Monday, June 9, 2014

Obessed With Happiness

Our world has an obsession with happiness. A lot of people are constantly pursuing happiness; often in positive ways, and often in negative ways. Happiness is not a bad thing at all-yet, many base that happiness on things that won’t last. People are so obsessed with the idea of happy, that it has led many to distort God’s word in the process.

Does our wish for happiness for ourselves as well as others get in the way of how God would have us to live? If that’s the case, we’re looking for happiness or encouraging others to find it in ways God never intended for us to find it.

Many religious people today have bought into the lie that a person’s happiness should be preserved at all costs. Many believe that it is wrong and unloving to tell someone that they are doing something that displeases God.

As soon as you tell someone that they are wrong, they always say, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

They are throwing this part of scripture horribly out of context. The problem lies in the fact that many do not take the time to read ahead or study the context in which it is being said. (As a matter of fact, when you tell us we're wrong for judging you're also judging us for judging. Interesting paradox, huh?)

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or, how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your own eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:1-5)

Jesus is not saying here that we shouldn’t judge . He’s saying to make sure to be careful in how you approach the situation. We have to remember that when we are making a judgment we must also remember that we also are not above the law (the religious leaders of Jesus' day often thought this way). We must examine our intentions behind bringing this issue up to the person. We must also consider if we are committing the same sin.  If we were not supposed to judge in any way, Jesus would not have said in John 7:24: “…judge with righteous judgment.”

When we judge, it must be done from a place of wanting to help others and to please God.

The bible says, “to speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). We are to tell the truth of the entire Gospel, including what God expects of us as His followers. To speak this truth, we must speak it with patience,  and kindness. We must speak it without jealousy, and without pride or arrogance. We must speak it without rudeness, without selfishness, and without anger (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

 In this passage, in verse 6 it says, “[Love] does not rejoice in sin, but rejoices with the truth.” The bible also says in Ephesians 5:11, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless seeds of darkness, rather, expose them.” (emp. Added)

So we are to judge, but in the way described above-with great care, love, and honesty.

If we as Christians wish someone happiness in something God has deemed wrong, we are being dishonest to our fellow man. In Romans chapter one, it lists things that God has deemed sinful (26-31). In verse 32 it says, “…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.” (emp. Added) Those who applaud and encourage those doing wrong are just as sinful in God’s eyes.

Encouraging others in their sin, even in the name of happiness, would be dishonoring to their God to show support of something He has said is sin. 
That being said, you can live anyway that you want, you have that free will to do so, and we can’t stop you. That is a decision you have to make, but know that God's word says it won't lead anywhere good. (Matthew 7:13)

Happiness in this life is not our main goal. Our goal as Christians should be to live for the next life, so that we can be with our savior in Heaven. That and only that is our ultimate prize (Philippians 3:14, 20-21). We as Christians find happiness in this life knowing that we are doing God's will and that He is going to take care of us (Matthew 6:25-33). We find contentment no matter what situation we find ourselves in because He is with us (Psalm 23, Philippians 4:11)

 But, the true followers of Christ see the physical things of little importance in the long term. We fear God first before man. (Matt. 12:4-5)

Sure, there are a lot of wonderful blessings in this world given to us by God, but there is also pain-and a lot of it. For us, we know that after we leave this life, there will be nothing but pure, awesome joy in the presence of our God (Revelation 21:4). When we tell you of His Word, and tell you something that may not be what you want to hear, we have the best of intentions. We just want the same joy and peace for others that we have for ourselves. 

I know what I've said isn't popular, and some may hate me after this article. Yet, I encourage you to go back and read the scriptures in the article. I'm only a messenger trying to spread God's word. I am writing this because I want everyone to know of the joy and peace that comes from God when you fully submit to Him and release the grasp on your life. The truth is, it's hard to keep what you are passionate about to yourself. I care about every soul reading this. You are loved very deeply by God (John 3:16).

Romans 10:17
Mark 16:16
James 2:17-26
Acts 2:38
Romans 10:9
Luke 13:5
Revelation 2:10

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Modesty Disconnect

It's a shame. There’s always that one girl-you know her- the one who complains about not being able to find a man who respects her. Then, you turn around and see her Tweets and Status updates, and the posts are sexually suggestive. The photos of themselves display “come hither” glances and poses.

And they just can’t figure out why they can’t find a good, respectable, well-mannered man.

I’m going to admit, I have little dating experience, and I recently got out of my first relationship. I haven’t had men knocking down my door (not that I’d want them to-an introvert can only handle so much). Here’s the thing: I could have that much attention if I wanted to. If I posted suggestive statuses and photos, I most likely could get more guys to pay attention to me. It would be all too easy.

But yet, it’s not the kind of attention that would lead to me to meeting the kind of man I want. The truth is, many of the good guys are going to get pushed away by posts like that. They want women who actually seem to value themselves. The guys who just want sex are going to be the ones coming after you. It’s true that you attract what you put out.

I don’t post stuff like that because I want others to see me as a person, not a sex object. I want a man to see me as a potential help-meet. So many women complain about why they should have to behave or dress modestly. Here’s the thing: modesty and decency is a humble way of demanding respect. The way you dress and act speaks volumes to others on how they should treat you.

God asks of us as women to be modest, moral, gentle, and humble (1 Timothy 2:9-11, 1 Peter 3:3-4). We know how much different this is from how women are told to act today.  Don’t lose heart if you are striving to live this way. You will be ridiculed and made fun of by other women, yes (and maybe even a few men) but God is happy with you, and you should find comfort in that.

Sure, men might not be knocking down your door, but who wants that? What woman wants a bunch of men treating her like she’s the next big thing to sleep with? I’d rather attract guys who will love me because I’m striving to be a woman of God. First, our aim is to please God (Acts 5:29). If that is your aim, you’ll most likely end up attracting the same kind of people with the same goal. They may be far and few between, but you may end up with more quality people than quantity to choose from. The best man for you is going to love you for your Godliness and good heart.

If you are still single and waiting, it’s okay. I am too. There are a lot of us waiting. Whether you find someone you want to marry or not, remember that you are God’s daughter. His love is infinitely better than anything else in this world (John 3:16, 1 John 4:9-10). Sometimes, it can be hard to remember that, especially when our society puts such an emphasis on romantic love. Never forget that there are more important things than romance. God’s work is of much more importance.