NEVER Compare Yourself with Others

If you COMPARE yourself with OTHERS, you will end up being vain or bitter. For there will ALWAYS be greater and lesser persons than YOURSELF.

As the Bible says in Galatians 6:4, “Let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person.”

Humility and Acceptance

 

Back when I was in College, as part of our psychology-psychiatry subject, I remembered an experience when we were to observe mentally ill persons in a mental hospital.

While I was walking my way to the assigned room in a mental hospital, I observed that there were some patients with their nurses passing along the hall.

The first patient on the hall was very happy and laughing all the way. I told the nurse that her patient was a very happy person, but she said “Yes she is, that’s actually the problem. She doesn’t like to take her medicine.”

I asked her why, and she answered “she said there’s nothing wrong with her, and that she is not mentally ill. She is actually happy with her life. And whenever I insist that she needs taking her medicine, she will be really mad at me and she’ll turn wild.”

As they continue going to the patients room, I heard her patient yell at her saying “You are the crazy one! I am not! You are the mentally ill one! I am not! You should take your medicine, not me!”

Well anyway, I walked my way and approached the door of the patient I’ll be observing. I knocked, and the nurse opened the door.  I greeted them both. The parient smiled at me. It seemed like there’s nothing wrong with her. She looks very clean and attentive.

“How is she”, I asked the nurse.

“She is doing really good. In fact, her family will take her home soon.”

I saw her smiling. She looks happy hearing she’ll be back home soon. It seemed like she could grasp everything we’re talking about.

“Hello, what’s your name?” I asked the patient.

“I’m Ruby” she answered while smiling at me.

“It is good to know you are well now. I’m happy to hear that you’ll be with your family soon.”

I was mesmerized with what Ruby said next.

“Yes, It was really hard to be mentally ill.  I know I was.  I needed to be aware of my condition first and accept the reality in order to be cured.”

With what she said, I remember the first patient passing along the hall who never admits her real condition.  I was trying to support her statement when I told her about the patient I saw a while ago. And she nod and said “Yes, that’s what I’m trying to say. Ara is getting severe now. She doesn’t want to be cured because she herself thinks she is okay. She rejects reality, therefore, she rejects help. She needs to accept things first in order to be healed.”

I was speechless, with a wow on my eyes on what she have said.

“Ruby, you are really right”… Those are the only words I could have said after that.

Yes we had a long hours of talk about things. After that observation, I bid goodbye and thank Ruby for the wonderful time we had together even if it’s a short visit. I learned a lot from her.

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Isn’t it true that improvement, development, moving on, being healed and being cured ALWAYS begin with ACCEPTANCE?

If you accept feedback and criticisms, your performance improve.

If you accept things that are unchangeable and uncontrollable, you are able to move on.

If you accept you are wrong in a certain matter, you became wiser than before.

If you accept you are sick, you seek help, eventually you are cured.

If you accept you are not good enough in a certain skill, you strive to improve and develop more!

 

ACCEPTANCE is really important in every aspects of life. And you can only accept things if you have the what we call H-U-M-I-L-I-T-Y. That’s the reason why Humilty and Acceptance always come together.

Proverbs 19:20 – “Listen to counsel and accept discipline, in order to become wise in your future.”

Humility not only heals and helps you be happy and excel in things, it also saves you from pain and destruction, because when you have this virtue, it helps you gain God’s approval.  As James 4:6 says “God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.” Remember, humility listens and accepts.

Psalms 138:6 – “Though Jehovah is high, he takes note of the humble, but the haughty he knows only from the distance.”

2 Samuel 22:28 – “For you save those who are humble, But your eyes are against the haughty and you abase them.”

Proverbs 4:10 – “Listen, my son, and accept my sayings, And the years of your life will be many.”

Isn’t it humility a very attractive attitude?

Humble ones are joyful people. Why? Joy is one of the fruitage of God’s holy spirit stated in Galatians 5:22,23. Trusting God and asking for his holy spirit is HUMILITY, and Luke 11:13 says that He will give his holy spirit to those asking him.

