Arguing About Faith on Social Media

I was having an interesting exchange with a gentleman on social media the other day. His wife had responded under an article regarding debating with people in social media about values. Her position was that she felt that defending her values and point of view was basically was she was called to do.

I decided to reply. I had recently read Proverbs 23:9 “Do not speak to fools, internet 3for they will scorn your prudent words”. No, I didn’t just post this scripture and moved on. I said that after reading this I had changed my point of view.I explained that sometimes I felt like defending my values in social media, but I took a step back and started observing before speaking. I realize that there are people who like to say outlandish things just to get a raise out of others and actually enjoy debating with people just for the fun of it. While your blood pressure rises, they are laughing on the other side until they burn you out and they move to the next victim. The exchange is futile and fruitless.

I shared my experience and observations. I said that I had opted for demonstrating my values and beliefs in my daily life. I post things I wish to share and if anyone approaches me I’m always willing to share my testimony. That arguing in social media, in my opinion was not an effective tool of evangelism. That’s when the fun began.

Her husband came to the thread and asked me why was I against people speaking about God publicly? He said that my scripture was out of context and that I was trying to impede the furthering of the Gospel. For a little over an hour, that I will never get back, I attempted to explain to him that I was doing nothing of the sort. Until a light finally went off and realized that I should have followed my own advice to begin with and I walked away.

One of his challenges was that we as Christians needed to defend God. I honestly laughed. Me, little human dirt is going to defend the Alpha and Omega, Almighty God. Yes, to me it was funny. God doesn’t need defending in my mind. As far as I’ve read in the bible, he’s asked us to remain in his Word and love others while speaking the truth in love. He’s asked us to defend, protect and provide for the orphan, the widows and the needy. I haven’t found a single request to defend him. If someone has the scripture I’m always open to learn something new.

As I was meditating about this post I remembered that he doesn’t even ask us to defend ourselves.

  • In Matthew 5:39 Jesus tells us, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek”
  • Then in Luke 12: 11-12 “When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
  • Matthew 10:19 “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say”

Yes, 2 Timothy 4:1-22 tells us “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, grandmawho is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. ..”

So yes, we are called to reprove and rebuke…but keep reading; it says with complete patience. It calls us to be sober minded, and endure suffering. How much teaching can we provide when we’re spending our energy defending our points of view? How do we model Christ in our interactions; face to face or online   ? How attractive (and by that I don’t mean putting a dog and pony show) are we making the Gospel to the lost? Does my life shows something that they would want for theirs?internet

I have to ask that myself that every day to stay focus into what God has called me to do.

Be blessed

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Me Time

In the crazy world that we live, the last person that we tend to think is about ourselves. I’m not talking about being selfish, but about actually taking care of ourselves. It’s very easy to get lost in the routine of work, family demands and ministry, if you have it. Paying bills, chores and making sure that everyone around us takes precedence because we think that if everyone around us is fine then we’re fine.

time.

Think about it this way. You rarely take care of your feet, but they take you everywhere you go. However if you happen to hit a corner it would be all you will be thinking about. You may not be able to go where you need to; the pain will blur any other thought. The rest of you are just the same. If you don’t take care of you spiritually you won’t be able to guide others. If you don’t take care of your body you will not be good to do any of the things you are called to do.

Me time is more than sleep. Me time is a moment of enjoyment or rest. Make a date with yourself; it doesn’t have to be long. An hour a week is not much to ask. Use that time to read a good book, go for a walk, sit in a park and just enjoy the gifts that God has given you. But stop before God stops you. (“He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters” Psalm 23:4)

Life is not a race is a marathon and the best of them slow down to drink some water.

Until then, be blessed.

runner

An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

carI remember the time I gave my life to Christ. To be honest that was not the time I became born again. I was in a revival, emotions ran high and I decided that it was time to surrender. I started what I thought was living my life for God, religiously. I would go to church, work in ministry. but never worked on developing a personal relationship with God.

My prayers were a series of repetitions, my bible reading was the same as reading a suspense book. I knew the right things to say. I had mastered christianese (language spoken by some Christians to sound more christian) I knew the way to act, but inside my life hadn’t changed. The charade soon showed.

