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Archive for the ‘peer pressure’ Category

If you had a several kids in your car and, because of recurring nausea, you weren’t able to finish driving the curvy, mountainous roads between your destination, would you pull into a restaurant and ask just anybody to get behind the wheel while you rode with eyes closed and stomach in knots?

Of course not. If you had to resort to such a desparate move to get home for the evening, you’d certainly be careful to make sure that the person was a competent driver who took instructions well.

Failure to be careful could lead to tragedy for all.

You see, we have to be careful about how our lives are steered.

If we’re not, bad things can — and sometimes do — happen.

This is particularly true with respect to who is steering our hearts.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Who influences your heart?

Who do you allow to steer your values on issues of morality? Of theology? Of patterns for emotional intimacy?

Who do you turn to for advice on family relationships?

Who is your mentor when it comes to workplace attitudes and behaviors?

Is there a role model for you who is plugged into the Word of God?

You’ve heard the phrase, “Garbage in, garbage out.”

This is absolutely true with respect to the heart.

We’ve all seen it in others’ lives and we’ve unfortunately experienced it periodically in our own.

Let’s be careful to allow only those people surrendered to the Lord to be on the list of those allowed to give us directions for the journey of life.

Test everything.

If it’s something Jesus would allow into His heart, then it’s something that we can allow into ours.

If He wouldn’t accept an idea or behavior because it’s ungodly, then we shouldn’t, either.

How can you know what Jesus would allow into His heart?

Read the gospels.

It will do your heart good.

And the course of your life just might change for the better.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Peer pressure is so powerful when it comes to spirituality.

That’s why those who observe us should never see us cave into the pressure of the non-Christian world that wants us to forgo any expressions of faith.

But do we cave?

Are we silent at work when others start bashing Christianity as rash and judgmental and hypocritical?

Or are we silent when people tell dirty jokes in our presence? Or gossip? Or leer at people for sexual reasons?

Do we invite neighbors to church events or to our house for games? Or do we not want to rock the boat with religious stuff?

We’re called to shine the Light, not put it under a bushel basket.

Pray that I beam more brightly with no fear of the rolling eyes or turned shoulders from the non-faithful.

I can assure you that rolling eyes and turned shoulders from a disappointed Father in heaven are of far greater concern to me than from those who have no desire for the Lord.

Let the words below permeate into your heart and soul today so that you’ll avoid falling into the same trap as those described.

Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” (John 12:42-43)

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s not easy to hear but the fact is that we’ve all played the role of Pontius Pilate.

We’ve all had times when we threw Jesus under the bus.

I’m talking about those times when the fork in the road had “Right” on one side and “Wrong” on the other.

Incredibly, we chose the path of fear and flesh over the path of faith and integrity.

You’ll recall that Pilate had the choice to free Jesus since he was the Roman governor and had authority over all legal decisions involving execution.

And you also know that Pilate didn’t care about what the god of the Jews thought since he seemingly didn’t even believe in the god of the Jews.

But even Pilate had feet of clay in the face of bloodthirsty Jesus-haters.

“Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.” (Mark 15:15)

The back story of this moment is that Jewish bigshots had made it clear to Pilate that letting Jesus go would probably cost him his job because they would tattle to Caesar in Rome about the freeing of a self-proclaimed king, albeit a spiritual one.

The job was more important than doing what was right, in Pilate’s mind.

Simply put, wrong was preferred over right.

That’s often what happens when we want to satisfy the crowd.

We’re caving in.

We’re choosing wrong over right.

We’re throwing Jesus under the bus.

When we gossip because others are gossiping.

When we get booze-buzzed because others are getting booze-buzzed.

When we steal things or unproductive hourly pay from work just because others are doing so.

When we lust at a nightclub or rented videos because others are lusting at nightclubs or rented videos.

When we refuse to forgive because others haven’t forgiven us.

There’s really only one crowd that really matters when it comes to satisfying them — the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

If our choices please them, we’ll know we’re taking the right turns through life and Pilate’s story will remain in the pages of the Bible rather in shameful, public view in our lives.

And we’ll let Jesus drive the bus rather than throwing Him under it.

As always, I love you
Martin

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