Humble ones also excels in things. They apologizes and correct things when they’ve done wrong. They continuously improve. They’re the ones who thinks broadly and never narrow on things. They know they have to learn more, and when they’ve learned something, they give the praise to the one who gives us everything, God. They know they needed God’s guidance all the way.

1 Corinthians 10:13 – “So let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall.”

Psalm 14:1 – “The foolish one says in his heart: ‘There is no Jehovah.'”

Yes, humble people believes that their confidence is God, and that’s what gives them success in every aspects of their life.

Psalm 1:1-3 – “Happy is the man who does not walk according to the advice of the wicked, And does not stand on the path of sinner, And does not sit in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of Jehovah, And he reads His law in an undertone day and night. He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, A tree that produces fruit in its season. The foliage of which does not wither. And everything he does will succeed.”

Did Our Languages Come From the “Tower of Babel”?

“Jehovah scattered them from there over all the surface of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city. That is why its name was called Babel, because there Jehovah had confused the language of all the earth.”—Genesis 11:8, 9.

 

 

DID that event recorded in the Bible really happen? Did people start speaking different languages all at once, as described? Some scoff at the Bible’s account of how human languages began and spread. One author claims: “The Tower of Babel myth is definitely one of the most absurd stories ever told.” Even a Jewish rabbi called it “a naive attempt to explain the origin of nations.”

Why do people reject the Babel account? Simply put, it contradicts certain theories regarding the origin of language. For example, some scholars suggest that language groups did not appear suddenly but evolved gradually from one “mother tongue.” Others believe that several original languages developed independently, advancing from simple grunts to complex speech. These and other conflicting theories have caused many to agree with Professor W. T. Fitch, who wrote in his book The Evolution of Language: “We do not yet have fully convincing answers.”

What have archaeologists and researchers uncovered regarding the origin and development of human languages? Do their discoveries confirm any of the proposed theories? Or do the findings support the Babel account? First let us take a closer look at that Bible account.

 

WHERE AND WHEN DID IT HAPPEN?

The Bible states that the confusion of language and dispersion of the people took place “in the land of Shinar,” later called Babylonia. (Genesis 11:2) When did that happen? “The earth [“earth’s population,” footnote] was divided,” says the Bible, in the days of Peleg, who was born about 250 years before Abraham. So the events of Babel evidently took place some 4,200 years ago.—Genesis 10:25;11:18-26.

Some scholars theorize that modern languages stem from one original language—the so-called mother tongue that they thought humans spoke nearly 100,000 years ago. Others claim that today’s languages are related to several root languages spoken at least 6,000 years ago. But how do linguists reconstruct the development of extinct languages? “That is tricky,” says the Economist magazine. “Unlike biologists, linguists do not have fossils to guide them through the past.” The magazine adds that one evolutionary linguist arrives at his conclusions by “mathematically informed guesswork.”

Nevertheless, “linguistic fossils” do exist. What are these fossils, and what do they reveal regarding the origin of human languages? The New Encyclopædia Britannica explains: “The earliest records of written language, the only linguistic fossils man can hope to have, go back no more than about 4,000 or 5,000 years.” Where did archaeologists discover these “linguistic fossils,” or “records of written language”? In lower Mesopotamia—the site of ancient Shinar. Hence, the available physical evidence is in agreement with the facts stated in the Bible.

Archaeologists have unearthed several pyramidlike, stepped temple-towers in the vicinity of Shinar. The Bible says that the tower builders at Babel laid bricks, not stone, and used bitumen as mortar. (Genesis 11:3, 4) In Mesopotamia, stone was “rare or even entirely absent,” saysThe New Encyclopædia Britannica, while bitumen was plentiful.

 

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DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, DIFFERENT THINKING

The Bible account says that at Babel, God acted to “confuse their language that they may not listen to [“understand,” footnote] one another’s language.” (Genesis 11:7) As a result, the workers “left off building the city” of Babel and were scattered “over all the surface of the earth.” (Genesis 11:8, 9) Thus, the Bible does not say that all modern languages can be traced to a single “mother tongue.” Rather, it describes the sudden appearance of several apparently fully developed new languages, each capable of expressing the range of human feeling and thought and each different and distinct from the others.

