Tag Archives: wisdom

Respect


I once heard someone say, “If you want respect, you need to give respect.” They were purposefully disrespecting a person in authority because they felt like they weren’t getting the respect they deserved. Of course the situation escalated because now the manger was feeling disrespected. It created a vicious circle and a broken relationship. It was sad to watch, and unfortunately it’s pretty common in our world today.

The Bible has a lot to say about respecting others. However, in no place, does it say we are only to respect those who respect us. Our flesh is what cries out for that. You and I are to respect our parents, our leaders, and those in authority whether they deserve it or not because they are placed over us by God. You can disagree with them without being disrespectful, but God’s Word is clear. If each of us learned to respect others, a lot of strife would go away.

Here are some Bible verses on respect. 

1. Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do. “Respect your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise added: “so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land.” Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction.
Ephesians 6:1-4 GNT

2. Older men are to be level headed, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance.
Titus 2:2 HCSB

3. Show respect to the aged; honor the presence of an elder; fear your God. I am GOD.
Leviticus 19:32 MSG

4. Pay to all what is due: tax to whom tax is due, customs to whom customs, respect to whom respect, honor to whom honor.
ROMANS 13:7 AMP

5. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.
1 Peter 2:17 NLT

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Staying On Course


When I was a teenager, I was very involved in a camping program through my church. One of the badges I had to earn was for orienteering. I had to learn how to use a compass, read a map and plot courses on a map. I also had to go on a several mile hike through a dense forest using my compass. They handed me a topographical map of the area, gave me several coordinates and told me where to start. 

I took my first coordinate, set my compass and started walking. I had to measure my steps because my next turn was two hundred yards in. The deeper I got into the woods, the harder it was to find the markers I was looking for. It was also more difficult to look ahead several hundred yards. I had to go to a tree in my path, walk around it and reset my path. If I was barely off at all, I could be twenty yards or so from the hidden marker in the woods that I needed to write down.

I made it through the course and earned my badge. As I think back on that experience, it reminds me of what it’s like to follow God’s plan for my life. There’s no real trail, I just know the direction I’m supposed to go and I’m not sure where the markers are hidden. There have been many obstacles in my way that have tried to knock me off course, but I’ve kept at it. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same thing in your life.

Psalm 119:1-2 says, “You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by GOD. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him” (MSG). God has set a course for each one of us to run. He’s given us the compass of His Word to help us navigate, and the Holy Spirit to help us measure our steps. It’s up to each one of us to utilize the tools He’s given us to do what He’s called us to do. If you’re off course right now or stuck, go back to the Bible and seek the Holy Spirit’s help. You can get back on course and finish your race well. 

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Best Face Forward


I took an assessment at work last year that reveals things about your nature and how you do things when it comes to sales. A question came up a few times that listed about ten vocabulary words. In each instance, i knew all the words except one. The answers were: a) I know none of these words, b) I only know a couple of these words, c) I only know some of these words, and d) I know all of these words. I didn’t like those choices since I knew all but one. I reasoned that I would write the word down and look it up later, then chose “d”.

When I looked up the words that I didn’t know, they didn’t exist. I then got my results back that called me a Hyper-Pro. It revealed that I care about Impressions and that I will embellish things to make me look good. It affects the way I dress, act, sell, and speak. As I challenged the result, I had to look inside to see if it was true. I then had to find out why it was true, where it came from, and then correct it. The assessment revealed what was going on inside versus what I was showing outside. 

Proverbs 27:19 says, “It is your own face that you see reflected in the water and it is your own self that you see in your heart” (GNT). We spend a lot of time and effort trying to hide our heart because it reveals who we really are. We are afraid no one will love us if they really knew our heart. So we put our best face forward. The real problem is that we try the same thing when we approach God. We may be able to fool people, but we aren’t fooling God.

When Samuel went to choose a king for Israel, he looked at all of Jesse’s sons. He saw their outward appear and thought they were kingly, but God said, “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Your heart reveals who you really are. That’s why God looks at it. Even if you have flaws like me, and you try to cover them up, God sees you for who you really are. You don’t have to put your best face forward because that’s not what He’s looking at. He knows who you really are, and He loves and accepts you as His child. 

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Diligent Faith


I like to ask people to give me one word to describe what makes them successful. I get a lot of the same words from people like: personable, knowledgeable, honest, trustworthy, determined, and selfless. A word that I’ve yet to hear is diligent. It’s not a word we use that often anymore in our daily vocabulary, but it’s still a great word. It means to be constant in effort or to be persistent in trying to accomplish something. It’s about not giving up.

