Have you ever taken a bite of something that was just too hot and burned your tongue? Or given a compliment and someone smiled? Or maybe you’ve been outside with your kids and pointed out all the beautiful and wonderful things God has created and made because He loves you? I bet we all have experienced teachable moments, either for ourselves or for our kids. They come at the most unexpected times.
Well, we had one in our household this morning. My first born daughter, the one who follows all the rules and wants to make sure to do things right, a perfectionist at heart, messed up. We all mess up and fall. I believe in mercy and grace, but this was an area we have never ventured in our household before; stealing. It wasn’t anything big. It was the littlest piece of chalk that they used at her first day of Vacation Bible School yesterday. So tiny, you’d almost want to throw it away and forget about it. She didn’t even realize what she was admitting to when we were talking. I’m braiding her hair and she is telling me about how yesterday, during Bible study outside, they found some shade and some chalk to write with, except they never got to use their chalk. Instead she brought it home. That stopped me in my tracks and made my mom brain start thinking. First, I went through her bag when she got home and did not see any chalk with her things, so it was hidden. Second, she never said that the counselor told the group to keep their chalk. So I started asking the hard questions.
“Choose you this day, whom you will serve.”
Katherine Kehler told her family “I have decided that sitting on the fence is not a God thing.”
I was sitting at my computer (you know how it goes…I’ll just do this one thing) and I came across this statement that caught my attention. Being in a hurry and really not having the time to sit and read the full explanation, something still drew me in and I ended up doing just that.
This is what she said:
“In real life situations, much evil has continued because people are afraid to take a stand. Oh, they may take a stand in private conversations but few will voice their views in public. They are afraid of being rejected. I have been there. Sometimes I am a coward and sometimes I am brave. Sometimes I notice others are cowards. Sometimes they are brave. There have been times when I wished someone would have been brave enough to have voiced their support for me, but they didn’t. Lately I have realized the importance of standing up for what is right and publicly supporting others who are right in the sight of God. Sitting on the fence or being neutral is not a Godly characteristic.”
“Jesus definitely spoke up. He was not a coward!”
Yes, Jesus always spoke up for the things that were right …not by the world’s standards
but by God’s standards. Since he was the only “perfect” human that ever walked on earth shouldn’t we take our cues from him?
I’ve known only a few people whom I could truly say could always be counted on to put what was easiest aside and, without fail, support only what was right and supported by scripture. I have no doubt there were people (maybe even ones who called themselves their friends) who gossiped and said unkind things behind their back as they took their stand. We’ve all been there, right? Hurtful, right?
We were never promised it would be easy but we were promised our Heavenly Father would walk beside us all the way and carry us with his “angel army” if we needed him to. I don’t know exactly why God stopped me on this writing today but I do know he has a plan for everything under heaven. Maybe it’s you who was to be given courage and moved to action today by reading this. If so, take heed, being right in the sight of God is much better than being right in the sight of the world! And remember, “Sitting the fence is not a God thing.”
If you have a testimony of a time when you or someone you know chose to stand up for what was right in God’s eyes please tell us about it below in the comment space or email
me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We need to encourage each other in our walks because the world in most cases won’t.
This past week I had to deal with a lying issue in my house. It’s interesting how one person can interpret something as a lie while another person can interpret it as…well, not a lie.
Let me explain. A particular child was told that he would not be allowed to go somewhere he really wanted to go until his room was clean. As said child was getting ready to leave, I asked if his room was finished. He said, “Yes.” Knowing him as I do I decided to ask a more specific follow up question, “Are you sure it is clean to my standard?” He assured me it was.
After he left, I had to walk by his room to do something. I glanced into his room and when I did, I felt my blood pressure rise. In fact, if I had been wearing a blood pressure cuff, it would have exploded.
There is no doubt that my definition of clean and my “soon to be grounded for life” child’s definition of clean are very different. However, even he knows that if his room looks like a category 5 hurricane just blew through, it is not clean!
I rehearsed over in my mind what I was going to say and do to him when he got home. Then God gently nudged me. Oh, I hate it when He does that because I would so rather deal with someone else’s sin issue than to deal with my own. He reminded me of a few things that He had showed me when I was writing a bible study this past year. Thought I would share it with you – I don’t like squirming alone!
