Valentines, Communism, and Communicating Biblically

Valentines, Communism, and Communicating Biblically

I was twenty-seven when I took ownership of my first class of impressionable sixth graders. Those twenty-three minds were a veritable blank canvas ready for my pedagogical feather to tickle their intellects and break up the ground of their mixed metaphors.

Everything progressed perfectly until Fate took a sick day during second semester. One of my fellow elementary professors broke the news to me like this:

“All of your students have to give a valentine to everyone else in their class.”

Even now I think my response was genius.

Continue reading “Valentines, Communism, and Communicating Biblically”

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5 Ways You Take God’s Job (and fail at it)

5 Ways You Take God's Job and fail at it Creating the universe, facilitating each atom, tracking every sparrow, counting the stars, and superintending every event to achieve His greatest glory and the benefit of His followers . . . if God weren’t God, He’d have his hands full.

Yet, even though we know He’s omnipotent and omniscient (all-knowing and all-powerful), we still feel the need to “lend God a hand.” It’s like we think we’re His administrative assistant or something.

Guess what. He doesn’t need our help to do His job. In fact, there are many cases where He flat-out commands that we stay away from that which only He can do.

So, what divine tasks have you tried to usurp recently?

You Save Someone

We all know you can’t redeem anyone’s soul from Hell. You need Christ’s shed blood as much as the next guy. However, we often pretend we can see the heart of man and then use that “divine insight” to make pronouncements concerning another’s eternal destiny. And what’s worse, many people do this with their children.

I spoke with a teenager who informed me that he’d recently been born again. He also told me that when he shared this news with his father, Daddy-o reminded his son that he’d been saved since he was five and insisted his son had merely received “assurance of salvation.”

Eight months later that young man had completely rejected God and is now a hard-core atheist.

Way to go, Dad. Instead of being aware of his son’s doubt, confusion, and searching, Father-dear assuaged his own concerns by futilely trying to write his son’s name in the Book of Life. While trying to convince his son that he was saved, Dad missed the chance to share Christ with him.

You can’t save someone, and you can’t know for certain a person’s saved. You can tell a tree by its fruit, but we seem to regularly mess that up too. When dealing with someone about their eternal destiny, let God’s Word be their source of joy and comfort. If they don’t have assurance from the Bible, you shouldn’t say anything to convince them.

That’s God’s job.

You Get Revenge

Most Bible readers are familiar with the anti-revenge injunction; but does that really stop them?

“’Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

We love to punch-in with our holy time card and start delivering pallets of vengeance. We use passive/aggressive quips, manipulation, caustic remarks, gossip, and all-out backstabbing techniques simply because we want our antagonist to feel the same pain we did when they hurt us.

This is sin.

God saves this chore for Himself because He is the only one who can exact righteous vengeance. We avenge because we feel we must protect our own pride; God avenges because His holiness is actually worth it.

You Condemn Others

“He will never change!”

Oh, really? According to the Bible, change is God’s biggest accomplishment! Behind every moment and minutia of the day God’s sovereign hand is working to change us.

Yet our divine condemnations are actually motivated by pessimistic hatred.

Yes. Hatred.

Love hopes all things and believes all things (I Corinthians 13:7). True love rests in God’s ability to do the miraculous and optimistically looks forward to our loved one’s maturity. When we assume someone will never change, we’re being hateful.

We also heist this God-job when we judge people for doing things the Bible doesn’t directly address. It’s true that we are commanded to make judgements (John 7:24). We’re to use God’s Word and His wisdom to discern between good and evil. However, when we judicially decree that someone is sinning in an area the Bible doesn’t specifically name . . . we must be very careful. Condemning a soul is God’s job.

You Assume Motives

I Samuel is very clear that man’s understanding of another man is very limited. We see the skin. However, God has the ability to know the thoughts and intents of a person’s soul.

God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

Yet that rarely stops us from assuming we know why people do what they do.

I’ve seen it before.”

I know why she said that.”

He always does the same thing because he’ll never change.”

God has equipped us with the wisdom and discernment necessary to shine His Truth on a situation. When we use the Bible, we can often have a very clear picture of the motivations God reveals. But because our personal insight can only penetrate the freckle-level, we must remember four key things about interpreting another’s motives: you can read more about that here.

