Thursday, February 1, 2018

For the Love of Justice

Have you ever noticed how people either seem to have an undeniable sense of justice or an overwhelming amount of compassion?

People seem to either want to punish others for their mistakes or they want to love and accept them no matter what while letting them live in their sin. You rarely ever find a balance of the two.

And why is that? Well for once the answer is simple; it's hard. Finding balance between the two is a difficult task. Is either one bad? No, but an extreme on either end is dangerous. If all you want to do is love people and let them be living in their sin, then you aren't actually showing them love at all, are you? If you only want people to know that they are disobeying God by beating them over the head with it, what good are you doing them? They won't be listening if all they see is rules. I once heard a teacher explain it like this, "Love without truth is hatred, but truth without love is worthless."

So which way should we swing if we can't find a proper balance, Truth and Justice or Love and Compassion? I honestly don't think that it matters which way you swing. Jesus was all about love if fact he said in Luke 6:35 "But love your enemies,do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything back...", so clearly we are supposed to love others, but the Bible also says in Psalm 106:3 "How blessed are those who keep justice,". So which way should we lean if we were to go one way or the other? Both and neither at the same time. It depends on how you see the world.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm on team justice, but is justice always the answer? NO. By the same measure, is love always the answer? Not really. Don't get me wrong both of these thing are important, and both of them are good principles to practice, but with out balance you wouldn't get anywhere. Sometimes it takes a person that loves justice to reach someone that love has exhausted, but sometimes it takes love to reach where justice can't.

I'll bet that everyone has heard a story of a person committing a crime, when someone shows them compassion whether it be the judge or a police officer a preacher, and their life was changed. They went on to live the rest of their life a decent person. We all enjoy stories like that, but sometimes a thief is just a thief and the compassion of a priest can't change that. Sometimes a person needs to be punished to learn their lesson. If a child touches a hot stove and gets burned chances are they'll learn their lesson. If a child touches a hot stove and avoids a burn, all the mother's love won't prevent that child from toughing the stove again.  

Team Justice or Team Love, just remember to keep yourself in check. Sometimes it helps having a friend the opposite of you to keep each other balanced. As long as you know which way you lean and keep and eye on yourself, you should stay relatively balanced.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Just do it

First of all, I would like to apologize for not writing more. I got really busy and writing didn't cross my mind. Even when I would think about it I couldn't think of anything to write about, but in truth these are all excuses. We always come up with all of these excuses, so today I would like to talk about some of these excuses and why they aren't valid reasons.

    1. I'm really busy. Fact of life: you will always be busy. There will always be a million things that you could be doing. We are always going to have something on the to-do list, but somehow we always find the time to do the things that we want to do. You're never going to have time for something until you make the time to do it. We say that we don't have the time because we try to find time instead of making it. That being said, you don't have to make time for everything, decide what's important and prioritize.                                                                                                                                                              
    2.  I Don't know How. The answer for this one really is simple. You can learn. Maybe what needs done is something really complicated, and you can't do it. In a case like that ask for help. There's no shame in asking for help. Even Jesus had help. He had his twelves disciples that were with him everywhere he went. He prayed asking God for his help. If you don't know how to do something, don't leave it for somebody else to deal with, ask for some help, and do it right then and there.                                                                       
    3. I don't want to. This is the most common excuse especially among our age group. I also believe that this is the one that we are the least likely to speak aloud. Being perfectly honest with you guys. I didn't want to write this post. It's 9 am during Christmas break; there are a million other things that I would like to be doing, but I made a commitment to write and it's past time that I honored that. I chose this topic more for me than you guys. I chose it to keep me accountable to you guys. I believe that Christians get rewarded for doing the right thing especially when they don't want to. I believe that it shows God that His plans matter more than ours and that even though we grump we're willing to cooperate with Him and His plans.   

Keeping it short and to the point today. I will try to be writing more in the days to come. Merry late Christmas.
Until Next Time,

Friday, August 18, 2017

Eternally Joyful

Anyone can be happy when things are going their way, but how can you have joy when life sucks? When everything seems to be against you? How do you smile and laugh without a friend to share it with? How do you joke around when you're failing classes? How can you have time to play when you're working all of the time?

News flash: Life doesn't always work the way that you want it to. Everyone gets sad, scared, angry, or stressed at some point. We all have bad bad days but the fact is, grumbling doesn't make anything better. In fact things actually get easier when we can smile about them.

You always have something that you can be happy about even on your worst day. If you are having trouble fining your happiness find one thing in your day that was good and smile. Even if you don't want to because sometimes just simply smiling will make you feel better just like how laughing is contagious. The thing that makes you happy could be as simple as you're wearing your favorite shirt that day, or you got a good grade on your math test.

Why is it that we let the smallest bad thing ruin our day, but a good thing doesn't make it better? We need to start looking at the day as a whole and not just a single incident. When you have the perspective view of everything that happened you often find that the day was better than you thought.

Even if it isn't though there is always one thing that will always be joyful and we will always have. Jesus rose again, that fact alone is something that can make you joyful on a bad day. Remember earth is only our temporary home. We have an eternal home in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ. When we get to heaven we will always be joyful.