What about the language groups of the world today? Are they fundamentally similar or different? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky wrote: “As linguists probed deeper into the world’s languages (7,000 or so, only a fraction of them analyzed), innumerable unpredictable differences emerged.” Yes, although tongues and dialects of one language family, such as Cantonese and Hakka in southern China, may be similar to one another, they are fundamentally different from those of another language family, say West Catalan or Valencian in Spain.

Languages shape the way people think about and describe the world around them—color, quantity, location, direction. For example, in one language a person says, “There is a bug on your right hand.” But in another language, one would say, “There is a bug on your southwesthand.” Such differences would be confusing, to say the  least. No wonder the builders at Babel found it impossible to continue their project.

 

GRUNTS OR COMPLEX SPEECH?

What was mankind’s original language like? The Bible reports that the first man, Adam, was able to coin new words when he named all the animals and flying creatures. (Genesis 2:20) Adam also composed poetry to express his feelings for his wife, and she clearly described what God had commanded and the consequences of disobeying Him. (Genesis 2:23; 3:1-3) The first language, then, enabled humans to communicate fully and to express themselves creatively.

The confusion of languages at Babel hindered mankind’s ability to combine their intellectual and physical powers. Yet, their new languages, like the first language, were complex. Within a few centuries, men built bustling cities, assembled powerful armies, and engaged in international trade. (Genesis 13:12; 14:1-11; 37:25) Could they have made such progress without the use of an extensive vocabulary and grammar? According to the Bible, the original human tongue and the tongues introduced at Babel were, not primitive grunts and growls, but complex languages.

Modern research supports this conclusion. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language states: “Every culture which has been investigated, no matter how ‘primitive’ it may be in cultural terms, turns out to have a fully developed language, with a complexity comparable to those of the so-called ‘civilized’ nations.” Similarly, in his book The Language Instinct, Harvard College Professor Steven Pinker states: “There is no such thing as a Stone Age language.”

 

THE FUTURE OF LANGUAGE

After reviewing the age and location of linguistic “fossils,” the fundamental differences between language groups, and the complexity of ancient languages, what reasonable conclusion could we draw? Many conclude that the Bible’s account of what took place at Babel is a fully credible explanation.

The Bible tells us that Jehovah God confused the people’s language at Babel because they rebelled against him. (Genesis 11:4-7) However, he promised that he would “give to peoples the change to a pure language, in order for them all to call upon the name of Jehovah, in order to serve him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zephaniah 3:9) This “pure language,” the truth from God’s Word, draws together a people from around the world today. It seems logical that in the future God would unite mankind further by giving them one common language, undoing the confusion at Babel.

 

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The Rat Race Explained

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American. The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs . . .I have a full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?”

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends!”

 

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Photo credits to http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart-lee/3058748278/

–What a big waste of time–

If you will only look on what is truly necessary in life… so to say — God, family, life, friends, time, love — you will only realize that the most important things in life —  ARE THINGS THAT CANNOT BE BOUGHT BY MONEY. So why waste time gathering lots of money? What’s the use?

Simple life is the best!

 

1 Timothy 6: 9-11

9 However, those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires, which plunge men into destruction and ruin.

10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains.

11 However, you, O man of God, flee from these things.

 

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Photo credits to http://www.flickr.com/photos/yury-prokopenko/4062638391/

Matthew 6: 19-34 

19 “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal.

20 Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is simple, your whole body will be bright;

23 but if your eye is wicked, your whole body will be dark. If in reality the light that is in you is darkness, how great that darkness is!

24 “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. YOU cannot slave for God and for Riches.

25 “On this account I say to YOU: Stop being anxious about YOUR souls as to what YOU will eat or what YOU will drink, or about YOUR bodies as to what YOU will wear. Does not the soul mean more than food and the body than clothing?

