It Is OK To Be Wrong! by Joe Gelak

It Is OK To Be Wrong by Joe Gelak

“I win an argument very well. Ask any of my remaining friends.
I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent.
People know this and steer clear of me at parties.
Often, as a sign of their respect, they don’t invite me.” Dave Barry

Does it drive you crazy when someone you know always has to be right and have the last word?

Even if we don’t fall prey to this unattractive trait on the outside, we may well do it in our own heads. I began observing my own thoughts and feelings, and I was shocked. When I have a problem or conflict or experience failure, my mind turbocharges in an effort to reach the conclusion that I was actually right and something or someone else was wrong.

What Did Jesus Do?

Though Jesus was without sin, still he did not justify himself. Isaiah prophesied, regarding the coming Messiah, that, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7).

Defending and justifying ourselves, whether we are right or wrong, is an obstacle on our spiritual journey. It strengthens and stiffens the old Self. It focuses us on the wrong things.

Yes, we should reflect and learn from our circumstances and life events. But let us do so with openness and without attaching ourselves to the need to be right.

Begin noticing and observing and keeping an eye out for thoughts that are defensive, that work to justify and explain yourself. When you find these thoughts, hand them over to God. “Take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV). Then consciously let it go. Know that it is ok to make mistakes and be wrong and fail.

Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks

Why We Have Lost Hope by Vanessa Banda- Chidhumo

black wife supporting depressed unhappy husband in bedroom

WHY WE HAVE LOST HOPE

As many people say, we are a generation full of happy pictures and sad realities. We seem to be the most depressed generation despite many breakthroughs we have had financially, socially and technologically. Now we can travel faster with ease; we have tools that allow us to communicate and connect all around the world. And many more benefits than the generations before us and yet we are more unstable mentally. Why are we so sad? Why have we lost hope?

The Definition of Christian Hope

The Bible says, now these three abide, faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13 v 13). What exactly is hope? I don’t know if there are many like me who struggled with the definition of hope. For me the definition I would get would lead me back to my definition of Faith. Hope as defined simply by Google is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a particular outcome, positive obviously, a feeling of trust. And faith for me would also mean something quite similar.

Fortunately, I got to read an old book by C.S Lewis, Mere Christianity. It defined hope as the continual looking forward to the eternal world, not as a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but rather, something a Christian should hold on to. That definition was the point of revelation for me.

Reading the letters of the apostles with this new light made me realize that every time they talked about hope, they referred to the coming of Jesus Christ and the putting away of mortality. The hope they held on to was that their Lord is coming back for them, to take them to their heavenly home. They had their minds so occupied with Heaven, no amount of distress on earth could pull them down.

I do not think the same could be said about this generation though. Heaven to us, is something far away, a cherry on top. A wishful thinking. We dread the coming of Christ because to some it is like an obstacle. It’s in the way of our dreams and goals.

Why We Have Lost This Hope

I was listening to Esther Perel, a well renowned couples’ therapist. I don’t know if she is a Christian or not. But she said that the reason why marriage is so hard and the divorce rate in this age is so high is because we believe we can be happier. We pursue happiness more aggressively than those who were before us. From her analysis, in the days of old, people were content with the idea that total happiness is not for this age but the afterlife, whatever the religion.

God (in whatever religion) was the ultimate soulmate, but now our soulmate is this human being, from whom we expect stability, security, novelty, euphoria, mystery, familiarity and all these other needs for a lifetime. We all know, however, how impossible this is, for no man or woman could ever be all that. So, in other words, we are forever chasing and never finding.

This also holds true in our spiritual journey.

We now expect fulfillment in this life. The message we now believe is that we can be happy and fulfilled here on earth as much as we can in Heaven. We now hold on to this notion that we can bring Heaven down to earth.

Am I dismissing that God desires for us to be happy here on earth and that He will provide for all our earthly needs? By no means. This is what I mean. God is Spirit and so is the man He created in His own image. The needs of the spirit man will never be fully satisfied by the physical, but while we are on earth, the earth can only offer us the physical. This is torment to the actual man, the spirit.

