Where Change Takes Place

The following is a portion of a booklet I wrote entitled Are You Ready for Transformation?

Repairing the Breach

Once you begin to recognize destructive thought patterns, you have to begin to repair the place in which they entered your mind. If a breach occurs in a dam, water can begin leaking out, or the dam could break down which would be detrimental to those in its path. It is the same with your mind. If you do not repair the spiritual door or wall of your mind, the destructive thoughts will continue to gain access. Repairing the breach is what will begin to bring about permanent solutions.

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a breach is a violation. When demonic forces sense a weak spot, they will pounce with all their might to gain access. What we entertain as far as movies, television shows, books, and conversations have the potential to weaken our spiritual walls which can eventually cause a breech. This gives easy access to demonic forces to play games with your mind.

The following quote is from Kelly Minter and her Bible study on the book of Nehemiah: “Have you ever wondered if ‘mindless entertainment’ might be a wide-open gate in your life by which many hurtful and deceiving ideas are sliding straight into your thinking? What about the friendships you keep, the magazines you read, the conversations in which you choose to engage? Are your doors open to the uplifting, truth-telling, and life-giving, or to what corrodes your soul? All day long we choose what goes in and out of our hearts and minds, and if you’re like me there are some doors, bars, and bolts that need tightening.”

When I went through the portion of that study, I was convicted. We are not going to be perfect, but there are certain entertainment such as conversations, movies, and reading material that we need to avoid if they continually cause a problem. On the other hand, there might be some entertainment in which we should take part if it brings life to our hearts and minds.

Now is the time to insert one of my disclaimers. I am not saying that you should not watch television or read books. There are television shows and movies that I greatly enjoy. I am simply saying that if it breaks down walls in my thinking and brings ungodly thinking, then I need to find another type of entertainment.

Our conversations with others are a part of our “entertainment”. When a friend or acquaintance gives you the “low-down” on someone else, you will begin to entertain negative thoughts about that person even if you do not know her. That is why the Bible gives instruction as to the types of conversations that we should, or should not, be taking part in.

Let me say that when these thoughts invade, you can and should take them captive and renew your mind; however, renewing the mind might not be such hard work if we refuse to allow certain things into our minds beforehand. Sometimes, it will mean changing the subject in a conversation, or turning off the television if needed.

You might be thinking that I sound extreme at this point. If your thought life is in extreme trouble, it will take extreme measures to break free. Remember, in most cases, you did not get into the mess in your mind overnight. It happened over time. It is the same with taking your thoughts captive and renewing the mind, it will take time. It will also take time to survey the walls of your mind to find places that need repair. It took Nehemiah the exiles time to survey the walls of Jerusalem to determine what types of repair would be needed and where. Allow yourself to utilize the grace God has given you. Philippians 1:6 reminds us that the work God has begun in us will be completed. Some jobs take time to complete, particularly if you want the work to be thorough and complete. You cannot afford to leave breaches in the walls of your mind. You must guard what you are allowing in your mind. Even in doing this, there will be things come through our walls that are not godly. We are only human. It is then that we hold the thought up to the light of God’s word and allow it no further entrance if we determine it is not what we need.

At this point, I feel the need to warn you about stubbornness. There are times when stubbornness can be a good quality to have if one is taking a stand for what is good. However, stubbornness as a refusal to change a negative behavior is dangerous. Refusing to take thoughts captive and refusing to take care as to what you will allow into your mind will be detrimental to you.

Repentance is the cure for stubbornness. By turning to God in repentance for ungodly thinking patterns that we have allowed to become strongholds, we invite freedom. We are allowing God to come in and help us repair the walls of our minds which will lead us to victory.

James MacDonald had a Bible study entitled Think Differently. He addresses the issue of stubbornness. An example of stubbornness is thinking or even saying that you can repent when you are good and ready. Some people want to hold on to their sin because it brings a sense of comfort. Refusing to repent when God is dealing with you is dangerous! Yield to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. There is such peace and joy that results from repentance.

In many churches today, the word “repent” is almost considered a by-word. God is saddened by this because it puts up a dangerous wall between Him and His people. Strongholds of destructive thinking patterns will result in destructive behavior. The results of destructive behavior are a ruined life. Sadly, these results can spill over into the lives of others. If the Holy Spirit is convicting you to allow Him to work on a destructive thought pattern, behavior, or both, yield to that conviction. You have nothing to lose but your chains.

