Monthly Archives: November 2016
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The book of Proverbs contains wisdom for every area of life; how to live for the Lord, how a Christian should conduct themselves in business. In my virtual assistant business, I have had to learn to apply biblical principles. For a long time I compartmentalized my life, keeping business and faith separate. Eventually the Lord showed me this was a mistake. I don’t meant that I preached while on the job, I didn’t do that, but I did start treating it like a ministry. Just like Jesus’ parable of the servants with the talents, I wanted to use the gifts I had been given for the glory of God. I started praying for my clients; it changed the way I saw them, not as clients who bring revenue into my business, but as souls who needed a Savior. I started to see the people I interacted with on social media as eternal souls in need of a Savior. When you realize that every person you will ever meet is an eternal soul who will spend eternity in either heaven or hell, it changes the way you interact with them. I started praying for everyone I talked to online.
I remember one young lady who posts a lot on Twitter-she has a huge following she is a musician, and she seems to be happy, and have it all together. But most of her posts are about partying and superficial stuff. I remember that life, before I came back to the Lord at the age of 20. I remember that there was a time when I thought that life was the greatest, that it was so much fun, and that it always would be. But there came a time when it wasn’t fun anymore. When I realized that all the hopes and dreams I had once had were gone.
There was this one night, my boyfriend and our friends had been up late one Friday night, partying and drinking. That night was the drunkest I had ever gotten before, and all I could do was just lay in bed, watching the room spin, wishing it would stop, and trying not to throw up. I thought–“This isn’t fun anymore–why did I ever think it was?” I was a high school dropout with no future. Soon after this, I became a single mother with nothing to offer my daughter. Yup, definitely not the good life.
The only true joy that there is in life is in knowing the Lord, in having a right relationship with Him. People can fake it outwardly, but there will come a time when they will realize the emptiness and meaninglessness of a life lived apart from God. And then when this life is over, hell awaits. People may mock the idea of hell, and deny it’s real, but when did lack of belief in a certain group of people ever change the reality of something?
Since we are still being perfected, we still have flaws ourselves, so we ought to be patient with other people’s flaws, the same way that Christ is continually patient with our flaws and shortcomings. Proverbs says a man who would have friends must show himself friendly. In every relationship we ought to have the heart of a servant, and treat other people with the same love and patience that Christ has when He deals with us. Other relationships, such as those between employers and employees, we are to work for them as if we are working for the Lord himself, whether they are believers or not.
Colossians 3:22 – 3:25
Forgiveness—root of bitterness
Lack of forgiveness can cause a root of bitterness to spring up that affects every area of your life, and all your other relationships. Lack of forgiveness doesn’t harm the person you won’t forgive, but it can harm you, and worse, it can harm your relationship with the Lord, as the bible says, if we won’t forgive, we will not be forgiven either, and that puts a barrier between us and the Lord. If we see that person we won’t forgive, being blessed by the Lord, that may even cause us to grow angry and bitter towards the Lord. We have all been forgiven much by the Lord, so He expects us to forgive others.
What does this mean? It doesn’t mean doing everything the other person tells us, without question, like some kind of automaton. It means putting the other persons needs ahead of your own, it means being a servant. The bible tells us how to do this. In marriage, it means that the husband is to love his wife the way Christ loves the church.
Husband and wife
Christ loved the church enough to die to set His people free from their sins. A husband should love his wife enough that he would die for her, if necessary. The wife should love her husband just as much. Ideally, a marriage is two yoked together as one. When farmers used to use oxen to plow their fields, back before modern machinery was invented, how do you think the oxen were yoked together? One behind the other? No, it would be pretty difficult to pull a plow that way. They were side by side. One was the lead ox, the one who determined the direction that the team was to go. But what if the other ox, for some reason, decides it doesn’t want to go that way, and just stops. Not matter how much the other ox pulls, because one is standing still, the team is not going to move forward.
