The Apple Of God's Eye

February 22, 2010

Retaliation In Anger Is Hatred!

Filed under: Hatred — melchia @ 3:11 am
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Allowing our temper to fester, or holding a grudge, could turn into hatred for the other person. This would be breaking the spirit of the Sixth Commandment (Matthew 5:21-22). None of these responses would do anything but hurt both you or the other person.

Your goal should not be to prove that you are correct, that the other person is wrong or that you are treated fairly in the future. If these are your goals, you will be unsuccessful in dealing with your anger. You must have a goal of getting rid of your angry emotions and improving your relationship with the other person.

Don’t allow yourself to act or speak before you think. Remember to stay in control of your emotions. Begin talking to the other person calmly and rationally. Let him know what he has done that has hurt you and angered you.

Name-calling and insults will only worsen the problem. Express how you feel and try to build upon common characteristics. This will require tact and self-control on your part. Ask God to help you to grow in these character traits.

Even if the other person started the problem and is completely wrong, you must swallow your pride and be willing to forgive. Try to look at things from his point of view. Give him the benefit of the doubt, and don’t judge him too harshly. Follow God’s example of being slow to anger (Nehemiah 9:17) and willing to forgive (1 John 1:9).

July 8, 2009

Is It Permissible For Christians To Fight In Self-Defence?

Jesus said, “Resist not evil … whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5:39). Does this mean Christians must never defend ourselves?

The Bible makes it clear we are to live by God’s law of love in every aspect of our lives. Therefore it would never be right for a Christian to fight back with the purpose of inflicting bodily injury, even if provoked.

Nonetheless, the use of RESTRAINING FORCE may at times be necessary and advisable. For example, if someone tried to strike you with a club, it would not be wrong to restrain the attacker if you were able.

The best defense is to avoid circumstances which are dangerous or threatening. In case of emergency, we should quickly ask God, in prayer, for protection and deliverance. God hears those who are faithful to Him (see Hebrews 11:6 and I John 3:22).

But, what of “turning the other cheek”? Does that mean Christians are to be pushovers and doormats? Certainly not! Jesus Christ was not. Jesus had the wisdom to know when to avoid confrontations and when to challenge injustice and evil. He forced the money changers out of the temple. Yet, He submitted to the most horrible verbal and physical abuse and finally allowed Himself to be crucified (thereby fulfilling His commission). But, through it all, Jesus set us an example of the type of attitude we ought to have, no matter what the circumstances.

The apostle Paul wrote, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written,
Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). What should a Christian do in the face of evil and injustice? The answer is, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (verse 21).

If we have a godly attitude and a proper personal relationship with God, we can have total confidence that He is
watching over us and will protect us from harm and evil according to His will (see Psalm 91).

June 2, 2009

The Power Of Words: Is Talk Cheap?

Filed under: Attitude,Hatred — melchia @ 6:42 am

We have all grown up in a world that places little value on a person’s word. People say things that aren’t true, make promises they do not intend to keep, say cutting things designed to hurt and belittle.

The attitude seems to be summed up in the expression, “Talk is cheap.”

But is it?

When God spoke, mountains arose and the covering seas were pushed back from the land throughout the world. When God spoke, plant, fish, bird and animal life was created upon the earth. When God spoke, humanity came into existence.
When God speaks in judgment, He speaks with a sharp, two-edged sword (Revelation 1:16, 2:12), clearly distinguishing between good and evil works. That sword is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

Hebrews 4:12 explains: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

If words are so powerful and so important to God, should not they also be important to us? With words we give answer to our accusers, discover and reveal error, admonish relatives and friends to avoid evil, reward loved ones and praise our Creator.

Those in positions of responsibility and authority make rules, reward achievers and punish the slothful — all with words.

Also with words, God’s Church is to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Cutting words

Our words can be sharp. They are capable of cutting to the heart of a matter. With God’s guidance we can use words to promote good and avoid evil, but if we are malicious or careless in what we say, we err exceedingly and betray a trust our Creator places in everyone He calls.

True Christians are often shocked by man’s inhumanity to man, yet sometimes we speak words to one another that bear that same violent animosity.

James asks: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:1-2).

In modern vernacular, people seek their own desires. Instead of turning to God for guidance as obedient children under His authority, people take matters into their own hands. When someone blocks their goals, they become frustrated and develop resentments and hatreds.

David prayed, in Psalm 64:2-3: “Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked, from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity, who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows — bitter words.”

Murder statistics from various nations reveal the shocking fact that most murders occur within the home. Certainly, most of us would not think of ourselves as capable of slashing our loved ones with a sharp sword or shooting them with arrows, but to chop someone up with bitter, hateful words is akin to assaulting him with a deadly weapon.

Spiritual wounds, which may never heal, threaten the eternal lives of spiritual brothers and sisters just as certainly as fleshly wounds threaten their physical lives. Of course, if you’re on the receiving end of these sharp swords and arrows, you cannot often change what others say about you. But the hurt that results from these stinging words may make you guard your own words more diligently.

If you have been wounded by words, you must not allow the wound to fester. If you even suspect that you harbor ill will toward anyone, pray that God will reveal it to you and grant you repentance in order to help you root out this contrary spirit. A root of bitterness can be spiritually fatal (Hebrews 12:15).

The spiritual mirror

If you look into that mirror of righteousness, the Bible (James 1:23-25), and find yourself guilty of abusive words or irresponsibility with your tongue, what should you do?

If you have been guilty of bitter words with your loved ones, or if you have indulged in gossip — that ugly practice of telling things about others that hurts their reputation or that keeps sins from being forgotten — or if you have used verbal knives against your competitors in business, what should you do?

