my Father to care
for me.” Worry is praying to the wrong god; it insults Jehovah (cf. Psalm 37:1; Proverbs 3:5-6; Philippians 4:6-7).
Our coins say, “In God We Trust,” and so should our hearts (Proverbs 3:5; Psalm 9:10).
Problems become smaller when they are seen in God’s shadow. Martha was troubled about many things while Mary was sitting
at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10:38-42). Guess which one was content! “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind
is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
God is unlimited in what He can do (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 4:19), so my big problems are not large to Him.
It is much like a child who becomes frustrated with a knotted shoestring. To him, it is a major problem and an unsolvable
dilemma. He may even cry about it. Dad smiles to himself and quickly unties it. The difference is a matter of perspective.
Our major difficulties are only “knotted shoestrings” to Almighty God. Why get so upset?
A minute of prayer is better than an hour of worrying (Philippians 4:6). We read that Jesus spent an entire night in prayer
but never that He spent one minute in worry. His example is worthy of imitation (1 Peter 2:21-22).
Worried? Let God handle it.
Endnote: 1 Abbott-Smith
House to House Heart to Heart website
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There's Something BIGGER
A number of years ago, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks did a popular series of comedy sketches called the "2000-Year-Old Man"
which developed into several hilarious albums. The premise has Carl Reiner interviewing Mel Brooks playing the old man and
inquiring concerning life way back when.
At one point, Reiner asks the old man, "Did you always believe in God?"
Brooks replies, "No. We had a guy in our village named Phil, and for a time we worshiped him."
Reiner wonders, "You worshiped a guy named Phil? Why?"
"Because he was big, and mean, and he could break you in two with his bare hands!"
The interviewer asks, "Did you have prayers?"
Brooks answers, "Yes, would you like to hear one? -- 'O Phil, please don't be mean, and hurt us, or break us in two with
your bare hands.' "
Reiner: "So when did you start worshiping God?"
And then this wonderful answer: "Well, one day a big thunderstorm came up, and a lightning bolt hit Phil. We gathered
around and saw that he was dead. Then we said to one another, "There's somethin' bigger than Phil!"
There are a variety of things which we look to as our gods -- material things, immorality, climbing the corporate ladder,
entertainment. Oh, we may not call them our gods. But those are the things we build our lives around. That's where the
majority of our time, money and thoughts go. They serve as the center of our lives.
But, there are times in our lives when we are reminded that "There must be something bigger!" Like Solomon shares in
the book of Ecclesiastes, we discover that nothing we fill our lives with can truly satisfy us and eventually we come to the
realization that all of it will someday be gone. What then? There must be something bigger than success at work. There
must be something bigger than collecting "things."
Whether they realized it or not at the time, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks made such an insightful observation. It is only
when we see that there is something bigger than us and bigger than all the things around us that we tend to elevate that we
will truly begin to worship God.
"Praise the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord; praise him, you servants of the Lord, you who minister in the house of
the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that
is pleasant....I know that the Lord is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods." (Psalm 135:1-3,5)
Whatever you may be worshipping in your life, there's something bigger! Praise the LORD!
Have a great day!
Alan Smith from Thought for the Day. Used with permission
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“It’s a terrible thing to be lonesome, especially in the middle of a crowd.” Marilyn Monroe
(Gentlemen Prefer Blonds)
Alone in the Middle of a Crowd
When I first heard this movie line, I thought it very funny. At the time, I was a child - still living with my parents
and surrounded by all the people who loved me. It was only after moved away from my family home that I really started to
understand the truth of Marilyn’s simple statement. It is, indeed, a terrible thing to be in a crowd of people and
feel totally alone – especially with the church.
I have traveled a great deal in my life, so I have frequently been either the visitor or “new kid” in the congregation.
There is nothing that can ruin the joy of worship quicker than visiting a congregation of the church where no one greets
you. And nothing can make you want to revisit a church more than being showered with attention on your first visit. In
the book of Acts, we see many examples of Christians coming together to fellowship and worship God. As I read it, these were
joyful occasions of mutual encouragement. It was an opportunity for persecuted people to help one another and draw strength
from one another. The Bible illustrates a true oneness that they shared. Consider these two passages from the book of Acts.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and
the prayers. …. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions
and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking
bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.”
(Acts 2:42-47 ESV)
“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that
belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as
many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet,
and it was distributed to each as any had need.” (Acts 4:32-35 ESV)
These Christians certainly don’t sound like the sort of people who would let someone leave their midst feeling lonely.
To the contrary, they sound like a group of people who truly love one another. Wouldn’t you love to worship at a
congregation like that?! The truth is that you can! It will require some change on your part but it can be done. You will
have to become truly concerned about the needs of the people around you and less concerned about your own needs. But isn’t
that what Jesus taught us when He said “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your
soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' …'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other
commandment greater than these."(Mark 12:30-31 ESV)
It is so easy to get involved in a conversation with a friend and forget to greet the visitor or the new family. It is so
easy to overlook that single person, the struggling, new mother or the elderly member who has limited mobility. I am guilty
of this myself more often than I would like to admit. We can all make excuses about being shy, or having to deal with young
children or not feeling well today or being in a hurry for whatever reason but does that really justify our behavior?
