One of my goals this year is to become happier. I know that happiness isn’t the end all be all that some people make it out to be, but it sure would be nice to wear a smile more often.
Grouchy, miserable people make lousy witnesses. If your life doesn’t have enough smiles in it, give the link below a try.
Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.
I have often written about judgement sometimes being necessary, but it is something that we must be very careful with. You can judge someone without being mean. When we judge, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are sinners too! I am made ill by the nasty comments I often see by people claiming to be Christian.
I recently heard a story on the show “Gutsy Christianity” about a man who created a questionable piece of art. Christians from all over the area were protesting, send him death threats and one even came to the place it was being displayed with a tire iron and busted up the glass that protected the piece and ripped it up. Meantime a brand new Christian pastor was being pressured to make some comments about the “art”. Instead of flying off the handle he wrote a polite note to the artist asking him to interpret the piece for him.
It turned out that the piece wasn’t about Christianity in general, it was a statement on the sex scandle of the Catholic Church. This pastor and artist became friends. The pastor asked the artist if he would create another piece depicting a more respected Jesus for this pastor’s church, and in the process of describing Jesus for the author he also shared the Gospel with the man. This artist hasn’t yet given his life to Christ, but he did present the Church with an awesome piece of art. Because of the kindness this pastor showed this man his outlook on Christianity is a lot more friendly then it was before, and multiple artist in his community are now Christians.
Hate chases people away from Christ. This man wanted nothing to do with a Christ that would endorse the kind of hate that was being aimed at him, by people claiming to be Christ representatives. But when faced with the Christ of compassion he became more compassionate, and so did many others.
Jesus isn’t just the God of love, he is the God of judgement as well. When we interact with the world we must do our best to be like him.
Judging when necessary, but NEVER overlook compassion.
Drug addicts don’t wake up one morning and suddenly decide that they will become so addicted to drugs that they will throw away everything to get another high. They usually start out with “just this one time”. Then the addict changes to “just one more time” and the unfortunate keep adding just one more time it till they are willing to do unthinkable things just to get the next high.
Many sins start out really small, committing sins that can easily be rationalized away by most. I am sure many affairs have started out “I am just thinking about my hot secretary, it isn’t like I am touching her, and my wife will never find out.” I am not saying that every small sinful thought will turn into a life shattering event, but it can. We all commit these “little” sins from time to time. We can’t help it. It is human nature, but the closer we draw to God the chances of this happening gets smaller. In an age where our culture is calling good things bad, and bad things good focusing on God, Family, and the duties of the church are increasingly important. They will help you avoid the safest road to hell.
Note: by hell I am not just referring to the place where sinners experience judgement, but an earthly hell that we experience when our life falls to pieces.
I have had more then my fair share of tragedies in my life, both physical and emotional. Last night one of my pets died, and while it certainly not the worst tragedy in my life the thought that I will never get to hear my parrot Bo say “cracker” again is enough to bring me to tears.
The dark times, often make people question God, but others draw closer to him during those times. I am lucky enough that I was introduced to apologetics very early in my Christian walk. I never wonder if he is there not even in my worst of moments. I draw my strength from KNOWING that one day I will get to hear the love of my life say ” Well done, good and faithful servant.”. It isn’t easy, but as long as I focus on him I will have the strength to move on. My trials on Earth will not only make me stronger, and somehow even if I don’t yet see it some good will eventually come from it. These dark days will make me appreciate Heaven even more, because without back stabbers we would not know how special our true friends are, without discomfort we would not appreciate comfort, and without hunger we would not appreciate a wonderful meal.
I may be in physical and emotional pain right now, but thanks be to God I know that a brighter day is coming!
When you have God on your side you never know just how far you can go. While yes there are some things that are logically impossible, like you can not be at two places at the same time, there are ways to work around them. If God wants it to be it will be, no matter how small you think you are. Dream hard, pray hard, and work hard and you will find a way. If God is with you, you will never walk alone.
Using the heart is part of the Christian walk, but it isn’t the only part. God gave us brains, and he intended on us using them.
For a long time Christians had a tradition of creating great thinkers. Most of the fathers of science were devout Christians.
Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician and, an astronomer, once described science as thinking God’s thoughts after him.
If our point of view is correct God created the universe, and getting to know it is learning the works of God.
But somehow that great tradition of Christian curiosity got lost, and many think it is somehow sinful to think to deeply about anything.
When we forgot to love God with all our minds (Matthew 22:37) we hurt our witness to others.
It is hard to respect the opinions of people whom you think are less intelligent then you.
This problem not only effects our scientific minds it negatively effects our spiritual lives as well. Many have even neglected learning about proper theology and our reasons for believing in him. For example a few years ago a book called The Da Vinci Code had many Christians questioning their faith, but many had no idea where they could go for answers. So it resulted in Christians leaving the faith for ungrounded LIES, and DISTORTIONS! Our knowledge of our own beliefs have suffered so greatly that we either to terrified to answer the door, or converted quickly when certain people knock on our doors. This should not be! We should rejoice when God gives us the opportunity to witness to people who are in spiritual darkness. We should be showing them the light, and not turning out the lights to hide when they knock!
We live in a culture that wants to know what our favorite Hollywood personality had for lunch, what they are wearing, and so many personal details about them the paparazzi torture them by not giving them a moment of peace. But yet we can’t seem to bother putting in half the effort of getting to know who God really is that we put into learning where our favorite actress bought her clothes. That is wrong, the God that created the universe is infinitely more interesting, and infinitely more worthy of worship then anyone in Hollywood!