Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Clean Heart

The Word says about a clean heart as in a request for God to create it in him. Would that mean that he, she or you and I don't have one to begin with? Would that our hearts be clean, what would be different in our lives? Would it be better or would it give other people the opportunity to take advantage of us? However in that passage, the speaker asks for the clean heart with a condition. He would like to teach transgressors the ways of God and convert sinners over to Him (Psalm 51:10-13 KJV). Could he not have done this with the heart that he has seeing that it is a will of his to teach the ways of God? Doesn't he already have a clean heart by faith or has he discovered something within himself that would not be pleasing to God (Romans 12:1 KJV)?

Have you ever seen beautiful people but when you get the chance to know them that the inside doesn't match the outward appearance? Have you seen the not so appealing people and then find that those people have a heart of gold and you regret missing out on the wonderful friendship you could have had earlier? But then there are those who are ugly on the inside and out. You know, there is a saying about being ugly to the bone. Have you met anyone that just seemed to have a complaint about everything but when you try to shed some light, even being determined to keep your joy no matter how hard that person tries to crap up your day... and still you couldn't spread not one drop of sunshine on an otherwise gloomy day for this person (Philippians 2:13-15 AMP)? Should you give up? Should you keep trying until you find that his grim look on everything starts to affect you (Titus 3:1-11 AMP)? What would this test be? Why did God give it to you?

There was this girl I worked with when I was a teenager in a restaurant. It was really my first job where I was making a steady paycheck. She wasn't liked by too many people and I figured she wasn't having all that great of a time in school. I had my friends there who were like everyone else to just stay away from the goofy girl with the big thick glasses. She spat when she spoke and this was not a good quality especially during the lunch break when the employees usually sat together. I would sit with her and my friends would call me over to them. I sympathized for her and said I would stay seated where I am. Sometimes, I might have had to change my drink because of food I had not eaten was floating in my glass, but I thought it was the right thing to do. This went on for a few months. I received a promotion to be the crew leader over the gang and even was trained do the scheduling of work hours. I deliberately changed some things because those that would not work were getting more hours then they deserved. But this girl expressed to me a vision she had in being an accountant when she graduates college. She said that getting on the register would be great experience for her. So I scheduled her training for the register and gave her more hours so she could meet that goal. I thought we got along well and I believed I helped build her confidence.

Thirty years later I saw this same girl (now a woman but still looking the same). I was going into a restaurant for a business lunch and there she was coming out of it. I said hello to her by calling her name. She turned and looked and said, "you have the advantage. Where do you know me from?" I jogged her memory by mentioning the restaurant name and who I was. She paused for a moment and said, "oh yes, I remember you. You were the one that slept with the managers to get your promotion. Yeah, good to see you again. I have to go my lunch hour is over." She was with someone and she left me stunned that she would say such a thing to me. I couldn't think of anything to defend myself because of the shock. Why... or how could she think that's what I did to get promoted? I sat with her spitty face when no one else did!!! They asked me out loud why did I sit with her, and she answered, "because Lenora is nice." I gave her extra hours when the managers wouldn't!!! I put up with her goofy butt when her own classmates talked about her. Yet it was those same class mates that weren't up for the promotion that talked about me behind my back. They weren't friends with her but they were around her long enough to spread gossip that she didn't defend me when she heard it. She believed it and all of these years later actually spoke it to me. Was it a waste for me to have even tried?

Just listen (or read) my reaction again. I didn't feel this way when I did those things for her as a teenager, but when she believed and said what her taunters said to her about me, my reaction was spitty face, goofy butt, and looked what I did for her. Was it that all along or did a weed grow somewhere trying to choke out the Word. Should there ever be a time where a Christian should be so shocked that the Word couldn't be thought of? Yet, there I was. I had to examine and evaluate some things myself so when I present myself, it will be acceptable unto God.

People can say the oddest things and they are more than likely the ones that are the closest to you. We still have to recall that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but principalities and evil spirits in high places (Ephesians 6:12 KJV). Having that understanding, we also must be aware of what we think, say and do. Just as someone saying something off of the cuff to us and it be in passing with them not thinking of how it is affecting you - you could have done the same thing and not realize it as well.

Ex-super model Cindy Crawford said in an interview that she never thought she was pretty. She felt awkward and gangly for so long. Even her sister didn't give her support. When she found that people called her mole a beauty mark, her sister said to her that the mole has to be on the other side to be considered a mark of beauty. Therefore in her mind, it being on the wrong side, it must then be a mark to show how ugly you are. How she went from one state of mind to the other is something between her and God, yet there she was.

In dating and later marrying the person we believed was perfect for sharing the rest of our lives with, we come to better know the other after the vows have been made. We find little things that we weren't privy to when the dating process was going on. Some of us dated because we were led of the Spirit to do so while others were following what is expected of us being the age we are and having the feelings we have. In those discoveries of the new characteristics of the other, whether we like those new things or not, it is a clear reflection of seed we have been sowing in our own lives. As much as we think that there can be wolves coming to church services to get a clean wholesome person for marriage, God is still not mocked (Galatians 6:7 KJV). That which a man soweth, he shall also reap. If you marry a treacherous deceitful person it could very well mean he/she gravitated toward you because they recognized something there that has been hidden from everyone else - everyone but God (1 Samuel 16:& KJV).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Should Christians Desire Marriage?

