The Fallibility of Human Nature

The Fallibility of Human Nature

Before we can understand how imperfect we are, we need to admit we all have imperfections and flaws. That said, let’s look at what happens when we refuse to see ourselves as we really are.

Take the daily news we tend to absorb. What motivates what we see or read? The headlines tend to grab us–based upon our individual stances or beliefs–and we’re often ensnared by the headlines and never read the details of an article or listen to the details of newscasts. Then, when we don’t bother with the details, but want to share what we just read or heard, we become arbiters of spreading *fake news* if in fact, what we shared was not truth. Allowing headlines to ensnare us is a human flaw–we all do it–and this is one of the reasons why we saw what happened in 2016–false headlines led many to believe lies about Hillary Clinton. Okay, this isn’t about Hillary, but it does serve to make the point being made–we are flawed human beings and sometimes, we allow our biases to interfere with good judgment.

Recent news (not fake, but very real) has revealed that Donald Trump is an un-indicted co-conspirator in crimes involving campaign violations (and others as we’ll soon see). He was listed as “individual 1” in a sentencing memo for Michael Cohen–his former fixer. At any rate, many people–including Republican elected leaders–have chosen to ignore the obvious because it doesn’t gel with their personal biases. In fact, Orrin Hatch (invisible glasses) has even stated that if trump has committed a crime, he doesn’t care. Kevin McCarthy has said, “if campaign violations is a crime, then we’d have to prosecute a number of people in Congress” (not exactly a statement that builds trust or faith in our elected officials). As a consequence, trump supporters (Cult45 and MAGAts), tend to believe the menace because he tweeted, “totally cleared the president. Thank you,” after the sentencing memo dropped. Why? He didn’t read the memo to discover he was referenced in it. And because of his ego and narcissistic tendencies, he would never admit it anyway, at least not publicly. Word on the street has it–he’s totally unnerved by the findings, but since his supporters only watch Fox News, they’ll never know the truth of the matter because–they’re not interested in truth, just in finding news that supports their thinking.

Someone on Twitter earlier today suggested that we go back to the Fairness Doctrine where all sides are presented in the media so then the consumer would be able to make wise decisions about the news. In theory, it sounds good, but wouldn’t it make more sense to educate the public in how to recognize credible sources of information? First of all, the consumer of information has to “want to know truth” in order to recognize it when it’s being told. How do we determine truth? What are the facts/evidence supporting what is reported? Who collected the facts/evidence and what is their reputation/credibility? What is their motive in collecting the facts/evidence and in the subsequent reporting? If the person presenting the information has extreme biases about what they’re presenting, can they really be objective in their perception of how the consumer will either receive or reject what they say?

Then, we have to take into account the “place” where the consumer of information is when they either hear or see certain types of information. On a good day, when everything is going our way, we can be a bit cynical about some of what we hear, but on the other hand, if we’re already soured about events surrounding us, we tend to only want to hear those things that encourage our being sour on everything. It’s human nature! It’s what we do!

Right now, many (not all) of us only want to hear the very worst about trump because it serves our purposes in knowing we were right about him all along. But are we right? Did we miss something in the process of wanting to be right? It’s possible, but that’s not the purpose of this article. I’m simply pointing out the fallibility of human nature and the fact that none of us are always right or always wrong. We’re simply human beings with biases developed over the course of lives. Sometimes, we’re wise enough to look deeper–see the details and change our perspectives, but that doesn’t happen too often. When we have hardened views on almost any subject, we’re only inclined to listen to those people who build pillars to support our views, rather than listen to those who deliberately challenge us to widen our horizons and hone our views based upon the facts/evidence we discover.

Today, we live in such a divided society that no matter what one person says (Democrat or Republican) they are judged because of stances they’ve taken with or without justification. We can move our society to a better place if all–everyone–regardless of party affiliation would simply take the time to *research* information, determining whether it is credible or not, analyzing the motivation behind what we use, before drawing any conclusions about any presented information.

