You buried the chance in a self-righteous glance
So your sons and your daughters were safe
But your imperfect path is a heart made of glass
And the world is a charming grenade.
You buried the chance in a self-righteous glance
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light."
— Micah 7:8
— Jonah 2:8
Don’t think about a yellow brick road.
Why did you think about a yellow brick road? Just stop thinking about the yellow brick road and you will stop thinking about the yellow brick road!
You see, the more you think and focus on your sin, the further away you will be from overcoming it. Instead, think about Jesus and what He wants you to do and what He did for you. You cannot fix your sin, but Jesus can. Whatever you struggle with in this life, don’t let that sin be a distraction. Leave it behind you and press onward.
The closer you get to Christ, the further you’ll get from sin.
Anonymous said: Growing up I was always taught cussing was a sin, but lately I’ve been hearing from a lot of people claiming to be christian that it isn’t a sin. I am kind of confussed by the whole matter. I was wondering what you thought, and what is scripture supporting and/or not supporting the arguements? Thank you for your time
Thanks for the great question!
Tumblr is filled with many people who claim to be Christian yet hold many different views. One says that sexual activity outside of marriage is encouraged, another says drunkardness is not condemned by Scripture, and another says that Jesus is not the only way to Heaven. Being surrounded by all sorts of opinions, how do we discern what true, Biblical Christianity teaches? Well, we read the Bible. For Christians, whatever Scripture teaches is to be believed. If you disagree with the Bible, you cannot really call yourself a Christian. It’s like being a Muslim but not holding to the Koran. It just does not make sense.
So, let’s figure out this topic of cussing. Let’s start off with a more general question: Is offensive language condemned in the Bible?
The answer is: it depends.
Scripture has times in the Bible where God uses offensive language in order to communicate the truth. In Isaiah 64:6, God says to Israel that their righteous acts are like used menstrual pads. In the Gospels, Jesus calls the pharisees a brood of vipers, white washed tombs, and blind guides. There are many more examples of offensive language being used, but you get the idea.
Yet, Jesus said:
"But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell." - Matthew 5:22
So what’s the difference between Matthew 5:22 and the more offensive parts of Scripture? One is done in a way that brings truth and awakening, and another is done in anger and sin.
Here is what Scripture says: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” - Colossians 4:6
We need to know how to answer everyone. This doesn’t mean we can go around insulting people with the language we use, but it doesn’t mean that we need to beat around the bush to explain a point. 99% of the time, offensive language will be unnecessary and harmful. Whenever Scripture uses offensive language, it is over big situations that needed a vital correction. It was never over petty squabbles.
It is important not to justify your use of language with Scripture, but rather let Scripture determine whether or not what you are saying is full of grace and seasoned with salt. Too many Christians say “Jesus did it” and then abuse the principle. Don’t do that. Instead, find out why Jesus did it and understand that your use of offensive language probably isn’t justified.
Having said that, let’s get down to the more specific question: What does Scripture say about cussing?
When it comes to vulgar, harsh words used to bring emphasis to one’s sentence, Scripture doesn’t specifically say anything. But it does give many guidelines about the way we should talk. Here are a couple:
”Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” - Ephesians 5:4
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." - Ephesians 4:29
Basically, if what you are saying is derogatory, sexually influenced, or destructive, you are disobeying Scripture. Having said that, we can easily derive from here that cussing is an unnecessary, irrelevant part of language. It is not needed to communicate any point, and it can only harm those who hear it. No one can argue from Scripture that cussing is approved. At the same time, I cannot argue from Scripture that cussing is prohibited.
So we must ask ourselves, what is the wisest decision to make? Do we use language that has the potential to needlessly offend others just because we like it? Or do we be more careful with the way we speak in order to be a better example and light to the world? Cussing has never edified anyone, but it has been used to hurt a lot of people.
In the end, cussing is a worldly device used for expression. Scripture does not say “Thou shalt not drop the F-bomb.” It gives us principles and guidelines. So ultimately, I have to pull the Romans 14 card:
”Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” - Romans 14:13
It’s a heart issue. When Scripture doesn’t say anything, I will not make it say something. I can argue from outside the Bible that cussing is not helpful and is more often damaging than harmless, but I cannot use Scripture to justify my position. The only thing I can say is that if you are using any language to hurt someone, you are in sin.
So there you have it. Personally, I think cussing is unnecessary and potentially damaging. Biblically, your speech should always be edifying; your speech should never be destructive.
Thank you for the great question! If you have a response or another pondering, do not hesitate to message me.
God bless and much love,
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” - Matthew 7:1-2
We all need saving. Thank you Jesus, for I have sinned.
— Matt Chandler
When we read our Bibles, we come across so many stories of Jesus. All of the time, they have to do with people. For the most part, it all ends the same way. People turn from their sin. Jesus would call people to repent, and they would. He would tell them “Go and sin no more.”