You Receive Worship

Of all the things God’s responsible for, this one is the most dastardly to usurp.However, we’re so stuck on ourselves, we’re quick to impersonate God when worship is being passed out.

This is the proverbial “dancing where angels fear to tread” for even angels are smart enough not to take this job.

How many times today have you impersonated God by receiving worship?

Ken Collier said, there are “just two choices on the shelf, pleasing God and pleasing self. When we reject God’s will and do what’s right in our own eyes, we’re placing ourselves higher than God. We’re worshipping ourselves. Everything from reading blogs to parenting to eating to taking out the trash must be done as an act of worship to God. The moment we don’t actively desire God’s glory we’re seeking our own. Interestingly enough, it’s when we snatch this task from God that we seek to take the other four jobs to ourselves as well.

Conclusion

If you’ve been perceptive then you’ve realized two things: 1. You’ve taken God’s job far more often than you thought. And 2. The one constant that runs through all of these impersonations is blatant arrogance and pride.

We’ve come to the place where we think we can do God’s job better than He can. It’s so easy to give someone confidence in their eternal state, exact revenge, condemn others, read people’s minds, and bask in the glory of worship!

Unfortunately, we not only epically fail with each attempt, we make everyone else’s God-given jobs that much more difficult. Because now we’re the ones that need to be rebuked, corrected, and admonished.

You’ve been tasked with enormously vital responsibilities. God wants you to be His ambassador. He’s gifted you to fulfill every “one another” in Scripture. He’s given you His Word to use in disciplining, counseling, parenting, leading, mentoring, and fellowshipping. He’s called you to bear the Fruit of the Spirit and put on the whole Armor of God. He’s entrusted you with the life-changing gospel of Christ!

There are plenty of things to keep us busy.

Stop taking God’s job!

10 Ways You’re Making Your Family Life Harder Than It Has To Be

10 Ways You're Making Your Family Life Harder Than It Has To Be

On June 29, 2014 Tim Hoch wrote “10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be.”

It didn’t take long for it to go viral, and it has made many appearances on my friends’ Facebook walls. Though I don’t know if Mr. Hoch is a Christian, and can’t agree with everything he wrote, I do know many of the observations he made are not only applicable to the family . . . but are biblical.

Using Tim’s 10 ways and God’s infallible Word, let’s see how we can stop making our family life harder and start glorifying God with it instead.

Continue reading “10 Ways You’re Making Your Family Life Harder Than It Has To Be”

#TBTB#TBT – 1/22/15

ThrowBack Thursday TBT

If homosexuality was a big deal in former years, it will continue to be more so. And Christians must have a response.

But the Christian’s response to this issue must be two things: Loving and Biblical.

Joe Dallas got it right in his article To My Gay Angry Friend.

angry

Your Emotions are “Inside Out” – Part II

Your Emotions are Inside Out

How to Destroy Your Family in 2:10 Minutes

Let me say again that I will give this movie a chance, and I don’t want to pass too strong a judgment on a mere 2:10 minute trailer. However, there is far too rich a collection of truths here to let dissipate into the mist of forgotten entertainment.

In Part I I discussed the nature of emotions. Their real purpose and practice is very different than with what our modern culture has indoctrinated us.

My desire for Part II is to systematically explain how the following scene all too accurately depicts the modern American family (Christians included) and how much more deadly the reality is.
Continue reading “Your Emotions are “Inside Out” – Part II”

Your Emotions are “Inside Out” (how to detroy you and your family in just 2:10 minutes)

Your Emotions are Inside Out

Obvious Observation 1: Our society (Christians subcultures included) has no idea how emotions work. We’re like a child with a gun – we know nothing about what it is, how it works, or what it does, but we don’t care because we really want to play with it . . . and it will likely kill us.

Less than Obvious Observation 2: I love Pixar. I do. Seriously, they are seemingly the only massive movie company dedicated to producing genuinely wholesome content. Much of their work even conforms to God’s revealed truth. But this does not stop me from having some serious concerns about their new movie Inside Out. If you haven’t already seen the movie, please watch the trailer before continuing:

This one scene beautifully illustrates many of the most deadly misconceptions about emotions all tied up with a tragic bow of sex-stereotypes, served with some death-of-a-family fruitcake.

Continue reading “Your Emotions are “Inside Out” (how to detroy you and your family in just 2:10 minutes)”

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?”