You can have all the riches in the world to satisfy the flesh and the body. The spirit, however, is not easily appeased. It will forever search for its home, as it has been subjected to this in HOPE.

Romans 8:21 says that the whole creation, humans included, groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. This will only happen when Jesus comes back again. This is the HOPE of a Christian, and not just believing that things will get better tomorrow. It is this hope that gives us the strength to endure all forms of suffering, for we will then consider the present sufferings nothing compared to the future glory awaiting us.

Is This Wrong?

Unfortunately, we have become a generation that uses spiritual tools to obtain material possessions thinking we will finally be satisfied. We fast for days and nights for better cars and houses. We climb mountains to pray for God to get us married to this particular person.

Is there anything wrong with this? Definitely not. Jesus told us that if we have any need, we should ask for it from our Father who will be more than willing to do it for us. It is the energy that is concerning though. Our minds are so set on our lives here on earth, it occupies our thoughts, our intentions, and our prayers. We give more, only to receive the blessing of money. We pray harder only when we want something material and yet in the very verse we hold on to (Luke 11 v 9), Jesus went on to talk about God giving us the Holy Spirit when we ask of Him and this is for the growth of the spirit man.

This Growth Is In Preparation For Our Heavenly Home.

We have lost hope because we have now put our hope in a futile world and the things the world offers. Surely, we have gained all these but for most, it is to the detriment of their souls.

In Revelations 3:17, God rebukes the church that has now found comfort in all these earthly blessings like we are now. We measure spirituality by the abundance of earthly blessings and the riches we hold. Our eyes have now been fixed on what God can and should do for the physical man, rather than the spiritual man.

We say, “God should give me this house, God should give me this marriage, God should heal this sick body.” He can definitely do all that; but what will happen to us when He decides to put more focus on the spiritual man instead? When he begins to work on the character and we do not receive what we have prayed, fasted and seeded for in the time frame we expect?

We lose strength.

What happens when our loved one dies, or when we are faced with death? We are paralyzed with fear. And what happens even when we get all these things we desire? We will still get depressed because the real man is not fulfilled. It never will be satisfied by this vain and dying world.

What Christian Hope Does For Us

Now these are the benefits of holding on to this true hope. This hope will make us strong in abundance and in need, in pain and in joy.

  • Romans 12 v 12 shows that in this HOPE we can rejoice even in tribulation.
  • Galatians 5 v 5 shows us we wait eagerly in this HOPE, for us to be fully clothed in righteousness.
  • 1 Peter 1 v 3 shows us that for this reason we were born again, to a living HOPE to an inheritance that is imperishable and undefiled kept in Heaven for us.

This true hope will make us strong even when faced with the death of the physical man. For we know to die is gain because it means we will be with the Lord (Philippians 1 v 21-22). When our loved one dies, we do not grieve as those who do not have hope. We are fully convicted in our spirit that we shall meet again in glory (1 Thessalonians 4 v 13-18)

We have lost hope because we have taken our eyes from Heaven and focused on life on this earth. To be Heavenly minded does not mean to have our heads in the clouds or to forsake our work on earth, but it works rather like a paradox:

As Jesus said in Luke 17 v 33, “Who ever seeks to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.”

Those who seek Heaven will most likely make more positive impact on earth:
  • People will give their all because they know they are storing up treasures in Heaven. Not just for returns on this earth.
  • They will use their gifts wisely to the glory of God because they know that to enter Heaven, you have to do the will of the Father.
  • They will help their friends, family and everyone around them to come to Christ because they also want them to have this same HOPE.

Conclusion

C.S Lewis goes on to say, ”I must keep alive in myself the desire of my true country, which I shall not find till death. I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it my main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.”

Click Here To Read More by Vanessa Banda- Chidhumo

Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks

All purchases at ChristianWritersBookstore- including Free Trials- goes to keep the website free and help serve the authors.


