Navigating through Decisions: 4 Questions to Consider

What a great day!  We have been journeying through 1 Corinthians on Sunday at Kfirst and came to a message called “Slave to My Whims” today.  Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6:12 writes a warning to the church in Corinth to help navigate through issues of sin and Christian freedom: 

Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.

 

I’ve been asked to post a few of the notes INCLUDING the four questions to ask yourself when navigating through decisions of conduct.   So here are some of the thoughts from today along with the questions: 

  • One of the greatest symbols of the grace of God is not something we hang on a wall but Jesus displayed in a life.
  • The Human conscience, like a COMPASS, is a sensitive instrument, and can easily malfunction.
    • It can get trapped in magnetic fields that pull it off course. (WHIMS)
    • It can allow itself to be PULLED in a particular DIRECTION.
    • You need a TRUE NORTH.
  • This is where the Corinth church is at:
    • Paul says, make sure whatever activity/subject/decision, it starts in submission to the Lordship of Jesus.
    • They need a TRUE NORTH to navigate through the questions of sin and freedom in Christ.
  • Paul is determined: don’t be a slave to your whims…Jesus is YOUR TRUE NORTH

When it comes to SIN and MY FREEDOM, there are 4 QUESTIONS to ask:

  1. What does the bible say about this?
    • We must be careful to NOT simply go with our GUT/WHIMS without if we haven’t CHECKED it against biblical truth.
    • Where the bible has clearly spoken…God has clearly spoken
    • Stepping outside of the boundaries of God’s wise commands never will lead you anywhere good.
    • You need to know the difference between the “Gospel according to the Jesus” and the “Gospel according to YOU”
  2. What does the Holy Spirit tell you about your freedom?
    • Christian freedom is not freedom to do what you like, but freedom from all the things that stop you being the person God really wants you to be.
    • BUT NOTE: Submission to Christ can lead you away from things that are not an issues of sin but of Lordship. 
    • 2 Thoughts:
      • My personal preference is not an absolute truth
      • My opinion doesn’t have to be a point of division.
    • On matters of freedom in Christ…remember: 
      • Just because I CAN doesn’t mean I SHOULD
      • Just because YOU CAN’T doesn’t mean I CAN’T
      • Just because I CAN’T doesn’t mean that YOU CAN’T
      • Just because YOU CAN doesn’t mean I CAN
  3. What does Godly counsel say?
    • Chapter 9: Paul shares from his own viewpoint and experience
    • If the scripture doesn’t seem quite clean and I’m seeking direction from the Holy Spirit, I’ll seek out  CLEAR a wiser person.
      • Those who have been there…further down the road 
  4. What is the wise thing to do?
    • In light of my PAST experiences, my CURRENT circumstances, and my FUTURE hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?
    • In light of my AFFECT upon people…
      • Marriage, kids, co-workers…
    • In light of my TESTIMONY…
    • There are things where freedom MAY allow but wisdom DOES NOT…
  • Jesus didn’t come to get RID of the culture; he came to REDEEM it.
    • He did it by CONFRONTING the CULTURE with the KINGDOM
    • It was his REDEMPTIVE RESPONSE
  • Christ-followers should INFLUENCE a broken culture not in REJECTION…we walk in a REDEMPTIVE RESPONSE
    • We have lives that are not driven by our whims but have Christ as the “True North”
    • It’s not about me living in PERMISSION in this life; it’s about me living in SUBMISSION.

“Jesus, lead me in the life that is completely submitted to you.”

 

 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

Brownie Points: 4 Reasons why they may not be good for your marriage.

Cards.  Candy, Socks (one of my favorite gifts). Flowers.  They’re all those things that we purchase and hear someone say, 

“Somebody’s gonna get some brownie points for that.”

In the completely accurate source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, Brownie Points are given a phenomenal definition. They’re a hypothetical social currency, which can be acquired by doing good deeds or earning favor in the eyes of another.  Regardless of the etymology, they’re essentially used for the purpose of earning approval of someone.