Now, I’ll admit–I have some favorite news outlets and most of them will actually support my biases. However, when I hear things that don’t sound credible–I research–and I don’t care who said what. I’d rather take the time to research the information before spreading lies, creating undue animosity–which is what many people do. I know trump supporters don’t like the fact that *he lies* consistently, with no purpose at this point because we all know, he lies. The problem is–one day–he just might tell us the truth (though he and truth have no relationship) and no one will believe it because he lies. I encouraged him over two years to have someone read to him, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” I don’t think he ever read that or had anyone read it to him.

The really sad part is, he never read about Pinocchio either. His comprehension skills, to say the least, are negligible.  The proof of that statement is available in a video clip of him, “tossing a coin” to determine which team did what (Army vs Navy last weekend), but he took that literally. The “coin toss” is actually, flipping the coin, but he didn’t understand that and made a fool of himself and as a result, social media lambasted him. But I digress. The point of this is to encourage others to understand the need to research information from a variety of sources before we decide how we feel about it or spread it to others.  If we’re going to read or listen to *conservative* views, we might want to sprinkle enough information from the other side to come to a logical, rational conclusion. I’m reminded of the nonsense that was spread by conservative outlets about Hillary and the Parkland Students–created because of conspiracy theorists who had no evidence on which to base or promote their fraudulent theories, but they promoted them anyway and many gullible people, swallowed them whole.

Non-credible sources include: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tomi Lahren, Tucker Carlson,  Jeanine Pirro, The Daily Caller, Breitbart, Common Dreams, New York Post, Fox News (Entertainment) Network, or anyone who cannot or will not provide facts/evidence to support what they say and that includes Jerry Falwell, Jr. Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, or Paula White or a multitude of other Evangelicals who lied to their congregations when they told them, “God chose trump to be president.” Where’s the evidence? Are they operating on feelings? Is it based upon The Word of God? The Character of God? Do trump’s actions align with the Word of God?

What the Evangelicals won’t tell people is how they have contrived for years to find someone who will do whatever they want done–under cover of the White House–for an exchange of money–the almighty dollar that speaks volumes for those who are greedy and corrupt. And yes, I’m calling out the Evangelical Community that lied to people and is still lying to people. They do not know God, or His Word, or His Character. If they did, they would not have told people God chose trump. It’s just that simple and that can be researched and proven by trying to align trump’s character and behavior with The Word of God.

But we know, the lying Evangelicals won’t tell people the truth, because they don’t want to admit their fallibility as human beings because to them, being a Christian means you can never be wrong. The reality is, being a Christian really means–we try to live like Christ–admitting our shortcomings, recognizing we’ll never be perfect and always seeking Him to guide us in all things. And when we “think” we’ve heard Him speak to us, we can prove it by aligning what He says to us with what He’s already said in His Word. God is not a man that He should lie or change His mind about What He’s said or the Purpose for which He said, anything.

God knows just how imperfect we are and the fact that we’ll never reach perfection as long as we are in a position to “choose” what we say or do. When we fall short, we acknowledge it, seek forgiveness and guidance and keep it moving, until the next time and there will be a next time. It’s what happens to fallible human beings–we are true to our nature.

 

 

Is Our Living For The Lord Evident?

Is Our Living For The Lord Evident?

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.  I Thessalonians 1:3-6 NIV

Some have “given” up stuff for Lent, some have repented for a moment of the lifestyles lived to honor a “holy week” and for some–a life-changing event has taken place.

We’ve paid attention to the last week that Jesus lived with various events and tributes and programs and praise for Jesus loving us enough to come down and make the ultimate sacrifice for us–so we may have eternal life with Him.

Now, that the celebration is over, how will our lives or rather how we live reflect our gratitude for what Jesus did?

Do we really love Him? Do we really understand what He did? If what He has done has touched our hearts and made us realize that our lives are nothing without Him, does the life we live before others provide evidence of who we say we are?

Most of us can talk a good game–we’ve learned how to be the best hypocrites in the world, but when it comes to evangelizing the world by how we live–not what we say–would we be found “guilty” of living a Christ-Centered life?