Christ Like Thinking (Part 2) by Edward Morrison

Christ Like Thinking

The Power of Christ Like Thinking (Part 2) by Edward A. Morrison

What does it mean to be prosperous? I suppose if I asked numerous people what their definition was, I would get some different answers.

However, I think most would say that it is defined by the things we own and the status that we have in life.

So then, as Christians, what would our answer be?

Maybe if we ask people what their definition of success is that would be a more appropriate question for believers.

The prosperity gospel as we refer to it today has lured many people into what has become the era of the mega-church. Why are so many people swarming to these types of churches? What is the big drawing card? Is it to hear the truth of the scriptures? Or the core values of Christ and the teachings of the apostles in the New Testament. Should this, “You can have everything in life that you want,” philosophy, be taught in our churches?

So here is the dilemma.

We live in a very wealthy culture, shouldn’t we expect to get a piece of the pie. I ask you this, What in your mind determines a person’s worth? Is it his status in life, is a person more blessed by God if he or she is wealthy? If we look at the Old Testament when mankind was under the old covenant we see Israel either being blessed or cursed materially by God depending on their obedience to Him. However, we are no longer under the law, we are under the new covenant of grace. God sees our worth by the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the one and only savior of the human race.

To think that a part of being a child of God means that we are now entitled to the world’s goods is both wrong and naïve. We do not belong to this world anymore, we are now purchased by the precious blood of our savior. Our focus now needs to be on our relationship with Him and not on what the world can offer us. In reality, it can not offer us anything of lasting value.

So back to the church:

Preaching and teaching the power of the mind and how we get in life what we think about.

If that were the truth, I’d be the greatest male singer on the planet right now. As a younger man, it was all I thought about and dreamed about. It never happened although I did have the privilege of God using the talent He gave me to praise Him and encourage other believers. Personally, I think this sanction of the church has fallen into Satan’s trap of believing this new-age philosophy.

I know the mind is a gift from God. When it is directed towards the work of God and guided by the Holy Spirit we can
indeed move mountains. But those mountains I believe are spiritual ones. Our lives need to be governed by God’s Word, not by our next purchase or business move.

I always use our greatest example of a man to drive home a point.

Who did Jesus say was the greatest man born of woman?

It wasn’t Abraham, Moses, David, or Solomon. It was John the Baptist. People today would probably shrug him off as being somewhat insane or as a vag-a-bond. I mean John lived in the wilderness and ate locusts and wild honey.

So what made him Jesus’ choice of the greatest man?

It was his commitment to God and dedication to the preaching of the truth.

Let me ask you this, who would you say was the greatest man to ever grace our planet?

To me, that is a no-brainer, it was Jesus. Yet He never owned anything other than the clothes that He wore. I guess the point that I’m getting at here is that if you think being wealthy is going to get you any closer to God you really are kidding yourself. If you are listening to preachers telling you that you should be wealthy and if you’re not then your relationship with God mustn’t be right. Or if you are hearing in your church that sickness and lack of financial gain are because you have sin in your life, then I suggest you run out of that building and never look back.

However, let me say that I do not think being wealthy is in any way a terrible thing. Many Christians are very prosperous and use their money in great ways to further the Gospel. However, if God does bless you financially I believe you have an enormous responsibility to use that money wisely and to be ready and willing to give to others.

Most of us will never have that heavy burden in our lives but whether we have a little or a lot, we need to be ready to allow God to use whatever we have for His glory and the furthering of His kingdom. To be at peace with God and your fellow human beings I think is the greater desire to have. This, I truly believe, will give us a sense of contentment that can only come from the spirit of God.

So, in conclusion:

Seek God first and His kingdom and His righteousness and as the scripture tells us, “All of these things will be added unto you,” these things in my mind being of a spiritual nature, not material.

So to have the mind of Christ is to be filled with the spirit and, I believe, to live in the spirit. That is, in my mind, true successful living for the believer.