The lead ox is usually the stronger one, physically, and therefore sets the course, also, it is harder to start, when you are pulling a load, than it is to keep moving once you start, so the stronger ox takes the lead. But what if the lead ox refuses to lead? What if it suddenly falls to the ox who is used to following, to suddenly be forced to take the lead, and to do what it is not designed to do. It may work, but it is going to be clumsy, because neither ox is doing what they are designed to do, and soon or later, one of them is going to stumble, and because they are yoked, when one goes down, the other is going down too.
Marriages work the same way. When two people become one in the bond of marriage, they each have a role that they are designed to fulfill. The husband is the head of the household, and takes the heavier burden of setting the course according to the will of the Master. The wife’s role is to shoulder her part of the burden, and follow the course set by her husband, and ultimately, the Master. If the husband is fulfilling his role properly, he will do the will of the Master, and follow the course that the Master sets. So by following his lead, the wife is following the lead of the Master as well. If she tries to lead, it throws everything out of balance, and sooner or later, the team is going down. If she does not follow, than the team is going nowhere, and neither can follow the will of the Master. This requires a day by day, and moment by moment, submission to the Master, by both the husband and the wife, in order to make this work. No marriage is perfect, because no believer is perfect, but we are being perfected.
Did you watch those Charlie Brown Halloween specials on TV, about the Great Pumpkin? I did. It makes me miss the days before cable TV, before on-demand television, when Saturday morning cartoons, and specials like Charlie Brown movies were Special, because I couldn’t watch them any time I wanted, they were only on once a week, in the case of Saturday morning cartoons, and once a year, in the case of the Charlie Brown movies.
Those specials were just part of the reason I looked forward to Halloween. For me, it was such a special time, I got to spend time with my mother, picking out my costume, and then later going to my grandparents neighborhood to trick or treat. It was the one night a year I could dress up like my favorite cartoon characters. One year, the first year I remember tricking treating, I dressed up as Superman, yes Superman! What other day of the year could a little girl dress up as Superman if she wanted?
Another year, I went as a gypsy, in a homemade costume, I put a lot of time and effort into that costume, and I was proud of it. Some of my favorite memories with my brother and sisters was going trick or treating with them. The year I went as a gypsy, my brother went as a Smurf, also in a homemade costume.
Then I grew up, and I forgot how magical and special Halloween was. It is one of the rites of passage of childhood. At 20 years old, I came back to the faith in Jesus that I had in my youth. But, I started to believe what church people told me: how Halloween was evil, and pagan, and you couldn’t be a Christian in you celebrated Halloween. And so, I only took my daughter trick or treating one time, she was dressed as Jasmine from the Aladdin movie. Fast forward to this year, last night, Halloween night.
My fiancé and I live in a nice neighborhood, where there are many retirees, just the very type of neighborhood where parents take their kids, because it is same for them to trick or treat. The very type of neighborhood I trick or treated in when I was a child. I realized I had come full circle, now I was the one helping to make the magic happen for a new generation of neighborhood children.
I understand why Christians are against celebrating Halloween, I know Halloween has pagan origins. But, as I posted on Facebook earlier:
“people who take their kids trick or treating, they are doing it so their kids can have fun memories, play dress up, get candy, and make memories with family and friends. There are many worse things they could be doing. You have no right to judge one of God’s servants because of your personal measure of morality. The measure you use will be measured to you. There are a lot of Christians who use FB to climb on their “holy” high horse, proclaiming themselves oh-so-holy, while at the same time seeing nothing wrong with spewing venom, unchecked, at anyone who disagrees with their personal morality, or personal rules for holiness. Which is worse, that, or trick or treating?”
It is not pagan now. And there are a lot of worse things that young people could be doing. It’s a personal choice, but no one has the right to condemn another for the choice they make, and attempt to claim that they are not saved if they let their kids trick or treat. Lighten up. The bible says that one who is strong eats all things, and the one who is weak, in conscience, eats only herbs. Whether weak or strong, don’t destroy a fellow believers over your personal preferences.
*Drops the mike* *Walks away*