It is so much easier to “preach” to people than it is to “live” The Word that we forget–not only is God watching, but those around us are watching us, too. What do they see? Do they see us living what we say or do we just become more hot air in the society that is known for “talking loud and saying nothing?”

Are we seen helping those in need without looking for recognition and accolades?

Are we seen exercising wisdom in all decision making that affects others?

Are we known by the love we have for others–whether we approve of their lifestyles or not?

Are we known for praying for others at all times?

Are we known for showing kindness and self-control in any given situation?

Do others see evidence of self-discipline in our lives?

While we espouse having access to power through Holy Spirit–are we allowing Him to guide us in all we say and do?

What are people going to see us doing in the next forty days that’s going to be different from what they saw in the previous forty days? Will they see Holy Spirit powered dedication to living a life that is evidence of our love and gratitude for Jesus?

Well, will they?

While we ponder our actions and how we’ll become proficient at living the life we say we love in Jesus, let’s pray–and then allow Holy Spirit free reign in our hearts so at some point, in the very near future, all will see the message we live.

 

 

When Holy Spirit Resides Within, The Evidence is Clear!

“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38,39 NIV)

When Peter reminded those listening to him about Jesus–the Savior who came and was crucified for their sins–they wanted to know–what could they do to be saved. And this was Peter’s response–the same as John’s cry in the wilderness–“repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sin and receive the gift of Holy Spirit.”

During a conversation yesterday with a friend, we were talking about why Believers say, they cannot give up vile habits. She said she didn’t understand why folks who claimed to be filled with the Holy Spirit cannot stop smoking (or doing other things that would impact their bodies negatively). Although it is not our job to determine who has been filled or not–when we don’t see any evidence of being filled–self discipline and control–we can draw certain conclusions about the validity of what a person says.

None of us have the power–in of ourselves–to do anything worthwhile. It is truly through the power of Holy Spirit that we can do all things and do them well. We can stop cussing and being ignorant. We can stop smoking (I’m not saying smoking is a sin; it’s just stupid to do something that kills you). We can stop deliberately living a lifestyle that opposes God’s Word–if in fact, we are being led by Holy Spirit. When we see people doing these things and they “say” they are filled with Holy Spirit, it makes me wonder, if they’re listening.

Now, Holy Spirit does not “make us do” anything. He speaks to us–saying only what God says, and convicts us when we are not doing what we’re supposed to do. Many may not listen and then say what they can’t do, but it’s not a matter of what they cannot do; it’s a matter of what they don’t want to do. “We can do all things through Him who strengthens us” when we listen to Holy Spirit.

When people won’t repent and stop doing those things that are not good for them, it’s because of their desires to do them. No one–absolutely no one–who is filled with and led by Holy Spirit–would even want to light up a cigarette, drink themselves into a stupor, get high drugs, commit murder, lie, steal, or engage in sexual immorality. If they do these things, they are grieving the Holy Spirit and He will not dwell in an unclean temple. So, though they might have once been filled–when He leaves–He’s gone and it is truly unfortunate when a person doesn’t even know–they booted Him out and they know longer have His guidance.

The evidence of Holy Spirit residing within us is quite simply–love, joy, peace, forbearance (refraining from doing something), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). Notice that the first criteria or evidence we see is “love” (if we don’t love self, we cannot love anyone else) and the last is “self-control” (allowing Holy Spirit to lead us in all things). If none of this evidence is present in our daily lives, we cannot say we are filled with and led by Holy Spirit (and tell the truth). 

Actually, no Believer should ever have to say anything about being filled Holy Spirit. Everyone looking at us or listening to us should know by our deeds and words who is leading us. This does not mean that we have reached perfection, but we recognize when we have erred and repent quickly, allowing Holy Spirit to guide us.

If we haven’t repented–we need to do so–and be filled and allow Holy Spirit to take control of our lives. When we hear Him and respond, others will see the evidence of His dwelling within us and we don’t have to say anything.

Need Some Charmin, Please!