Ecclesiastes 2
The Futility of Pleasure

1. I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good!”
But it proved to be futile. 2. I said of laughter, “It is folly,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” 3. I sought to cheer my body with wine and to embrace folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom—until I could see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

4. I expanded my pursuits. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5. I made gardens and parks for myself, where I planted all kinds of fruit trees. 6. I built reservoirs to water my groves of flourishing trees. 7. I acquired menservants and maidservants, and servants were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me, 8. and I accumulated for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I gathered to myself male and female singers, and the delights of the sons of men—many concubines.

9. So I became great and surpassed all in Jerusalem who had preceded me; and my wisdom remained with me. 10. Anything my eyes desired, I did not deny myself. I refused my heart no pleasure. For my heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. 11. Yet when I considered all the works that my hands had accomplished and what I had toiled to achieve, I found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind; there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

The Wise and the Foolish

12. Then I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly; for what more can the king’s successor do than what has already been accomplished?
13. And I saw that wisdom exceeds folly, just as light exceeds darkness:
14. The wise man has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness.
Yet I also came to realize that one fate overcomes them both.

15. So I said to myself, “The fate of the fool will also befall me. What then have I gained by being wise?” And I said to myself that this too is futile. 16. For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise, just as with the fool, seeing that both will be forgotten in the days to come. Alas, the wise man will die just like the fool!

17. So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

The Futility of Work

18. I hated all for which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who comes after me. 19. And who knows whether that man will be wise or foolish? Yet he will take over all the labor at which I have worked skillfully under the sun. This too is futile. 20. So my heart began to despair over all the labor that I had done under the sun. 21. When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and he must give his portion to a man who has not worked for it, this too is futile and a great evil. 22. For what does a man get for all the toil and striving with which he labors under the sun? 23. Indeed, all his days are filled with grief, and his task is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile.

24. Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work. I have also seen that this is from the hand of God. 25. For apart from Him, a who can eat and who can find enjoyment? 26. To the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner He assigns the task of gathering and accumulating that which he will hand over to one who pleases God. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

Website: http://www.edwardarthursfaithblog.com

Click Here To Read More By Edward Morrison

Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks

The Power of Christ Like Thinking

Christ Like Thinking

The Power of Christ Like Thinking by Edward A. Morrison

As I begin to write, even now the words and the complexity of the subject that I have felt the need to express in these pages is immeasurable. Well beyond what a simple man like me can put into words. But I do believe that with the help of the Holy Spirit perhaps it can be inspiring. If not to others, then maybe to me.

I think we have all had our share of doubts as to why God would want to use a sinner like me to reach the minds of the few, let alone the masses. But it is with all humility and trust in Jesus that I write. In hopes that He can use these words to help someone else figure out what it truly means to think like our Lord.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I certainly have not reached any kind of pinnacle in my spiritual walk with the Lord. These are merely a few thoughts on the subject. A subject that has been a part of my journey as a follower of Jesus Christ.

My life and journey with Christ have been one of many ups and downs.

I would like to share some of these personal experiences as a modern-day believer. With that, the many struggles and obstacles that we face particularly in North America where we are bombarded daily by the world views of a media-driven by plenty. So much so that our minds are consumed with the things which we can possess from cars to homes to beauty to sex only escalated by the day-to-day drama of the ones that society considers worth idolizing.

You know the ones that have it all, from sports to music, to acting, the gods of our popular culture, the ones our children idolize and wish they could become or at least dream about becoming. Even many of our churches have taken on these philosophies of narcissism, you can have it all, God wants to give you everything and anything that you so desire.

Preachers teaching congregations about the power of the mind and the laws of attraction.

If you just believe blessings, and I am talking about material and monetary blessings here, will rain down on you from heaven above. So my question is what does that do to the truths in the New Testament like Matthew 6:19-20 that talk about not storing up treasures here on earth where moth and rust destroy.

Many parts of scripture talk about wealth and poverty both in the Old and the New Testaments. If you do an extensive study on these two subjects you will find that wealth is looked upon very negatively, especially in the New Testament.

So, then, how do we deal with these conflicting philosophies as a Bible believing child of God? As in all instances, I believe the answers are found in the scriptures. So my goal in writing these few words is to come to a conclusion based upon scripture as well as personal experience.

