Tag Archives: Challenge

My Rights vs Your Rights

The concept of personal rights or human rights has become a major part of the western society. Every one here believes he or she has “rights” to do something, be somewhere or just behave in some manner. But what happens when your “right” infringes on another person’s “right”?

Don’t get me wrong; I do believe we have rights, but I don’t believe “everything” society (generally speaking that is) claims to be rights. When I was younger, when VHS’s were still the norm, I went for my driver’s license and adults back then told us it was a privilege to drive and not a right. Okay, that’s all good and dandy, but why are people now, and ages past, acting in a way that is contrary to this piece of advice?

I can stretch this personal rights stuff to most aspects of life. In retail stores I’m constantly hearing people throwing a hissy fit when a product they “have a right to have” is out of stock. Or parents suing schools for not allowing their child to go against the school’s written policies. (I don’t think I need to expand on this. But the latter example is a growing issue, especially in USA.)

Enough random ranting–I’ll get to the point of this essay now. I have some perceived rights; you have some perceived rights; the person next to you has some perceived rights. But how far are you willing to go to exercise them? Who are you willing to sacrifice to get the next big thing you “have the right to have”?

Let’s reverse these questions: how far are you willing to go to allow someone else exercise their “rights”? Who are you willing to sacrifice to allow them to get the next big thing they “have the right to have”?

In a world of no absolute truth I will give you an absolute truth. But before I do I need to warn you: you may not agree with me and you may find this truth unnerving. I will tell you this, my claim to this truth will infringe on your right to claim it is not truth. The truth is “Everyone’s right infringes on everyone else’s right.”

Please, before you think or act like something is your right to have or do, think what if another person thought or acted the same way about the same thing? If you exercise your right to sit in the only chair in a crowed room, then you are infringing on another individual’s right to sit in the only chair in the room. What are your perceived rights? What are your perceived privileges? What are the differences?

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Convictions

When God convicts people of sin, through the Holy Spirit, there are two Paths they can take:

The first is the Wide Path, which most tread. It is by far the easiest one to follow. Here one does as he or she pleases. Pleasures of the flesh parasitically take hold of the soul. It is easy to go down this Path, but extremely difficult to evade. Leave the Religion behind and embrace the Sin – the Path of this world.

The second is the Narrow Path only the humble dare to take. It is most difficult of the two. Here one does as his or her morals dictate, in regards to God’s Word and Love. Ultimate Truth, not pleasures, frees the mind and spirit of guilt. It is hard to follow this Path, but rewarding when accomplished. Leave the Sin behind and embrace the Religion – the Path of Jesus Christ.

Which Path will you take? Will you allow the pleasures of the flesh to dictate your life? Or will you allow God to keep you from straying out of control? Which path will you choose? The way that leads to times of guilt you want to forget? Or the way the gives you true happiness now and forever?

When the Holy Spirit convicts you of Sin please take the Narrow Path to Righteousness. It is a war for the mind and spirit; here the battlefield is your life. In the end only you can choose. God will always be waiting for you with open arms, but the world waits with open jaws.


For the Sake of Fighting

I’ve heard this many times, people (random strangers) arguing with someone for the sake of “being right”. Most issues people raise primarily concern children and pets. Why are strangers so animate about how others care for their young and animals? Quite frankly I believe it should be “NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!” Now the only two exceptions of this are in cases of obvious abuse and neglect, and even then it needs to be “OBVIOUS!”

A good friend of mine had this happen to her right in front of her children. In her case it was regarding their puppy who was safe and comfortable in their van with the windows rolled down a wee bit on a cool spring afternoon. Tell me this: what is wrong with this picture? Was the dog being abused? No! Was he neglected? No! Pets can be left alone for long durations of time. The windows cracked open allowed air to pass through and his owners only went into the store for less then half an hour.

The angry woman threatened to break open a window and “free” the dog. I’m not sure if she was a dog owner herself, and to be honest that doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. From what I’ve heard the woman in question was the vicious type who always “wants to be right”, she “needs to be right” at all times. She, like so many others, picks fights and threatens others over her small and irrelevant opinions.

Recently I was sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops and heard a lady mention to another customer regarding a similar experience with her child. A stranger accused her of being a “bad mother” because she left her stroller for a brief time, few seconds, so she could remedy the difficulty she had with getting it over or around an obstacle. Was the child being abused? No! What he or she being neglected? I would honestly say No! (I don’t know the whole story here and quite frankly it’s beside the point.)

The moral of this essay is “Don’t judge a complete stranger until you know the whole story.” I don’t want to see or hear families being torn apart because as fool has the selfish and delusional need to be always right.

Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5, ESV)

The most common paraphrase of this passage is “Judge not least ye be judged”. This can go for many other aspects of life. Another common example is non-parents accusing new parents of treating their child wrongly. “Judge not least ye be judged!” If know the entire story will you have the same opinion? Think about it.


Today’s Church

What the Divine has set aside for blessings,
Churches have turned into goals.
“The more the merrier,” they believe.
Fill the pews, fill the bank accounts,
And fill the week with programs.

Our primary goal should be this:
To make disciples by growing in faith,
Then all else will fall into place.
The Lord will bless those who seek after Him,
And not those after personal glory.

The blessings He has set aside
For a pure church, a true church are this:
Increase in numbers, wealth, and influence.
Remember: these are not for vain gain
These blessings are to further His Kingdom.

Remain humble in the sight of the Lord
And all these blessings will be multiplied again and again.
“Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness
and all these things shall be added unto you” Matthew 6:33.


