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Archive for August, 2020

A Word to the Wise

8-29-2020 – A Word to the Wise – Frequently, I give my clients an analogy to help understand the difference between forgiveness and the price one pays. Let’s say a person gets into an argument with their spouse, gets very angry, leaves the house and drives reckless hitting a bridge abutment. In the accident they lose their arm and spleen. They are remorseful, asking forgiveness of their spouse, themselves and others. The forgiveness is granted. Does the arm then grow back? Does the spleen regenerate itself? No, they will live with those losses until death.

So it is with immorality. Once convicted by the Lord one may never repeat the sin but the consequences remain. The consequences are often so great ones says never again—that sin.

Furthermore, of all the sins we may commit it seems to me, that immorality once forgiven is least likely to be repeated. Let me explain. With immorality a person knows they have sinned. It is black or white. One is either moral or immoral. In contrast with other sins the dividing line might not be so clear and frequently repentance is either seen as unnecessary or rejected all together. Take bitterness, as an example. Most would deny being bitter. Even once convicted of it a person quickly justifies it or excuses it. Jesus spends nearly the whole chapter of Matthew 18 dealing with the subject. Finally, the closes the subject by warning of the torment (anxiety, depression, and financial loss) one will suffer by holding onto bitterness.

Or consider greed. Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to make it through the eye of a sewing needle than for the wealth person to seek forgiveness.

Thus in many ways immorality is easier to deal with and set aside. For of the woman taken in adultery in John 8, Jesus simply says; “Go thee way and sin no more.” Contrast that with the paralyzed man of John 5 who was anger, bitter, friendless, and disloyal. Jesus warns him to stop it or even something worse than a physical handicap, and total helpless will befall him. The man did not heed the warning rather that very day betrayed Jesus to His enemies.

Some may wonder about grace. Grace does not remove the consequences, nor does it make the wrong right. Grace provides the strength to forsake the sin, and to acquire purity again before the Father.

It does not justify us before men for grace is a God thing not a man thing. Salvation is a spiritual experience rarely a physical one. Lets face it, ultimately it is what

God thinks of us that is important. With the Lord a new birth and a transformed life is possible.

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A Word to the Wise

8-14-2020 – A Word to the Wise – ON HUMILITY

The highest kind of love has its root in humility. It is not difficult to learn the first part of mature love. That love which is able to deny self and care for the welfare of others, especially those whom it comes natural for us to be concerned about, and the caring for humanity in general.

But when we get to the kind of love that is able also to love our enemies, here we find it necessary to have a deeper, stronger, character: and that strength is gained through humility.

Humility can only be established by our personal relationship with God. When I behold God as my creator; and really feel the significance of being the created, the honor of God becomes real the acceptance of self-inevitable: Out of all of this comes the humility that enables me to love my enemy.

Humility gives me a sense of worth, because it has its roots in our relationship with God.

There is no spiritual relationship between worthlessness and humility. Every person has specific gifts of God. To deny the gifts to call them worthless, or worse to ignore them would be to defame God.

Humility is knowing whom and what you are before God. Test what I say. Love your neighbor as yourself-now if you are worthless you will see him also as worthless, but if you see your worth then you must also acknowledge his.

Many people have such a case of inferiority that they are afraid to approach humility or make the mistake of assuming feeling inferior is humility. We should never allow ourselves to call self worthless. God never said man was worthless—he said he was helpless.

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A Word to the Wise

8-13-2020 – A Word to the Wise – I Corinthians 13:11

“When I was a child , I SPOKE LIKE A CHILD, I THOUGHT LIKE A CHILD, I REASONED LIKE A CHILD, WHEN I BECAME A MAN I GAVE UP CHILDISH WAYS.”

As children we see the world about us in a childlike manner. We see things we do not know or understand and so we attach meaning to them. Emotions are either intensified or devalued.

Often a child experiences at the hands of an adult emotional outrage, anger and or frustration. The child may find this unbearable and withdraws or over reacts. The child does not understand nor comprehend the pressure of the adult. How can they? They are children. The child does not have to be concerned with where the next meal comes from, how one is to get to work, and how to solve a problem. Illness and fear are new to the child. abandonment, disloyal behavior between spouse does not have the meaning or intensity for the child until it is directed at them.

When the child becomes an adult then part of adulthood is interpreting ones childhood in the context of themselves being an adult and knowing what it is like to have these stresses and demands and navigating the failures of life. The adult is expected to reassess childhood from the stand point of maturity which then alters or explains the behavior of the parent. This may result in a far clearer assessment of the parent either good, or bad.

As a child experiencing the alcoholic parent is different than as an adult reassessing the behavior of the parent. Excusing the behavior of the parent as a child, is seen differently in the light of the adult who can clearly see the pain and harm brought to a family from the addictive parent.

Once these things are taken into consideration the result is a more mature consideration of the growing up years.

An example from my own childhood coming from a single parent home. As a child it seemed there was never enough to eat, there were things I could not do. Example I wanted to learn to fly. The high school where I attended had special classes for this the cost of which were $100. My mother could not afford it. I resented it. It seemed unfair.

Years later after my mother’ death I came across a letter she had written to her sister. It was the second day of the month. During this period she was paid once a month. She had finished paying the bills incurred from the previous month and she tells her sister she has $2.56 for the whole next month!

The unbelievable strain this must have been for a woman with four children, and no child support.

I now as an adult see the whole situation of me wanting the extra classes from a far different perspective. I see the situation as an adult. The childish expectations take on a whole new meaning.

Part of maturity is understanding childhood from an adult perspective .

It also means the adult should now more clearly see the importance of discipline, and the consequences of misbehavior, both as a child and as an adult.

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