~ Marc and Angel
Just a few vital, timeless life lessons we all learn on the road of life…
1. You are not alone. We all have our problems. – To lose sleep worrying about a friend. To have trouble picking yourself up after someone lets you down. To feel like less because someone didn’t love you enough to stay. To be afraid to try something new for fear you’ll fail. None of this means you’re dysfunctional or crazy. It just means you’re human, and that you need a little time to right yourself. You are not alone. No matter how embarrassed or pathetic you feel about your own situation, there are others out there experiencing the same emotions.
2. Pain has a purpose. – Pain doesn’t just show up in your life for no reason. It’s a sign that something in your life needs to change. This change takes strength. But remember, it’s not that those who are strong never get weak in the knees, or that they never gasp for a breath. It’s that while their knees are shaking, they force themselves to breathe and to take another step.
3. There are right people, and wrong people, for YOU. – There are fake people, and those who are true friends. There are people who take the heart out of you, and those who put it back. You have a choice of who to spend time with. True friends have an honest heart, and will go out of their way to help you when you need it most. Stick with the people who never let you down and keep their promises. You can’t fake that.
4. Your beliefs become your reality. – What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe. Even though you cannot control everything that happens, you can control your attitude toward what happens. And in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. (from the “Happiness” chapter of our book)
5. What you focus on grows. – Do not let the negativity wear off on you. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Promote what you love instead of discrediting what you dislike. When you choose to focus on the things you love, you end up finding more joy and more love in life.
6. What you don’t start today, won’t be finished by tomorrow. – There are seven days in the week and someday isn’t one of them. Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.
A Spokane man, John Underhill, was painting the home of an 89 year-old woman when he noticed a large family Bible prominently displayed on the coffee table. She proudly pointed out that it was 116 years old and a priceless heirloom.
John commented on how remarkable that was, then added, “It doesn’t matter how old the Bible might be, what’s on the inside is what matters.”
She immediately replied, “Oh, I know. That sure is the truth. Why, we have family records and births and marriages and deaths that go so far back, all recorded in that Bible; we could never replace them.”
God didn’t give us the Bible to just display in our homes, but to be read, studied, digested and lived. It is this goal to which Paul commands Timothy when he wrote: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
Carefully look at what is being said.
(1) Give Diligence.
ince its earliest days, the church has been plagued by false teachers and deadly doctrine. Never has there been a period of rest, a time when Christians could relax their guard. Satan has opposed the church since the day of its founding, and he will continue to oppose her until the day of his destruction.
Naturally, then, Paul was seriously concerned about false teachers and deadly doctrine, warning of them in almost every one of his letters. As he comes to the end of his letter to the Romans, he reminds the church to be on guard, since false teachers are skilled at using flattery and smooth words to deceive even believers. Paul loves this church and wants them to be aware of the challenges they will face from predatory teachers. But his solution may strike us as surprising. He tells these Christians “to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil” (Romans 16:19b).
It happened again recently. I was listening to a sermon online and the preacher said, “God told me.” Apparently everyone in the congregation enjoyed it from the response I heard, but I immediately turned it off. This type of communication is becoming more prevalent in Christian circles. It’s showing up in conversations because people are hearing it from the pulpit and reading it in books they purchased from the local Christian bookstore. Perhaps it sounds spiritual or is emotionally stirring to the congregation.
Although the “God told me” method of communicating makes for interesting, suspenseful, and entertaining stories, what people need most is to hear from God. I would like to make a simple request. Please stop saying “God told me” unless the phrase is immediately followed up with a text of Scripture. Have you considered the connection between the “God told me” language and the sufficiency of Scripture? What connection does the “God told me” phrase have with the third of the Ten Commandments?
The “God Told Me” Language Violates the Sufficiency of Scripture
Why do so many Christians make lousy human beings? Why are so many of us judgmental, unaware and defensive? Part of the answer lies in a failure to biblically integrate emotional health and spiritual maturity.
A vast industry exists around emotional intelligence that ignores spirituality. A vast amount of information also exists that defines a “mature” Christian. Rarely are the two integrated.
The following are 11 signs of an emotionally mature Christian:
- You anchor your life in the love of Jesus. You don’t divide your life into “secular” and “sacred” compartments. Instead, you rather enjoy communion with Him in all areas of your life—work, recreation, church and parenting. Toward that end, you regularly practice spiritual disciplines (e.g., meditation on Scripture, silence, solitude, community, confession, worship) to position yourself to practice His presence all throughout the day.