26 Observe intently the birds of heaven, because they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses; still YOUR heavenly Father feeds them. Are YOU not worth more than they are?

27 Who of YOU by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span?

28 Also, on the matter of clothing, why are YOU anxious? Take a lesson from the lilies of the field, how they are growing; they do not toil, nor do they spin;

29 but I say to YOU that not even Sol′o·mon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these.

30 If, now, God thus clothes the vegetation of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much rather clothe YOU, YOU with little faith?

31 So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’

32 For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. For YOUR heavenly Father knows YOU need all these things.

33 “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these [other] things will be added to YOU.

34 So, never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own badness.

 

A Stranger

A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town.

From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family.

The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the “world” a few months later. As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche.

My brother, Bill, five years my senior, was my example. Fran, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play ‘big brother’ and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors – Mom taught me to love the Word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it.

But, the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening. If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so lifelike that I would often laugh or cry.

He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. My brother and I were deeply impressed by John Wayne in particular.

The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind – but sometimes Mom would quietly get up – while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places – go to her room, read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.

You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But, this stranger never felt obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house – not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our long-time visitor, however, used occasional four-letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted.

My dad was a teetotaler who didn’t permit alcohol in his home – not even for cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (probably too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man-woman relationship were influenced by the stranger.

As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.

More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years.

But, if you were to walk into my parents’ den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and look at his pictures.

His name?

We always just called him “”T.V.””

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Photo credits to http://www.flickr.com/photos/handcuffs/1189470042

 

1 Corinthians 15:33: — “Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits.”

We should always keep in mind that “bad associations” do not only apply to human being, but also to things like television, internet, magazines, music, etc. 

So let us be aware and not let ourselves or our children be influenced by this “bad association”… Aware of it or not, by doing this, we are letting a “stranger” live in our house.

 

“To know where …

“To know where we are going, we have to know where we have come from.”

Wherever we are right now, never forget where we have come from. People has some tendencies to forget things, but in order to have good and steady foundation on where you will be going, you must not forget where you have originated. Another, when someone has reached the “highest” peak of his life, the experiences that he had been through especially if it is called a not-so-good experiences as well as the people who have helped him overcome those things are sometimes forgotten. Where we come from is a good thing to reminisce too from time to time. It humbles us, and it gives us strength remembering that we have gone so far now. It also strengthens our faith that no matter what happens, we should always keep going and never quit.

Live Life Without Regrets

 

I remember an adult man told me I’m matured in my age. I heard that comment many times from my classmates and colleagues too. Hearing that makes my heart leap with joy. Actually I don’t expect they will look at me like that and they respect me for who I am. I just live life wisely because I know every minute and every second is valuable, that I should not waste it nor use it in a not-so-important things in life. My parents taught me a lot of good things, and they raised me in the bible teachings, especially my mom. She is the best and I love her so much.

I was still in the womb when my mom begun studying the holy scriptures. It is not what people thought – like being so religious – no, I don’t like the term religious, because I believe not in a ‘religion’ itself but in the holy words of God written in the bible. I don’t practice traditions like Christmas, Halloween, Valentines, Easter, New Year — because it is not even approved by the bible. We live not with people’s standards, nor what other people think is the right thing to do, or because it is done by almost all the people in this world. Should it be by living with God’s standards that we must be concerning more?

Actually, living with God’s standards benefit us a lot. Example, looking at Acts 15:29 – “to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If YOU carefully keep yourselves from these things, YOU will prosper. Good health to YOU!”. Idolatrous activity (Christmas hiding from its true origin — celebrating for the Sun god, New Year hiding from its origin — for Janus the roman god of the doors and beginnings, Easter — Esther the god etc.), blood (eating and transfusion), fornication — are things that are “unclean” that we should avoid. Benefit? Good health physically and spiritually. — (Isaiah 48:17,18).

Another, 1 Corinthians 15:33 – “Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits.” Meaning, choosing right good friends because we are the ones who will be affected by that. “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are” just as the saying goes.

