Archive for October, 2007
Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
It’s easy to tell people what they are doing wrong, while we do the same thing that we criticize them for. When we do this, we are being both sinful and hypocritical. How can we criticize someone for sinning, when we do the exact same sin?
In Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus tells us to worry about the log in our eye before we try to remove the speck in our brother’s eye. In other words, deal with our sins first, before trying to fix someone else’s. If we still have our sin in our life, it will keep us from being able to help someone else. How can we expect to be able to fix someone else’s problem, if we haven’t fixed our own?
Paul, in Romans 2:21-24, criticizes the Jews for teaching others, and not paying attention to what they are teaching, and asks them questions about what they teach and whether or not their lives reflect what they are teaching. There’s a lot we can learn from this passage. First and foremost, when you are teaching someone something about the Bible, make sure that you’re learning too. Don’t ignore what you’re teaching, because it all applies to your life too. Secondly, make sure that you don’t do what you are preaching against. It would be like me writing about forgiveness, and then refusing to forgive someone.
Not only is it wrong to not “practice what we preach”, it also makes us as Christian look bad. If we don’t do what we say people are supposed to do, why should anyone take us seriously? We should examine our lives carefully before trying to teach someone to make sure that we don’t have the same problem.
Sunday, October 14th, 2007
As Christians, we are supposed to forgive those who hurt us. But, there is more to it than just forgiving people, we need to reconcile with them. According to the dictionary, reconcile means “to recreate friendly relationships.” While reconciliation can be difficult, not only are we told to do it, in the end, things are so much better.
God wants us to reconcile. In fact, Matthew 5:24 tells us if we are at the altar, and remember that a fellow Christian has something against us, that we should leave our gift in front of the altar, and go find him, and reconcile with them. In God’s eyes, reconciliation is a higher priority than giving Him a gift.
Reconciliation is not always easy. A lot of times, when people hurt us, the last thing that we want to do is to forgive them and “recreate friendly relationships”. Or we might forgive them, and that’s all we’ll ever do with them. It’s hard, but we should give people a second chance. Not only are we told to, but if we hurt someone close to us, and repent, and change our lives, wouldn’t we want a second chance?
Now, sometimes the person we are trying to reconcile with won’t listen to us. In that case, Matthew 18 tells us to bring a one or two witnesses with us, and have them try to speak to the person. If the person ignores them, take it before the church, and if he ignores the church, we are to see the person as a heathen.
Reconciliation can be very difficult, as can forgiveness, but it is necessary, and everyone is better off in the end.
Thursday, October 4th, 2007
A lot of people these days try to escape their lives. They believe that their life is too much for them, or they don’t like where they are at. They feel that they can’t face their lives, so they try to escape from them. They drink, do drugs, smoke, play video games, listen to music, or anything else that they can lose themselves in. While most of those things aren’t evil or bad in moderation, in excess like that they are not only harmful for the person, they’re also wrong in God’s eyes.
When we try to escape our lives, we miss so much. Yes, we get away from a lot of the bad, but we miss out on so much good as well. The time we waste trying to escape something we can’t ever get back. Yes, there are things in everyone’s lives we’d rather not have to face, but if we look, we’ll find that the good things outweigh the bad things.
Not only do we miss out on the important things, most of the escapes people use are very harmful. The damage that drugs and smoking do is almost always irreversible. Too much alcohol can cause us to do things that will haunt us forever. The consequences for those escapes tend to follow one for the rest of their lives, sometimes even cutting their lives short. Is escaping really worth that cost?
Looking at the Bible, one can see that escaping is wrong as well. God tells us that He should be the God of our lives. People make their escape their god, rather than letting God be God. God tells us to trust Him, and that we are here for a reason. If we try to escape our lives, we’re not trusting that God has a plan, and we don’t believe that we’re here for a reason. God says that our lives have a purpose, but by escaping, we’re saying that our lives don’t have a purpose, and that they are worthless. Why would we do something that directly contradicts what God tells us? Why do we get so caught up thinking that we know more about our lives than the God who created the universe?
Rather than trying to escape our lives when we don’t like them, why don’t we trust God and pray that things work out. Seek wise counsel and get good advice on how to get through the rough parts of your life. Find a friend who we can talk to, but don’t try to escape from everything. While escaping may make things easier in the short run, in the long run, it’s not worth it.
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