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A Proverb a Day Shows You the Way

Jul 31, 2017


There is a book in the Bible which is full of wisdom for our everyday lives: The book of Proverbs. I want to share some proverbs with you which will show you the way! Let’s look at five different proverbs and see the wisdom that is there for us. I encourage you to make Proverbs a daily reading habit. There are 31 chapters, so it’s easy to read the chapter that corresponds to the day of the month. I’ve been doing that for several years, and find the practical advice has been most beneficial in my life.

Let’s look at Proverbs 22:10: “Drive out the mocker and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended” (New International Version). Another translation reads, “Drive out the scoffer and contention will go out. Even strife and dishonor will cease” (New American Standard Bible).

Have you ever worked with a person who was a mocker and a scoffer? That’s the person who makes fun of others, ridicules people and organizations, and is arrogant and causes problems seemingly on purpose. When there’s a mocker in the group, the work environment can be pretty miserable.

This proverb says that by getting rid of a mocker, you get rid of strife. If you are in a management position, it’s good to remember that there are times when the best thing you can do is to let an employee go. Now, I hope that doesn’t sound cruel. However, a person who is intent on offending others—and sadly, some people are—can have very detrimental effects on an organization.

As Christians, we still must care about people regardless of how unlovable they are. Though we can never change people, the Holy Spirit can, so we shouldn’t give up praying for them. But that doesn’t mean we allow them to ruin the work environment for everyone else. Remember, the workplace is not a rehab center or a counseling office. We want to help people when possible, but we don’t hire people to reform or change them; we hire them to do a job.

Solomon, in his wisdom, said that you’re better off to drive out the mocker and the scoffer, for by so doing, the strife and dishonor will stop, people will be able to work productively together, and everyone will benefit, including the person who is the trouble maker. Allowing him or her to continue to get by with that inappropriate behavior does not help that individual.


Fran & Jesus on the Job – Dishonest Co-Worker

Feb 6, 2017


Fran is a workplace woman learning to practice the presence of Jesus in her everyday job. Her story helps us learn to talk to Jesus about everything and to apply his Word to our struggles, on and off the job.

Fran’s co-worker and sister in Christ, Louise, has asked to have lunch with Fran today, and Fran senses something is wrong. As they meet, Fran says to Louise, “You looked worried. I have a feeling something is bothering you.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Louise agrees. “Fran, you know how Marilyn made such a point in the staff meeting last week about expense accounts, and she said we had to have receipts for everything, and we had to abide by the guidelines for the cost of meals.”

“Yeah,” Fran replies. “She told me that they’re really having to watch every penny these days.”

“Well,” Louise says, lowering her voice, “Jerry is—well, he’s lying about his expenses, charging personal meals to the company and stuff like that, and then putting things on his expense accounts without a receipt. And we had some words about it today.” Jerry is the senior account manager that Louise works with. While she reports to Marilyn, she is assigned to work with Jerry.

“What kind of words?” Fran asks.

“Well, I attached a note to his expense account to remind him of the guidelines, asked him for the receipts and for explanations of who the meals were with, etc.,” Louise explains. “Then he calls me in his office, and says ‘Since when are you telling me what can and cannot be on my expense accounts? I’ve been working for this company for twelve years and I’m not having someone question my expenses. You just sign it and turn it in, Louise,’ he said. ‘You’re not the expense police.'”

“Oh, great,” Fran says to Louise, “he really put you in a tough spot. What happened then?”

“Oh, Fran, I’m ashamed to tell you, but I didn’t have the guts to stand up to him. He is so intimidating, so I just took the report and said I’d see what I could do. I just walked out, and I should have stood up to him.”

“Louise, don’t be so hard on yourself,” Fran comforts her. “I probably would have done the same thing.”

“But Fran, I didn’t do the right thing,” Louise says.

“Louise, you were caught totally off-guard and that’s understandable. Besides, you haven’t signed the report yet, have you?” Fran asks.

“No, it’s still sitting on my desk, but it’s due tomorrow,” Louise says. “Now, what am I going to do?”

Fran says, “Look, Louise, we need to pray about this, don’t we. Why don’t you come over to the house tonight, and we’ll talk and pray about it. This is important.”


What Do You Do with the Hurt?

Feb 3, 2017


What do you do with the hurt? It truly is important to be intentional about getting past the hurts of our lives, because when we harbor them, they become destructive forces in our lives, they rob us of joy, and they allow bitterness to take root in our hearts.

There’s one last thing I would say about how you deal with the hurt you’ve experienced. It can sometimes be very important and very necessary for you to confront the person who caused the hurt. Here’s a good suggestion: Write down on a piece of paper or type into your computer exactly what is bothering you, how you have been hurt, and what you would like to say to that person. Then put that in a safe place for two days, and during those two days pray about what God would have you do.

After two days get the paper out or open it up, re-read it, and ask for God’s wisdom. If you still believe you should go to that person and settle this thing, then decide how to tell the truth in love, make sure you’re not acting in anger or just self-interest, and then go to them at an appropriate time.

If you’re not willing to do that, or it no longer seems that important, tear up that piece of paper or delete it from your computer and say to the Lord, “I’m putting this behind me; it is in the past and you will take care of it from this point on. I will, by your grace, get over it.” The worst thing you can do is to keep brooding about it. Either do something or get over it.

Let me close with one of my favorite passages from Isaiah 61:1-3:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.


What Do You Do with the Hurt?