Let us all make it our goal that NO ONE leaves our congregation feeling lonely and unloved. This will involve getting up
off our favorite pew and making an effort to meet people. It will require you to show a sincere interest in people you don’t
know well. It may also necessitate arriving a bit early and staying a bit late. But remember we are the Bride of Christ.
We are preparing and adorning ourselves for a marriage to Jesus Christ – the Prince of Peace, the Savior of the entire
world. Wouldn’t a bride about to marry a Prince make every effort to see that no detail was overlooked and no dignitary
is excluded? Likewise, isn’t real fellowship with the other members of Christ’s own body worth a few personal
inconveniences? Think about it.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35
I don’t like large, social gatherings. They make me feel very awkward, I never know what to say, I generally end up
saying the wrong things and repeatedly hurt people’s feelings. I am socially clumsy. Saying the wrong thing can be
very hurtful and can actually damage someone’s faith. Job once told his friends, “How long will you vex my
soul and break me in pieces with words?” (Job 19:2). I don’t want to be like Job’s friends and hurt
others with my words. But we can’t avoid people altogether. We need to be there to support our Christian brothers
and sisters when they are hurting. We also need to gather with Christians to encourage one another and to worship. Avoiding
people is just not the answer.
So what do you say in those awkward situations. Looking again at Job, we see that Job’s friends provided him the best
comfort when they said nothing at all. They let their physical presence speak for them. Our presence silently and eloquently
says “I care about you and I am here to support you.” Of course, it is not the human inclination to be quiet.
We all desire to say something profound that will comfort those who are hurting and encourage those who are weak. So when
we do speak, we need to remember Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Simply saying “I’m sorry”, “I’ll
listen”, “How can I help?” or “I’m praying for you” is many times enough. And when we
get carried away and say the wrong thing, like I often do, we need let that person know it was not your intention to hurt
them. We need to apologize and ask forgiveness. And then we need to work on “seasoning” our words in the future.
But what if you are on the receiving end of painful, ill-spoken and “unseasoned” words? How do we deal with them?
My husband’s motto is “Never account for malice what can be attributed to stupidity.” In other words,
remember that the other person probably didn’t intend to hurt you but was instead suffering from a moment of “temporary
insanity”. Many times people are trying so hard to say the right thing that they end up saying the very worst thing
possible. And sometimes the words they intended to speak are not the ones that come out of their mouths. At other times,
they don’t say the thing you think they should say. Every single one of us has said something that we didn’t
mean and has hurt someone unintentionally. Forgive them their moment of being human. This practice is especially helpful
in the church. For example, if “Sister So-and-so” says something inconsiderate at a funeral or doesn’t
greet you at worship or in the mall, instead of getting angry; realize that maybe she wasn’t feeling well that day or
was preoccupied with her own problems. Perhaps she is uncomfortable in crowds or in a hurry, maybe she was trying to correct
a misbehaving child or possibly was just wrapped up in her own thoughts or didn’t realize what she said. Instead of
allowing ourselves to feel hurt, we should just assume that the slight was unintentional, ignore it. This may be what Jesus
is trying to teach in Matthew 5:39 when he said “But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
And how do you deal with that person who intentionally hurts you? Romans 12:14-21 teaches us
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them...Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought
to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never
avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will
heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
This, for me, is one of the hardest teachings in the Bible. You can start by praying daily for the person who hurt you.
It is more difficult to be angry with the person you are lifting up in prayers. Do kind things for the person whenever the
opportunity allows. And most importantly try to let go of your anger toward that person and forgive them. Easier said than
done, I know. But God is willing to help you. Ask God for the strength to forgive the person who wronged you.
So if we desire to have a happier life, we should remember these things. Do not forget that our presence speaks for us often
more eloquently than our words do. When we do speak, we should try to carefully season our words to make them more palatable
to the hearer. And we should ignore and forgive the hurtful words spoken to us or the unkind acts done to us. We alone have
the power to control what hurts us and what does not. If we all ignore all those little insults rather than letting them
hurt us, just think how much better things would be in our homes, in our church and in our community.
Attributes of a Godly Woman
- She is at peace with herself and God.
- She is committed to God’s headship order (I Corinthians 11:1-6)
- She has a meek and quiet spirit.
- She has a servant’s heart.
- She does not call attention to her physical beauty.
- She considers homemaking a high and noble call.
- She is a joyful person.
- She is a woman of prayer and devotion to God.
- She has learned the secret of Isaiah 26:3. “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.”
Godly women are writing their history not on the pages of their own book, but in the lives of those around them whom they
love and serve. Some spend their lives unknown by the world in the narrow circle of their home within which they labor increasingly
for God and others, but they will not lose their reward! God’s eye is upon them as they live out their lives in the
orbit of His will amid all the cares, sorrows and trials of the home. One day, when the books are opened, their devotion
will be commended by Him who sees and knows all.
It’s your choice today … You can live out your life with the attitude that you are “just a woman”,
or you can turn that perspective around and become “a just woman”. This is not a special category of uniquely
gifted or inspired ladies. It is simply the woman whose heart is turned wholly toward God, the one who knows her own righteousness
does not count. The Bible says the just shall live by faith…It’s the key ingredient that makes all the difference
in your life and mine. May we all diligently seek to acquire and exhibit the attributes of godliness and live in His righteousness