We know that telling a false statement with the intent to deceive is lying. For a lot of us, we tend to break lying up into three categories: a blatant lie, a necessary lie, and a little white lie (emphasis on little and white).
Shame on those who tell blatant lies; we have little tolerance for them. We only tell lies when it is necessary…like to keep a friend from getting her feelings hurt. For example, instead of admitting that we forgot to show up at a friend’s house for a “whatever” party and risk her
being upset with us, we explain that there was a serious emergency that we had to tend to and we are so sorry because we really wanted to come. Never mind the fact that lying to her will hurt her feelings and will make her more upset with us – even more so than if we didn’t lie to her to keep from hurting her feelings…whatever, you get the picture.
Then there are those little white lies. These are somewhat controversial. There is confusion as to when what we say actually crosses the line and becomes a lie. Is 40% truth and 60% lie an actual lie? What about those half-truths? You know, the 50-50 ones? Into what category do they fall? Exactly how much truth do we include in our telling in order for it to be counted as truth and not a lie?
Anyone else besides me sweating?
The truth of the matter is this, if something is not true it is false. Now, let’s not muddy the water here with the “but what ifs.” If I tell my husband that I am going to the grocery store, when in fact I am going to pick up his new golf clubs that I am giving him for his birthday, am I lying? The answer is, “Yes.” But, later I will have no problem telling him what I did. My intent was to surprise him not hurt him or keep myself out of trouble.
Here is a good way to measure whether I am falling into sin or not – what is the intent of my heart? If I have no qualms about “confessing” that what I said was not true later, chances are I’m not falling into sin. On the other hand, if I cannot easily “confess” or if I have no intention of “confessing” later, chances are I have just nose-dived into sin.
Proverbs 6: 16-19 says, “ There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
God puts lying and murder in the same category of things He hates. Nowhere in scripture can I find a verse that differentiates between blatant lies and white lies. I looked hard; trust me.
So, in light of the nudge I got from my Father, I decided to dole out my child’s punishment with more grace and humility. Maybe being grounded for the rest of his life was a bit too harsh. I decided on a week instead. I also decided to be more diligent in evaluating the words that come out of my mouth so that I might please my Heavenly Father and so that I might train my children to be lovers of truth by setting before them an example of a mother who strives to be truthful in all she says.
Have a great week!
Sometimes the intent of another is not to wound us but rather to prevent us from hurting ourselves. In Proverbs 27:5-6, King Solomon, known for his wisdom, wrote, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”(NIV) The New American reads, “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
So what does that mean? It means that maybe our thinking is all wrong. We think that a true friend is one who always says nice things to us, and tells us how wonderful we are, and of course, always takes our side when we are, in our opinion, being treated unjustly. But the writer of Proverbs says, “Nope!”
Here’s the truth girls: If someone doesn’t love us enough to speak truth to us, they don’t love us enough.
A true friend, a faithful friend, will not sit by and watch us make a mess of our lives. But let me tell you, an unfaithful friend, like an enemy, will tickle our ears. She is not interested in correcting or rebuking us because truthfully, she is more interested in the relationship benefiting her. Of course, it might also be because she is not willing to deal with the way we might respond…which is understandable what with the way some of us are prone to respond when confronted! Who wants that kind of trauma?
On the other hand, if we have a friend who loves us enough to speak truth to us, hunker down, and ride out the storm, we have a gift that is more precious than gold.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” What this means to me is that when two hard headed, Jesus loving girls butt heads over scripture centered correcting and rebuking, after the dust cloud clears, they will immerge sharper, wiser, and battle ready.
Though we all like to surround ourselves with people who will say nice things to us and tell us how wonderful we are, it is so important to have people in our lives that are committed to an “iron sharpening iron” relationship. When it comes to those “friends” who tickle our ears, let me remind you that Judas greeted Jesus with a kiss – the night he betrayed Him.
From the Bible Study, “Walking Wounded.”
Are you blessed to have an “iron sharpening iron” friend in your life? We would love to hear about it. Please let us know by clicking here or share with us on our Facebook page.
And by the way, you might want to let her know her value…maybe even buy her a cup of coffee!
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