Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

3 ways to ruin your life

          Probing Proverbs: 3:29-32 
Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you. Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm. Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways. Such wicked people are detestable to the LORD, but he offers his friendship to the godly.

As I read this passage I could not help but think of the countries that I count as my home. The Philippines and the USA. I am a child of the 60’s and I remember the anger I saw in the streets, yet in both cases there were two very focused reasons: a war and inequality concerning races. I also remember the anger I saw in Manila, yet it also was focused, Martial law. It is clear that there are times to be angry concerning certain issues, however, that anger should always be controlled and channeled in a healthy way to create change. Gandhi and Martin Luther King were both angry, yet that anger presented itself in nonviolent actions, which proved the motives authentic. Today, from all sides of the spectrum, I see anger uncontrolled and motivated by hate, greed and a desire for power. As Children of God we must have wisdom control all of our emotions, especially the more volatile ones.

This passage deals with two important issues concerning our emotions.

First, Wisdom always demands that we check our motives. It is important that we understand the connection between our motives (intentions) and the outcome (actions). The two examples used are very helpful to consider. The idea of “plotting” against your neighbor would lead us to consider that something your neighbor has done bothers you, or your neighbor has something you want…which is “envy,” in either case, your emotions will desire to be reactionary. When you react, which requires very little thought and no prayer, you will become upset by that and a seed of evil will take root. Before you know it your plans will be evolving toward evil against your neighbor. Instead, if you proactively do not allow wrong thoughts to formulate, your motive toward your neighbor will be for their best, and their trust will end in the Lord being glorified.

When I was growing up I was involved in debates in school. I was very good. I learned how to take the opposite position, even if it were not where I personally stood. I learned the mechanics, but not the reason and temperance of debating. There is a time to debate and a time not to. Also, there is always a proper way to debate, which I had not learned. It has adversely affected the second most important relationship I have in the universe, my wife. Debating just to debate, and keeping no boundaries is nothing more than picking a fight! If you walk around looking for a fight, you will find one. The first part of this passage speaks to our frame of mind, which is our motive. We need to seek His wisdom to measure our motives, by doing so we will ensure actions that will edify and glorify.

Then we are exhorted not to envy. “Envy”… isn’t it interesting that green is used to describe envy. How appropriate, a pale greenish complexion has often described someone sick. Meat that is spoiled and rancid is green, even Shakespeare called it the "green-eyed monster" in Othello. Envy exposes a sickness of the soul. Admiration states: “I like what I see and want to be like that”. Envy states: “I resent what you have and want to take it from you.” We all can struggle with what we see that we don’t have, especially when evil people prosper. Even the Psalmist wrestles with this in Ps 37 & 73 What we need to remember is how the Lord sees the gain of those that are violent and wicked. One of the most frightening passages in the Scriptures deals with this.

Psalm 37:12–13 The wicked plots against the righteous And gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming.

He offers the opposite to those that choose to walk godly instead of possessing the things we could be tempted to be envious of; friendship with the King of the universe…including becoming part of His family! As we learn to be content with our Maker, envy has no power. You decide “I own lot’s of stuff!” or “God is my friend!” I know which one I choose! Which one will you?

The so what? Do you always check why you are doing what you are doing? If you disagree with someone, do you take it personal? How do you express your disagreement? How often do you think about what you don’t have? How much time do you spend thanking God for what you have? How has not having some of the things you would like to have affected you?