Proper Balance of Truth & Compassion

truth and compassionThere’s been quite a bit of hubbub over how Robin Williams died. Among other things, some have called it cowardly. Here’s something to ponder.
In Jewish tradition, suicide is such a “severe sin” that Rabbi’s are not supposed to give a eulogy at the person’s funeral. Yet, “even as Jewish law expresses its categorical contempt for suicide as a viable option (my note: truth is still truth); it makes clear its empathy for those acting under the kinds of compulsion brought on by depression and other forms of mental illness (my note: all brains are damaged due to sin; thus, not all brains and bodies are wired and work equally the same). It is extremely unlikely that a person would commit such an act of folly unless his mind was disturbed. Jewish law found a beautiful balance between abhorrence of an act before it is committed and compassion for the victims of self-destruction in the aftermath of its tragedy.”
The New Testament shows the same balance. Jesus is the Redeemer, one who is righting a great wrong done by the consequences of sin – both others and our own. The Scripture is clear: truth is truth and there are consequences to not following it.
Jesus is also God, who can see into all the nooks and crannies of our soul and mind – all the junk and pain put there by anyone’s choices – and still say with open arms, “I don’t like what I see, but I love you!”
Yes, we stand for truth. It’s the only mechanism by which we can be set free from the consequences of sin. Yet, Scripture shows that everyone has a drug of choice (1 Jn. 1:8); and, it’s a battle to overcome that drug, even in the best of circumstances.
We don’t have to like what someone does, but we can certainly examine our own struggles to overcome our bad choices before we react to it (Gal. 6:1). Afterwards, we can stand for truth while showing compassion to and love for them as they travel forward on their journey. The is the proper balance for believers: stand for truth while lovingly holding each other accountable to the process of life change.
“S”et Free Nowww

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What in the World Did They Talk About?

walkingJesus talked with His Father during the day (Matt. 14:23) and at night (Lk. 6:12). He spoke with His Father when times were tough (Mk. 14:32) and when tough decisions had to be made (Lk. 6:12).
He prayed by Himself (Lk. 9:18) and with His men (Lk. 9:28). He had such awesome conversations with His Dad that His men wanted Him to teach them how to talk that way (Lk. 11:1). In fact, Jesus was in constant contact with His Father (Lk.18:1; Jn. 8:28).
What in the world could they have been talking about all that time? Think about it. He never stopped talking with His Father. This would even be challenging for my female readers! Guys usually run out of words at about 15K per day where women can make it up to 25K. Yet there had to be a lot more words being exchanged between Father and Son.
The only answer is that they shared life, everyday life, with each other. No experience was too trivial or out of bounds for them to converse about. They loved each other that much!
Your God loves you that much as well. Walk and talk with H. Him. He not only loves it, but it helps you as well. As you focus on the One with the solutions, your challenges seem to go out of focus.
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Your Brain’s Caller ID

caller IDCarpe Diem, seize the day (actually it means “pluck the day”), is the lesson Robin Williams’ character in Dead Poets’ Society tried to teach his students. Let’s seize the day to learn another lesson from Robin Williams’ real life: use your tools to shut down all the voices in your head, save one – Jesus.
In a 2006 interview with a TV reporter, Williams said, “Falling back into alcohol abuse (ed. note – he was sober for 20 years) was very gradual. It’s the same voice/thought that… you’re standing at a precipice and you look down, there’s a voice and it’s a little quiet voice that goes, ‘Jump,’ The same voice that goes, ‘Just one.’ … And the idea of just one for someone who has no tolerance for it, that’s not the possibility.”
In his own words, Williams listened to the voice that said, “Jump,” take your drug of choice. What voice in your head are you listening to? It should be the Word of Truth, Jesus Himself, through specific lie fighting truths, your caller ID mechanism, which you’ve stored in your brain. Seize the day by shutting down all the voices (doubt, fear, unworthiness, inept, unworthiness, anger, etc.) that tell you that your drug of choice will meet your need, even in small doses! It’s a lie and we all know it.
Someone once said, “A loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice, even if it’s a whisper.” Choose to focus on the clear small voice telling you, “Come to Me and I’ll give you rest, peace of mind and security right now.” Jesus isn’t always screaming, but He’s always talking. Will you choose to listen and follow only Him? Seize the day, this very moment, to be victorious to walk away from that precipice towards His loving and safe arms.
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Walk and Talk to Walk the Talk

walk and talkI was asked to pray the other day. I told the group that I don’t pray. What, a pastor who doesn’t pray? You could have heard the air being sucked right out of the room. Then I told them that I talk with my God. I simply hold conversations with Jesus. All was well in the world when they heard this.
And yet, no one asked me to explain; so I’ll tell you. In my experience, prayer is fast becoming another English word (another word is “church”) that is losing its way in the Christian world. We don’t go to church we are the church every where we go. We don’t stop and pray, we talk to God throughout our day (1 Thess. 5:17) about anything and everything. Holding a conversation with God denotes close between two people in relationship.
Jesus said His sheep listen to and follow Him (Jn. 10:27) as He is the source of true life…now and forever. How do we stay plugged into that life? We walk and talk with Him as we walk the talk about Him.
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Choose to Reflect

reflecting JesusIt was another beautiful morning for a walk and talk with God. As I crested one hill, I saw three shinning lights in the distance. I knew I was looking at a housing tract, but it took me a while to catch what the lights were. Three of the homes had solar panels on their roof that were reflecting the early morning sun light.
It reminded me of what we’re supposed to be doing – reflecting Jesus’ life in ours. With each choice to listen to and follow Jesus throughout our day, our character will be exchanged with His. When this happens, we will be fulfilling His command to make disciples wherever we go as they will be hearing Jesus through us.
Quick thought for today: who are your choices reflecting today – you and Him? Slow the day down. Choose to exercise the truth today.
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