Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Get Out of Spiritual La La Land

Jonah is probably one of the most popular stories in the bible to teach to small children. This is probably because the story of Jonah is contained within four chapters of one book in the bible. The story is easy to follow along to and children are intrigued by the fact that a full-grown man is swallowed by a giant fish.

However, much more is to be taken from the story of Jonah than just an old fish-tale.

Jonah disobeyed God and decided to run away from doing what God told him to do. He somehow got it into his mind that God didn’t know or see what he was doing. He decided that he would pull himself into la-la land and forget God’s existence.

God got His attention, though. The storm hit and the people on the ship realized that something wasn’t right. Jonah insisted on being thrown overboard, and finally, the men on the ship did as Jonah had told them to do, and the storm stopped.

God knows all. He can’t be fooled. Jonah’s arrogance was shown throughout the story that he thought he knew more than God did.

So many people look into the Word of God, and think, “God couldn’t possibly mean that!” So many people rationalize in their minds certain things that the bible says is wrong. Some people pretend to live for God, yet live in la-la land about certain things they like to do.

If the bible says it’s wrong, we can’t rationalize it or make it right no matter what society says. The bible is the inspired word of God and He knows better than we do (2nd Timothy 3:16). It doesn’t matter what we think, or we want; that’s an arrogant mindset can get in the way

In the major issues of today’s society, such as homosexuality, fornication, and abortion; to say that these things are okay goes against God’s word as a whole (1st Corinthians 6:9, Romans 1:26-27, 1st Corinthians 6:18, Galatians 5:19, 1st Thessalonians 4:3, Ephesians 5:3, Psalm 139:13-16, Proverbs 6:17).

The bible says not to curse or to joke in an obscene way (Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 5:4, Colossians 3:8). How often do we let this commandment slide when we’re mad or excited? I can’t tell you how frustrated it makes me to see people who are claiming to be religious to be using foul language in their daily lives and on Facebook. Sometimes even in text language form.

Or, they turn around and say God’s name in vain. They’ll shorten it to “OMG!” or “Omigod!” or, as seen on pictures meant as a joke, “Ermahgerd.” (I’m getting really tired of seeing this)

It doesn’t matter how lighthearted you put it-it’s STILL wrong. Stamping a funny picture or status with it does not make it any less wrong than it already is. It’s STILL disrespectful to God. So many in the religious world are letting their integrity and morals slide to be in with the culture.

God will always be there. The trends and ways of the culture won’t. God is the only truly eternal thing out there. He knows better than we do what’s right and wrong. We need to quit living in la-la land and ignoring what He’s telling us to do.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”-Proverbs 3:5-7

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sticks and Thrown Stones...

On Wednesday, October 10th, 2012, a young girl named Amanda Todd from British Columbia was found dead from suicide in her home. I started reading more into this story, and this young woman was a victim of severe bullying at her school.

It all started with a mistake she made years ago by flashing herself for a guy on a webcam. Years later also, she hooked up with a guy who was already in a relationship; later, in a video where she’s telling her story says, “…huge mistake.”

She was shunned or made fun of by everyone at her school, which no doubt led to her suicide.
Days later, some people who knew her are still posting things about her on Facebook such as, “I’m glad she’s dead.”

I was almost in tears as I read this story, and I can’t help but think that if someone, anyone from her had only extended God’s love to her, would she still be alive?

Sometimes I feel like Christians have a tendency to back themselves away from people who have made mistakes like this. Many of us get an attitude of absolute disgust and think, “Sinner! Sinner! Back away! Back away!”

I think we often forget that Jesus came to die for everyone-not just those who commit so-called “tiny” sins. Also remember that he saved a woman caught in adultery from being stoned. To the men who were wanting to stone her, Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” No one could do it. He simply told the woman to go and ‘sin no more’ (John 8:5-11).

Before you became a Christian, what kinds of things did you do? Certainly you have deep regrets over things you’ve done, right? No one can become a Christian or know the love of Christ until someone shows it to them. People like Amanda desperately need the love of Christ to change their lives and to give them a purpose.

Do the people who’ve committed those sins need Him any less? We ALL need the love of Christ. As Christians, we must reach out to those who are alone and need help. God has given us the job as His followers to help others and tell them about the love and hope Christ can give to them.

Don’t be an encourager to bullying by standing off in the sidelines. Remember-by stepping in and reaching out, God can use you to positively affect someone else.