Is it benefiting God after all? or benefiting ourselves? We should take note that God is perfect and He needs nothing from us. He is already complete. But because He loves us a lot, He gave us the instructions and guidance we need through His word the bible. We are just too hard-headed sometimes and think we are greater than God, thinking we know better than Him, foolish imperfect people isn’t it? Yes, sometimes we do. So we should keep on asking ourselves if we are included in that category. “Heart is treacherous” says Jeremiah 17:9. We can’t straighten our own path ourselves alone. Proverbs 14:12 says – “There exists a way that is upright before a man, but the ways of death are the end of it afterward.”

Thing is, wrong things before are now becoming right in people’s eyes and right things are becoming wrong nowadays. To be straightforward, example, homosexuality. God barely see this thing as a big sin (see 1 Corinthians 6:9,10-11; Romans 1:24-32). But God loves all the people, only He hates the activity. That’s the reason why He gave His son Jesus-Christ because He loves everyone including the homosexuals, but He will never tolerate homosexuality so repentance is needed. Actually we can read from 1 Corinthians 6:11 saying – “And yet that is what some of YOU were. But YOU have been washed clean, but YOU have been sanctified, but YOU have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.” Point is, God is still giving people a chance to change and repent. It is still possible to have a good relationship with God through straightening our paths and leaving the old ways of life ’til there’s time.

But almost all people see this thing as acceptable nowadays, but still God is not changing His high perfect standards about this, we can’t twist it with any reasonings we have, let’s face the truth. We can’t be higher than God who barely knows what is the absolute right and wrong. People has the tendency to hear and see only what they want to hear and see, because of the hearts’ wants and desires, as again “Heart is treacherous”. But God is different from human..

God standard is a protection, not a restriction. Personally I can tell that. With all the benefits I am receiving because I keep on heeding His words. First, good relationship with God. I gained a lot of respect from people, healthy life, contented life, clean conscience, real happiness. Why? Because I know that God knows better than I do. I know that God knows each rights and though He has given us freedom, He is teaching that we should use it in a way that won’t overstep other people’s rights as well called it respect. Respect begets respect. But take note that we expect that we can’t please everyone by doing what is good and right. People has always something to say. Anyways, we are not suppose to please everyone. We try to help them and be good to them, but then if they still don’t like what we are doing, it’s their problem anyway. Like what Jesus has experienced, he has done everything right and good yet not all listened to him. We just need to put forth focus on what is most important in life — to please God above all.

I have to say that I’m contented and happy with my life, no regrets at all. And because of that, I am eager to share what I have right now, through helping people in the ministry. The bible says that the source of happiness is not coming from the material things, but is from having a good relationship with God by doing what is good and right in His eyes. With that said, you’ll have a clean conscience and a joyful heart.

Matthew 5:3 — “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need“… Yes, real joy comes from God and not from the riches. Simple life is the best. (Matthew 6:22; Galatians 5:22,23).

Matthew 6:19-34 — “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal. Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is simple, your whole body will be bright; but if your eye is wicked, your whole body will be dark. If in reality the light that is in you is darkness, how great that darkness is! “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. YOU cannot slave for God and for Riches. “On this account I say to YOU: Stop being anxious about YOUR souls as to what YOU will eat or what YOU will drink, or about YOUR bodies as to what YOU will wear. Does not the soul mean more than food and the body than clothing? Observe intently the birds of heaven, because they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses; still YOUR heavenly Father feeds them. Are YOU not worth more than they are? Who of YOU by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span? Also, on the matter of clothing, why are YOU anxious? Take a lesson from the lilies of the field, how they are growing; they do not toil, nor do they spin; but I say to YOU that not even Sol′o·mon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. If, now, God thus clothes the vegetation of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much rather clothe YOU, YOU with little faith? So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’ For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. For YOUR heavenly Father knows YOU need all these things. “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these [other] things will be added to YOU. So, never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own badness.”

