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Tag Archives: regret

If You Rush To Judgement… Someone’s Life Might Be Ruined

After watching a rerun of ESPN’s 30 for 30, Fantastic Lies, I received a new perspective.  During this documentary, I missed an important statement the first time around.  One of the journalists who believed the Duke Lacrosse players raped an African America woman provided an insightful comment.  When asked about why the nation felt like these three players were guilty, he responded, “If you air opinions over and over again in the media, these fantastic lies become fact.

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 1 John 2:4.

This observation applies to our daily life.  Every day blogs, cable news networks and news papers publish exaggerations, take comments out of context or with hold information to make liberals look great and portray conservatives as liars.  This rush to judgment often ruins the lives of those who receive negative press.  Just examine or do a fact check of political ads and you’ll find a willful attempt to smear their opponents.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

The apostle Paul speaks of a moment when you have the chance to decide “do I do the right or wrong thing?”  At this place in time, Paul learned that you don’t always have to give into temptation.  Rather, the Lord does provide an escape route, an option that does not lead to guilt, shame or regret.  Therefore, the next time you have an urge to condemn, trash or verbally assault an individual’s character, ask the Lord for discernment.  Or else your quick rush to judgement may result in the demise of a strangers reputation.

by Jay Mankus

 

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The Lord’s Patience

If you have children, coach or teach, then you understand willful disobedience.  Unfortunately, human nature tends to cause adults to become angry, frustrated or resentful.  In the heat of the moment, its not uncommon to say or do something you regret.  If only individuals possessed the Lord’s patience.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance, 2 Peter 3:9.

One of the more awkward conversations in the Bible occurs in John 21.  Peter meets face to face with a resurrected Jesus.  Without bringing up Peter’s public denial, Jesus asks him if he the loves the Lord three times.  These words cut to the heart, a painful reminder of Peter’s past transgression the week prior.  Before the day was over, Peter received a glimpse of the Lord’s patience.

Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go,” John 21:18.

In this age of instant gratification, its hard to allow time to take its course on life.  Instead of pressing others to comply with your rules and regulation, sometimes you have to let those whom you love to wander off.  Only when people come to their senses will the day of repentance arrive.  Therefore, as a friend, mentor or parent don’t force the issue.  Rather, pray that the Lord’s patience will awaken souls and lead to salvation.

by Jay Mankus

The Cleansing of a Conscience

Regret can be a tough pill to shallow, especially if an action affects multiple lives.  The longer you live increases the probability that you will blow it big time, hurt others and mess up badly.  In the aftermath of these mistakes, consequences vary.  Yet, one thing is a constant, guilt will arrive in the form of conviction through an invisible force known as your conscience.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! – Hebrews 9:14

Whenever you let someone down, there is nothing like getting a do over, a fresh start on life.  This is where grace meets the cleansing of the soul.  Unfortunately, shame has a way of causing individuals to hold onto their sin.  While God promises to wash away your imperfections, some have a hard time forgiving themselves.  Thus, healing does not occur as consciences are manipulated by the devil, bringing up past transgressions from years ago.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool, Isaiah 1:18.

Confession is a powerful tool to begin the cleansing of your conscience.  However, those who are unable to get over stains from their past, need an accountability partner, friend or source of encouragement to get over the hump.  Reflecting on the promises of God is another step in the right direction.  Nonetheless, until you believe and receive these words, healing will only be temporary.  Therefore, let mercy reign as you complete the cleansing of your conscience.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Blinded for a Time

In the 1988 action film Bloodsport, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a martial arts expert Frank Dux.  The name is derived from a famous competition known as the Kumite.  During the championship match, the defending champion who killed on of his opponents in a preliminary match, throws a foreign substance into Dux’s eyes.  Blinded for a short time, Frank panics before relying on his training which carries him onto victory.

Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus, Acts 9:8.

The saying “you don’t know what you have until its gone” can be applied to several aspects in life.  A soldier who relies on his strength may loose a limb or limbs in battle.  Individuals may take forgranted a special relationship until death takes this person away prematurely.  Meanwhile, a career or home can be ruined in a blink of an eye.  Regardless of who you are or where you live, sooner or later you will be blindsided by a trial.  How you respond will determine the path you take in life.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials, 1 Peter 1:6.