There are some people in the bible who refused to repent when given the opportunity. As a result, they suffered dire consequences. Cain, the son of Adam, was one of these people. In Genesis 4:7, the Lord assures Cain that he will be accepted if he does what is right. Another example is Esau, the son of Isaac. Esau was at odds with his brother, Jacob, from childhood. Sibling rivalry can be ugly. Esau allowed his fleshly appetite to cause him to sell his birthright to Jacob (see Genesis 25). Yielding to our fleshly desires rather than to the Holy Spirit will cause us to reap unwanted results. We might shake our heads in disbelief at Esau’s foolishness, but we are guilty as well. When we decide to listen to the latest gossip, we are selling our peace. When we are entertained by people who blaspheme God’s name, we are forfeiting what we have with God for something that is temporary. Let’s learn from these examples. Certainly, we will not be perfect, but we can be more mindful toward the eternal.

Before closing this chapter, I must address another type of situation. Often, destructive thinking patterns form as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of another person, or, by someone who has offended or hurt us in some way. If you have suffered abuse, I urge you right now to seek godly counsel. For those of us who might struggle with other types of offense, we must take captive thoughts of bitterness and lack of forgiveness. In our minds, we must choose to forgive our offenders. The process might have to be repeated a number of times. Forgiveness does not mean that your offender was right in harming you. It simply released you from bondage and puts the situation in God’s hands for Him to deal with. Trust me, He can deal with others much better than we can.

The following are scriptures that relate to what we have discussed in this chapter:

Acts 3:19, “Therefore, repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, if there is any praise, think on these things.”

Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 3:2 (NKJV), “Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth.”

What Are You Thinking About?

Our thoughts matter.  While I cannot control every thought that comes into my mind, I do not have to entertain it.  I can choose to entertain it, or, I can choose to refuse it entry to the gate of my mind.  You have the same choice.

I am not promoting a mystical, new age experience.  What I am presenting to you is a Biblical practice.  Controlling my thought life is part of allowing my old nature to die and my new nature in Christ to come alive (Romans 6 and Romans 12:2).

Guard Your Thoughts

rust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Image via Canva.

1 Peter 1:13 instructs me to gird up the loins of my mind.  In other words, guard my thinking.  The verse continues instructing me to be sober.  In this case, sobriety is not just an absence of alcohol, but it is being alert.  You and I must be alert to the type of thinking we entertain.

For example, I can be convinced that a friend is upset with me because she has not called or texted in a few days.  My mind can roll back through conversations that I had with her when we last spoke.  I can convince myself that she has misunderstood something I have said or done.  At this point, I have a choice.  Either I can continue the irrational thinking that leads to illogical conclusions, or, I can call or text her to see if she is okay.

What if she is upset with me?  Even if she is angry at me, entertaining the worst possible scenario only leads to torment which is the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit.  The fruit the Holy Spirit brings is peace (Galatians 5:22-23).  Continuing on a path of this type of thinking leads to confusion, and God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).  Checking on my friend through a visit, call, or text message is the best approach.

Thoughts Determine Actions

A cold-blooded murderer does not simply wake up one morning and decide to take a life with no thought beforehand of the deed.  He or she has devised and calculated a plan.  Time has been taken for careful preparation.

A person having an extra-marital affair does not suddenly cheat on his or her spouse with no sign of trouble.  Thinking about how much better life would be with someone else, magnifying one’s faults, and other thought patterns lead to acts such as these.

rust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understandin
Image via Canva.

Taking ungodly thoughts captive at the onset will prevent much heartache later.  Unbelievers do not know to practice this biblical concept, but believers should know what to do.  Do not allow such thoughts to take hold.  Take them captive and replace them with biblical thinking as soon as possible.  If needed, seek help from a trusted Christian friend or pastor.

You Have a Choice

If you notice that you are out of sorts or that your attitude is horrible, it is always a good idea to assess your thinking.  What has been on your mind?  What occupies your thinking?  How do you feel when you entertain this type of thinking?  Asking these questions can give you a quick answer as to the reason for most negative attitudes.