Feb 2, 2017


I’ve been talking about what you can do when you’ve been hurt—how to deal with the pain that remains. I pointed out that the hurt we feel resides in our minds, in our thought patterns. Therefore to be free from hurt, you must change your thoughts. The Bible says we must bring our thoughts into captivity and make them obedient to Christ, and that’s exactly what we have to do with the hurt—we drive it from our thoughts by replacing it with good thoughts, positive thoughts, thoughts filled with the love that God has for you.

Then you need to confess whatever responsibility you may have in the hurt. While you may not have had the same amount of responsibility, there may have been a part you played which contributed to the hurt. If so, get it out, confess it, and acknowledge it to yourself and to God. Covering it up or denying it will just allow it to stay alive within you and continue to cause you great harm.

It’s important to get beyond seeing yourself as a victim. Have you become addicted to your pity parties? Believe me, that can happen. It’s that feeling of “it’s me against the world,” and I have a right to be hurt! Of course, your hurt feelings matter, and I don’t mean to make light of the hurt you’ve experienced. But when you allow your feelings to override all else and control you, you put yourself in the victim seat and that is a terrible place to be.

You have choices every day to choose how you’re going to feel. Paul wrote to the Philippians that they should “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice.” It’s a choice you can make and the good news is, as a believer in Jesus Christ, you have power far above your own to give you the victory in this battle. With prayer and trusting in the Lord, you can get out of that miserable victim’s seat.

I’ve discovered that another very important thing to do to put hurt behind me is simply to get busy doing something constructive. This is one time you need to get involved in constructive activity that will take your mind off of your hurt feelings and shut down that pity party. A friend of mine tells me that her great-grandmother would frequently say to her, “If you have time to feel sorry for yourself, then you don’t have enough chores to do.” As she puts it, “It is more difficult to ‘wear your feelings on your shirt sleeve’ when you’re ‘rolling up your shirt sleeves’ and serving others.”


What Do You Do with the Hurt?

Feb 1, 2017


Have you been hurt lately? Most of us can recall some fairly recent hurt feelings, can’t we? So, what do we do with the hurt? All-too-often we wallow in the hurt, remembering and retelling it and that just allows the hurt to grow.

A friend of mine wrote this in an article on hurt feelings:

When you’re hurt, do you listen well to the Holy Spirit? Or, are you so busy talking about your hurt that He doesn’t have a chance to get a word in edgewise. Without a supernatural, God-response to hurt, we often wallow in self-pity and embroider around the injustice, especially to our friends or family who will listen. Repeatedly talking about hurt only confirms, convinces, consumes and sets the offense in concrete. In fact, injustice, like a fishing story, always becomes larger in the retelling.

Think about this: The hurt exists in your mind, in your thoughts. It’s all about what you’re thinking about. The hurt continues to be painful because you continue to think about it. If you can learn to bring those hurtful thoughts into captivity and make them obedient to Christ, as we are admonished to do in 2 Corinthians 10:5, then you will begin to find freedom from the hurt.

Philippians 4:8 tells us to think of things that are a good report. Usually when our feelings have been hurt, we are thinking about some bad report. It has helped me greatly to tell myself over and over again, when I’m tempted to dwell on some hurt, “Mary, stop thinking about the bad reports. Think about some good reports.” Think of something good that happened recently. Think of someone who loves you. Think of the wonderful truth that as a Christ-follower, you are loved by Jesus Christ and nothing can separate you from his love.

If you want to get rid of the hurt, the first thing you have to do is to make the decision to let it go. And that means you have to carefully guard your thought life and refuse to let your thoughts go to that hurtful place. When you begin to dwell on the hurt, talk out loud to yourself and say, “Stop it. I’m not going there today. I choose to dwell on some good reports.” Let me assure you that you can change your thought patterns, by God’s grace and with his help, if you truly determine to do it.



What Do You Do with the Hurt?

Jan 31, 2017


What do you do with the hurt? I don’t have to tell you that life is full of hurt. But it’s what you do with the hurt that will determine if it overcomes you or you have victory over the hurt.

Years ago God began to reveal to me how hooked I was on pity parties. That was my way of dealing with hurt—I just indulged in lots of self-pity. And what came as a major revelation to me was that God sees it as a sin. Whether or not I have a legitimate complaint, wallowing in self-pity, nurturing my hurt feelings was not what a mature Christian should do. I wanted to grow up in Christ, to become more like Jesus, and I began to see how wrong and silly it was for me to insist on my pity parties.

I well remember the night I came home from work with my feelings hurt—again—by my insensitive boss. I was nurturing those hurt feelings by going over in my mind his hurtful words, what I wished I had said to him, what I would say to him someday, how unfair he was, ad infinitum. Instead of doing something productive, I plopped down to waste an evening by throwing another pity party, and pity parties are indeed pitiful since no one ever comes and there is nothing to celebrate.

As I began to indulge myself by feeling sorry for myself, I stopped and thought, I don’t want to feel sorry for myself. I don’t want to be miserable. I will not throw a pity party tonight. And with that I got busy, put those hurt feelings behind me, and got over it! It was a major turning point for me, as I began to learn that I didn’t have to hold onto those hurt feelings. I could, by a set of my will with the power of God’s Spirit, get over it.

Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hurt feelings turn into bitter roots, and those bitter roots grow up to cause trouble.

If you don’t determine to let go of the hurt, it will quickly turn into bitterness, and that is one of the most destructive forces in the world. It causes trouble and defiles many, as the writer to the Hebrews tells us. So then the hurt starts to poison everyone around you, as it spills over to others in your life. The good news is that you can let go of the hurt by God’s grace. It is possible to live free from the hurts you are harboring.

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