NOTE: I am not against gift-giving.  I’m not opposing to doing thoughtful things for your spouse.  In fact, acts that are kind, thoughtful, loving, and/or romantic should be consistently a part of your marriage (key word: consistently).  They should be the natural outflow of a healthy marital relationship.  The little things matter and need to be actively seen in marriage. But the connotation that “Brownie Points” carries, can actually be a very unhealthy to you and your spouse.  According to the definition, in the context of marriage, little acts are done to curry favor and approval that, apparently, either didn’t exist or have disappeared.  The love we see in our marriage should be spilling out from the love of Christ.  We see that love described in 1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

And because of that here are 4 reasons why brownie points may not be good for your marriage. 

1. Score keeping. Couples that keep score deteriorate. Why?  If you’ve done more acts of kindness for your spouse, you can sit back and do nothing until he/she gets caught up with what you gave.  It fosters the misunderstanding that “marriage is a 50/50 proposition.” 50/50 simply means “I give in proportion to what you give me.”  So you sit back and keep track of who did what and, often, make statements about how much more you’ve given.  But a healthy marriage is 100/100.  That means that a spouse gives all that they are regardless of what the other gives. “Love is…kind.” I give100% because that’s what type of love Christ gave me. The kindness in his immense generosity knows no bounds. 

2. One upping.  I’ll admit, I like to outdo what I’ve done before because I love Anne and enjoy doing more for her.  But “one upping” can flow into an unhealthy mentality when 1 of 2 things happen.  First, when it’s become about pride instead of about love.  We perform an act of kindness/romance and stand back and say, “Look what I’ve done for you.  You’re lucky to be married to me.”  Now no body in their right mind is going to actually say that but that’s the heart behind it. Secondly, it fosters manipulation.  “Can you do _________for me?  I did __________ for you last week.”  There’s a terrible danger of taking what is supposed to be kindness and/or romantic and it’s become a weapon used to “make” your spouse do what you want him/her to do. Remember, “love…does not insist its own way.”

3. Sets the precedence that “favor” with your spouse is something to be “won.”  I don’t think there has been a time that Anne has ever had to earn my favor.  Have we had conflict?  You better believe it.  Do we annoy each other?  At times.  But love isn’t “arrogant or rude.”  It doesn’t let the marriage operate so that one person must be satisfied so that favor may be granted upon the spouse.  How arrogant are you if you demand that your favor must be curried? Love is unconditional because it’s what Jesus showed us. And scripture tells us that “nothing can separate us from the love of God.”  

4. Can make forgiveness dependent upon actions. Scripture tells us that “love is…not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” Most people struggle with forgiveness because they mistaken it for trust.  They are not the same thing.  We don’t let our spouse have to earn forgiveness by actions. We love and forgive based upon what was modeled in Christ. Trust, on the other hand, is built over time. It’s grown by the fruit (consistent actions) of a healthy, contrite, and teachable heart. Is it tough to do when our spouse has broken our hearts?  Absolutely. But love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  Love never fails.  

Hear my heart.  Keep doing the little things for your spouse.  Don’t do it because of what you can get out of it nor do them as penance for wrongs that have been done.  Let them flow out of the love that you saw and experience from the love of Christ.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Devo: What are you thinking Day 13

We’re focusing on what the Bible says about the “mind” and how that affects us.  Spend time on the devo and take a minute or two to ponder what the Word is challenging you to do.

2 Corinthians 5:17

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

2 Minute Devos: Crash – Day 16

Welcome to “Crash”…every day:

  1. Glorify God.
  2. Pray over the daily prayer point.
  3. Pray for the lost.

Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, butrejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.

Crash Prayer Card 3

2 Minute Devo #31Days – “Our Comfort”

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We started a new series this month called “#31Days.” What “#31Days” means is we are encouraging everyone to take the challenge of encouraging someone via social network for 31 days.  Make sure you use the hashtag!

Today’s scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.

2 Minute Devo: “Fresh” 2 Corinthians 5:9-21

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October is our journey through the 2 minute series called “Resurrecting Repentance”.  It’s as simple as viewing the vlog and reading the passage for the day.  Today’s passage is 2 Corinthians 5:9-21:

2 Corinthians 5:9-21

So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christcontrols us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone isin Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[b] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Minute Devo: “Stop being annoying” 1 Cor. 13:1

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August is our journey through the 2 minute series called “Watch Your Mouth”.  I want to invite you to join me as we. It’s as simple as viewing  the vlog and reading the passage for the day.  Today’s passage is 1 Corinthians 13:1:

1 Corinthians 13:1

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.