Certainly, I am not suggesting that changing your thinking will bring everything you want in life, I am suggesting that allowing God control of your thought life can change your attitude and outlook on life.  Changing the way you think, if that change is needed, can change relationships.  You can develop more peace of mind and joy in the Holy Spirit by refusing to give just any thought access beyond the gate of your mind.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee_ because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26_3

Free Online Bible Study

Biblical Spiritual Warfare

Beginning July 6 and ending on July 17, I will be leading an online Bible study entitled Biblical Spiritual Warfare. The study is 10 days with 2 days off on July 11-12.  The study will take place in a Facebook group.  At least one Zoom meeting will be held.

If you are interested in participating, please click here.

Spiritual Maturity

Many Christians believe themselves to be spiritually mature.  In many cases, that might be so, however, there are cases in which one might be mistaken.  The qualities that people often believe are fruit of spiritual maturity fail to meet the mark.

When speaking of a Christian who is spiritually mature, one who possesses many spiritual gifts comes to mind.  If a person does not have multiple spiritual gifts, then a mature person will operate strongly in one, according to some.

The final authority as to the definition of spiritual maturity is the Word of God.  We will now see what the Bible has to say.

Be a Doer of the Word, Not a Hearer Only

Taming the tongue
Image via Pexels by Oladimeji Ajegbile

James 1:22 tells us that we must not only hear the word of God, but we must also do what it says.  People can quote the Bible, both in and out of context.  Even Satan knows the scriptures as seen in the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.  Knowing the Word is not enough.  Having the wisdom to apply it to our lives and live it is evidence of true spiritual maturity.

I have lived a hypocritical lifestyle in the past.  I am far from perfect now, but I strive to seek to obey the Lord.  I say this because many people live hypocritically.  If they make it to church, they certainly do not take what they learn outside the four walls.  If this is you, simply repent and ask the Lord to help you live authentically.

How Do You Treat People?

It sad to say that many people consider themselves to be spiritual yet these same people will speak harshly to the waitress in a restaurant or demonstrate impatience with the cashier at the grocery store.  Some are mean to the members of their own immediate family.  Whatever the reasons are for this attitude, going to the Lord and seeking transformation is a must.

Social media is a soap box for some Christians to air their ill feelings toward others.  I am a firm believer that social media can be used for the glory of God, but more often, it is used to bash others.  If you derive pleasure from bashing people on Facebook, in gossip, or even speaking rudely to others in person, you need a renewing of your mind.  You need to humble yourself and see that God is not pleased when any Christian mistreats someone else.

How Is Your Love Walk?

John 13:34-35 reminds us that people will know we belong to God by our love for other Christians.  The fruit of the Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22).  While spiritual gifts are wonderful and God certainly wants us to have them, they are not the fruit of who we.  The fruit of the Spirit demonstrates that we are allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us.  We will not walk in sinless perfection, but we will not be using grace as a license to sin.

Another important point to note here is that godly love is not always a feeling.  While our emotions eventually line up with the direction in which we go, we cannot rely on our feelings to tell us whether or not we are walking in love.  It is a choice to obey God and treat people right no matter what our feelings are telling us.

Taming the Tongue Image
Image via Pexels by Rawpixel.

The Bottom Line

Spiritual gifts are wonderful!  I thank God that He gives gifts to many.  His gifts and callings are without repentance according to Romans 11:29.  We should enjoy these gifts and seek God’s leading as to their use.  However, we must realize that spiritual gifts are not a mark of spiritual maturity.  Walking in the love of God and obedience to His word are both evidence of true spiritual maturity.

Now is the Time

In Ecclesiastes 3, we are reminded of the wisdom of God’s timing.  He knows when various purposes and plans must be carried out, and He knows when they must halt.  There is a time to plant and time to pluck up what is planted, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.

We are in an uncertain time in our nation and world.  The Coronavirus pandemic has many in panic and fear which is completely understandable.  However, as Christians, God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind.  Certainly, I am not suggesting that we throw caution to the wind, but God never told His people to cave and cower to fear.

Time to Pray

time 2
Image via Canva.

I understand that we are constantly being told to pray,  but it always should be our first step in any endeavor.  Prayer is a beautiful design given to us by God the Father for communication.  Prayers strengthens us.  Prayer changes our situations.  Most of all, prayer changes us.

