KINDNESS

AP.jpg Kindness is often a simple matter, but has so many profound consequences. It reaches into the cracks and crevices of life’s most difficult circumstances. We never know when our Christian influence will extend far beyond our expectation. Most times it happens when we are kind. In the common courtesies of life, we lay the ground work for whatever witness we may offer for Christ. The influence which Jesus has upon our lives is expressed more by our kind and gentle ways than any other aspect of our faith. The love of God can never be promoted in a hateful way. All our loud and prolific pronouncements of Christianity are for naught if there is an absence of kindness. Continue reading “KINDNESS”

DEALING WITH THE INNER CHILD OF OUR PAST

Another Perspective
by Dr. Calvin Metcalf

inner childUnderneath our tough and successful adult exterior there continues to beat the heart of a child. This child which we once were has blended into the pattern of our maturity and still reaches out for love, acceptance, and attention. Even though we may have put away some childish things, the inner child of our past is a present reality. Those inferiorities and fears of childhood days continue to influence our adult behavior. Those lessons learned and truths accepted as a child form the basis of our moral and ethical judgments today. The commitments made and the faith expressed as a child give stability and strength to our adult character. Likewise the hurts and problems of childhood and adolescence have a lingering effect upon our personalities. We are the product of all that has transpired since the beginning days of our lives.   Continue reading “DEALING WITH THE INNER CHILD OF OUR PAST”

HISTORY LESSONS

AP.jpgIf you had lived during the days of Noah would your lifestyle have qualified you for the cruise?  Could God have used your kind of commitment to be the father or mother of a great nation as He did Abraham and Sarah?  Would your ability to survive adversity have enabled you to pass Joseph’s test?  What kind of disposition do you think you would have had on the Exodus journey?  Had you lived in later Old Testament days would you have had David’s love for God, Solomon’s wisdom, Elijah’s candor, Isaiah’s insight, and Ezekiel’s dreams?  Could you have demonstrated the faith of New Testament disciples, the endurance of Paul, and the future hope of John?  Do these and other spiritual heroes of the past give you reason for a more energized life in Christ?  Perhaps these questions seem a little strange and yet they focus upon some essential components of our Christian faith.  One of the beautiful benefits of studying the Bible from a biographical perspective is that we learn from character association.  We identify with ancient personalities.  We sense their situations.  We take their side and fight their fight.  We join them in the faith.  To mentally transpose ourselves to some circumstance in the distant past is to sharpen our ethical and moral skills for present situations.  To observe as well as to understand ancient behavior gives us hope for our own spiritual survival.  Although the leading characters in both Old and New Testament history had commendable qualities their frailties were also obvious.  Sometimes we learn from their strengths, and again we learn from their weaknesses. Continue reading “HISTORY LESSONS”

ON BEING HUMAN

AP.jpg A great lesson every Christian needs to learn is that it is all right to be human. Now this does not mean it is all right to be sinful. Sometimes we get the two confused as we minimize our sins by the fact that we are “just human.” We use the safety net of human frailty to rationalize our weaknesses. We almost blame God for our character flaws rather than assume any personal responsibility for our misdeeds. Although we are created in the image of God, we must address the weaknesses of the flesh with integrity and grace. Continue reading “ON BEING HUMAN”

POWER OF PEOPLE

As authors and writers, we tend to be sensitive to public opinion about us.  This guest post by Dr. Calvin Metcalf explores the power other people have over us.

AP-CalvinThe power of people to affect us is an interesting phenomenon. We are influenced daily by what people say or do to us. Sometimes it is what they do not say or do not do to us that makes a big difference in our lives. We give other folk a big amount of control over the way we think and act. Our dispositions are often the result of our reactions to the way people have treated us. Our moods are made either better or worse depending on who has been messing with our minds. For some reason we seem to be programmed to let others determine if we are to be happy or sad.

We are incurably addicted to what others think about us. We give away our freedom to be our own person in hopes that we can be liked by other persons. It can be an awkward way to live if we are intimidated continually by the power of people and never find our real identity. The strong influence of other people, however does not need to be a negative factor in our lives. We can be motivated and challenged to do our best because they expect it of us. We can get a better picture of who we are from those who love us enough to share their honest opinions. Continue reading “POWER OF PEOPLE”