Today, we seem to embrace sin. Instead of showing people the right way to go, we have grown passive in our evangelism. We are quick to accept and embrace the life decisions that our peers are making. We don’t hold the line of truth and show the way of love. Instead, we tell them "Go and sin some more."
Yes, we cannot force our beliefs down people’s throats, but we can give them the option to choose Christianity. Instead of shrinking back and avoiding the awkward friction and tension, we can take a risk and give the option of life. It is strange today to think that Jesus hung out at parties with sinners and embraced their sin. He never did. Everyone knew who Jesus was and what He was about. He made that very clear.
So my prayer for all of us is that we will make ourselves very clear. That we are going about our Father’s business. That we are embassador’s of Christ. That we are not perfect, but forgiven and repentant.
God bless and much love,
You’re a Christian telling the sinner
‘Find repentance, it’s your last chance.’
You believer, where’s your patience?
Answering questions, putting on faces.
Gary’s getting drunk to forget Sarah.
Sarah’s stealing money from her parents.
Aaron is lying straight to Jon
About Megan and the things that went on.
Jessica’s a gossip, Laura’s a slut.
Derrick hits Bridget and Ben deals drugs.
Seth spends all his money gambling.
Joey stopped praying; it’s all the same.
We are all the same people
With sinning hearts that make us equal.
Here is my hand, not words said desperately.
It’s not our job to make anyone believe.
— Emery, Listening to Freddie Mercury
"I know your deeds,that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”
God gives commands, not suggestions. Submit to the Word of God and obey Him with all your life, even when it’s not convenient.
— Greg Laurie
Some of us have very good reasons to be bitter. There are awful things that have been done to us, and we cannot seem to let it go. Many of you following me have been victims of racism, sexual abuse, deception, bullying, neglect, and a myriad of other things.
But there’s a catch.
Bitterness is an emotional Voodoo doll. You pain yourself over and over with different thoughts about vengeance, altered reenactments, and ill-meant wishes for your offender.
Let me explain something to you: Bitterness is harming no one but yourself. In fact, by refusing to forgive those who do evil from you, you are being demonic. BItterness is so evil and so profound, that James, the brother of Jesus, calls it wisdom from Satan.
”But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” - James 3:13-16
When someone wrongs us, we can tend to think “I did not deserve that! I deserve to be treated well, I deserve this, I deserve that!” As image bearers of God, we understand this conviction. There is nothing wrong in knowing how human beings deserve to be treated. However, when you start to follow that simple truth with: “They took what is valuable to me! This person deserves to die. I hope terrible suffering comes onto him/her, because they wronged me! I hope their heart shatters.”
That’s bitterness. Someone wrongs you, and you just watch their every step, filling your heart with more and more bitterness. Everything they succeed in, you gnash your teeth at. Everything they fail in, you rejoice in and have an emotional banquet with yourself. When your focus goes from the will of God and onto yourself and how you can commit harm for harm, you are being tempted and coerced by evil. It’s completely selfish and only causes evil.
James then continues:
”But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” - James 3:17-18
Every single one of these qualities crushes bitterness. And yet, if there is anyone in this entire existence that deserves to be bitter, it’s God. He comes to be tortured, mocked, beaten, rejected, and crucified, offering Himself as payment for our own sins, and we do the complete opposite of that act of love. He cries out “Father, forgive them! They don’t know what they are doing!” and we cry to that same Father “You better punish them! Look at what they have done to me!”
God forgives us, and we withhold forgiveness from the very people that we are supposed to be giving our lives to. And yes, we might have extremely good reasons for being bitter. God sure does. Look at what we have done to His creation and to ourselves. But He loves you anyway and died for you.
So next time you’re angry with someone, no matter if it’s been years or minutes, stop and ask yourself “Am I being forgiving just as God forgave me?”
Take these moments and reflect on those who have done evil to you, and then forgive them. Pray for them. Tell them that you love them. Ask how you can serve them. Because no matter how many times we slap Jesus in the face with our sin and wicked doings, He keeps on turning the other cheek. Maybe it’s about time we follow His footsteps.
I am praying for you all. I am always here to listen to what you are going through.
God bless and much love
Anonymous asked: What are some passages of scripture to help someone with a doubtful heart? I’m really struggling with fact of am I saved or is God even real. I don’t even know where to look in the Bible please help.
Thanks so much for your question! I really hope and pray that I can help you discover who you are and help you find answers to the challenges you are facing.
First of all, let me say this: Struggling with the belief of salvation is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a very good checkpoint where we can reflect on ourselves and our character and see where we need Christ’s help to renew the broken parts of our lives.
Having said that, let me define salvation for you. Salvation is believing that Jesus Christ, being God, came and died for your sin, resurrecting after his death so that you could walk in newness of life with Him. All you must do to receive his salvation is believe that He is God and He died for you. If you truly believe that, you will follow Him.