Not only do we and others around us need prayer, our nation’s leaders need prayer as well as various state and local authorities.  As a matter of fact, the Bible instructs us to pray for them.  Sadly, I see many that want to bash and say what he or she would do if in leadership, but the fact is you do not know until you are in the situation.  The decisions they are making press heavily on them.  You can see this in the faces of many of them. They need our intercession.

Rather than hitting up social media to gossip and rant, hit your knees and cry out to God for our nation.  Cry out to God for all people!  Cry out for those who are lost without God!  People’s lives and souls are at stake.  What we do matters.

Time to Sanctify Yourself

I am a firm believer in God’s grace and mercy.  He has been so patient with me during seasons of willful sin and in my failings in general.  However, the time has come for many of us to grow up in the Lord.  It is vital that we open our Bibles along with our prayer and ask the Lord for wisdom to rightly divide His word.

When reading His word, you will discover areas of your life that need to change.  I have discovered the same.  Instead of trying to change what the Bible says or justify ourselves, let’s surrender to Christ and allow Him to change us.  It is not pleasant to the flesh, but it is vital.  The world needs to see a people on fire for Jesus and so in love with Him that we allow His love to radiate through us so others can see.

Time to Fast

Christians, it is time for us to push the plate back to show our true desire for God’s will in our lives and for the salvation of our lost people.  I love to eat as good as anyone, but I find that fasting has turned the heart of God.  It is His desire to show mercy.  It is His desire to save.  It is His desire to heal and deliver, but we have to allow Him to drive out that which is not godly in us so He can put more of what is Him in us.

Read the book of Esther and Jonah.  Fasting turned away God’s wrath and brought mercy and healing to Nineveh.  Fasting turned God’s heart to pour out divine favor on Esther as she went before the King without being summoned, which could have led to her demise.  Jesus instructed us to fast.  When giving instruction concerning fasting, He said, “When you fast…”  He did not say “If you fast…”  How you go about that process is something your should seek the Lord about particularly if you have diabetes or some other ailment.

Time to Act

love
Image via Pexels by Pixabay

The time to do more than talk the talk has come. It is time to walk the walk.  It is time to demonstrate God’s love and faithfulness to those with which we come in contact.  For some, it might be to stay in to keep from spreading the pandemic.  For others, it is to be on the front line bringing aid.  For all of us, we can pray.  We can look after the elderly.  We can encourage each other and pray for our leaders.

Yesterday is gone.  The time is not tomorrow or next week.  The time to do God’s will is now.

Is Progressive Christianity Biblical?

Progressive Christianity is known as movement that seeks to change Christianity.  When I say Christianity, I mean biblical Christianity.  Attempting to re-write the Word of God or dismiss certain portions of it is dangerous.

For the past several years, I have avoided speaking out on this issue.  Why?  Honestly, I knew it would open a proverbial can of worms.  However, if I refuse to speak truth, I will answer to God.  So will you.  Keep in mind that I am not suggesting that God’s people suddenly start beating people over the head and becoming combative.  I am simply saying that it is time to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

Experience Over the Bible

Taming the tongue
Image via Pexels by Oladimeji Ajegbile

An alarming trend has been on the horizon for many years now.  I fear that it is becoming more than a trend.  Christians are beginning to trust more in their experiences and emotions than they do in the Word of God.

Once again, I believe we can have spiritual experiences, but they must line up with the Bible.  If your experiences are contrary to scripture, they must be dismissed.  Our emotions are real and should not be ignored, but they should not take priority over God’s word.  For example, I might not feel like walking in love.  The feeling is real, but the Bible says I must walk in love, therefore, I need to deal with my emotions and obey God’s Word.

If visions and other spiritual experiences are contrary to the Word,  God’s holy word must be valued over my experience.  1 John 4:1 states that we are not to believe every spirit, but we must try the spirits to see if they are of God.  We are also told that many false prophets have gone out into the world.  1 Thessalonians 5:21 states that we must test all things and hold to that which is good.

Failing to evaluate experience with the Bible leads to false and heretical teachings.  Both Islam and Mormonism were founded upon dreams and visions.  1 Corinthians 4:6 warns us not to exceed what is written.

The Prosperity Gospel

Too many ministers have fallen into the trap of placing their focus on money and material possessions.  Certainly, God has no objection to us having possessions, but when people are convinced that they have no faith since they have no wealth and health, the gospel has been seriously misrepresented.

