Who’s In Charge Here?

This message is FABULOUS!  I promise you it will step on your toes, but it will also be very refreshing and encouraging to you because not too many preachers will preach it like this!

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The Restraining Order

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The Restraining Order

We are admonished in James to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.  When tempers are flared and emotions are flying high, it’s nearly impossible to follow this command.  Sometimes we need a spiritual restraining order put on our mouths.

When dealing with different issues where a conversation needs to take place, it’s important to remember that the first thing we should do is pray.  There are several things we can pray before approaching the other person, be it our husband or someone else.
1.  Pray for God to adjust your attitude so that you aren’t bitter and full of angry, hurtful words when you do speak.
2.  Pray for the Lord to season your words with His grace and to tenderize your tongue before you speak.
3.  Pray for the Lord to direct you in the timing of bringing up the issue.
4.  Pray that both parties will not be sidetracked by bringing up past hurts.
5.  Pray for both parties to be receptive to hear out the other person.
6.  Pray for a quick and speedy resolve that is agreeable to both parties.
7.  Pray for there not to be any resentment or bitter feelings once the conversation has taken place.

It is important to remember that while we may speak our mind, we must be careful to mind our manners in the process!

There are many reasons why it’s good for the Lord to put a restraining order on our mouths.
1.  When we speak too much, sin is often close behind.
(Prov. 10:19)
2.  A harsh word can stir up anger. (Prov. 15:1)
3.   We can be like the fool who gushes folly.  (Prov. 15:2)
4.  Sometimes our tongue can speak deceitful things.  (Prov. 15:4)
5.  In our anger and hurt, we can speak death to a relationship.  (Prov. 18:21)

When the restraining order is in place, there can be positive results:
1.  We will be wise and learn to hold our tongues. (Prov. 10:19)
2.  Our soft answer will turn away wrath.  (Prov. 15:1)
3.  Our tongue will be filled with the fruit of knowledge.
(Prov. 15:2)
4.  Our tongue can be a healing tree of life.  (Prov. 15:4)
5.  We will learn to speak words of life to those around us.  (Prov. 18:21)
6.  We will speak pleasant words that promote instruction, and are sweet to the soul. (Prov. 16:21,23-24)

So is getting a restraining order on your to-do list for the day?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

We Can’t Love Both Christ and This World

This was a GREAT article!

We Can’t Love Both Christ and This World

This paragraph really stood out to me:

On a closing note, carnality not only affects the pew, but the pulpit as well. A carnal pastor still offers motivating sermons, but he will lose unction, boldness, and spiritual insight. The world, and carnal Christians, will love him, but Spirit-filled believers will leave the service starving for more of God. Pastors, if we would make it our goal to know Christ more personally we would preach Christ more powerfully. Are we calling people out of the cultural mindset or are we encouraging it by our silence?

Merciful Mess

Merciful Mess

I love sharing personal lessons from my life in hopes that others can learn from my mistakes.  To me, it is a way to redeem those painful experiences, making all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).  The story I share here was a huge “life lesson” to me.  I gained much wisdom in regard to friendships after having gone through this experience.

Several years ago, a lady started attending our church.  I kept hearing from other people how fast she was growing in the Lord, how awesome she was, and how on fire for the Lord she was.  I thought, “I ought to befriend this gal.  She sounds really neat!”  That was my first mistake.  I took someone else’s word on this person, rather than seeking God’s will on whether or not I should befriend her.

It turns out that this gal was into witchcraft.  She was using her wiles and all kinds of manipulation on everyone in the church.  She caused division in the church and basically destroyed our deliverance ministry.  Had I not gotten wise to her devices, I think she would have destroyed my marriage with her lies.

Shortly after I cut off this unhealthy friendship, I read in Proverbs 12:26 where a righteous person is cautious in friendship.  I also saw in the next chapter where a person who walks with the wise becomes wise, but if you are a companion of fools, you will suffer harm.  I can not begin to tell you how much I wish I had known these verses before I met this woman.  I suffered MUCH harm because I was not cautious in friendship.

We live in a world where people need mercy.  For those who truly have a God-given gift of showing mercy to others, it can leave us vulnerable to being used or manipulated by others if we fail to counter mercy with discernment.  I encountered this with the woman who was attending our church.  While I was trying to show mercy to her, I was doing it on the say-so of other people.  What I ended up making was a merciful mess because God had not called me to show mercy to this woman.

Many times, I think those who operate freely in the gift of mercy may feel like they need to befriend everybody they meet.  Since we are to be cautious in friendship, it is clearly not God’s will for us to be close friends with every single person we meet.  We need to discern whom God wants us to have for our close friends.

When we choose to base our friendships on God’s principles, it might stir up controversy from those who don’t live by these principles.  We may be accused of being judgmental, when in fact, we are simply being cautious in friendship.  There is a huge difference between the two.  Since bad company corrupts good character, we should earnestly desire God’s will in our friendships (First Corinthians 15:33).

Are you making a merciful mess in any of your friendships?
© Stacy R. Miller