As school is getting ready to begin I would encourage you to look at your bad days with perspective because there is always something that we can be joyful about.
Until Next Time,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Best Friend Breakups

Why do friendship breakup? How do people who could tell each other their biggest secrets suddenly hate talking to each other? 

Friendships are a complicated thing, but one thing is for certain, without them we would all be miserable. C.S Lewis once said, "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival." 

People weren't made to go through life alone. In the garden of Eden, Adam had Eve. Jesus had his twelve disciples. David had Johnathan. We lose our friends all the time. Why you might ask? I think we have a few big problems when it comes to losing friends. 

  1. We get overly offended. Friends make mistakes, but part of being friends is forgiving, but also knowing when we need to be forgiven. We can hold grudges or false opinions over the stupidest of things. When our friends make mistakes that tends to be all that we see. I think we forget what it's like being the one asking for forgiveness. We breakup friendship over things that don't even matter. I think we're all guilty of being blinded by one mistake that our friend made and we can't even see the mistakes that we made. When I was little, there was this girl who is one of the nicest people that I know, but I would never talk to her. Want to know why? You can laugh, I won't get offended, but keep in mind I was like five. She had a birthmark of her cheek and for whatever reason I didn't like it. I had my one friend and I didn't need to be nice to anyone else. I was a mean girl when I was younger. I eventually did talk to this girl. We were at Taekwondo camp at our church, and she got me to talk to her because: A) there weren't that many girls there, and B) she bribed me with string cheese. I consider that girl one of my best friends now, and we still hang out  a lot. Mostly we laugh at each other being stupid. When I'm around her, I laugh more in one day than I usually do in one week. The point is that we all have a story of ourselves being mean. Maybe you weren't as mean as I was, but there are times in all of our lives that we do things to our friends we aren't proud of. Remember your mean self next time you want to get overly offended by a friend's actions. 
  2. Lack of communication. Ever notice how the little things bother us the most? We don't bring it up because we don't want to bother our friend over something so trivial, so it sits there like a dormant volcano getting bigger and bigger until... Kaboom! You have an explosion on your hands. This minor issue is now a huge fight because you let it continue to grow and become a huge problem. You have to bring up your worries to your friend. remember they are your friend no matter how small it seems. If it's important to you it should be important to your friend.    
  3.  We try to have too many friends. You can't have a good relationship with 500 people. To have a real friendship you have to really get to know someone. We lose our friends because we have so many that it doesn't seem like a loss. "Oh you don't want to be my friend, well I have 500 others; I don't need you." A true friend takes time to get to know you. I have a friend that I have known for as long as I can remember, and I still learn new things about her. As people change, friendships change. They take time and effort, the kind of time that can't be divided between that many people. One of my favorite examples of a true friend is Samwise Gamgee from my favorite movie series, the Lord of the Rings. Frodo yelled at him and he trusted Gollum (a creature conspiring to kill him),over Sam. Frodo even sent him back home and he still went on after his friend. At the end when Frodo has used the last of his strength, Sam carried him the rest of the way. He was there when Frodo needed him most. So I ask, do you want 500 Facebook friends or one Samwise Gamgee?

Until Next Time,

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Christian's Hope

What is Hope? Why is it important? Where can I find it when things are hopeless? 

I looked up the word hope in the dictionary, and do you know what I found? Nine different definitions of the word. Most of us tend to think of hope as the verb; to believe, desire, or trust, or the noun the feeling that things will turn out for the best. The final definition of hope was to place trust in or to rely. I think for Christians that this one should be most accurate, but isn't. As Christians we have the ability to take our problems strait to God. The bible tells us in Hebrews 13:5 "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you," 

If we look at hope as a trust in God then it become one of the most critical pieces of being a Christian. There is more to life than just aimlessly going on waiting for something to happen; thinking about how life sucks all of the time, especially when one is a Christian. As a Christian you should be able to trust that God will take care of the future. If you trust that God loves you and is going to take care of you then the hard places in life become easier to deal with. Will it still be hard? Yes, but that's life.

No situation is ever hopeless. When you have no hope it's because you chose not to have hope. I will say that there are some places that everyone comes to where hope and sometimes faith seem lost. Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard you try you can't seem to believe that God will work it out in the end, but life without hope sucks. I going through one of those times right now. It's hard to believe that something good comes out of it. God has a plan and sometimes we have to learn the hard way. If something in you is going to harm God's plan for your future, then he's going to do what he has to do to weed it out of you. I think that it makes God sad watching some of the things we go through. God describes himself as a father, and the hardest thing that a parent has to do is watch their children suffer. "What time I am afraid I will trust in thee," Psalms 56:3. I think the reason that trials are hard is because the outcome is important to us and we fear how thing will end. After all it wouldn't be a trial if it wasn't important to us, it would just be more annoying drama. We don't have to be afraid of what's going to happen we can trust that God will take care of us.

We all face trials in our lives and sometimes things just seem hopeless. We do have an  advantage over life; we have Jesus. Jesus is a Christian's hope, and even when you can't feel it he is always there for us. 

Until Next Time,