Greed is a blinding sin, which means the greedy person often doesn’t even know he is greedy. Richard Baxter gives a number of tests to help evaluate whether or not you are greedy. I’ll paraphrase: 1. You do not desire God more than you do prosperity. You think more about getting ahead financially than you do getting ahead spiritually. (Rom. 13:14; Matt. 6:19; 1 Tim. 3:8; Phil 3:19; Ezek. 33:31; Jer. 9:23.) 2. You make friends because of what they can do for you financially. You are not nearly as concerned about making friends who will help you move forward … Continue reading Am I Greedy?
I can’t make someone respond to rebuke correctly, but I sure can make it easier for them to do that…or more difficult. It’s not enough for merely to say the right thing, I need to think about the right way to say it. To quote Solomon, “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable…” (Proverbs 15:2) What is involved exactly in doing that? In other words, what does the wise person do in order to make knowledge acceptable? I know I don’t have all the answers, perhaps you have some ideas. I’ll just jot down a couple ideas that come … Continue reading Making it easier to hear…
The way we speak is important. So important that James says if we don’t control the way we speak our religion is worthless. Here are a couple questions I thought we might use to evaluate our speech, especially in the midst of conflict. Do you have any others? 1. Am I using my words to hurt others? 2. Am I speaking out of a desire to lift myself up? 3. Am I telling the truth out of love? 4. Am I exaggerating the other person’s faults to make a point? 5. Am I dealing with the problem or attacking the … Continue reading How am I talking?
“Do not speak evil against one another brothers.” James 4:11 I remember watching a story on Dateline about an EMT up in Boston who had only one arm. It was amazing watching her go about her business, picking up stretchers, getting people into wheelchairs, she did it all; but you know, what was even more amazing was that to her, it wasn’t even a big deal. She was so used to only having one arm that she didn’t even really think about it; she just went about doing her job. I think that’s the way some of us are with … Continue reading What you say? Why you say it?
I would be very surprised if there hasn’t been a point where those of you who have done much witnessing have become discouraged. I know when I was in college, sometimes I’d go out to witness and it felt like, what am I doing? I’d go up to say hi and people would be like, no I don’t want to be a Christian. You’ve probably all had the experience of praying for some one for a long time, looking for an opportunity to talk to them about the Lord, finally having the chance, sharing with them as best as you … Continue reading Patience is a Virtue…
I’m a teacher and a preacher which means I do a lot of talking…a lot of talking. In fact with all the talking I do, and with how hard I work at getting better at it, I sometimes become concerned that I’ll forget to work on something equally important, listening. I’ve seen it happen, all too often…people so used to talking to others that they stop listening to what others have to say. When I was a kid I remember someone calling it fls, flapping lips syndrome. In my opinion, it is deadly. It definitely is a friendship killer. I … Continue reading Hearing Problems?
“If anyone thinks himself religious but does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless…” A couple questions to help you evaluate whether or not your tongue is out of control… 1.) Are you nasty? James 3:8-10, “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, things ought not to be this … Continue reading Is your tongue under control?
One of the main differences between a wise person and a stupid one, is the way they take correction. Stupid people take correction poorly. (Hey, don’t get mad at me! Solomon said it first.) I’ve been thinking lately though, what does it look like to take correction poorly? In other words, what are some things that people who don’t take correction well, do? Proverbs gives us a few hints: 1. They babble. (Proverbs 10:8) When I am corrected or get the feeling that I am about to be corrected, do I try to dominate the conversation? Do I just talk … Continue reading Are you correctable?
1.) What problem am I struggling with right now? 2.) How have I attempted to solve this problem so far? 3.) How would the world describe my problem? What words would they use to identify it? If I asked an unbelieving friend at work about the problem I am struggling with, how might he respond? 4.) How does the Bible identify my problem? What words does the Bible use to describe it? If I talked to a godly person who knows the Bible well, what might he say about the problem I am struggling with? 5.) How do I describe … Continue reading What’s my problem?
I haven’t met too many people who would say they don’t think listening is important. I have met alot of people who don’t act like listening is important. If we all know that it is important to listen to others, why do we have such a hard time doing it? I’ve been thinking about some of the things that keep us from really listening to others. (Again, help me out…see if you can think of some more.) 1.) We talk too much. We don’t give the other person a chance to share. By the time the other person is done … Continue reading Circuit Jammers