Why would there be pressure to get married in the Christian sect? I don't just mean any sort of Christian. I mean the born again believer, professing that Jesus Christ is Lord and walking in love in all that you do sort of Christian. Can that sort - our sort, be pressured into getting married when he/she is perfectly happy being single (Hebrews 13:5 AMP)? What is the matter with being single? Is every believer the type to marry? Would your life truly be better and more fulfilling as a married person?

Seeing that each and every one of us have our own finger prints, that is how many of us are different and treated as individuals in the sight of God. If you didn't know, try doing the same thing someone else did to be blessed. Don't you hear it all of the time, I did that why did he get a new car for what he did (or an award, or a pat on the back, etc)? The answer is because he did what God told him and you did what you saw him doing. God told him to do this or that because of what he had been through prior to that instruction. You don't know what that was. So how could you get the same reward?

Some married folk are best friends all the way until the end. They almost walk in each other's shadow and enjoy each other's company beyond that newlywed year. There are no separate vacations. No consideration what life would have been like if the clock were able to be turned back. There is no hoping that he/she would find something else to do so the talking would ceased. And there is no feeling that the sound of the other person's voice is like nails against a chalk board or crunching glass in one's teeth would be more pleasant than hearing that shrill. It is the hope that God won't call the other home without him/her. It is the anticipation of seeing him/her come in the house/apartment after a long day. It is the excitement to share some news that no one else would be as excited about but that person with whom life is shared with. It is the oneness that is undeniably what the Word speaks of. It is what most Christian people hope for when making the decision to marry. Never a harsh word, never a broken promise, never an argument - who wouldn't desire this?

That's easy to answer. It's the one who sees all of the other marriages that don't have what is described above and the participants don't have a problem being vocal and public about it. It's the fear that there is a Jekyll/Hyde sort of person that is being aloof until vows are made. It's archaic views of a man who had his mother cut his food for him until he moved out and now expects his new wife to do the same. It's the woman who plans to have continual shopping sprees on a blue collar salary. Its the idea of being trapped and not being able to get out if you choose to. In a nutshell, it is not trusting God.

The only time I desire for a person to be single (other than asking me for a date) is when he/she is teaching me from a Christian perspective how to be happy as a single person - in single ministry. There are other things more aggravating and this is right up there with the top ten. How easy is it for a married speaker to be sarcastic with the topic of overwhelming sexual desire when after their eloquent speech they can go home and be with their spouse? Though the person was single at one point, it is difficult for the current single person to relate with the ease of the speaker. Of course you are at ease. But another single person has over come the temptations and can discuss each and every topic with relevant testimony and backed with the Word - he/she will be heard. Being single, I believe is a progressive stage to get to where God would have you to be. It is not a place where you are to stay in.

A man who has been single his entire life passed the age of forty should be asked a plethora of questions. Not because of a lack of trust in God but because of his reasoning as to why he waited for so long. Where was he? What was he doing all of this time? Why is it important for him to marry now as opposed to all of those years prior when all of his other friends married? Was he afraid? And of what? Those answers should satisfy the curiosity but if it only brings more questions, then go before the Lord for peace about the matter (Colosians 4:6 AMP).

A woman who has been single her entire life passed the age of thirty should be asked just as many questions. Though she is made for the man and not the other way around, she may have very well waited because she would rather not have children. Is that a problem for you? She may have thought her career was more important to her, does she still feel that same way? She may have had a complex about men from her past. Does she still have issues with men? With sex? With intimacy?

Marriage is a God idea. I believe it is available for every Christian who desires to marry. To those who don't have the desire as of yet, it could be because you aren't ready for that aisle walk and the until death do we part commitment. There is such finality in making that promise. Just remember when those fleshly desires try to raise up and you think it is better to marry then to burn, recall what Paul said about trouble and try to practice temperance. If it is too hard for you to master, then marry - it is not a sin for you to do so because of it. You have your reward - sex. But if you are looking for the complete blessing that God has in a good marriage, put in practice the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your time of being single. Making love that foundation by which you can stand, then you can receive the whole abundance Jesus came to give.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Love Never Fails

I awoke this morning with a slightly different perspective on what I thought to be the truth (Proverbs 21:2 KJV). You know, it is like when you have said something over and over again and you think you understand it but then while walking that familiar path you turn the corner and found someone changed that dim street lamp and all what wasn't seen becomes clear (Psalm 119:105 KJV).

I have written about love before from a woman's perspective, how I understand what men think and from the Word of God. I wrote about divorce in a Christian home  and why God hates it. I wrote about seed being sown in a marriage on the analogy of a farmer sowing into good ground with the expectation of a harvest and how this applies to men being the leaders of the household. I even tried to make clear when a man speaks harshly to the woman of his children, she cannot truly believe that in spite of those brutal words that he is still and excellent father.

On the basis of marriage, there must be a sure foundation. This foundation is the practice of love. Love is clearly defined in the bible (1 Corinthians 13:1-8 AMP). There is no misunderstanding in interpretation of this biblical definition. Then a passage that takes the structure of Corinthians and solidifies it with God is love (1 John 4:16 AMP).

Now what? How can one easily tell another that you love this person with that kind of definition that you just read? How can love be blind? How can you fall in and out of it? How can you divorce with that understanding knowing that divorce is a failure of a marriage? How can one profess Christianity when there is no failure in God?

Who do you love (Revelation 2:3-5 AMP)?