Potty Mouth?

Your Words Matter: What the Bible Says about a Potty Mouth

I guess you would call me old-fashioned, traditional, old-school or even out of touch with society. But I was taught that words matter. (And I still believe that!) There were words that I was not allowed to use; words that are now accepted by many people.

Like most people, there are certain actors I enjoy watching but I have a problem when an actor (or anyone for that matter) professes to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and has a “potty mouth.” Actors justify using those words because it is in the script or it helps portray the character they are playing. But if it is wrong to use certain words, I believe it is wrong to watch someone use those words as entertainment.

I wish I could go back to when they were innocent to cuss words, but the world took that innocence away. Culture says they’re simply words. They aren’t that bad and using profanity doesn’t mean we’re wicked; we’re simply using slang. Or words to get a point across. Or to add to the humor to a joke. But is this true? And what does it matter to us as believers?

According to God’s Word, the world has it wrong, and believers should take this seriously. Matthew 15:18 says, “…the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” Our words reveal our heart’s condition. Period. Crude, rude, foul, demeaning, and hateful language shows our true character. And for a Christ-follower — someone setting an example and sent on a commission from Jesus to make disciples — this simply “should not be.”

God’s Word makes it very clear that we should watch what we say. Proverbs 13:3 When we fill up on TV shows and movies where the characters have terrible potty mouths, we’ll be prone to using that language in our everyday life. There are some things I  can ‘tolerate’ when watching a movie but the filthy language is not one of them!

That’s what I want to believe, but it’s challenging. It means we have to think before we speak at all times.

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The Truth

truthI am a firm believer in the Bible as God’s revelation to man to show us how we should live. The Bible speaks to every area of life; Parenting, Marriage, Business principles, etc. and when we violate one of those principles; there are consequences. But many people reject God’s truth to accept what the majority promotes. Culture wants to legalize their sinful desires; abortion, same-sex marriage; dignity in death; and so on. Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,”  Verse 25 “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.

People don`t want to accept the truth, unless it agrees with their idea of truth.
The truth seems to be elusive, especially in the arena of politics and media. Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives; WHO is telling the truth? I am confused. How can “fake” news be news? To be true news it must be based on factual information; no slant; no spin. Case in point, the Brett Kavanaugh nomination hearing. Many accusations but none were based on truth. After investigating, there was no truth to the accusations.

Telling the truth sometimes makes us uncomfortable. Never ask a question that you are not ready to accept the truth! I love the Geico Commercial about Abraham Lincoln trying to speak the truth. Speaking the truth is not always easy to speak but it is the best policy.
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Mark Twain

Conflict Resolution – Part 2

In my last post, we saw that internal personal relationships are the price we pay for being human. Hard as you try, you cannot avoid them and as our title suggests, but they can be resolved.

One of the common places we face conflict is in the workplace. What do you do when asked to do something that is against your personal convictions or beliefs? You cannot go to your employer and dogmatically refuse to do what they want. (Unless you want to be fired!) So, how could resolve the conflict and both parties be satisfied?

In Daniel Chapter One, we have the account of four young Israelite men who were asked to disobey a Biblical teaching that they had obeyed since their childhood. The backdrop of this story is that the Jewish nation had been taken into captivity by the heathen country of Babylonia. The king searched for the wisest men among the captives. Those selected would go through a three-year training program [Daniel 1:3-5] and at the end of three years they would be brought before the king and he would choose those to be his advisors.

As part of this program, the candidates were compelled to eat from the king’s table. Seems logical to feed them the very best food if they were to be healthy and intelligent! But they refused the food because it had been offered to a pagan deity. Acts 15:29 Daniel knew the goal of eating the king’s food was for the candidates to be at their best when they were presented to the king. Daniel 1:10 Daniel resolved this conflict by offering him an alternative to eating the forbidden food. Vs.12-14

Daniel proposed they only kosher food for ten days and then compare them with those eating the king’s food. By suggesting an alternative both parties achieved the desired goal.  vs. 15 So, the next time you are asked to compromise your convictions/beliefs; suggest an alternative to achieve the desired goal. 

Three Pounds Of God, Please

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I came across this poem recently –  and wanted to share it with you.

I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep,
but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk
or a snooze in the sunshine.
I don’t want enough of God to make me love a black man
or pick beets with a migrant.
I want ecstasy, not transformation.
I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth.
I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack.
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
— Wilbur Rees

My first thought when I read this was, “EXACTLY!” Isn’t that exactly how Christians act? We want all the benefits of the title “Christian” but want nothing to do with any of the sacrifices that would come with more than just a small portion on our plate. Study after study shows that there is little difference between the Christian and the non-believer in the way we act when it comes to divorce, pornography, domestic violence, charity, volunteerism, or basically any other category you want to pick. The reason? For the most part, we’re $3 Christians. The key line in the poem is this: I want ecstasy, not transformation. People want to be happy, not Christ-like.

