Today we will be looking at another parable on God’s love. This is a popular parable which can be found in Luke 15:11-32. It is also referred to as the parable of the prodigal son. Here is a quick summary of the parable. A man had two sons. One day, the younger son asked for his portion of his father’s inheritance to be given to him. His father did and the boy traveled to a far country where he squandered the money. Just like everything else, whatever is spent and not replaced, runs out. Left with no other option, he picked up a job to look after swine so he could eat off their food (yuck!). Soon he realized that he had hit rock bottom. He came back to his senses and decided to go back home; planned to tell his dad to make him his servant because he was no longer worthy to be called his son. His dad saw him down the road, ran to him, and made a huge feast to welcome him home.
I had a peculiar thing happen to me yesterday. I admit that I have gained weight over the last several months while being locked in due to COVID-19, some stress in my life, and other medical issues. Gaining weight isn’t peculiar, especially when the nation is in lockdown, what is peculiar is the lady that told me that I was putting on weight, did not offend me. Most people would have been hurt by the observation true or not, but I wasn’t even hurt. I didn’t even realize that maybe I should have been until later.
I don’t know how she avoided being offensive, but I wish I could bottle how she did that.
The world is filled with offensive speech, some of that speech we need to hear, What if, for example, I did not already know that I was gaining weight, or I did not know how dangerous being overweight can be. People around me who know the cold truth could avoid offending me, by keeping their mouths shut, but what would that do? It would cause me to die early via some illness that could have been avoided or at least delayed had I been practicing good diet and exercise habits. While there are some things in this world that none of us want to hear, many of those things we need to hear. We need to hear that there are healthier ways to live, we need to hear about the gospel, we need to hear when our behavior is hurting others. We also need to be careful when we tell these things to others. Being rude just hurts people. When we speak about subject that hurts, we while remaining truthful need to soften the blow however possible. When we feel it necessary to judge, we need to do it with as much love as possible, or we may end up hurting people, more than we are helping them.
Repost from 2016
Tuesday, July 14 probably passes without much fanfare in your home, but the date, Bastille Day, marks the beginning of the greatest organized persecution of Christians since the Emperor Diocletian. This day, the beginning of the French Revolution, also planted the seeds for the murderous ideologies of socialism and nationalism that would poison the next two centuries, murdering millions of believers and other innocent civilians. Between them, those two political movements racked up quite a body count: In Death By Government, scholar R. J. Rummel pointed out that
during the first 88 years of this century, almost 170,000,000 men, women and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed, or worked to death; or buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed, or killed in any other of the myriad ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens or foreigners.
But the first such modern genocide in the West…
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We are told in the Bible to
John 7:24 King James Version (KJV)
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Yet how many of us have interrupted someone and started shooting off at the mouth before they were done saying what needed to be said? How many of us have seen posts being shared on social media and commented on them based off the title alone, only guessing what is in it? I know that I am guilty, but I now realize the depth of my error.
I posted a video on Facebook yesterday featuring two Christians, and a man who recently renounced his faith. After watching the video, I believe that deep down inside that he is really a troubled Christian rather than an atheist, after all, he still WANTS CHRISTIANITY TO BE TRUE. But this particular person wasn’t really the reason that I shared the video, many people have endured a crisis of faith where they needed someone that understood the issues to talk to. The two guys that he was talking to did. I felt that everyone could learn to allot from their conversation. Instead, they spent their time judging the state of this guy’s heart.
This made me so cranky I almost deleted my Facebook account (a lot of other things were happening too.) I turned snappy so the people in question may have had their day ruined too. If they didn’t want to watch the video they should have just scrolled on passed without judging something that they know nothing about. It may mean a considerable reduction in how much we post, and how much we respond to, but I highly suggest we spend less time sharing and more time making sure we know what we are sharing, instead of guessing about the content.
This is the video that I shared.
One of our biggest problems is we miss what we don’t have, and are not grateful for what we do.
A person living on the street may be wishing for a simple roof, a person who gets a roof will be happy for a day or two, but then he is too busy wishing he had four walls to be grateful for the roof. Then he will want a real house, then a better house, then even a better house. That seems fair to a point, but at some point, we need to be grateful for what we have. If our goal post for happiness keeps moving, it will never be attained.
Look at those folks in Hollywood for example, those who didn’t already have famous parents often started off as waitresses or other professions that often don’t make much money. They said back then that they would be grateful for a chance to act in a commercial. Well, they got that commercial, but instead of being grateful for more than a day, they got hungry for more and bigger parts. Years down the road they have more than most people ever wished for. Yet they are not happy and not grateful, they frequently ditch their spouses and trade them for a new and “better” model, abuse substances, end up in rehab, or even commit suicide.
Some of these people who should be deliriously happy, are just plain miserable.
I believe that part of their problem is that somewhere along the line they quit being grateful and started being entitled. America in general seems to suffer from a lack of gratitude as well.