Ultimately all our sins are against God. Seek Him with a “broken and a contrite heart” as David did in the 51st Psalm, and He will forgive you: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1, 17).

Repeated sins build habits

Deeply established habits of gossip or misuse of the tongue cannot be broken with just a simple resolve to quit. You may need to fast and pray many times that God will not only forgive you but will help you to repent and to replace evil, destructive speech habits with wholesome, constructive ones.

When God has answered your prayers and granted you repentance, you won’t need reassurances; you will know by the change that has come over you. But you will need to keep vigilant. It is easy to slip back.

You will also find yourself deeply concerned for those who might still be hurting from your actions — people who could be harboring ill feelings to their own detriment.

Now you should follow the admonition Christ gave in Matthew 5:23-24: “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

God will not accept your gift of prayer with this offense hanging over your head. It will affect your conscience until you do the right thing about it.

But when you go, go to your brother solely to bind up that wound. Don’t go to demonstrate what a good person you are or to try to justify what you did. Go with a pure, sincere, loving heart.

Misused, our words can cut deep wounds, but spoken thoughtfully, sensitively and honestly, they can also go a long way toward healing those wounds and building better relationships.

Source: The Good News, 1984

May 24, 2009

Arguments: Teach Your Mouth!

Filed under: Attitude,Hatred — melchia @ 1:32 am
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True Christians must learn to control what comes out of their mouth. Proverbs 16:23 says:

“The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.”

Educate yourself in good things, so you will have good, upbuilding things to say:

“The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”

So don’t speak hastily. The things you say are very important; and many people aren’t careful about that. But God is highly concerned! (Ps. 37:30-31).

Sometimes what we say results in arguments. The root cause is usually pride (Luke 22:24) – a result of someone thinking too highly of himself. Lust is also a huge factor in division among people (Jam. 4:1). God says He resists the proud and give grace to the humble – not to the loudest, the most powerful, or the quickest of wit. Remember, if we’re looking out for the other person instead, that will eliminate a lot of arguing.

April 29, 2009

Does Luke 14:26 Say We Are To Hate Our Family?

Filed under: Hatred,Love Of God — melchia @ 5:53 am
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Luke 14:26 reads: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Revised Authorized Version). 

At another time, Jesus charged His disciples: “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies” (Luke 6:27). He also said: “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them” (Luke 6:31-32, RAV). In other words, Jesus clearly commands us not only to love those who love us — which should include our relatives — but also to love our enemies who hate us. 

Since the Bible does not contradict itself (John 10:35), what did Jesus mean when He said “hate” in Luke 14:26? The Greek word for “hate” in this verse is “misei.” Its Greek root can mean “to love less, to postpone in love or esteem, to slight” (“Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament”). 

What Jesus is saying, then, is that anyone who follows Him must love Him MORE than family or relatives or even his own life. In comparison to the greater love we ought to have for Jesus Christ — the One who died for us, our Saviour and Redeemer — the love we have for human relatives must be less. Jesus said that the second great commandment is: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:39). But what is the first great commandment? It is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:37-38). 

One who has such love for God and His way of life will not compromise principle. He will not put any human relationship before God.

March 14, 2009

The Biblical History Of The Black Race

The Bible shows that all races are descended from Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:20). God intended that there be different races to develop the differing climatic areas of the world (Acts 17:26). Accordingly, it appears that God placed within Eve’s ovaries the genetic material which would produce the various racial characteristics in humankind.

The different races we find on earth today were preserved through the Flood by the wives of Noah’s sons. Noah’s sons were white, as was the wife of Shem. The white race was continued through Shem and his wife, the black race through Ham’s wife, and the yellow race through Japheth’s wife. God tells us He separated the families of man and decreed the boundaries of their dwelling places (Deut. 32:8). He intended that there be different nationalities and races and caused this to occur.

Sometime after the Flood many black people migrated to Africa. There, sad to say, they have been divided and hindered by tribalism. As the centuries passed, they did not develop technologically in comparison with other cultures. And, in this evil world where the strong prey upon the weak, evil men bought or captured many blacks for use as slaves in the New World. Often these slave traders bought the slaves from black men who rounded up their enemies from other tribes for the purpose of selling them into slavery. So, there were evil men on both sides.

Racial prejudice does not exist just between blacks and whites. This evil is found wherever peoples of different races and cultures rub together in competition for jobs, property, and wealth. In the United States the whites had the power to oppress the blacks, so that is what happened. The blacks and browns are at each other’s throats in parts of Africa. In Indochina there have been endless struggles for domination by one people or another. And, of course, there was the red versus white battle in the conquest of this land. No group has been guiltless; racial hatred is universal in all races, societies, and cultures. It is a terrible compulsion put into human hearts by Satan the devil — the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4).

Concerning blacks in prophecy, the Bible primarily concerns the history and future of Israel.  He intended Israel to set an example for all the other nations and to teach them His way. Because other peoples are generally mentioned only as they come into contact with Israel, the Bible does not say much specifically about the black race. A Bible concordance and other study aids will help you find where these people are referred to in some of the prophecies.

All people will continue to partake of both the blessings and curses which God will send upon the descendants of Israel (not the modern country). The ultimate destiny of man — whether black, brown, white, red, or yellow — are to be resurrected into the family of God. So therefore the Bible is not a book by a white God for white people only.  There is no racial prejudice with God: “God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35). Those who will put aside racial and other hatreds now and seek God, letting His Spirit reform and develop godly character, will be made immortal when Christ comes. Then all men will be taught to live in peace (Isa. 2:2-4). There will be a new era of blessings for all people.

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