1 Corinthians 2:16 says: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

Why Do I Feel A Need To Express My Views On Such A Subject?

On the other hand, what would I know about the power of attraction as so many refer to it today?

I’m not approaching this with blind eyes. I have read most of the books by the modern-day positive attitude gurus and, there are plenty of them, both Christian and non-Christian. The profession that I spent a good number of my adult years working in, many of these books were in some ways required reading. Probably the most well-known of these is “Think and Grow Rich” by famed author, Napolean Hill.

Don’t get me wrong I think there are some good qualities found in each of these authors and I really believe their intentions are noble, but I also believe they have led many a person down a road that is not very Christ-like but rather stresses some of the very things that scripture warns us about.

It is sad to see many churches taking on this philosophy as part of their spiritual doctrine.

How Does The Bible Deal With Material Things?

My first suggestion to anyone wishing and praying for wealth so that they can be happy is to read the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. Solomon was not only the wisest man to ever live, he was very likely the richest as well.

There are countless examples of individuals reaching the pinnacle of what the world considers success, only to be disillusioned by it. Yet so many of us think it to be all that truly counts in this world.

So, why would we, as Christians, even want to test the waters in this? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that all people who reach acquire this kind of status are bad. Contrary to that, I have met many people whom the world would consider wealthy who are wonderful giving and loving to others.

But here is where the problem begins to infect us. Our human nature is such that we become obsessed with what others have. So begins our downward spiral of wanting and covetousness. So if we begin to set all our goals and dreams upon the world and its materials and pleasures, what happens to our desire for God and the furthering of His kingdom?

The Controversial Topic: The Prosperity Gospel.

If you want it, ask God for it and He will give it to you because you are, after all, a child of God. He is our father and He has given us the power to create our own lives just as we want it to be.

I agree that the mind is a very powerful part of our bodies and I also believe we need to think positively rather than the alternative. So, what exactly should we set our minds on? I would have to say that our wealth and comfort are not what God wants most for any of us.

I believe that we need to set our hearts on the things above, as taught to us by our Lord, not on the temporal materials of this world. Much of scripture warns us of the dangers of wealth and what it can do to our relationship with God. Jesus told us that we cannot serve both God and money.

Look, I don’t think being wealthy is a sin. I think when we become obsessed with it to the point we no longer consider God first in what we are doing with it, then it becomes a problem.

“Next time I will dig a little deeper into the philosophy of “The Law of Attraction”. Until then, God bless and stay safe.”

Click Here To Read More By Ed Morrison

Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks

I Know What You Are Thinking by Helen Khan

Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. Psalm 139: 4

We all do it; try to read people’s minds. Some people do it better than others, but no one gets it right 100% of the time. And do we really want someone to read our mind?

A battered wife thinks her abusive husband can read her mind, that he knows what she is doing even when he isn’t around. She lives in fear, walking on eggshells. It destroys her mental and emotional equilibrium.

An argument between husband and wife starts over mindreading. Either he thinks he knows what she is thinking or why she said what she said, or vice versa. Miscommunication – it happens lots in close quarters where one prides oneself in reading another person’s mind. Protective walls go up!

Or maybe you think no one thinks about you at all. You are not even on the radar screen of someone’s thoughts, let alone having them read your mind. No one remembers you, thinks about you, cares about you. You are all alone in the world. You think maybe it would be better to not be in it.

But the One who made you thinks about you all the time. He knows you intimately. So intimately he knows what your thoughts are even before you voice them. And because he is God, he knows the heart of man, he gets it right every time. And it’s not even intrusive knowledge. You still have your space. Cool, huh!

God’s hearing is symbolic of his knowledge of us, his understanding and love for us. And because he knows us so intimately, understands us so well, he knows what we need and when we need it. And unlike that spouse who only thinks they know why we said what we said, God knows why because he looks at the heart. He knows the heart of man. He knows when we are in turmoil and when we are happy and all is in order. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what we are going to say, even before it is said.

Click Here to read Shrouds Over Eden by Helen Khan