I spiraled out of control not being able to deal with my issues when they arose. I knew of God, but I didn’t know God. I prayed empty prayers looking to be heard but not aligning my life to his will. It didn’t work. I made mistake after mistake leaning on my own understanding, you know how that goes.

After 8 years of being tired of going around in circles I got an offer that I couldn’t refuse. It was an offer that had been there all along but I was too blind to see. I was finally ready to give it all and be really born again.  God was calling my name and wanted me to come home. I ran into his arms ready to dive really into his heart. I was finally able to break with the condemnation of my errors once I repented and received his grace and mercy.

So Here are some of the things that God offered me:

  • Jeremiah 29:11-For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
  • Matthew 11:28-29-“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
  • Philippians 4:19-And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
  • Romans 10:9-If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • Romans 6:23-For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

and many more. A God that accepted me in spite of me. A God who promised to take care of me, give me peace and almostprovide me with a great future and eternal life. Yes, that was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Are you still looking for something to fill your life? Are you someone who goes to church and calls yourself a Christian but are not enjoying the fullness of God’s promises? It’s time to make a decision. The good news is that the offer is open to all who want to have it.

Be blessed.

Whose fault is it?

Look at the picture above. It is one of our favorite mental pictures. It is very easy for us to assign responsibility to others when things go wrong, but do we think what our part in the process was? If we look at the hand, there’s one finger pointing outward and three inward. If you’re doing the pointing there are three fingers pointing at you.

Some things are out of our control in life; I’m not negating that…but it’s not as many as we tend to think.

Have you heard yourself say things like: this person makes me feel (angry, upset, irritable) or made me (eat, scream, nag, throw something)…unless the person has a weapon and threatening your safety. Was is truly this person’s fault or did you allow yourself into the behavior or emotion?  We also blame the circumstances around our lives. Most time we created those circumstances as well.

Sometimes we forget to take accountability for our own actions because it’s easier to blame others or the circumstances. The denial of our responsibility falsely releases us from having to address it or work on fixing it. By placing the responsibility outside of us, we convince ourselves that the answer is out of our hands, not realizing that is inside that fist, hidden behind those three fingers that are pointing at us.

Stepping out of that denial is not an easy thing. It makes us see ourselves for who we really are. It also finally addresses the issue that we need to work on, that’s true freedom!

So I just invite you to stop and think; every time there’s a situation in your life and you are ready to blame someone else; ask yourself, what part did you play for things to happen?

Be blessed

Did you enjoy this post? This is one of the lessons included in my book Growth Lessons , get your copy today! Do you already have the ebook and want my autograph…submit your request on kindlegraph and i’ll be honored to process it.

Emotions and Christianity

I was reading an article on the magazine “In Touch” the other day. They will have to forgive me because I don’t remember the specific author or the edition of the magazine that I read. The article was talking about how as believers we tend to have unrealistic expectations of what our emotions should be in determined situations. I think the saddest part about it, is that we permeate this culture of unrealistic expectations when we attempt to provide support to someone in distress.

I’m guilty of telling someone one that they are not trusting God on a situation, because they are exhibiting anxiety or distress and I know I’m wrong for that. I also know that I’ve accused myself of not being submitted enough to God for experiencing things like: fear, anger, sadness, anxiety.

There’s this wrong perception that if you’re a believer everything in your life has to be going absolutely perfect. We forget to read that part of the Bible that says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Who can forget the scene where Jesus kicked everyone out of the temple? He was angry. The Word says, “be angry but do not sin”…it doesn’t say you’re not allowed to be angry.

Where do we even get these ideas that because we believe we’re going to be walking in clouds, our children will be perfect, and our relationships will be perfect? Yes, we have deceived ourselves.

The interesting thing that we missed, that was addressed in the article was that we are made as God’s image; this means every emotion that we have, he has and made for us. It’s what we do with our emotions that could either edify us or destroy us. If we use our emotions and turn them into prayers, instead of complaints, and remember that the test is only the beginning of the testimony; we would see our life with different eyes.

I had a situation this week, where everything that could go wrong, went wrong. At the end of the day, I was tired, frustrated, overwhelmed. I kept praying God’s peace. I surrounded myself with my accountability support people. I finally came to the conclusion that this was the test becoming a testimony. The testimony is that every single thing that looked impossible on Monday was resolved without my intervention and in ways that only God could have shown himself. The fact that I cried and was frustrated doesn’t mean that I didn’t know that God had it in his hand and was going to deal with it. I didn’t’ doubt it for a minute. I just had a bulk of emotions; I recognized them as such and treated them as such.

