Advice, Battles, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Darkness, Deceit, Deception, Devil, Foolishness, Lies, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Satan, Scripture, Testimony

HATE BLINDS

1 JOHN 2:11

“But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

There is probably not a better verse for today than this one. So much hate. So much darkness. You see, hate blinds us to what is true. The devil loves that. He loves to keep us hating each other. When we hate, we literally can’t see straight. We only see what we want to see.

It was no different back in the day of John. The early church was not exempt from these feelings. Yes, that’s right. Even the early church, to whom John was writing, faced these same issues. Hate has been around since Satan’s fall from heaven. He hates God and anyone who loves Him. He will do anything to blind us with his hate.

APPLICATION

Ask your children what they hate. Notice I said “what” not “who.” I hate brussel sprouts. I hate spinach. We can hate things. That’s really okay. I hate abortion. I am sure God does too. I hate sin. We all should. It does nothing good in this world.

But get your kid’s list of “hates.” Ask them why they hate these things. They are going to hear this word a lot in their life, so they need to understand the strength of that word. They should, however, never use that word in conjunction with a person. No one deserves to be hated. God loves all.

Who do you hate? Don’t answer that. Your answer should be no one. If you do, confess that as sin right now. Ask the Lord to forgive you for that hate. Ask Him to forgive you of walking in darkness. Ask Him to forgive you for following the devil rather than Him. Do that now. He is listening.

Forgive me, Lord, for any feelings of hatred I harbor against others. I know that is sin and displeases You. I want to walk in the Light.

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MESSED UP

TITUS 3:11

“knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.”

We have two Greek words in this verse that are only used here. First, we have “perverted.” Now, this word isn’t what you think. We all have our image of a pervert. No, this word is more like corrupt, to be turned inside out. They are just doing things all wrong. The other word used once is “self-condemned.” And it means just that. By his own actions he condemns himself. He knows what he’s doing is wrong and still does it. This is that factious man mentioned in verse 10.

Do you know someone like that? We are to pray for them, but we are not to hang out with them. You may have heard the expression, “If you lie with dogs, you’re going to get fleas.” Well, Paul is warning us here that these people have no intention to live right. Therefore, we have to keep a safe distance. We still pray for them and love them. But we just can’t be associated with them until they repent.

APPLICATIONS

I pray your children never become that kind of person. How do you prevent that? Your part is setting the environment for God to draw them. Prayer time is key. We teach our kids to pray and explain to them why we pray. We let them in on our prayers, especially when we see God answer them.

We teach them God’s Word and let it permeate their minds. We make sure they see the importance of the Word in our own lives. We make our decisions as a family based on God’s Word. Then when they respond to the Lord, we disciple them and help them grow. That will go a long way towards protecting them.

I also pray that you aren’t living a life that is self-condemning. Are you? Are you doing things you know aren’t pleasing the Father? Stop! Repent. Come back to Him. We can justify just about anything. We will even find Scriptures to justify our positions. Do not be “perverted” or “self-condemned.” Come to Jesus.

I thank You for rescuing me from myself. I am dangerous left to my own desires. But You have put a new heart within me, and it beats for You.

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FOOLISH THINKING

2 TIMOTHY 3:9

“But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.”

I find it rather curious how this Greek word for “folly” is used here. It is only used one other time in the New Testament and that is in Luke 6:11 when the religious leaders “lose their minds in rage” when Jesus heals the man with then withered hand on the Sabbath. Then we have the same word used here to describe Jannes and Jambres. They must have been quite a pair to observe in Pharaoh’s court.

The point is this – foolishness is not hard to spot. When someone gets so upset they can’t think straight, that is folly. Have you ever been that upset about something? Before reacting, stop, count to ten (or twenty or thirty), pray, then speak or do something. In this day of electronic communication, write the text, but then delete it.

APPLICATION

Wow! This is important to teach our children. Holding their tongues and keeping their heads is so important. Some kids are naturally wired that way and it takes a lot to get them to respond. Others, well, let’s just say they are ready for a fight if the shoe drops just right. Those are the ones we need to drill this into. Foolishness never accomplishes anything. Foolish words, foolish deeds, foolish thoughts – none of them.

And no one wants to be thought of as or called a fool. So, how do you prevent that? By being more like Christ. Christ is as anti-fool as it is possible to be. He never loses His mind. He never says words He wishes He could take back. He never did something that He shouldn’t. Teach your children to think and act like Jesus and they will never be foolish.

We all get tempted to “act the fool” sometimes. But I have found if I am bathing myself in prayer and in His Word, those moments are fewer and fewer. If I let myself just self-contemplate, I can get “foolish.” I let my rationale and wisdom get in the way. I have no wisdom outside of Christ. He is my fool guard. How about you?

Father of all wisdom, guard me from folly. Keep my eyes on your purpose and calling on my life. I praise You!

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