Headline: Tips for a Better Life

HeadlineHeadline Updated: January 1st, 2017

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“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul also prospers.” 3 John 1:2

its-a-new-year

Kickstart the new year with some godly wisdom.

“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:6-7

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But I don’t have a life

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

Many people actually believe that life should be a long party.

Good times. Happy times. A real life.

Well, wake up.

The Pursuit of Happiness is just that, a pursuit. Happiness is a fleeting experience. It doesn’t stay for long. It comes and goes. It is mostly an emotional reaction brought about by favorable circumstances that once in a while manage to show up.

Thus, the following happens:

  • People don’t have jobs, they’re unhappy and complain.
  • They’re single, they’re unhappy and complain.
  • They don’t have kids, they’re unhappy and complain.

So they cry out, “We have no life.”

But then:

  • They have jobs, they’re unhappy and complain.
  • They’re married, they’re unhappy and complain.
  • They have kids, they’re unhappy and complain.

So they cry out again, “We have no life.”

What is the problem?

They forget that life’s anchor is love, not happiness. And that love is not a goosebumpsy feeling or emotion.

To love is to do the right thing, to fulfill one’s duties, to sacrificially give of oneself, and to selflessly help others – even when it hurts and doesn’t feel right.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

If you believe you have no life because of your unhappiness, you need a Heart Adjustment.

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Living with Mom and Dad

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

If you are not married and not working far from home, there is no reason to live anywhere but at home with mom and dad, no matter how old you are. The reasons are simple.

1. The bible says so.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife…” Ephesians 5: 31

A man can leave his parents before finding a wife if he has to work far from home, which in turn prepares him to later afford a family of his own. Jacob did that.

“Then Jacob went on his way and came to the land of the people of the east.” Genesis 29:1

There Jacob worked for 7 years to finally be able to marry his first wife, and toiled for another 7 to get the second one. See Can a Man have Many Wives?

2. Save money.

The propaganda, especially in the US, is that if you’re living with mom and dad you are a loser. The idea is to guilt-trap you into moving out of your parents’ house and renting or buying real estate you can’t afford, so you can enrich property developers.

Imagine how much money you could put aside if while working you were living at home. You could share some of the expenditures with your parents, and thus avoid all the expenses associated with renting and buying something you can scarcely afford.

That way you can build your savings and have a nest egg to fall back on when a true need arises to finally own or rent a property – for example, when it’s time to get married, or when your parents die and your siblings want to sell the house to get their share of the property, or when you have to move out of state/country for a new job.

So don’t fall for the propaganda. Be smarter than that.

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Family Life

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

The family is God’s plan to bring order to the world, and yet He has placed within each family characters who rub us the wrong way.

Why?

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

That’s why. And how do we get sharpened in the Christian life? By loving and forgiving.

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates his brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20

“Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ ” Matthew 18: 21,22

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive…” Colossians 3:13

Many avoid their families because they say they can’t handle it. However, unless there’s a life-threatening or deliberately criminal situation everyone should stay put, because one way or another God is going to sharpen you.

Those who run away from their families soon find out that God uses strangers (and circumstances) to do His sharpening as well, which in the end proves to be more unbearable. Ask the prodigal son.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.” Luke 15:17-20

In conclusion, keep your senses, stay put, and allow God to use your family to sharpen you. Once you’ve been sharpened, the outside world and its uncomfortable grating will be more tolerable, for you would have already endured and surmounted plenty of irritating rubbing.

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

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Anger

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

“Be angry, and do not sin.” Ephesians 4: 26

Anger can be useful, though it may easily become a conduit for sin.

“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20

So, what should happen when we do get angry? After all, Jesus Himself got angry.

“So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” John 2:15

The purpose of godly anger is to demonstrate and reveal  a wrong,  especially  when God’s commandments are not being followed.

“He said, ‘Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s house into a marketplace!'” John 2:16

“You must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people… Expel the wicked person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:11,13

Anger shows our displeasure. When it’s acted upon in a godly way, the other party, if he has a heart for change, will feel convicted and will eventually repent; otherwise, he’ll audaciously display his own anger and be forever offended.

The same principle applies to parents as they discipline their children.

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24

A parent’s duty is to teach his children righteousness. When they disobey, he gets angry or disappointed, depending on the level of the offense. With many kids whose parents did a proper job from the very beginning, there’s often no need to use the rod.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Sometimes the gravity of an offense might challenge parents to take that further step. The rod. Still, it is not an opportunity to beat a small child senseless until he bleeds. A gentle spanking, with the right amount of sting, can usually do the trick and show the parents’ anger.

