A loner is out to get what he wants for himself. He opposes all sound reasoning. A fool does not find joy in understanding but only in expressing his own opinion. (Proverbs 18:1, 2 GWT)
A man set his sights on becoming rich and powerful. He made his plans, gathered his resources, and started on his journey. He met a lawyer who wanted to help him volunteering to be a part of his team. The man thought how much that would cost and refused. Further along he met a doctor who volunteered to be his physician, the man also refused. He then met a CPA who volunteered to keep his financial records organized. But this man saw no need of him either; he was totally capable of handling his own affairs. Finally, this man met a beautiful woman who offered him her unconditional love. He had no time for love at this point in his life.
The man ruthlessly pursued his dream and obtained riches and power. He gloated with pride and bragged on his success though he had offended so many.
One day a letter arrived notifying him of a lawsuit that would reduce him to poverty should he lose the case. He needed a lawyer; but he was without one. He became worried and frustrated leading to a stroke. He had no physician whom he could trust. The lawsuit called for a strict accounting of his financial records; he had a few weeks to respond but no accountant. Hospitalized and alone he needed someone to care; the only woman who had offered was gone.
Lying in bed alone and facing ruin, he who would not listen learned the value of teamwork. Greatness demands having the right members on your team!
The Bible reveals a mind boggling history between a people and their God. Stories abound that chronicle both the negative and positive interactions among a people, their God, and their neighbors. Some stories rise to epic heights and Hollywood creates movies to capture there grandeur, i.e. “The Ten Commandments.” Other stories depict the people at their worst and are often told infrequently or in low budget fashion. These stories are found in what is called The Old Testament or Hebrew Bible.
Generations later the New Testament also reveals this people’s history with this God. Yet this new history devotes itself to the influence and ideals of one person. This New Testament links the history of this people by purporting what is called a “progressive revelation.” In other words, from Genesis to Revelation all roads lead to Jesus of Nazareth.
John concludes “This was written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Everyone who was someone wrote about Jesus. Luke opens his story by saying, “Many have attempted to write about what had taken place among us. They received their information from those who had been eyewitnesses and servants of God’s word from the beginning, and they passed it on to us. I, too, have followed everything closely from the beginning. So I thought it would be a good idea to write an orderly account for Your Excellency, Theophilus. In this way you will know that what you’ve been told is true.”
Luke’s story is not the only story; however, it is a good story. I recommend it to you. Luke clearly announces that Jesus is the main thesis of the Bible: his lineage, his life, his purpose, and his triumph. That is why one can not read the Bible and leave unaffected: when you put down the Bible a decision is required. And as Moses said, “I set before you life and death, choose life that you and your children may live.”
“The words of a person’s mouth are like deep waters. The fountain of wisdom is an overflowing stream. It is not good to be partial toward a wicked person,thereby depriving an innocent person of justice. By talking, a fool gets into an argument,and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin. His lips are a trap to his soul. The words of a gossip are swallowed greedily, and they go down into a person’s innermost being.” (Proverbs 18:4-8 GWT)
When we belittle, mock, or devalue someone’s life or livelihood, we do a great disservice. Words have power; words are seeds that once planted take root deep in a person’s mind. Wisdom has taught me, “We grow by lifting others up, not by tearing them down.” I’m a work in progress and so are you. The key is to stay clear of gossip; do not allow your mouth to write a check your “ass” can’t cash. The writer of Proverbs says that only a fool does that. I have said much that I regret and have been forgiven. Thank you Jesus!
I know it’s hard to discipline your tongue, especially when your emotions have been charged. But I can assure you, working on this discipline is invaluable. Oh that gossip and slander were not so salacious. Prayer, true prayer, however will help you muzzle unkind words. When you gossip a crowd will gather and chime in; when you pray, they will stay away.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father we confess that our words have often been daggers rather that elevators. We ask your forgiveness and that you strengthen our resolve to be kind. Help us to discipline the words we speak so we may be a help and not a hindrance. In Jesus Name, Amen.