Hate

What if.....Premium Content

… Jesus really meant what He said?

"I did not come to condemn, but to save."

Condemn: to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil…to judge unfit for use or consumption.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … [Romans 8:1]

What if that were true?

I know—it’s a complex theological statement. But what if it were as simple as “follow Jesus” = “no condemnation”?

What if every follower of Jesus stopped judging others as “reprehensible, wrong, or evil”? Even “those people”—you know, the ones who are, well, “unfit”?

What if

We refused to make—or forward, or approve—snarky political comments?

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Subtle Sins WorksheetPremium Content

Worksheet to help you identify and overcome subtle sins in your life.

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Kindness and Gentleness

Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

I've been thinking about kindness and gentleness a lot lately. Probably because being kind and gentle isn't natural to me like it is to other people. I've known a number of people who were constantly kind and gentle. For example, I think about one couple we know, Tom and Linda Marshall. Both of them have always been so soft spoken but willing to step up and help anyone in need. Both so kind and gentle. They always come to my mind as examples of how I should be around everyone else.

Our Lives Should be More Like JazzPremium Content

I don’t know much about jazz except that I usually like it, especially live. I’m thinking that our lives might be a little richer if they were a little more like jazz.

Jazz music is sort of unscripted. Each song has a basic melody and sometimes words, but the performance is spontaneous. Real jazz isn’t rehearsed like a lot of other music—it’s more of a live interaction between the musicians. They practice and develop their individual skills, but the music happens when they play off one another.

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How Can I Forgive When It Hurts So Bad?Premium Content

I know it hurts. It hurts so bad we don’t want to forgive. The pain is unbearable at times and all we really want to do is get revenge, or keep wallowing in the pain that our feelings give us and remain resentful and angry. This is such a common problem in marriage today, so I feel it is worth more than rubies and gold to keep writing about it.

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Compromise: Left, Right, Or Something Else?Premium Content

Which are you—left, right, or somewhere in the middle?

spectrumWe’re apparently programmed to think of nearly every aspect of our lives in terms of a linear continuum.

Politics provides the most obvious example. Left/right, liberal/conservative, red/blue. While most of us don’t reside at an extreme, we’re certainly conditioned to think of ourselves at least on one side or the other of center.

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How Do You Help An Injured Porcupine?

How do you respond when your life gets interrupted by—well—life?

This isn’t the article I planned for this morning. I’d already written something insightful and thought-provoking—a certain masterpiece (at least in my mind). All it required was a few finishing touches and it would have been here to greet even the earliest risers.

And then—life happened.

I’ll spare you most of the humiliating details. Create your own mental image if your wish from an overview involving a shower, equipment failure, and a short fall to the floor in a somewhat “compromised” position. I was hopelessly wedged into a spot I don’t even know how to describe.

It’s Awfully Easy to be JudgmentalPremium Content

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. ~Carl Jung

He saw me glaring at him.

As he walked slowly and deliberately to his car in the handicapped-reserved space beside mine, I did everything possible to silently display my contempt. He obviously didn’t need that spot. I wanted to make sure he knew that I knew and that I disapproved.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to be the parking space police that morning. I was having a particularly hard time getting my chair situated beside my car, and I guess I wanted to vent my frustration on someone else.

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How To Change Another PersonPremium Content

river runs through itWhy is it the people who need the most help… won’t take it? Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It)

Who’s that person in your life who needs to change?

Perhaps a boss bullies and controls or fosters chaos through indecisiveness. Maybe a coworker refuses to communicate or a friend follows a self-destructive path. Possibly a child breaks your heart with obviously bad decisions or a spouse drifts silently away.

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Discord in Relationships

Proverbs 6:16-19 NRSV
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that hurry to run to evil,
a lying witness who testifies falsely,
and one who sows discord in a family.

It's interesting that Solomon begins with "there are six things . . . seven . . ." Matthew Henry notes, of this beginning:
"and the last of them (which, being the seventh, seems especially to be intended, because he says they are six, yea, seven) is part of his character, that he sows discord."

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