Work hard and obey God. This is what parents try to teach their children for the duration of the time they are with them. From the moment children are born it is the parents’ task to prepare them to leave. If all words of wisdom to children could be summed up it would likely sound something like the above. If children learn these two things, they can leave home expecting to succeed in life.Read More
As usual, Jesus is more concerned with the root of a problem than the fruit of a problem. He is more concerned with the causing of sin than the committing of sin. It’s easier to focus our concern upon the sin committed rather than the cause. We frown upon the pregnant teen but fail to address the emotionally-absent father whose absence drove the daughter to look for male companionship.Read More discernment, holiness, sin
I suspect that for most of us, being cruel brings to mind aggressive, perhaps even violent acts. We think of cruelty as being assertive. But here Jesus links being cruel not with what we do to others, but by what we fail to do for them. Cruelty is associated with the apathy that would fail to look for a lost sheep. It is cruel to be passively content with ninety-nine knowing that one has gone missing.Read More cruelty, getting involved, joy
I’ve never met anyone who enjoys confronting others. Even calling it by the more positive term, admonishing, doesn’t make the task any more enjoyable. Telling another person that we have been hurt by them, slighted, felt abused or sinned against is just an unpleasant, difficult conversation to have; a conversation that most of us would prefer to avoid. It is as if we feel that we have a duty to “suck it up”; to absorb the pain of the other. We may even feel as if we are at fault for feeling slighted.Read More confrontation, love, sin
Very often we respond to others in ways we have been treated. When someone is kind to us we are more apt to be kind to others. If someone gets mad at us, we are likely to be in a poor mood and pass on anger to others. The truth is we reflect how we perceive we are being treated. In this parable the man who refused to forgive showed a greater lack than just financial poverty, he lacked pity.Read More forgiveness, grace, kindness
When a man and a woman enter into marriage, the commitment is for life. “…And no one should separate a couple that God has joined together” (v 6).
Jesus left Galilee for Judea, where he came upon a group of Pharisees. Verse 3 says that the Pharisees wanted to test Jesus on the subject of marriage and divorce.Read More commitment, divorce, marriage
We’ve changed how we share our lives and indeed what we share. Social media makes it easy for us to chronicle the minutiae (“Eggs for breakfast!”) and milestones (‘It’s a boy!”) of our stories in real time. Skype and smartphones have fueled political revolutions.
But what of our stories must we remember? And what do we do with them?Read More God’s love, patience, remember