Pay Back or Pay Forward?

1 Thessalonians 5:15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Our ways should not be the ways of the world, but the ways of the Lord. Rather than crush a foe, we should try to win a foe. After all nothing is gained by defeating another, but we can gain a friend by winning (not defeating) them over.

My Advice – Don’t seek revenge. This is the way of the world. You are called to be different. Rather, be kind to those who would harm you.

Since Then

Colossians 3:1, 2 – Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things above, not on earthly things. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Notice the order. If we set our hearts on the things above, our minds will surely follow. However, it is not always the case that if we set our minds on the things above our hearts will follow.

My Advice – Whenever you find yourself setting your mind on worldly principles, check out your heart. Is it still longing for the things of God?

Finally, Whatever

Philippians 4:8Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We are, to a great extent, what we think about. If we think about these things, they cannot help but improve our attitudes. But if we think about the opposite, it can only erode our attitude.

My Advice – Be careful about the things that you allow to occupy your thoughts. Whether good or bad, they will eventually affect you. Make sure they are good.

Is Christ-Like in Attitude

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Matthew 11:29 – “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – It seems almost contradictory that the Creator of the universe, exhibiting the fullness of God, with everything under His power, would choose the role of a servant. Knowing that everything was under His power He could have exercised that power. Instead Continue reading “Is Christ-Like in Attitude”

True Wealth

Ecclesiastes 5:19When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift of God. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Pursuing joy, happiness and contentment are more likely to result in wealth than the other way around. God knows that those who pursue the former at the expense of the latter are more likely to be good stewards of the latter. On the other hand, those that pursue wealth at the expense of joy, happiness or contentment are more likely to not find the latter even if they achieve the former.

My Advice – Should you find wealth, enjoyment or happiness wherever life takes you, give thanks to God for His gift. If you find all three, you are truly blessed. Few find wealth and are able to enjoy it and be happy.

Controlled Anger

Proverbs 29:11 – A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Anger is not always bad. Losing control, allowing it to lead us into sin is bad.

My Advice – Make sure you control your anger, rather than letting it control you. Ask yourself if the issue is worth getting angry about. Sometimes it will be. But even then, there is a proper way to display it that allows you to show your displeasure without losing control. You are also more likely to make your point in this manner.

On Being “Pridefall”

Proverbs 18:12Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Many times we cannot see the fall coming because we are blinded by pride, when actually undue pride is a fairly good indicator that a fall is coming. Humility over our accomplishments is an admirable trait and is likely to result in honor from others.

My Advice – A fine line exists between a sense of satisfaction over accomplishments or status and excessive pride or ego. Make sure the satisfaction is tempered by a good measure of genuine humility rather than flaunted by unmerited pride.