In our work environments, it is easy to hear—or speak—unkind things about managers, coworkers, customers, people in other departments as though it is indeed the truth, when, in fact, it is just a perception, and often it’s an incorrect perception. What harm is done to people’s careers, reputations and feelings because of these deadly opinions so freely expressed!Have you noticed how easily we gravitate toward these negative opinions and perceptions—ours as well as those expressed to us by others? Our old nature just seems to love to hear and believe the worst. And yet, Christians should be just the opposite. When the love of God is spread in our hearts, our new nature will cause us to discount the unlovely things we hear.
First Corinthians 13:6 says that love—true agape love— does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. A child of God should have an unmistakable trademark of this kind of love, which doesn’t gleefully indulge in these careless expressions of unkind and negative opinions and perceptions, either in their own minds or from others.
Why don’t we simply make a decision to be skeptical of negative perceptions—other people’s perceptions expressed to us and our own perceptions formed in our minds? Let’s ask God to give us discernment so that we can see past the flippant opinions expressed and understand the truth. When you find yourself forming a negative impression of others, stop and put yourself in their shoes; ask yourself if you really have adequate input to form this perception; become skeptical of your own opinions.
The Psalmist said, “I have resolved that my mouth will not sin” (Psalm 17:3). And he prayed, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3). I try to visualize my mouth as having two guards on either side, carefully screening the words I’m getting ready to say.
Once I started to give my reactions and opinions about another organization, and that guard at the door of my lips quickly reminded me that my opinion was not needed, and it would not build anyone up or bring about any good. So, the words were screened before they came out. Join me in asking God to teach us to remember that our perceptions do not necessarily equal reality.Adopted: www.thechristianworkingwoman.org
Throughout the Bible, there are small words that make powerful impacts upon our lives. Consider the word “Let”. To “let” means that we have a responsibility in a given matter. It means that we must give permission or allow the opportunity for God to do something in our lives, or through our lives, that He desires to see happen.
When God says, “Let,” He is telling us that there is no reluctance on His part to see something happen. Therefore, it is up to us to humble ourselves before Him and respond to His command appropriately.
Here are some of the “Lets” we find in the Bible:
- Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7).
- Dear children let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18).
- Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:19).
- Yet if, anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter (1 Peter 4:16).
- If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:5-6).
No rational human being, religious or secular, can deny with any degree of credibility that there are much differences between political principles and moral principles. Therefore, moral principles should take precedence over political principles, especially when the expected outcome impacts the greater good of the society at large. However, politicians in Washington are best known for putting their political principles before their moral obligations, especially when fulfilling their moral obligations do not translate to many votes at the polls. And it matters not to these elected servants whether the country is at a critical juncture where many of its citizens are struggling to find work and provide food for their families.
Anyone on the outside looking in would think putting people back to work is our number-one priority. Instead, these self-centered rich intractable are more interested in scoring points than moving their country forward. They have manufactured crisis after crisis, and then they use scripted rhetoric to deceive the American people into believing that they have their best interest at heart. It seems everything in Washington is a chess game. Nobody wants to give a little and take a little. It is either all or nothing.
Let’s take the ongoing budget debacle, for example. What a mess this fiasco has turned out to be. There are no signs of compromise on the horizon, even though polls after polls have indicated that a majority of the American people want both sides to reach an agreement that will help move this struggling the country forward.
Still, the thing that disturbs me the most about Washington is the claim of being Christian by many of its heartless politicians. These men and women are so consumed by their political ideology that they rather ignore the teachings of Jesus Christ than compromise. Frankly, I am not sure about these people. The Holy Bible tells me that as, Christians, we must “Let our light shine before men who may see our good works, and glorify the Father who is in heaven. However, all I hear from these so-called Christians in Washington are gloom and doom.
For many years, I convince myself that SELF INDULGENCE was the biggest problem a Christian face; then as I grow older and wiser, I realize that I, like all Christians have difficulty obeying God’s commands consistently. The enemy has sown the seed of disobedience in our hearts, which created a struggle between good and evil. Therefore, being obedient to God is the single most difficult thing to do in our Christian lives.
It all started in the Garden of Eden. “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because if you eat from that tree, you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). It did not matter that God told the first family that death is the penalty for breaking the rules; nonetheless, both man and the woman decided to disobey God command anyway and eat from the forbidden tree. Since then, the human race has had a rather difficult time, obeying God rules.Disobeying God commands leads to sin.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible has a lot to say about obedience. In the story of the Ten Commandments, we see how valuable the concept of obedience is to God. Deuteronomy 11:26–28 sums it up like this: “Behold, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse. A blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command, you today. A curse if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods, which you have, not known”.
Let’s be honest, disobedience runs rampant in the Church. It was a problem before Jesus’ time, and it is a problem today. No one among us can honestly claim that he or she is blameless in this regard. Nevertheless, we must endeavor to achieve total obedience to God if we ever hope to walk in Jesus’ footsteps; but, that can only happen if we surrender our entire beings to Him. A good place to start is to practice what we preach.
It is extremely easy for any Christian to get distracted by the glamour and glitz of this world. This is especially true when things are going smoothly. He tends to take his eyes off the Christian journey and gravitate towards secular norms, thus becoming complacent. Whereas before, he thanked God for everything; now he takes all the credit, look in the mirror and pat himself on the shoulders.
Still, while I think complacency is preventable, living in a materialistic society such as America, makes it all too easy to get lulled into complacency. The Patriarch David knew a thing or two about this. Acts 13:22 states the following: “After removing Saul, God made David king over Israel. God testified about him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” However, success would change David. Despite all the accolades and admiration from God, David, like Adam and, Eve got distracted by the lust of his eyes and sinned.
It seems the key to keep focus on the path God mapped out for us is to be lowly before Him at all times–in feast and famine. Whenever a human being acknowledges that he is nothing without God, then it is not hard to be humble. It is not surprising that some of the most loyal members in the body of Christ are those who are humble, mostly the poor. These are people who more often than not do not know from where the next meal comes, yet their steadfastness and commitment to serve God is unyielding. They know what it is to trust and depend on God for everything.
Father in heaven, I pray thou will shield me against complacency. Let me be like Job, a man who never faltered in plenty or want. Lord, help me to focus on the path your father have mapped out for me and let me be humble at all times. Amen!
- Humble Yourself and Go!* 2 Chronicles 7:12 – 22 [KJV] | Bible Resources (spiceofyourlife.wordpress.com)
- The Lord Knoweth Them That Are His (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)