Spanking may or may not work with adolescents, since they’re almost adults. Therefore, adult techniques, which are usually laden with dialogue and stern discipline, should take precedence.

With complete strangers, anger should be kept under total control. It is not our job to correct them.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11

“Anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9

When strangers are angry with us, this is the way to act:

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” Proverbs 15:18

In family, anger should be quickly resolved.

“Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27

In general, when anger is burning inside this is what is required:

“Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.” Psalm 4:4

Then apply wisdom from above.

“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17

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Dating Traps

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

Dating causes your emotions to get all wrapped up in a person who may not be right for you; and even when you know they’re not right, time and/or desperation often cause you to become addicted to them.

Worse still, many give away their sexuality, some their virginity, only to get nothing positive in return. After desires are satiated and contempt is brought on by familiarity, they break up. Then the painful withdrawal process tees off as tangled emotions ferociously and pitilessly unravel – a needless situation that could have easily been avoided.

In addition, people put their best faces forward when dating; so if marriage materializes you have to get to know them all over again, because it seems you don’t recognize them.

When looking for a spouse keep these 3 succinct points in mind.

1. Don’t consider divorcés/divorcées (unless it’s a divorcé who divorced his wife because of her fornication). It’s not only a sin, but  a commonsensical point as well (i.e., if he/she divorced once, he/she could divorce again). There are plenty of fish in the sea, so look for those with no baggage.

2. Guys, don’t get involved with women who have kids, they’re usually looking for a financial anchor. These women will always put their kids ahead of you, and you will never be their kids’ fathers. Besides, why do some other guy’s job for him? Again, there are plenty of fish in the sea, so ignore the Hollywood propaganda that depicts stepfathers trying to surpass their stepkids’ real fathers by proving how much better they can be to them. It’s all bull biscuit geared toward social reengineering.

And you ladies with kids, if you find yourselves separated from your kids’ fathers, do not bring other men into the picture, as they will likely butt heads with your sons, possibly eye your daughters, and even take you for a ride financially – once more, pay no heed to the Hollywood propaganda. However, single non-divorced women can consider widowers with kids, since women have a maternal instinct that can be transferred to kids not their own, as opposed to men trying to do the same as stepfathers. Fathers are a whole different ball of wax. The bible tells us so.

“The glory of children is their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6

3. There’s no such thing as “the one”. The purpose of marriage is to start a family that soon will involve children (i.e., marriage is about making babies). So the only query that matters is this: Is he/she father/mother material from a respectable family?

Then, instead of dating, follow God’s Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

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Money-Wise Steward

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

“In a wise man’s dwelling, precious treasures and oils are stored.” Proverbs 21: 20

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22

You are just a steward of the money God entrusts you with. As such you must exercise due diligence in order to use and bequeath it properly:

a. meet your family’s needs (vacation included);

b. save for bad times;

c. invest in your retirement;

d. lay away for your children’s future;

e. take eternity into account and apply Jesus’s parable of The Unrighteous Steward in Luke 16:1-12.

With that parable, Jesus delineated a two-prong position:

1) Salvation. The unrighteous steward gave away commercial goods to those who could give back to him in return. Scratch my back, I scratch yours. That’s the way of the world. And for the world it is a smart way to deal. However, you, as a disciple of Christ, have something better to give. The Gospel of Salvation. And it is not to be exchanged for filthy lucre like many “preachers” do today. It is to be given to all, expecting nothing in return.

2) Money. You must not only give the Gospel away for free, you must also bestow money on those who can’t give back to you. That way they can see Christ in you as well as getting a taste of the goodness of the Lord through your giving.

“Taste and see that the LORD is good.” Psalm 34: 8

“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” Luke 6: 33

When you give, it is as if God Himself is giving. Said gesture affords you the opportunity to share Christ. It is also a seed impregnated with Christian love that later on could yield the fruit of change in marginal “Christians” or salvation in the souls of those who do not know ChristThat’s why Jesus said to “make friends using unrighteous mammon”.

Thereupon, those at the receiving end of your gift, once saved, will be able to partake with you of the everlasting life, which is the real dividend or the true riches that God Himself will assign to you as your own.

See Who Should Christians Give their Money to?

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Has God planned BIG Things for our Lives?

From our CHURCH REFORM series.

Many Christians seem to think so. But where did they get that idea from?

Continue reading here.

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Read also: The 11 Commandments

Read also: The Consequences of Sin