In Matthew 10:8, we are reminded that we should freely give of the things of God because we have received freely from God.  While it is fine to give to ministries, it is not appropriate that receiving funds to be the entire focus of a ministry.

The true gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ.  He came to save sinners.  He came to set captives free.  Our wealth, or lack thereof, does not determine our righteousness.  Accepting Christ and placing our faith in Him does.

The Definition of Marriage

I love all people.  More importantly, Jesus does.  However, loving people does not mean that I have to approve of what is sin.  No, I do not sit in judgement on someone in sin, but it is time people realized that speaking the whole counsel of God’s word is not judging.

Contending Pixabay
Image via Pexels by Pixabay

When God’s people try to find ways to change the definition of marriage to please people, they are bowing to an idol.  Acts 5:29 reminds us that Christians should be pleasing God rather than man.  While homosexuality is not the only sin, it has to be addressed because many of God’s people have caved to the pressure of the world.  Church by-laws have been changed and attempts to wrongly divide the word of truth have been made.

Please know that if you are involved in homosexual sin, there is deliverance in Jesus Christ.  He came to set the captives free. I have been bound to many sins in my lifetime, but He has proven to be my deliverer.  He can be yours too.

Which Gospel Will You Accept–Jesus Christ or What is False?

The decision to be offended or accept what I have said is yours.  Most of all, Christians need to be searching the Word of God for themselves to see if what I am saying is true. Progressive Christianity has progressed because too many Christians accept the word of others over the Word of God.

backlit-cemetery-christianity-clouds-415571
Image via Pexels by Pixabay.

It is not a watered down version of the gospel that draws people to Christ.  I have yet to see someone leaving Islam, Buddhism, etc. to become a Christian when he or she sees such compromise.  Christ said that if He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Himself.  Rather than lift up false teaching, lift up Christ, the true Christ of the Bible.  He loves you, but He loves you too much to leave you in your sin.

 

 

 

 

Great Transformation

It has been a long time since I last posted.  So much has happened in my personal life since my last post.  Major breakthroughs have happened in my own life as well as my family and church family.  Of course, when a breakthrough comes, other battles come with it.

Wait a minute!  Am I telling you that when you get a breakthrough, you still have battles?  Yes!  It comes as a shock, but count it all joy.  When the children of Israel crossed over into the promised land in the book of Joshua, they battled giants.  Although battles can be scary,  what is even scarier is having no battles.  If you have no battles, you are not progressing to higher spiritual ground.

Battles and Transformation

close-up-photography-of-bald-eagle-145962
Image via Pexels by Flickr

Of course, every single second of your life does not have to be a battle, but life does happen.  I mentioned transformation in my title.  Our battles are meant to bring transformation to us.

According to 2 Corinthians 3:18, we are changed from glory to glory.  This glory to glory change involves being changed from battle to battle.  The word transformation refers to a complete change that is often miraculous.

Look at the Eagle

The eagle is used as an illustration in the Bible and many sermons.  There is a good reason for the analogy of eagles and our walks with God.  Eagles are magnificent birds.  They do not stay on the ground and scratch around.  They soar, and when they do, they soar above most things.

During a storm an eagle will fly higher so he is above it.  One transformation that must take place in our lives as Christians is that we must learn to fly above the storms in our lives.  Yes, we are human.  Yes, we will feel pain, but we do not have to allow the pain and suffering to cause us to drop to a level in which we do not belong.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can fly higher until we are above the storm.  The storm, or the circumstance, is still occurring, but we are above it.  We can avoid being negatively affected by adverse circumstances.

Is Such Change Possible?

In ourselves, it is impossible to soar above a storm, spiritually speaking.  However, with God, all things are possible.  When we tap into the power that Christ gave us through the cross and His resurrection, we can do great things.  Of course, these accomplishments are not for our glory but to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have been listening to a Christian neuroscientist as well as studying in God’s word about transforming thoughts.  According to what I have gleaned, God’s people have not even begun to tap into the power that God has made available to us by renewing our minds day by day.  Until our thinking changes, great transformation will not take place.  Romans 12:2 reminds us that we are not transformed by our own goodness or simply trying extra hard.  We are transformed by renewing the mind.

silhouette-of-bird-above-clouds-755385
Image via Pexels by Flo Maderebner

In future posts, I will have more to write about this.  Until then, pray about your own transformation.  Through Jesus Christ, we have been given all we need for life and godliness.  We simply need to learn to utilize what we have been given.