It’s a great word to describe how to be more successful at following God. Imagine if we became more persistent in chasing after Him or if we were more constant in our effort to know Him. How much stronger would our faith be? As I read Hebrews 11 (the Hall of Faith), I can’t help but see these men and women as diligent people. The greatest people of faith in the Bible had a common thing: they were diligent in their faith to follow God. If we want to live greater lives of faith, we should become more diligent in following God.

Here are some Bible verses about being diligent. 

1. The soul (appetite) of the lazy person craves and gets nothing [for lethargy overcomes ambition], But the soul (appetite) of the diligent [who works willingly] is rich and abundantly supplied.
PROVERBS 13:4 AMP

2. Our people have to learn to be diligent in their work so that all necessities are met (especially among the needy) and they don’t end up with nothing to show for their lives.
Titus 3:14 MSG

3. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward.
2 John 1:8 NLT

4. So be very diligent to love the Lord your God for your own well-being.
Joshua 23:11 HCSB

5. But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.
HEBREWS 11:6 AMP

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Absolute Truth Exists


My parents bought a basketball goal for my birthday one year. Because it was the newest, all the kids on the street would come over to play ball in our driveway. We wanted to practice our free throws, so I measured out 15 feet by standing directly under the goal and put my feet end to end 15 times and marked a line. One of the neighbor kids said that wasn’t 15 feet, and he did the same thing and drew a different line. After several of us went and we were arguing over which was 15 feet, my dad came out with a tape measure and marked it.

Unfortunately in our world today, the argument for what is truth has become the same way we measured the free throw line. Each person tries to measure it for themselves and it gets all of us arguing. The problem with that is that there is a measuring tape to determine what is truth, and it’s the Word of God. Truth has not become relative to whomever holds it because there is still an absolute standard God’s Word. It has not changed, and we must remember to see it as such in today’s world. 

Here are some Bible verses about truth.

1. So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm.
Hebrews 2:1-2 NLT

2. So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you.
Ephesians 6:14-17 GNT

3. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32 HCSB

4. (Jesus praying for us) I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.
John 17:15-18 NLT

5. Jesus said to him, “ I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
JOHN 14:6 AMP

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God Is A Teacher


The difference between hearing and learning is often the difference between telling and teaching. Imagine if our schools had tellers instead of teachers. Not much good would come from going to school. Instead, teachers focus on helping the students learn and understand how the learning applies to their life. Tellers just give you information and it’s up to you to figure out what to do with it.

I think it’s important to understand the difference because God is a teacher. He doesn’t want us to just hear His Word, He wants us to apply it. Since the begging of time, He has been trying to teach us the right way to live do well prosper spiritually and physically. Learning is not just up to the teacher though. The student has to be prepared to learn and willing to. We need to prepare our hearts and minds daily to hear from God so we are ready to apply what He’s teaching to our lives. 

Here are some Bible verses on God teaching us.

1. Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do, and I will obey you faithfully; teach me to serve you with complete devotion.
Psalm 86:11 GNT

2. Whenever they bring you before synagogues and rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how you should defend yourselves or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what must be said.
Luke 12:11-12 HCSB

3. Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.
Psalms 90:12 NLT

4. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You [and only You] I wait [expectantly] all the day long.
PSALM 25:5 AMP

5. Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged.
Luke 18:1 GNT

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The Blessing Thief

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

If I’m honest, I’d rather be a person who helps others than a person who receives help from others. It’s hard for me to accept help even when I need it. There have been times in my life though when I’ve needed help because I was unable to do what needed to be done. When others tried to help, I tried to push them away. Then one day, a person who was trying to help me said, “You’re robbing me of my blessing if you don’t let me help!” I had never thought of it like that.

I had forgotten that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I was definitely blessed by their giving, but I didn’t think about the blessing on the other side. I know they weren’t doing it for the blessing, but in my refusal, I was robbing them of what they would have received from God for helping me. Every act of service gets two blessings. By declining my blessing (them helping me), I was denying them theirs. So why do we reject help?

For me, I grew up in a family that needed the help of others often. God was always faithful to us and people showed up at the right times. I’ll never forget one family that helped me in particular. As they gave me a tremendous gift, I asked how I could repay them. They said, “One day when you’re able, do the same for others.” I decided then and there that I wanted to be a person who helped others rather than a person who needed help. So when I need help, it takes me back to that time and the feelings of being the poor kid back.

In Matthew 10, Jesus was sending out the disciples to preach all over Israel. He told them not to take any money, which meant they would be dependent on other’s help. He knew that if we needed help, it would also keep us humble. In verse 41 He spoke a life changing truth when He said, “Accepting help is as good as giving help” (MSG). By accepting help from others, you are actually helping them. They get a blessing from your acceptance. Don’t deny or rob others of blessings because of your pride. Look at it as your way of helping them when you have nothing else to give. Don’t be a blessing thief.

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