The Conclusion of the Matter

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My Musings – Fear God? “The ‘fear of the Lord‘ is that attitude of reverence and awe that His people show to Him because they love Him and respect His power and His greatness.” (Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Satisfied (p. 135). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books).

Keep His commandments?  Not out of the fear, as we understand fear.  But, as explained above, out of reverence, awe, and respect.  Why wouldn’t we?  Think of it this way.  When we were little children, we obeyed our parents out of the fear we understand.  Fear of the consequences if we did not.  As we grew older and became adults we continued to do the things we were told when we were young, because we revere and respect them, and want to please them. We want to show our gratitude.

The duty of man?  Not because it is compulsory, but because we are obliged (do as someone asks or desires in order to help or please them).

My Advice – Do your “duty.”

Just Trust Me?

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1 Corinthians 4:2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Trust is the confident reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone.  Being trustworthy means that we are worthy or deserving of that trust. Finally, it is deserveed because of past actions or demonstrations of character, ability, strength or truth.  Actions and demonstrations are plural, and in the case of trust the actions and demonstrations are consistent enough to prove they can be counted on.  They are reliable.  In other words, you expect nothing different no matter the situation or the circumstance (through “thick and thin”).

  • We cannot tell people to trust us.  It is the result of feeling safe (Simon Sinek – Leaders Eat Last).  Feeling safe because dependability has already been proven.
  • We cannot buy trust. To paraphrase an old television advertisement, “we gain trust the old-fashioned way – we earn it” (E.F. Hutton).
  • We cannot sell trust. “Your words and deeds must match if you expect [people] to trust in [you] (Kevin Kruse).”  We cannot sell it with words, but people will buy it when it is backed up by deeds (e.g. keeping your word).
  • We cannot question trust.  “Trust, but verify,” (Russian proverb quoted by President Ronald Reagan).  This quote is backwards.  We trust because trustworthiness has already been demonstrated.  There is no trust before it has been verified (found worthy).  Then, if it is trustworthy, it needs no further verification.
  • Trust cannot be taken – “People follow leaders by choice. Without trust, at best you get compliance,” (Jesse Lyn Stoner, author of Full Steam Ahead).  People can choose to give trust, but it cannot be taken from them against their will.
  •  Trust can be lost – “Trust is the hardest thing to gain and the easiest to lose” (Alka Dimri Saklani, Beyond Secrets).

My Advice – You cannot only appear to be trustworthy.  You must be trustworthy.  It is what you would want from others and what others want from you.

Ears of the Heart

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Proverbs 18:13, 15He who answers before listening— that is his folly and his shame.  The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out. (NIV 19840

“You’re short on ears and long on mouth.”― John Wayne

“I never miss a good chance to shut up” ― James Patterson, Along Came a Spider

“One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears – by listening to them.” – Dean Rusk

“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

“[R]emember we’re trying to understand their point of view, not necessarily agree with it or support it.  Understanding doesn’t equate with agreement.  Sensitivity does not equate to acquiescence.  [W]e’re merely trying to get at what others think in order to understand why they’re feeling the way they’re feeling and doing what they’re doing.” – Crucial Conversations, by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler. McGraw Hill, 2012.

My Musings – Listening involves more than the ears.  It involves the heart (sincerity).  Listening with the heart does not necessarily mean we will agree with what we hear, but it may help us understand (discern) why they hold the views that they do. Understanding may not lead to agreement, but it should lead to helping us craft a more heartfelt response and improve the odds that we will convince them of what we hold to be the truth.

My Advice – Start a crucial conversation by listening (before talking) with your heart (with sincerity).   Only then can your ears hear sufficiently well enough to equip your lips to speak with enough knowledge to persuade others to your point of view.  It is foolish and shameful to do otherwise.  In the process, you may learn that your point of view was just that and not the truth after all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flight and Fight

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1 Timothy 6:11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Here’s a novel thought.  How about accepting responsibility, playing by the rules, listening to your critics (they just might be right) and telling the truth.  There will be no need to redefine success or try again.

My Advice – Know when to fight and know when to flight.

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A Simple Yes or No Should Do

Matthew 5:33-37 – “Again, you have it heard it was said to the people long ago, ‘do not break your oath, but keep oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you do not swear at all, either by heaven, or by the earth; or by Jerusalem. And do not swear by your head. Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no,’ ‘no’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – What an incredible testimony it would be if others did not require an oath from us. That they would be merely satisfied by a simple yes or no from us. There are few people with that kind of integrity and that inspires that kind of trust.

My Advice – Be a man of your word. Someone who others can rely on to always keep his word.

Guarding Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We need to be alert to actions and thoughts that are contrary to our hearts. No matter how insignificant that they may seem. Because eventually they will pollute our hearts. Changes in the heart will almost always affect what you think, how you act and who you are (wellspring of life). It may be a slow process (like erosion) but changes in the heart are harder to correct.

My Advice – Do not kid yourself by thinking that you can brush up against sin and not become entangled. You cannot simply just have a bite, because one bite calls for another. Avoid situations that you know are wrong but are tempted by. Stay away, turn around, flee from them.

Fleeting Shadows, Enduring Impact

Job 14:1 – “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We feel so self-important at times, but there have been many people throughout history of greater worth. Yet their time is gone. Like us they spring up and wither away. The difference is in the impact they made while they were here. We will not endure, but we should try to live a life that leaves an impact and that endures long after we are gone.

My Advice – Make the most of the time that you have. When you are young, with your whole life ahead of you, it may seem like you have all the time in the world. When you are older, looking back, you wonder where the years went. Be able to look back with few regrets of moments that were lost or wasted.