Three Failure Philosophies to Destroy in Your Life

No doubt there are many phrases regularly quoted in your home.

“If it’s not yours, don’t touch it.”

“Think before you speak.”

“It’s not done until it’s down right.”

One of the concepts repeatedly quoted in my ministry is:

“If your philosophy doesn’t work 100% of the time, you need a new philosophy.”

I spend a lot of time fleshing out the concept of “Failure Philosophies” with the boys I work with at Victory Academy, and I’d like to take a moment to do the same for you.

Continue reading “Three Failure Philosophies to Destroy in Your Life”

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Why It’s Always About Me

It's Always My Fault

Counselee: “My wife doesn’t respect me.”
Me: “Why do you think you’re not easy to respect?”
Counselee: “What does this have to do with me?”

or

Counselee: “My parents are such idiots!”
Me: “You know, I don’t think the Lord’s glorified when you talk about your parents that way. ”
Counselee: “You’re just like my parents! Why’s it always my fault?!”

or

Friend: “When you’re talking with atheists, it doesn’t do any good to quote the Bible to them.”
Me: “Well, I don’t see any other options. God says His Word is powerful and effective. My human reasoning won’t sway them if His Word doesn’t.”
Friend: “Yeah, I don’t think it works.”
Me: “Maybe you need to reconsider the sufficiency of the Scripture. What’s God been teaching you in His Word recently?”
Friend: “Why does this have to be about me?”

Always My Fault

Of course, you realize that few conversations actually work this quickly. Wisdom dictates that it take a bit longer to get from the first observation to the last.

Still, over the past ten years of family counseling I can’t remember a single situation where a counselee was perfectly innocent within a conflict. There wasn’t a single man who hadn’t provoked his children to wrath or not lived with his wife according to knowledge. I never counseled a wife who’d submitted to her husband and loved her children consistently. And – believe it or not – I never met a child who honored and obeyed his parents without fault.

They all had grievances, they all had mental fingers to point, they all had emotional subpoenas to deliver, they all had judgment to bear down . . . but they all had responsibility too. Each train-wrecked relationship was partially their doing. Each argument was of their own making.

The same goes for me.

Continue reading “Why It’s Always About Me”

Who is My Mother?

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Mothers come in all states and prizes. Which kind of mother are you: biological, step, adopted? Or are you the kind of mother Jesus introduced us to in Matthew 12 and Mark 3?

This type of mother is the most unique on the planet, and there are more people in this category than you may think.

“While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, ‘Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.’  But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’” Matthew 12:46-48

Which of you mothers wouldn’t feel at least a little offended to hear your son ask this question as you struggled to get to him? After all of the diapers, baths, games, money, and let’s not even mention child-birth! How dare he be so calloused!

However, Jesus was sinless and not capable of being rude or calloused (this is an important reminder that just because we may feel offended, it doesn’t mean we should). Instead, with further study we realize that Jesus is teaching us a valuable lesson about blood, water, and spirit.

The fleshly bonds of blood relations are greatly idolized in our culture. I don’t fault anyone for this state of mind as I too feel more affectionate for my family than I do most other homo sapiens.

Still, the spiritual reality is that the spiritual is a stronger reality. Consider Christ’s explanation:

“And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, ‘Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.’” Matthew 12:49-50

Spectacular.

Stunning.

Scandalous.

It’s hard to say what Mary believed about her son at this time in His life, but we know for certain that His brothers did not yet believe in Him. Regardless of her faith in the Messiah, there is no one in this life more dear to a believer than a brother and sister in Christ. Not even blood.

What does this mean for the biological, the step, and the adopted mother? It means that the greatest gift a mother can give to her children is to be first and foremost their spiritual family. Whether this means accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior or introducing your children to Him, or both, there is no greater relationship you can have with your kids.

The sweet kiss of a mother soothes the scraped knee and makes nightmares flee. But there is nothing sweeter or stronger than a mother who is also a sister in Christ.

Sleepovers: Helpful or Hurtful?

Sleepovers: Helpful or Hurtful

A number of Christian authors recently spent the night at a friend’s house, made some bad choices, and decided to write about sleepovers.

Either that, or yet another group of authors have children getting old enough to be invited to one. Either way, the articles are posting, the questions are swirling, and the opinions are fluctuating. Should we let our kids sleepover at other people’s houses? If so, which houses are okay and which aren’t?

Lisa Cherry’s article, “What To Do About Sleepovers” is tremendously helpful because it provides a great list of considerations that not everyone thinks about. I would also like to share three additional observations I believe will be beneficial to the conversation because they come from a sphere of experience that not a lot of parents have access to. Continue reading “Sleepovers: Helpful or Hurtful?”

What God has to Say about Your Crush

Relationships & God's Word

I recently made the observation on Facebook that the Bible does not directly address modern concepts of dating or courting. But it does define three relationships between unrelated men and women:

  1. The Husband & Wife
  2. The Saved & Unsaved
  3. The Saved & Saved

With all the talk about biblical masculinity and femininity (specifically within the realm of relationships), let’s take a minute to discover God’s point of view.

What does the Bible say?

Continue reading “What God has to Say about Your Crush”

“‘One Anothers’ I Can’t Find in the New Testament” – Ray Ortlund

“______________ one another.”

What exactly does the Bible say about that?

Here’s a great little article telling us some things God doesn’t say about that: “One Anothers” I Can’t Find in the New Testament.

I Held Hands with a Man

I Held Hands with a Man

Yesterday I published three articles all pertaining to homosexuality in America.

  1. The first dealt with the lead singer of Jars of Clay and his foolish comments on gay marriage.
  2. The second was a video from a man who’s attracted to men and his admonition to Christians.
  3. The third was the fulfillment of a prediction concerning the diversification of “alternative lifestyles” in our culture.

I’ve posted such things before and have been veritably crucified on social media for it.

I’ve been called a homophobe, hater, intolerant jerk . . . and plenty of other more colorful variations.

But is that true?

Am I afraid of homosexuals? Do I hate them?

I believe this article will answer those questions permanently. Continue reading “I Held Hands with a Man”

Love Hides Sin?

love

Love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8b

I don’t know about you, but the common application of this verse has always troubled me.

Which sins should I look over?

How often should I ignore the sins of others?

Does God do that with me?

Unfortunately, if you’ve heard that true love “covers up” sin by ignoring it, then you were subjected to the same poor interpretation that I was for so long.

Let’s look at one Old Testament verse and two New Testament verses that correctly interpret this idea of covering sin:

1. Psalm 85:2 “You forgave the iniquity of Your people; You covered all their sin.” (emphasis mine)

2. Romans 4:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.” (emphasis mine)

3. James 5:20 “Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (emphasis mine)

So, what’s the application?

1. Nowhere in Scripture are Christians told that love ignores sin. In fact, the number of passages that would blatantly contradict that concept are prevalent.
2. The four passages we looked at are, in fact, reminding us that the most loving and Christ-honoring thing we can do in the face of sin is to have a spirit of forgiveness. This interpretation is highly supported by numerous passages.
3. Therefore, don’t ever feel responsible to ignore sin. Ever.
4. Instead, in a spirit of love and forgiveness, speak to the erring brother about his standing before God in an attempt to find reconciliation.
5. Rebuking, reproving, and admonishing can be the most loving things when they’re done with the right attitude of restoration.