Looking back over the last 5 years of my life, I was forced to fight through adversity.  Through some of the ups and downs, there were times I felt God turned his back on me.  Yet, as I was blinded for a time, I learned that God never moved.  Rather, I allowed bitterness, frustration and regret lead me to drift away into period of depression.  However, like Jean-Claude Van Damme in the end of Bloodsport, my previous training in the Bible is helping me return to a victorious life in Christ.

by Jay Mankus

Places Where Dreams Die

According to the 1993 film, Rudy Ruettiger was an average athlete and middle of the road student with dreams that seemed far fetched.  Thus, Rudy took a job at a local Steel Mill, buying some time.  When his best friend Pete dies in an accident at the mill, Rudy finds himself at a crossroads.  During the funeral Rudy comes to the realization, “if I don’t leave now my dream will never happen,” dying at a dead end job.  Standing at a Greyhound Bus Station, Rudy’s father shares a series of ungodly beliefs, filled with negativity, hoping his son stays.  Deep down Rudy Ruettiger sensed that remaining in his hometown was another place where dreams can die.

For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear, Ecclesiastes 5:7.

Meanwhile, Homer Hickam faced his own set of struggles illustrated in the 1999 movie October Sky.  Playing the role of the younger brother, Homer could never escape the shadow of big brother Jim, a football star destined for a college scholarship.  Despite his efforts, Homer was unable to compete with his brother’s popularity or talents.  After his father’s work related injury, Homer drops out of high school to become a coal miner attempting to follow in the footsteps of his dad. Yet, Homer’s new job couldn’t quench a passion for rockets.  Fueled by his teacher Miss Riley, Homer leaves the occupation where his dream would have died in the mine to participate in a science fair that altered the course of his life.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, Ephesians 3:20.

Unfortunately, most people fail to become famous, rich or successful, ending up in a place where their dreams disappear.  Some are forced by financial constrains to keep multiple jobs just to survive, fighting a losing battle with debt throughout life.  Others endure destructive relationships that often end with another mouth to feed, divorce or years of regret.  Within all these distractions, time flies by causing dreams to be altered, downgraded or pushed back until nothing is achieved.  If you have ever reached this point like me, you need an inspirational friend like Pete who speaks words of encouragement.  Or a mentor like Miss Riley who will uplift your spirits, challenge you and instill in you perseverance to press on through places where dreams die until you taste the abundant life Jesus promises, John 10:10.

by Jay Mankus

 

An Ideal Atmosphere called Harmony

Although harmony is often associated with music, its one of the missing ingredients within society.  Defined as an orderly and pleasing combination of elements, harmony is established when various components exist together without destroying one another.  Unfortunately, rarely do strong personalities mesh without some type of power struggle.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! – Psalm 133:1

The sustainability of any church, group or family is dependent upon the degree of harmony displayed.  From my vantage point, hidden agendas, control and wills create conflict.  Beneath the surface, demons, Satan and selfish desires are tugged in different directions, resulting in discord, dissension and factions.  These obstacles stand in the way of an ideal setting where harmony is achieved.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13

No one is exempt from an outburst when you lose your composure or say something that you regret.  This is where forgiveness enters the equation.  Once harmony is shattered, common sense must lead individuals toward reconciliation.  Although no one is perfect, the apostle Paul provides tips for those communities seeking unity, Colossians 3:12-15.  May bad blood, hurt feelings and severed relationships be washed away, replaced by the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

by Jay Mankus

The Relationship between Emotions and Worship

Mood swings are common, swayed by victories or defeat throughout life.  Yet, the pulse of emotions can be directly tied to your degree of worship.  Huh?  Are you sure about that?  Well, after examining the lives of Cain and Abel, God honors those whose heart is in the right place.  However, anyone who holds back, offering a lame attempt at worship will not receive what they desire.

And Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions.  And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. – Genesis 4:4-5

Despite one’s shortcomings in life, God can see right through the fake, phony and superficial.  While the world places an emphasis on appearance, height or stature, the Lord looks at the heart of mankind, 1 Samuel 16:7.  Known as the well spring of life, Proverbs 4:23, this organ regulates the human body.  Thus, the greater an individual pours out their soul in worship, the more likely God will be inclined to accept and bless their gifts.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

Those who sense God’s favor and or presence tend to control their emotions.  Meanwhile, anyone who feels rejected by God may turn sour, opening the door for anger to influence their behavior.  Depressed and jealous, Cain sought revenge instead of repentance.  Losing control of his emotions, Cain did the unthinkable, killing his baby brother.  Before you do something you might regret, take your spiritual pulse by evaluating your commitment to worship.  God willing, one day you will develop a Matthew 6:33 mentality, by placing your trust in an invisible God who continues to provide daily bread.

by Jay Mankus