Why In Such a Hurry?

This is a question I’m always asking the road when vehicle after vehicle passes me with such speed it surprises me they don’t flip over into the left side ditch. This post goes out to Christians who (by merit) should be holding to a similar worldview as I do.

Now I’m not saying I’m perfect nor better than anyone else. At times I am just as guilty as the next person. This is just as much a reminder to me as it is rhetoric to self-proclaimed Christians.

“So,” I ask you, “what’s your problem?” Going over the speed limit out of habit. Really? That’s the issue? That can’t be it. Well, there’s more to it than that. “The real problem is obeying the law of the land.”

What I’m referring to when I say “the law of the land” is the laws which by nature are neutral. That is the laws which don’t infringe on anyone’s religious or moral (human) rights.

Let’s take a look at what God’s Holy Word tells us on the subject matter:

“Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor” (Romans 13:1-7, HCSB).

The question that often arises in regards to this passage is: what if the law of the land contradicts God’s commands? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command” (Matthew 22:37-38, HCSB).

With that said the answer is simple: obedience to God must take precedence, then obeying the laws set forth by the government.

Riddle me this: why do you feel the abundant urge to go over the assigned speed limits on a regular biases? Can you not slow down in life and on the road? Give yourself more time for the journey and less time for road rage.

Yes, you heard me right. I said road rage. One thing I’ve noticed is those who rely on high speeds and reckless behaviour while behind the wheel tend to exhibit road rage more frequently then the cautious drivers. And this road rage tents to be directed towards the cautious drivers.

This also goes for red lights and stop signs (even if you are turning right). Stop means stop, at least that’s what I was taught in grade school.

Please, obey the law of the land as long as it doesn’t contradict God’s commands. By doing so you are obeying God. Disobeying God has no other name then Sin.

[This is my first short essay I wrote entirely on my smart phone before I edited and posted it.]


Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be both a difficult act and a simple task to accomplish. The reasons for these polar-opposite responses depend strongly upon three major factors, one could say four factors. The three reasons are the offender’s remorse, the attitude of the offended, and the sincerity of the relationship between the two, past and present. The fourth factor is, in my opinion, the ability for both parties to forgive not only each other but themselves.

The remorse of the offender is crucial to the first step of forgiveness. This is true for him to gain the feeling be being forgiven. The offended may have forgiven the offender long ago in his heart without speaking the words. Forgiveness is peace that both parties need to strive towards.

The attitude of the offended is as equally as important as the remorse of the offender. The offender may be sincere in his apology, but cannot be forgiven if the offended remains hurt by the misdeed or has hurt feelings directed towards the offender. This factor comes down to the pain the offended is causing himself. Thus, the offended becomes the offender.

This inability to forgive, in essence, is revenge. The original offended desires for his offender to experience equal or more pain and suffering. If forgiveness is not sought by both parties this act of revenge becomes an unbreakable cycle that only forgiveness is able to shatter.

The importance of the relationship prior to the offense comes to the forefront. If the relationship had any significance then it should outweigh the offense. Both parties need to come to this conclusion independently of one another, with the intent to speak about the offense and their relationship prior, present, and future of the current time.

Forgiveness of self is important in the whole process of forgiveness of the other person. An offense is usually not an act committed by one person alone. The offender may have done the initial misdeed, but the offended may commit a counter measure of holding a grudge.

In order to be capable of forgiving the offender the offended first needs to forgive himself for the negative feelings he may have towards the offender. And on the other hand, the offender needs to forgive himself for committing the offense in the first place before he can seek true forgiveness.

This method may not always stand true. Forgiveness may come by other means. We must seek forgiveness from God the Father daily. Every sin, no matter how small or how large, God is able to forgive, if we the offenders seek Him in truth and humility. We must also ask the Father for the ability to forgive self, as well as to forgive others. This is another amazing gift He bestows upon us by means of the Holy Spirit through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.


Challenge to Christians

I have heard many times that people believe in God of the Bible, yet they seem to not know what His Word even says. They claim that their priests or church leaders are called upon to read the Bible and interpret Its messages for them. This is where churches seem to begin to stray from their God and Saviour: the masses believe whatever their leaders tell them to believe and do not take the time to measure the messages against the Word of God for themselves. At times I am guilty of doing this exact same thing myself. God gave us His Word so that we, as His chosen children, can gain an intimate understanding of Him and know what He wants from us.

The challenge that I am proposing to all who call themselves Christians, followers of the One True God our Lord Jesus Christ, is this: for one full year put aside everything that your church has told you about God, Jesus, Heaven, and Human nature. But do not forsake it completely you will be needing it after the year is done. During this year take the Bible and read through it from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, cover to cover. During this time of diving into God’s Word you should be getting a definite new view of God, Jesus, Heaven, and Human nature.

After the year of reading is over, this is where the hard part is, take what your church teaches about these subjects and compare them to what you have learned from your reading of the Bible. You may see two completely different views, then ask yourself a life changing question: which God do you want to follow? Is it the God that the Bible reveals or the God that your church teaches about? If they are dynamically different then they definitely are not the same. Either you follow the God that designed Humans or the god that humans designed.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said to the church at Laodicea, “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth,” (Revelation 3:15-16, NRSV). The choice is yours and only yours to make. No one, neither priest nor minister nor parent, can make this decision for you. Please do not make this choice lightly, take it to the Lord in earnest prayer, from the first day you start to read your Bible to the day you make your choice, and hopefully for the remainder of your days.

May “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Revelation 22:21 (KJV)