Bandwagoning & Rumormongering - (I believe it now more than ever)

Sometimes the impact of a writing comes back like a boomerang. That's the case with this blog. On Monday I wrote the blog below and posted it on Facebook. On Tuesday I did the very thing I despise. On the radio, I made a comment about Tiger Woods. My comment made the assumption that Tiger must have been drinking because he sure looked like he had in his mug shot. Well, within a few hours there were reports that Tiger blew 0.0 into the breathalyzer. 

Now I'm the illustration for my own blog! Please accept my apologies for being so quick to do the very thing that has devasted me personally in the past. I feel like God has used this in my life most which is always his intent. I praise God for his grace and believe every word you're about to read. Like never before.

We live in a speculative and rumormongering world. There is a bandwagon for anything. If you want to dislike someone or something - you can always find circumstantial stuff to support it...always!

This soul-sickness is what afflicted those who crucified Jesus. Anyone can condemn but fewer run to believe the best - saving runs counter to our nature of condemning. Just a few may drive the judgment train, but many join it because the fear of being left out of the gossip or standing alone is just too much to take. But one thing to remember: Someone always pays for cowardice.

I've witnessed this from both sides. I've made broad conclusions only to find out it was based on twisted truth or outright lies. I've also had the same occur toward me. This is the way of our world but we don't have to get sucked into this downward swirling bowl.

God didn't send Jesus to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17). If you lean toward condemnation you've turned and are leaning away from God. The only solution is admitting it all - times of refreshing will come. God will fill the sails of what has become the doldrums. We can be freed from trying to convince ourselves and others that we're okay.

I now trust almost nothing I hear or read until it can be substantiated with credible evidence. Even then, there is very little worth being consumed with unless we have the ability to effect change. And when our focus is directed toward belief and transformation, it is truly the way to honor God and impact the world.

Talk Matters

Our tendency to go with the flow…means we need to make sure we’re with the right folks. The impact of those we surround ourselves with is immense. If we circle up with tellers of juicy tales, we’ll become gossips and liars. If we hang out with pessimists, we’ll get spiritually stuck. If we discount truth tellers, we’ll continue to live a lie. Talk can be cheap, conversation can get critical and whispers can be destructive.

There is a better way. God’s word is a tool of truth that acts like a mirror and a lamp – all at the same time. God’s word let’s us see ourselves more deeply than we perceive ourselves. It reveals these tough realities: A person’s character is reflected in their chatter. Take a listen to your voice and the voices around you – adjust accordingly. If we want to really grow, we need truth to light the path.

What fills our time and our mind will either produce life or chaff. Now this is a tough one: Better to be alone with God’s word…than to be surrounded by people with empty words. Spending a season away from what we’ve become, can usher in a season we’ve longed to see. Here’s the payoff – God doesn’t want us to “wither”, and he loves to help us bear “fruit in its season”. In short time, God will provide relationships with rather imperfect, but sincerely passionate, consumers of truth. We can witness change today!

Ps. 1:1-3

Deception

Half truths, twists, embellishments, and leaving out key details–It’s all just a thin veil for deception. Deception is a voice of Satan and he's not only mastered it, he invented it.

The fall of mankind into sin, cited in the Genesis account, is more than just temptation. The temptation of Adam and Eve had a healthy dose of deception. Think about deception as the truth with a twist at the very end. What makes deception so lethal is that it’s laced with good amounts of truth. Satan simple said to Eve, “for God knows…”. Yes, God is all knowing but the deception was that God was somehow withholding what was good and keeping it for himself. Subtle twists and turns can actually be used by Satan to get us headed the wrong direction. Every person who has a pulse has been sucked into Satan’s deception scheme. Deception is not just and Adam and Eve thing.

To really understand deception we have to understand the mask of deception. Get this, “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”. He plays himself off as an illuminator of truth and then slides in destructive lies from the shadows of utter darkness. This is serious and the solution required is the Holy Spirit. Deception can’t be sorted out on the fly. We can’t lean on man’s wisdom or hunches to separate out truth from lies. Jesus illustrated the need to sort out lies when he yielded to the Holy Spirit who will “guide you into all truth”. 

A few thoughts on deception that can keep you out of the ditch and walking the high road with God. 1. Watch your stories and story retelling. A story with 90% truth has too much lie for it’s own good. 2. Tell a story straight and true to the end or don’t tell it at all. 3. And when it’s a tale about someone else, it’s better left untold. Gossip is a breeding ground for twisted truth. 

The truth will set us free...

II Corinthians 11:14, John 16:13

Starving Sin...

Life in Christ is, by nature, a whole new deal. The new birth miracle is real and supernatural. If we've surrendered complete control of our life to God, he's done two profound things: 1. Set us free from sin slavery. 2. Locked us into the righteousness of Christ. So what we must do is walk in agreement with God and the miracle of new birth. We're neither bystander nor initiator. We're spiritual partners in our own life-change. God initiates and we walk in agreement with him. And God's given us all the power we need to make the moves that are necessary to win this spiritual foot race. We can do this!

There's one big thing we must agree on from the get go. We can't afford to give sin any real estate in our soul. We can make zero "provision for the flesh". We can't give destructive secrets a way to survive. Gossip can't be given a place to hang out. We need to evict jealousy and tell envy it has no home with us. We must put all the empty spiritual carbs on notice. All addictions must be seen for what they are - life thieves. There can be no provision for sin to live. It's a battle that must be fought and in Christ it can be won.

We can all identify something in our life that needs to die. So let's get real and raw with sin. When God reveals to us any sin that is stealing life from us, give it no food. Let it eat nothing because it won't stop until it consumes us. Withhold any nourishment whatsoever. And when sin screams for mercy offer it none. There is no quick death with sin. It must be starved to its death and sin will never go without a fight. Just when a sin is about to lose its foothold in our life and breath its last breath, it will call out for just a scrap. But give it nothing. One morsel in the mouth of sin is like giving new life to a monster. Starve sin to the very end. There's a mercy killing that God smiles on - Putting sin to death.

New sin will always crop it's head but one victory produces more victory. Get a win today and we'll have a track record tomorrow. We can live in Christ...when we starve sin to death.

Romans 13:14

Chatter Matters

Our tendency to go with the flow…means we need to make sure we’re with the right folks. The impact of those we surround ourselves with is immense. If we circle up with tellers of juicy tales, we’ll become gossips and liars. If we hang out with pessimists, we’ll get spiritually stuck. If we discount truth tellers, we’ll continue to live a lie. Talk can be cheap, conversation can get critical and whispers can be destructive.

There is a better way. God’s word is a tool of truth that acts like a mirror and a lamp – all at the same time. God’s word let’s us see ourselves more deeply than we perceive ourselves. It reveals these tough realities: A person’s character is reflected in their chatter. Take a listen to your voice and the voices around you – adjust accordingly. If we want to really grow, we need truth to light the path.

What fills our time and our mind will either produce life or chaff. Now this is a tough one: Better to be alone with God’s word…than to be surrounded by people with empty words. Spending a season away from what we’ve become, can usher in a season we’ve longed to see. Here’s the payoff – God doesn’t want us to “wither”, and he loves to help us bear “fruit in its season”. In short time, God will provide relationships with rather imperfect, but sincerely passionate, consumers of truth. We can witness change today!

Ps. 1:1-3