Now, what can happen sometimes is that we start to find other things in life that we deem as valuable, and then we soon forget about God. Jesus Christ becomes a concept or fact, rather than a vibrant, living relationship.
Now, I will show you some Scripture:
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge,6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:3-11 (NLT)
In this particular passage, Peter is addressing people who truly believe in Jesus (v.1). So this applies to anyone who truly thinks they are Christian. Here is what I want you to focus on: Peter mentions seven things one should add to their faith for growth and maturity (v. 5-7). Doing or not doing these things does not make you saved or condemned, but if you truly believe in Jesus, these 7 things will stop you from becoming fruitless and forgetting that you are saved. So read this over and over and think about how you can improve in all of those areas, and then pray to God to give you strength. If you lack moral excellence, ask God to give you strength to rid yourself of sin and find ways to fight those battles. If you lack knowledge, commit to reading your Bible, join a Bible study, or get someone to hold you accountable or perhaps find a study partner. If you lack Godliness, commit yourself to prayer and fasting and spend time with God so that you can be refreshed and refocused on who He is.
Now that we have talked about that, I want to show you what it looks like to be saved:
“I am thetrue vine, and my Father isthe vinedresser.2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruithe takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes,that it may bear more fruit.3 Alreadyyou are cleanbecause of the word that I have spoken to you.4 Abidein me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5 I am the vine;you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is thatbears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.6 If anyone does not abide in mehe is thrown away like a branch and withers;and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.7 Ifyou abide in me, and my words abide in you,ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.8 By this my Father is glorified, that youbear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.9 As the Father has loved me,so have I loved you. Abide in my love.10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just asI have keptmy Father’s commandments and abide in his love.11 These things I have spoken to you,that my joy may be in you, and thatyour joy may be full.” – John 15:1-11
So I want to make something very clear now. If you are saved, you will not be perfect. We all need to be pruned. We have times in our walk when we get distracted by things of this world, and then we begin to wither and die. Every Christian has been there.
Having made that clear, I want you to ask yourself “Do I really love Jesus? Do I want to obey what He commands because I love Him?” You see, Jesus told His disciples in this passage that they would obey His commands if they love Him. If they do not love Him, they won’t obey His commands. This doesn’t mean you will be perfect. Jesus knew they were not perfect, after all, Peter denied Him three times and everyone abandoned Him at the time of His arrest (Mark 14).
Now, in verse 8 Jesus told them to prove they are His disciples by bearing much fruit. This does not mean that they needed to prove to God that they are His disciples (v. 5 says they can’t). What it does mean is that we can see for ourselves if we are truly His disciples. If you want to know if you are a Christian or not, study this passage and ask yourself these questions afterwards:
1. Do I love Jesus?
2. What is my deepest desire?
3. Is my deepest desire to follow and serve Jesus, or serve myself and my desires?
4. Have I been trying to fix myself for Jesus or have I been asking Jesus to help me grow closer to Him?
After you answer those questions, I am sure that you will be certain on whether or not you are saved. After all, who can love Jesus and not be saved? If you love Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will follow Him.
Bear in mind this one thing: Jesus did not say what He did in John 15 in order to criticize, terrify, or discourage His disciples. He said in verse 11: “These things I have spoken to you,that my joy may be in you, and thatyour joy may be full.” Jesus does not want you to be struggling and heart shattered. He wants you to be full of joy. That is why He told His disciples to abide in Him and love Him and bear fruit in order to show that they are truly children of God. Once you know who you are in Christ, you will have joy. But once you forget and do not apply the 7 pillars that Peter talked about, you will become “shortsighted and blind, forgetting that you have been cleansed from your past sins.” (2 Peter 1:9)
I hope all of this has helped! I want to suggest to you a few resources. I want you to get 2 books: Crazy Love by Francis Chan and Who Do You Think You Are? by Mark Driscoll. Crazy Love is about what truly loving and believing in Christ is all about, and Who Do You Think You Are is a study on Ephesians about your identity and who Christ has made you to be. Please get both of those books! Figuring out where you stand with Christ is worth the 20-30 dollars that you would spend on something else.
Mark Driscoll did a sermon series based on his book that you can find here. You can watch one or two a week until you get through the whole thing. I think it would be very beneficial for you!
Also, I just finished watching a sermon by Francis Chan on being “Lukewarm.” I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that term, but it basically means that you haven’t truly made a decision to follow Christ and you’re just sitting on the fence about it. The sermon was very challenging and I think it would be very beneficial for you to work through it. You can find the video here.
I hope that my words will help you work through all of this. Please take advantage of the resources I have offered. Invest your time into discovering where you stand with God! Nothing else is more important. Cancel social events with friends. Quit your job if you need to! This is far more important than anything in this world. Simply try your very hardest to work and wrestle through this fatal question: “Am I really saved?”
If you have any more questions or anything you want to explain or comment on, please let me know! I am always here to help or simply listen. You are in my prayers.
God bless and much love,