Stubborn Versus Teachable

Have you ever been around a stubborn person?  Perhaps you have obstinate tendencies yourself.  I have experienced both.  I have been around people who refuse instruction of any type, and I have been that stubborn person.  The irony has been that I get so exasperated when dealing with an extremely stubborn person yet I conveniently forget that I can be obstinate in my own right.

Neither scenario is pleasant.  Sadly, many people who are stubborn simply cannot see that flaw in themselves yet they can detect it in another person.  Human nature can be hypocritical.

Determination and Stubbornness:  The Difference

Everyone needs determination to stand steadfast and avoid deceit from the enemy.  Determination and stubbornness are different although the line can be fine.  Determination is the God-given will to grow spiritually with the drive needed to press through challenges and difficult situations.  Stubbornness is being unteachable and never willing to learn anything new because you are set in your ways.

Contending Pixabay
Image via Pexels by Pixabay

When I was a child, I was very head-strong and willful.  I was determined to have my own way and was convinced that no one could tell me what to do. How wrong I was!  I am sure I helped contribute to gray hair for my mother’s head, but the Lord gave her the determination she needed to guide me to the correct my path.  My grandmother told my mother that some of my willfulness was good because it would keep me from allowing people to take advantage of me.  I believe this gave my mother some peace about my strong personality.

Even if you have stubborn tendencies, you can remain teachable and flexible to the degree that God can mold you.  That is where the deliverance lies for the stubborn person.  Fortunately, when I gave my life to the Lord, my zeal to live to give Him glory helped me to see where obstinance could hinder my relationship with Him.  I began to realize that I would have to crucify the flesh in that area of my life.  If you struggle in this same area, you will begin to experience freedom when you realize that you must be pliable and moldable to God.  We are not winning by remaining stubborn when we need to yield.

Do You Have Anything to Learn?

When we yield to stubbornness, we have a strong tendency to believe we know everything and have nothing to learn from other people.  That is a dangerous place to be in our lives!  We block God’s hand from moving on our behalf as well as hinder our relationships with others.

Certainly, I am not saying that we should become doormats for other people and allow them to dictate our lives.  We just need to remain flexible, asking the Holy Spirit to guide us as to when we need to stand firm on an issue or be humble.  It is a great challenge for the strong personality type, but we can do all things through Christ.

love
Image via Pexels by Pixabay

There are some minor issues in which it is better to yield ourselves rather than appear to be right.  Some things are simply not worth the arguing and hindering of a relationship.  People are more important than getting our way.  This particular lesson took years for me to learn.  Unfortunately, I hurt many people along the way believing that I had to get the last word in an argument, and that I had to be right.  I could never be wrong.  Does any of this sound familiar?

Stubbornness Harms Relationships

During my stubborn bouts, I hurt my husband, my parents, children, and other family as well as co-workers.  Admitting I could possibly be in the wrong was painful as I am certain it is for some of you.  While it hurts to be wrong, the momentary pain of crushed pride is feasible when we look at the damage we are doing to our relationships with others, and most of all, to the Lord.

The scriptures have much to say on this issue.  Psalm 81:11-12 says, “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me.  So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.”  The people of Israel could be very stubborn throughout the Old Testament.  They grumbled and complained when they did not get their way then refused to listen to Moses when he tried to guide them.  We need to be willing to accept guidance from other people, particularly if they are displaying wisdom in their own lives.  Here is a strong scripture concerning accepting guidance: “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid,” Proverbs 12:1.  That hurts, doesn’t it?  People who will never listen to others, particularly the Lord, make themselves look unwise, and they are truly unwise!

Proverbs 29:1 states, “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.”  Our stubbornness and refusing to yield will eventually bring about our downfall.

There are numerous scriptures that rebuke stubbornness, but since some very strong ones have been mentioned, I will give you what the Bible says is the solution to the problem.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” 1 Peter 5:6.

adult-beautiful-blur-712413
Image Via Pexels by Bruce Mars.