I am thoroughly convinced that the majority of people who profess to know Jesus Christ as their Savior do not. Allow me to explain. I believe that they (and most ‘Christians’) have conformed to a lifestyle without being transformed by the Holy Spirit! They know that being a believer means you do certain things [read your Bible, attend church, give money to the church, etc] but they have not been transformed; there has been no change internally. 

When you talk to them about a real, dynamic relationship with Christ; they stare at you like you are speaking a foreign language and you are. ” But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” They cannot understand because there has been no change in their spirit. 2 Cor. 5:17 

For many $3 is all they’re willing to pay. But for them I ask this simple question: When you die and stand before Jesus (and you will) what are you going to tell him? When Jesus asks you why you didn’t go all in knowing what he expected of you and instead you chose to be a $3 Christian what are you going to say?

Don’t be a $3 Christian. Stop conforming to the pattern of this world! Make God and His ways your priority! Allow God to transform your life – go all in. 

If You ask Me…

In my last blog, I spoke of two different views on life: a worldview and a Biblical view. Whichever view you choose it will dictate the decisions you make and how you live your life. In today’s culture, most people view truth as relative.  That is what is true for me is not necessarily true for you. But the truth is NOT relative. Take, for example, Jesus said that He was the only way to the Father [Heaven.] John 14:5-7 Many people do not accept that. They feel there are many ways to heaven and their way is just as viable as yours. 

So often we look to “experts” to determine what is true or false. I once had a person ask me a question concerning a relational issue they were facing. They asked what I thought about the issue and I said,“Well, the Bible says...” They cut me short with, “There you go again always bringing up what the Bible has to say!” I asked for your opinion!”  If you ask me my opinion on what color to paint your living; no problem, I will give you my opinion. But if you ask me a question that Bible addresses; I’ll tell what Scripture says!

The Bible was given to us, not as a law book, but more as a manual for living. When we violate a Biblical Principle (knowingly or unknowingly) there are consequences. So it pays us to study God’s Word. Jesus says both knowing and applying the Word creates the foundation for our lives: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” Matthew 7:24

Your Life View

We have all heard the question, “Is the glass half full or half empty?” It sounds like a trick question but it isn’t. Either answer is correct, that is according to your perspective.

Your perspective on life is called your ‘life view.’ It is how YOU see and interpret life. (Half full / Half empty) Most people are not even aware they have a life-view but they do.

Basically, there are only views of life: a worldly view and a Christian view. Your view is critically important because it dictates how you live your life! This is why two totally different people can experience the identical situation and respond in a “Don’t be like the people of this world but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.” Romans 12:2.

I remember reading a perfect illustration of this. Matthew Henry, a renowned writer, and minister he wrote of a man who once stole his wallet. In reflecting on the incident, Henry said, “1.) I am thankful that he never robbed me before. 2), I am thankful that although he took my wallet, he did not take my life. 3) Although he took all I had, it was not much. And 4), I am glad that it was I who was robbed, not I who did the robbing.” Matthew Henry knew how to make lemonade out of a lemon — how to be grateful despite a bad experience.

The Battle: “Mind” Field

Jesus Christ was once asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 

The great teacher and writer Oswald Chambers wrote, “Your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him.” I believe that is true and if the mind is greatly valued by God; then you can be sure Satan is going  to fight it. The mind is the most important part of spiritual warfare. It is amazing how little Christ-followers give attention to safeguarding their minds.

Satan does not own this world but he does have access to it. His influence is seen everywhere – in government, education, entertainment, the family, business…everywhere! That is why Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.”  And yet we allow just about any thought to enter our thinking.

On the battlefield one of the most dangerous places is a mine field.  What makes it so dangerous is that you do not know where the explosive are hidden.The enemy is not going to put little red flags everywhere a mine is planted. That is why you need to ask yourself, “Where did that thought come from?”

Every temptation has its origin in the mind. It is a thought before it is an action. “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” [Matthew 5:28] The implication is what you are dwelling on in your mind.

“Satan is more concerned about what you think and believe than anything else.” [David Jeremiah] We must not fall for Satan’s trap. “I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.” [2 Corinthians 2:11]

The battle is for your mind. Guard Your heart.