 

Conscience — A God-given Gift

Speaking about conscience, well, it is another gift from God.  It acts as an ” inner law” to us. In short, this is another guidance which God has given us — in our hearts we are being accused if we have done something wrong or if we have done good things gives us inner peace.

In the Bible, the Greek word for “conscience” literally means “co-knowledge, or knowledge with oneself.” Unlike all other earthly creatures, we possess a God-given capacity to know ourselves. We can, in a sense, stand back and look at ourselves and make moral judgments. Acting as an internal witness bearer, or judge, our conscience can examine our actions, our attitudes, and our choices. It may guide us toward a good decision or warn us against a bad one. Afterward, it may comfort us for choosing well or punish us with sharp pangs for choosing poorly.

Conscience is like a compass. We all know that its hand is always directing to the “North” direction. Yes, compass can be very useful for pilots and adventurers, providing an accurate map with them. However, the conscience may in some cases be wrong. Why? Well, if a compass is placed near a metal object, it may be influenced to point in a direction other than north. And if it is used without an accurate map, the compass may be nearly worthless. Similarly, if unduly influenced by the selfish desires of our heart, our conscience may point us in the wrong direction. And if it is used without the sure guidance of God’s Word, we may be unable to distinguish between right and wrong in many important matters. Really, in order for our conscience to work properly, we need the guidance of God and of course — It is a matter of training..

 

Photo credits to http://www.flickr.com/photos/34971891@N03/4185089403

 

Example, we know that God hates “fornication”. But if we let ourselves be influenced by this rotten morals of this world, or if we continuously enjoys watching these kind of TV programs and movies because our hearts like it — are we training our conscience to work properly? Or are we placing a “near metal object” in our “God-given compass”?

How do you make a decision that is based on a properly working conscience? Some, it seems, simply look within, examine their feelings, and decide what to do. A person may then say, “Well, it doesn’t bother my conscience.” The desires of the heart can be very strong, even swaying the conscience. The Bible says: “The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) What our heart desires, then, should not be the most important consideration. Rather, we want to consider first what will please God. 

The Bible shows that having a clear conscience is not always sufficient. For example, Paul said: “I am not conscious of anything against myself. Yet by this I am not proved righteous, but he that examines me is God.” (1 Corinthians 4:4) Even those who persecute Christians, as Paul once did, may do so with a clear conscience because they think that God approves of their course. It is vital that our conscience be both clear in our eyes and clean in God’s eyes.—Acts 23:1; 2 Timothy 1:3.

Apostle Paul described those who are “marked in their conscience as with a branding iron.” (1 Timothy 4:2) A branding iron sears the flesh, leaving it scarred and insensitive. Many have a conscience that is, in effect, dead—so scarred and insensitive that it no longer sends out warnings, protests, or pangs of shame or guilt over wrongdoing. “Good riddance,” many today seem to say to such feelings as guilt.

In truth, feelings of guilt can be the conscience’s way of telling us that we have done wrong. When such feelings move a sinner to repent, even the worst of sins may be forgiven. King David, for example, became guilty of grave wrongdoing but was forgiven largely because of his sincere repentance. His hatred of his wrong course and his determination to obey God’s laws from then on led him to see firsthand that God is “good and ready to forgive.” (Psalm 51:1-19; 86:5)

 

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By prayerfully considering how best to live by Bible principles and then putting your decisions to work, you will continue a vital process. Your “perceptive powers” will be trained “through use.” (Hebrews 5:14) Your Bible-trained conscience will be a blessing to you every day of your life. Like the compass that guides the traveler, your conscience will help you to make decisions that please your heavenly Father. This is a sure way to keep yourself in God’s love.

Proverbs 3:5, 6 —  “Trust in God with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.”

I have a lot to share, but I can’t tell it all here. But we can have a chat or talk by commenting here or PM-ing me afterwards. I’d be glad to entertain questions and I’ll reply to comments =)

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Reference:  Keep Yourselves in God’s Love, “How Can you Maintain a Good Conscience”, Chapter 2 pp. 14-24

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