Sometimes we lose focus that not only the lost souls struggles, but our fellow believers have struggles too, and how can we be of help when instead of mercy, we hand out judgment.

Be Blessed!

 

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Christians getting tattoos

I had an interesting conversation the other day about tattoos. Like any form of art, they are quite interesting, some are really nice, and some are not. But the discussion was, Are Christians allowed to get tattoos? This discussion does not relate to those who come to Christ already with tattoos, we are talking about those who are already saved, didn’t have one and are now getting them or contemplating them.

For the longest time I was one of those raising the hand with Leviticus 19:28, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.” (NLT), but is not as clear cut as that. First of all there’s the judgment part. If I am judging other people for getting tattoos, piercings or men wearing earrings, then I’m the one in trouble for judging. I’ve met true worshipers with all of those or some, these are Christian leaders who I truly respect for their spirituality and who have been mentors in my life. I admit that at the beginning I was conflicted. So I decided to do some research.

First of all I discovered that we need to read things in its context This rule and many others in the Old Testament were placed by God to avoid pagan rituals amongst the Israelites. He wanted for his people to be set apart and he still does. So does getting a tattoo makes you conform to what the world is doing? There are two schools of thought, some that say that the rules in Leviticus still apply to us, some that say they don’t. Well, I agree in Leviticus 19:29 when it says “Do not prostitute your daughter…”, but it also says two verses before, “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard” (19:27) and we know that men have haircuts and shave everyday.

From the majority of the articles I read that do not attack the tattoos (meaning not necessarily approve of them, but don’t have the notion that they will send you to hell) I gather that it’s all in the motivation and heart. Even tattoos are a matter of the heart. Why do you want to get a tattoo? Is it to fit in within the culture? Will the tattoo bring more attention to you than to Christ? Remember that our ultimate goal is that He becomes greater as I become less (John 3:30)

Some people even claim that God has tattoos using the scripture of Isaiah 49:16 “I have tattooed you on the palm of my hands” Others have said that Jesus has a tattoo as well referring to what is said in Revelations 19:16 “On his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords”

At the end, more than the focus of is it right for a believer to have or not a tattoo look at where your heart is. If you don’t have one, “are you looking at the sawdust in your brother’s eye while paying no attention to the plank in your eye? (Matthew 7:3) If you are considering one, why do you want one? Have you talk to God about it? Will getting one affect your relationship with God or make others stumble?

Personally I’ve looked at some and they are quite interesting, I could never get one and it goes beyond any religious convictions. I don’t see myself sitting for any extended period of time to be voluntarily poked. Also, I don’t think I could commit to a design. I don’t think I could agree to one color as my favorite color for my entire life, it used to be red, and somehow my mom says it used to be yellow and if you ask me now it’s blue. Can you imagine?

As always I’m interested in hearing your opinion. Let me know your thoughts and hope you have a blessed day.

Can routine affect our purpose?

Routine is an element that could prevent us from embracing the new things that God wants to do in our lives. No matter how free spirited our lives may be the most disorganized of us has a routine. We get up, go to work or school, we have a hygiene routine, eating routine, a schedule. After all the hours outside of our house, we then return and do mostly the same things, clean up, eat, and entertain ourselves (television, internet, games, Facebook). The day ends and we have not given God a minute of our time.

Some people have included God in their daily routine somewhat, but if something comes along that changes the things we usually do, we have the tendency to present resistance. I know that God has woken me up in the middle of the night with someone’s name. He usually wants me to go and pray for that person. I have to admit that I have not always been obedient to that call. How many times have you ignored that voice when you know in your heart that you needed to do something for someone or in obedience to God?

This reminded me of the parable of the Good Samaritan, when people bypassed helping someone in need in order to make it to the temple on time. Stopping there would have affected their routine. I have found out that when I get out of myself and actually allow God to alter my routine, I get more blessed than any blessing I can be to anyone else. Let’s decide today to give our daily schedules to God everyday and let his will be done.