No reason or rhyme to justify
Allegations, unproven many have said
She stories–reeking revenge
And yet, presumption of innocence
Ignored and people vent crying foul,
When nothing is proven, just accepted
Tales of yonder years, Hollywood style
Drugs and sex, for all the wannabes
Who age has claimed its fame with
Sagging faces, memory lapses, and
Perhaps, shame from their part in the game,
Trying to reach the top, without skills
But willing to do whatever it takes to bring
Down one who has persevered, reclaiming
Career amidst the cheers and jeers of those
Pronouncing him guilty, no trial set,
And sentenced without conviction, their views
Have no evidence to support, just hearsay and numbers,
When everyone knows numbers can expand
When the price is right and media refuses to denounce
The injustice of presumption of guilt, over innocence!
Where is this country headed? Down the toilet so
Get the hip-boots out and the Charmin!

Who Will Be Your Witness?

Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.” (I John 5:9,10 NLT)

If we had to stand trial today and provide evidence that we are who we say we are in Christ, what would be a judge’s final ruling?

Who would we call to be our witnesses to support our claim to being a follower of Jesus Christ?

Do we even have any witnesses who could testify on our behalf?

Would we have to find “false witnesses” or would our witnesses tell the truth?

We can lie to ourselves and act like we are “all that” when in fact, we haven’t reached a point in our lives where we truly believe we are who we say we are. If we did, the world would be a much better place for if we are truly His, we would know how to change the course of events without violence and hatred and bigotry and know how to encourage all to live according to God’s Word, not in opposition of it.

Who will be your witness and can you call them to testify with confidence or will you quake as they speak?

If we truly think about how others perceive us and are willing to look self–in the face–and dare to make whatever changes are necessary, we would have no need to fear what any witness would say about our relationship with Christ.

Something to think about. We can fool ourselves and others, but we cannot fool God! He knows–everything about us!

The Irrefutable Testimony!

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16 NIV).

There are a number of people who are confused as to whether or not they are descendants of Abraham and entitled to all the benefits of being one of God’s chosen. From the beginning, God chose those He wanted to call His own and bless. This relationship was based on a natural connection to Abraham through bloodline (the basis of most relationships claiming to be family). However, because many of the natural relatives were rebellious and disobedient, the connective relationship with God was broken and Jesus had to come to restore it.

When the relationship was restored through the work on the cross, all who chose to accept Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord became part of the family by adoption through Holy Spirit. Now, if we are adopted into the family of Abraham, and recognized by God as being part of the family, why on earth are we confused?

Instead of listening to those who are confused and allow negativity to reign in their lives, we must know for ourselves whose children we are. Imagine this event being played out in a courtroom. We have been charged with proclaiming we are joint-heirs with Christ (He’s our elder brother) and thereby children of the most High God. All of the witnesses of religious dogma have been called to testify against us, but there is One who testifies with irrefutable evidence-the Word of God. Holy Spirit convinces our spirit that we are the children of God and as such, entitled to all the benefits and promises of God!

Do we dare believe Him? Absolutely, we dare and proclaim from the mountain tops and throughout the valleys that we are children of God. We have a right to proclaim God as our Father, Jesus as our elder brother and Holy Spirit as our guide and counselor in all matters. We have a right to receive all the benefits God promised the Children of Israel from the beginning. We can claim with assurance that God has planned our lives and He planned them with purpose–that we might prosper and have a future with hope. We can proclaim that whatever we put our hands to when we obey God, will succeed. We can rest assured of His promises of victory–being the head and not the tail, being healed by the stripes Jesus bore before being nailed to the cross, having an eternal resting place with Jesus when we choose to be obedient. We have a right to make these claims when we have accepted the adopting agent–our faith in God.

Now with the right to receive all the promises, we all put ourselves in position to receive all the persecution and negativity that was directed at Jesus. We must stay focused on Him and never lose sight of the prize in Christ Jesus–our hope must remain intact until the end when we receive our eternal reward. However, when we choose not to be obedient, we must also expect to receive the consequences that were also promised to those children who disobeyed.

Think about it! Are you proclaiming to be a child of the Most High? I have been accused of proclaiming an inheritance in Jesus–and the evidence provided by Holy Spirit is irrefutable! Hallelujah! I am a child of the Most High, entitled to all His many benefits!