Archive for the ‘RELATIONSHIPS’ Category

Baby Steps

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

I’m sure someone has asked this before, but I wanted to ask this so it was phrased the way I want it.  I was baptized not too long ago, but ever since, I have yet to truly understand how to live as a christian… I am in the process of reading the Bible, but I feel ignorant, and I want to know how to live as a christian properly.

Do I have to feel a certain way every day or go out and do charitable things?  Do I focus on learning only?

How do I live as a christian; what do I need to do?  Thank you.

Sincerely,
At The Beginning

Dear At The Beginning,

Your question is a good one, but a difficult one to give an easy answer to.  It is kind of like asking what a baby needs to do to become a grown up.  Do they need to learn to walk? Yes, but not just walk.  Do they need to learn to talk? Yes, but not just talk.  In fact, there are a million different things that must be learned and perfected by the time a child can be considered an adult.  However, it would overwhelm a child if you tried to explain to them everything they would have to learn in the first two decades of their life.  Children grow by simply doing the best they can every day, and somehow, almost magically, that turns them into adults.

The same thing is true in spiritual growth.  You need to study your Bible, but you also need to try and apply it by living according to its teachings.  You need to go to a faithful church and learn (we can help you find one if you need help… not all churches are faithful), but you also need to try and share the good news with others.  How you feel will change from day to day, but you also need to try and control your emotions.  Peter said it best:

“As newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that you may grow thereby unto salvation.”
(I Pet 2:2)

The key is eating the Bible up and letting its teachings mold you.  There is no magical formula.  It is a daily process of hearing what God has said in the Bible and then trying to do what He says.  The more you try, the more you grow… and eventually, you will look back and see the major changes in your life.

 

Parental Pain

Friday, April 18th, 2014

How does God heal a heart that is broken by your own child?

Sincerely,
Hurting Parent

Dear Hurting Parent,

There may not be any greater pain on this planet than the pain a parent feels on behalf of their children.  Whether your children have hurt you or you are watching your children hurt, it is a devastating heaviness upon your soul (Pr 10:1).  We are so sorry for your suffering.  Suffering is so difficult because each person’s sorrow is unique to them (Pr 14:10).

It might give you courage to know that some of the greatest people of the Bible have dealt with great sorrow, tragedy, and depression – read our post “I’ve Got The Joy, Joy, Joy” for examples.

Another verse that might give you comfort is Rom 8:28.  God is able to turn tragedy into victory when we trust Him and live our lives His way.  All things are possible through God (Php 4:13).  We don’t know how or when, but you can be stronger for having faced this… as much as that is hard to believe right now.

You might also consider reading through the Psalms.  Psalms can give great comfort to people when human words aren’t enough.  When your heart is torn by your children – God’s Words are a balm for the hurting.

 

The Flow Of Influence

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

I have gay friends; should I avoid them since it is a sin to be homosexual?  I feel God brings people into our lives for a reason; I don’t hide my religion or beliefs from them, but God has taught me to be accepting of all people.

Sincerely,
Friend To All

Dear Friend To All,

Christians are constantly trying to strike the balance between being lights to the world (Matt 5:14) and keeping themselves pure and undefiled from the world’s influences (Jas 1:27).  As long as we live on this planet, we will have trials (Jhn 16:33).  It is a fine line between being an influence and being corrupted by the world.  Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor 15:33).  It isn’t wrong to befriend someone who is living a homosexual lifestyle, just like it isn’t wrong to befriend someone who lies or uses bad language… but we must always be guarded in our relationships with those outside of Christ (2 Cor 6:14).  The Lord loves people but hates sin.  You should show love for these people in your life but still abhor their sinful choices (after all, those sins are destroying their souls!).  If you can influence a person for good, then do so.  If they are corrupting you and keeping you from being the best christian you can be, begin to distance yourself (Gal 5:1).  You may even deem it appropriate to tell the person why you are distancing yourself (1 Pet 3:15).  Maybe, just maybe, they will change if they are made aware of what their choices are costing them.

 

The Shame Of Sin

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

I have done something really wrong.  I was trying to fit in with the crowd.  I lost myself and I feel ashamed of myself.  I have joined a church, become a christian, and I want to know if God will forgive me for the sin I committed.

Sincerely,
Mortified With Myself

Dear Mortified With Myself,

God says that He finds more joy in one sinner returning to Him than in ninety-nine who don’t need to repent (Lk 15:7).  God also says that there should be no limit to forgiveness when someone repents (Lk 17:4).  When we turn back to God, He promises to show us mercy and to remember our sins no more (Heb 8:12).  It is very normal for us to still feel guilt when we dwell upon our previous lives of rebellion against God, but we can’t let that guilt consume us.  God forgives us; therefore, we can turn that guilt into gratitude (Rom 6:17).  If you repent, He is ready to forgive.

The most important step in forgiveness is to make sure that you properly obeyed God and have actually become a christian… many churches simply don’t teach what the Bible does regarding salvation.  This leaves people with the impression that they have obeyed God, but in actuality, they haven’t.  Let’s take the time to make sure you properly sought God’s forgiveness the first time.  We highly recommend you read “What Must I Do To Be Saved” and thoroughly examine whether you properly obeyed God the first time around.  If you did – WONDERFUL!  If you didn’t… now is the time to do things right.  If needed, we would be happy to direct you to a faithful, Bible-guided congregation near you.  Simply e-mail us at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org.

 

Set A Second Date

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

(This post is a follow-up to the post “Set A Date”)

I saw your post about dating, but is it true that not every one is blessed?  I believe that not every one finds their love.  There are a lot of people out there without a wife or a husband.  I don’t believe that there is a girl or boy for everyone.

Sincerely,
Lone Star

Dear Lone Star,

Matt 19:12 says that there are three reasons that people decide to never marry.

  1. They are born without a desire for marriage.
  2. Life circumstances lead to their bachelorhood.
  3. They choose to abstain from marriage so as to better serve God.

You are right that some people never get married.  Though the majority of people decide to, marriage isn’t necessary to serve God.

The other issue that you bring up is the idea that people have one right person for them to marry – a “soul mate”.  The Bible never teaches the idea that there is only one fish in the sea for each of us.  The Bible says a lot about how to find a godly spouse, but it never implies that there is only one right person for each of us.  If that were the case, it would be wrong to remarry after your spouse dies because you had already found “the one”, and any other marriage would be with someone that wasn’t your soul mate.

Heartfelt Expression

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

What are the general and specific qualities to the command “rejoice”? What are the boundaries by which I must confine my expression of joy and delight in the Lord?

Sincerely,
Bursting

Dear Bursting,

The word ‘rejoice’ means ‘to be glad’.  Php 4:4 says that we should rejoice at all times in Christ.  That is a blanket statement about the attitude we ought to have as christians.

However, you also asked a second question.  You asked what ways we are allowed to express that joy.  That is a separate issue.  Many religious groups break into all sorts of ludicrous behavior (shouting, wailing, rolling in the aisles, etc.) in the name of rejoicing.  In order to see what ways are appropriate to show our joy (especially during worship), you need to go to other verses.  A good article to read on worship is “Order Of Operations”.