- Humility – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3. It is very easy to do what WE want to do and to think about ourselves and not about others. However, the Bible clearly states that we are to be humble in our thoughts and actions. We are to put others before ourselves. Humans are selfish by nature. We want to do what provides us the most satisfaction and self-gratification. We are to be Christ-like. While on the Earth, Christ lived a life of humility and it is something he wants us to practice in our own lives as well.
- Forgiveness – “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:15. This is one I struggle with regularly. How do you forgive someone that has blatantly wronged you? Especially, when they never ask for your forgiveness? You feel hurt, betrayed, sometimes even humiliated. When we hold a grudge or refuse to forgive, we are usually hurting ourselves more than the person needing forgiveness. We are building up anger, resentment and stress within our own life and the offender most likely is unaware that there is a problem. God wants us to forgive so we can be forgiven and live a joyful life.
- Patience - “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.” Proverbs 25:15. You have all heard the old cliché “Patience is a virtue”, but have you ever really thought about it and the fact that it truly is a virtue? We say that phrase without even stopping to think about it and the ironic truth behind it. Impatience can be linked to actual physical conditions such as stress, ulcers and even heart attacks. In reading this verse, I am reminded of another saying I heard in my younger days, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” This corresponds with the proverb mentioned above. You will accomplish more if you remain calm and gentle and patient in your dealings.
- Compassion – “…..because that cloak it the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.” Exodus 22:27. There are so many Bible verses that talk about compassion. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, “…Whatever you did for one of the least of these….you did for me.” James 1:27 tells us “…to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” and Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” There’s not much more I can say the these verses have not already said. We need to show compassion to everyone we come in contact with regardless of their social, economic, physical or mental status. For we don’t know if we are entertaining angels unaware.
I want to apologize for my neglect in adding new posts to this blog. I had and still have every intention to post something inspiring every single day. However, things have been a little crazy in the Connet household lately and I have been unable to keep up. But don’t fret. This evening, I plan to begin posting regularly again – when the grandson says his goodbyes and the miniature Connets are tucked snugly in their beds. Try back this evening or first thing in the morning. I will have something inspiring or encouraging for you. Possibly something that is just what you need at this time in your life. See you then.
For the next few posts, I just want to share with you several virtues and back them up with scripture. It has become a sad world in recent days. Young people are not valuing such virtues as our forefathers did in generations past. Where are the ethics that carried us through history? I want to begin with two virtues that I think are the most vital. I believe they are the very core of every other virtue and without them, we would have no sense of morality.
- Integrity – “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” Proverbs 11:3. If my children take only one thing from their time in my home, I pray that they become men of integrity. If this is all they learn in their growing up, I will feel as if I have succeeded. If those around you can’t trust that you are going to do what you say you are going to do, you have lost credibility and most likely will not be able to earn it back. If you do, it will be a very long and difficult process. Why would you put that much stress on yourself in the first place when you could simply be honest?
- Discernment – “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.” Proverbs 28:2. Now, chances are you are not the ruler of some country, but if you are a parent, you rule over your household and this scripture can still apply to you. Imagine for a moment that you are given a magic lamp with a genie inside. Now that genie agrees to grant you ONE wish. What would you wish for? Would you wish for all the money In the world? or beauty? or fame? or even respect? God told Solomon that he could have anything he asked for. He didn’t ask for material possessions. The one thing he wanted, the one thing he asked the Lord to grant him was discernment. Good judgment and the ability to separate right from wrong are critical in today’s society. With so many sins and worldly distractions it is a challenge practicing discernment, but we must. If we are going to live a Christ-centered life, discernment has to be so ingrained in us that it is second nature and we don’t even notice it.
Tune in tomorrow for my next post featuring two more virtues.
Are there any topics you wold like to read about on this blog? Leave a comment to this post if there is a particular subject you would like me to talk about. I will research it and tie it with a Bible verse. Is there some area of your life that you could use a little encouragement?
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Matthew 18:15-16
I grew up in a very conservative Christian home. Both my mother and father were staunch Christians. We went to church twice on Sundays and on Wednesday evenings as well as any other opportunity – revivals, Vacation Bible School, mission conferences, etc. My dad taught adult Sunday School, drove the church bus, served as deacon and in various other areas of the church. Mom is very quiet and reserved, so she served behind the scenes – preparing meals for families in need or church events and working in the nursery.
Dad led family devotions at home and I would always hear Mom singing her favorite hymns around the house. I NEVER saw them drink or swear. They were the Godliest people I knew.
I said all this to lead up to the main topic of this post.
What would you do if you learned that the pastor of the church that your elderly mother is attending is questioning her salvation? Dad has been gone for about three years now and Mom has found a church closer to home. As I said, she is very quiet and reserved and her comfort zone is virtually nonexistent. When she is put on the spot and is questioned about anything, she gets flustered and is unable to give the right answers even if she knows them.
On several occasions, this pastor called her to meetings, leading her to believe that it was a church meeting. She would arrive and find only her, the pastor and the pastor’s wife or the deacons. They would sit her down and question her about her salvation. He would even phone the senior center that she frequents to ask them about her.
While, initially, this really angered me that he would do this to someone as unassuming as my 83-year-old mother, I now feel more pity and compassion, not only for the church, but for any others that they interrogate like this. Fortunately, Mom is grounded enough in her Christianity that she did not let it suppress her faith. My concern is for those that are new Christians or even non-Christians that come into the church and are detoured by this pastor’s “screening” process.
The question of the day: What, as a fellow Christian, do I do about it? Do I go to the pastor and confront him myself? Do I ask a fellow pastor to speak with him? Or do I simply do nothing but pray? He is clearly in the wrong and risks scaring away prospective church members or even lost souls. I would love to hear your input on this. Please leave a comment with your opinion.
Just wanted to let you all know that I am still here. Just had a couple very busy days, but will be back on track and have a new post with some encouraging words by tomorrow (Friday). Watch for it.