Depends on whom you’re talking to

We call little girls big girls and they are proud. I suspect calling big girls big girls would not elicit the same reaction. (I have not tried it personally and do not recommend attempting it, at the risk of one’s health and well-being.)

Words must be measured. The person to whom we address ourselves determines our approach. Continue reading

#evangelism, #knowledge, #mission, #obligations, #speech

Forgiving Others

In Matthew 6:12, when the disciples had asked Jesus how to pray, among other things, He told them, “And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.”  This clearly teaches us that, in order to be forgiven, we must first be ready to forgive.  If we are not willing to forgive others when they have offended us, then God will not forgive us when we have offended Him…and we do that all too frequently.

But I would like for us to look at two verses also found in Matthew:

  • Matthew 5:23-24  If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
  • Matthew 18:15  And if thy brother sin against thee, go, show him hid fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained a brother.

The Bible clearly indicates in these two verses that the reconciliation of any trespass is on my shoulders.  It is up to me to make the first move.  Neither of these two obligations is easy; and, neither is dependent upon the other person.  Read those two verses again.  (Obviously, repentance is the first step for forgiveness, for we cannot be forgiven for something of which we have not repented; but that is another article.)  God does not say that I can sit back at ease and wait for my brother or sister to come to me and ask for forgiveness.  If I feel that a brother or sister has sinned against me, then I also, by definition, feel that that person is living in sin.  Therefore, I have an obligation to that person to go to them privately and, in love, tell them what has offended me and give them a chance to repent and “make it right.”  If I fail to take the first step, I have failed to follow God’s commandment.

On the flip side, if I am aware that I have offended another, whether or not I meant to offend, it is my obligation to go to that person and apologize for my words or actions.

Again, God has charged me that I must take the first step.

I cannot answer for you, but I do know that I daily need the forgiveness of my Lord.  There are things that I do or neglect to do, thing that I say or neglect to say…some of which I may be aware and some of which I am not aware.  If I realize that I need that forgiveness, then I must  realize that others need it, also.  So, here is the deal:  Take time right now to think about your life.  Have you offended anyone?  For the sake of your own soul, no matter how hard it might be, go to that person and ask them to forgive you.  Has anyone offended you, and that is eating at your peace?  Then go to that person, no matter how hard it might be, and, in love, tell them what has offended you, doing so in love rather than condemnation, and give them the chance to ask your forgiveness.  In either case, you have made peace with God.

Doc Phillips

Fredericksburg Church of Christ, TX

#christian-living, #forgiveness, #mercy, #obligations, #offences, #reconciliation, #relationships

“Proverbs Are The Piths” (11)

Proverbs 6 is all about obligations; the ones we have and the ones we don’t. Watch and see, but you’re under no obligation.

Verses 1-5Obligations to others. Solomon tells his children to think long and hard before signing your name to something. This applies to co-signers, hand shakers and promise makers. It’s all serious stuff! The reason? Because if it’s you on the line, then your “buddy” might just cut bait and run! That’s never happened before, has it?

Verses 6-11 – God understands the necessity of rest, but He also understands our obligation to work. Not only does Exodus 20:9 speak to this, but so does 2 Thessalonians 3:8-13. Solomon isn’t trying to take a stick to those who aren’t capable of working. He’s lighting a fire under those who can, but won’t!

Verses 12-19 – Here we have a person’s obligation to God. The wicked man and the wickedness of man go hand in hand. Verse 15 reminds us that we can’t out plan the One who sees all plans. Backroom deals, secret alliances, lies, cheating and back stabbing are fruitless in the eyes of God. Verses 16-19 are a very popular section of Proverbs for a very good reason – they preach as powerfully today as the day they were written. Pride, lying, murder, wicked hearts, evil intentions, trouble makers – none of that still happens…right? From head to toe, mankind has an obligation to God; one that He’s not soon to forget.

Verses 20-29Obligation to purity is the name of the game here. Play with fire, and we will get burned. Not only is this advice from a father, but also from a mother (vs. 20-21). The tools of the “trade” haven’t changed for an adulterer/adulteress, and neither has the result. They never build anything; they just tear down! Solomon guarantees that the eye is bigger than the belly, and the cost is higher than advertised. It destroys the soul (vs. 32). It destroys reputations (vs. 33). It can literally destroy a life (vs. 34). If we allow our sexual appetite to take us to someone else’s table, then mercy won’t be an easy helping to find.

Obligation is an interesting, powerful, heavy and even dangerous word.

#god, #obligations, #proverbs-are-the-piths, #purity, #relationships, #work