Most of us have probably heard the Golden Rule. “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” However, a few years ago I read about the Golden Result on Ken Sande’s Relational Wisdom blog. “Other people will usually treat you the way you treat them.” This is similar to Galatians 6:7, which tells us that we will reap what we sow.
If we plant seeds of kindness, respect, humility and love, we reap those same things. The same is true about the negative. If we sow anger, discord, manipulation and hatred, we will often receive the same treatment from those around us.
So the next time you are around negative people, think about the seeds you can plant. Many times people who behave badly need some kindness. They will often respond well to the positive. While this is not a guarantee, I believe we will find this true often. Either way, for those of us that say we love God, we should seek to sow positive seeds and pull the weeds of negativity.
May God be glorified in the “plants” that grow in our lives.
We “love” the concept of love. We enjoy the warm fuzzies that come with the emotion. However, when we look at what God says love really is – wow, it takes more work to love. John 15:12 tells us to love each other the way God loves us. God loves us despite our sin (Romans 5:8). The book of Romans tells us how unlovable we really are.
So when it comes to loving one another, we shouldn’t choose to love based on how lovable someone seems to be. We need to seek to love as God loves.
How do we learn how God loves? Read God’s Word (the Bible) and seek Him in prayer.
Thank you to my friend Abby for the picture. I love flowers!
On Mother’s Day, I introduced the title of Mother Sister Daughter, based on my relationships with many sisters in Christ. Now that Father’s Day is here, I want to talk about my spiritual brothers.
In order to keep relationships appropriate (a concept that can be lost by misuse of Christian liberty), I have to approach this differently. The Father concept is pretty easy. I have “dads” in my church. If you read back through some of my blog stories, you will see fatherly care (this could also be considered brotherly love). I have been blessed many times where guys in my church have helped me out – from mowing the lawn, to car care, clearing snow, roofing, relighting the pilot on my hot water heater (amidst jokes about blowing up my house), installing dead bolt locks, installing carpet, etc. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about serving; each member has different strengths. I can use tools, but there is a point where home-ownership projects overwhelm me. I am thankful for godly men who are willing to help me with projects that fit their strengths.
My stories about the help I have received can easily fall under the father and brother category. Now for the son portion – I have a mama bear personality. With the guys in my church I have to show it in a different way. As I have learned more about prayer, I am finding more ways to show appropriate Biblical love. Ultimately, God takes care of those things any way. I am simply His tool to use in the lives of those around me.
So on this Father’s Day, I want to thank the Father Brother Sons in my life. We don’t tend to verbalize thanks as much with the guys, but they like appreciation, too. So thank you – I appreciate your work and investment in my life.
Have you ever heard this? Or maybe said it yourself? Fairness is a concept that has been misused. When a 3 or 4 year old stomps their foot and says, “That’s not fair,” they actually mean, “I didn’t get my way”. Sometimes adults do the same thing.
First, we need to define fair. Dictionary.com has a long definition. The first two items in the list are “free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules”. According to this definition we should pursue fairness. This is biblical; God pursues justice.
Another portion of the definition of fair is “marked by favoring conditions; likely; promising”. I think this is the definition we usually think of. However, this is definition #5 in Dictionary.com’s list. Human nature wants to move this definition to #1.
The truth is that perfect fairness will not be achieved in this life. However, whenever the Biblical concept of fairness is at risk, we should stand up for what is right (James 4:17). When the selfish version is at risk, we need to let go and seek righteousness (Proverbs 21:21). How can we tell the difference between the two? Pleading in prayer.
May God’s way be first.
Meet Sheila. This is my “new-to-me” car. As for the name – friends of mine influenced me into naming cars. This one just looked like a Sheila to me. I have no idea why – she just does. 😉
Now for the story – last Sunday as I was driving to a graduation, my 1994 Olds broke down. Something literally fell out. I was able to pull into a park to safety, get the part from the street and then walk home. Thankfully I live in a small town and I was within 2 blocks of my house (through the park). When I got home I started looking for a car online. I had done some looking already knowing my car would need to be replaced within the next year anyway. While I didn’t know how big or small of a repair this would be, my heart was saying enough. The older cars get the more repairs they need.
A friend helped me get my car home and told me the shaft of the water pump had broken off (the piece that fell). A water pump is not a huge repair as long as it is taken care of right away. However, I had already been looking at cars online and found one I liked and felt I could afford. I asked a few friends to pray (the ones who also listened to me rattle on about car issues – I’ve owned multiple old cars over the years). I spent Sunday afternoon and evening praying hard. I reminded God how much I really wanted this car I saw, but I was concerned that I would make a wrong decision.
Monday (Memorial Day) came and about 10:30 I heard from the dealership and went to test drive the car. I originally planned to walk, but after sending a message requesting prayer, a friend from church offered to drive me. A friend who has mechanics experience. I went through the usual car dealership test drive, sales pitch, telling them what I was comfortable with – and then finally signing paperwork and drove the car away.
This was a combination of a frustrating weekend with God’s fun provisions mixed in. I have to admit; I prefer the fun blessings. Cars can be very frustrating. I don’t enjoy dealing with break-downs or dealerships. However, God works through all of those things to my spiritual growth (Romans 8:28). I was thankful for multiple things through this last week that affirmed I was making the right decision.
Life is full of challenges and blessings. Through them all God is good. He guides and provides. Praise His name!