There is Hope and Deliverance

Stubborn people are like the rest of those with issues.  They are not beyond hope.  It is a matter of taking on humility which is a choice and willing our selves to submit to God.  The world will not come crashing down around you if you admit that you are wrong about something.  Trust me, I have had to humble myself many times, and I have found that it brings such sweet relief.  Be willing to take advice from someone who has been there.  Humble yourself.  If not, the Lord has ways of humbling you that are much more painful than crucifying the flesh.

  • Refusing to allow God to mold your stubborn heart will result in the wrath of God in your life (Romans 2:5).
  • Refusing correction is not wise (Proverbs 12:1).
  • Pray for a steadfast heart to overcome a stubborn nature (Psalm 78:8).
  • Yielding to your stubborn nature will cause you to move backward instead of forward in your life (Jeremiah 7:24).
  • There is wisdom in meekness rather than stubbornness (James 3:13).

The Bottom Line

Is your obstinance worth losing a marriage, a friendship, a job, or the respect of co-workers?  If you search your heart, I believe you know the answer.  Go before the Lord and ask Him to conform your will to His.  He does beautiful work, and you will have more peace and joy than you have ever known.

 

 

Dealing with False Accusations

People have been falsely accused since human beings began multiplying on the Earth.  Not everyone loves the truth.  Unfortunately, an outright lie, half-truth, or deceitful tale all come across as having more interest and spark than the plain truth.  (Incidentally, half-truths and deceit are still lies, but they have enough twisted truth in them to make them believable.) In most situations, the truth is nothing like the thousands of rumors that fly around it.

Jesus dealt with false accusations during His time in this world.  People accused the sinless Messiah of being a glutton and drunk (see Matthew 11:19).  If God in the flesh could not avoid lying tongues, then neither will you nor I.

It Hurts

life 2
Image Via Canva.

 

When someone spreads an untruth about us, it is hurtful.  Truthfully, it is one of the things I hate most. Untold and irreversible damage has been done to people’s lives and reputations as a result of a false accusation.

In my own life, I have dealt with this problem.  My type-A personality immediately wants to confront the accuser with the facts.  In some cases, this is the best way to handle the problem.  In other cases, it is best to be more tactful.  Although I have learned much of this the hard way, I have often asked myself how I am to know which method is best–bold confrontation or more polite ways.  The answer is simple:  let the Holy Spirit direct you.  He knows all, and He knows the best way to handle a situation.

My Side of the Story

When a dispute has taken place or one person’s version of a story has been heard, you can rest assured that there is another side to the story.  Unfortunately, we do not always find out the other side.  That is why the Bible commands us to withhold judgment.  Certainly, we do not condone wrongdoing, but we leave judgment up to God in people’s personal situations.

Recently, I had some very blatant lies told about me.  Some of the stories told about me were outright lies.  Others were quotes attributed to me that were either twisted or taken completely out of context.  It is always best to verify the facts before blurting out what we think we know.

Truthfully, I am reminded of times that I wanted to believe the worst I heard about others rather than consider that there might be another side to the story.  When the gossip hits home, I am reminded that rumors are not fair to any person.  We should not start them, and we should not entertain them.

What Does the Bible Say?

God’s word has much to say about rumors, both spreading them and dealing with them.  When you are the one falsely accused, God has a remedy for you that brings peace.  1 Peter 3:16 reminds us that we should continue living right before God.  The accusers will eventually be put to shame.  In other words, keep doing right. Eventually, others will see the truth.

love
Image via Canva.

Isaiah 54:17 reminds us that weapons formed against His people do not prosper.  It also states that every tongue that rises against you in judgment will be proven wrong.  When we give these hurtful and frustrating situations to God, He will reveal the truth and bring good out of the situation.

A Look at Me

Whenever someone has brought a false accusation against me, I take time to prayerfully consider if there are ways I could have handled the situation better.  Perhaps my tone of voice in saying something was a bit hurtful.  Although God does not expect you to condemn yourself or take responsibility for something you have no fault in, it never hurts to ask the Lord if we could have spoken or acted differently in these situations.

After you have prayed about a false accusation, and given it to God, move on.  Let it go.  Dwelling on it only builds resentment which will spill over into your other relationships.  When this happens, we often take our anger out on people who have done nothing wrong.

If you or someone you know has been to prison, lost a job, or divorced over a false accusation, I encourage you to seek godly counsel to deal with this hurtful circumstance.  God can bring healing, and if restoration is needed, He can bring that as well.