Thoughts for the Week

Archive for January, 2016

Slacker!

At times, it can be very easy to not do your best.

When a task at work becomes tedious, boring, or difficult, it takes a lot of self-control to not allow yourself to become complacent. It’s difficult to give 100% to a job you find hard or just plain boring.

On the flip side, it can be just as stressful working a job for a boss you can’t respect. Perhaps he or she has unrealistic deadlines, or they don’t value your work, or maybe they’re just not a nice person.

It’s a good thing that our motivation to work well doesn’t need to be based on how well we like our job or our bosses.

According to Colossians 3:23, we are told to “Whatever [we] do, [we should] work at it with all [our] heart[s], as working for the Lord, not for men” (NIV).

Whatever your job is, God sees it as an acknowledgement to him if you apply yourself as if working on it for him. Ultimately, he is the best, most just, most understanding boss to work for anyway.

Copyright 2016 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

 

Overdoing Good Things

Life is full of fascinating diversions and God made this incredible world full of things to explore, discover, and enjoy.

But sometimes I struggle with overdoing it.

Proverbs 25:16 brings up what happens when we overindulge in something good, “If you find honey, eat just enough – too much of it, and you will vomit”(NIV).

During Biblical times, honey was one of the sweetest and most delectable foods available. It was perhaps the equivalent to our ice cream, cakes, pies, and cookies.

However, this is not merely hinting at overeating. This principle can also apply to other good things in our lives. Netflix, social media, vacation time, shopping trips, and even time with friends can be overdone.

These things are the cultural “honey” of today. Very sweet and good. But it’s best to remember moderation, otherwise you may feel like you want to mentally and emotionally vomit. Anyone who has Netflix binged an entire TV show in one sitting can probably attest to this.

The healthiest way (physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually) to enjoy this amazing world God gave us is not all at once. Take breaks from a good activity now and then if you feel you’re getting too attached.

Go take a walk, stop and read something, or stop and pray for someone. It turns out you will probably like the activity even more once coming back to it.

Copyright 2016 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

Free or Not?

Christians make a lot of tough decisions.

They decide what they will eat, drink, wear, and what they will ultimately do. Since there are so many differing opinions, it’s easy to be at odds with another believer about lifestyle choices.

For gray areas where the Bible is not definitive, Christians could go back and forth on these issues indefinitely. However, there is a passage in 1 Corinthians that settles these types of disputes once and for all.

In 1 Cor. 8, the Apostle Paul brings up a hot topic that had caused much controversy in the early Church: Is it all right for a believer to eat food that had been sacrificed to an idol?

Some were adamant that yes, eating the food is fine. Some were adamant that no, a Christian should never partake in sacrificed food to idols.

Paul plainly points out that “food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do” (8:8, NIV). But in the next verse he also warns Christians to not use this as an excuse as it could cause confusion and guilt to other fellow believers who may have chosen not to partake because of their conscience.

A previous college professor spelled out this issue for me by creating three simple questions for each side to ask themselves.

If people believe they are free to do/say/eat/drink/ect, they should ask themselves:

  1. Is this just an excuse for worldliness?
  2. Is this beneficial for me and others?
  3. Am I being mastered by it?

And on the flip side, those who believe they are not free to do/say/eat/drink/ect, they should ask themselves:

  1. What is my motivation here?
  2. Is this God’s will or human tradition?
  3. Am I trying to be holy, or just grouchy?

Paul is pointing out that we should choose love over enlightenment or correctness.

Wipe Away Every Tear

Are you the kind of person who likes to know how a story will end?

The Bible gives away how the world ends in the book of Revelation. Ultimately, the book can be summed up in one thought: The bad guys lose, and the good guys win forever.

On our way to life’s finale, we can easily become depressed, discouraged, or feel despair. But I was encouraged recently by the intimate word picture given when Satan and his horde are defeated, and God comes to his people.

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:3-4, NIV).

The most striking feature of this passage is how God himself wipes away his people’s tears. One has to be physically and emotionally close to another to wipe away someone else’s tears; it’s a tender experience. God here is not depicted as a distant and aloof ruler, but as a close, loving Father who wants to heal the hurts of his beloved children.

Life is full of reasons to cry. Just remember that at the end of it, there’s a tenderhearted Father waiting for you to come home, so he can finally wipe away your tears for good.

Copyright 2016 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

Tag Cloud