Category Archives: Grudges

Death – ways to die

We have a 500 million to 1 chance of being killed on a 5-mile bus trip.  A 1 in 32 million chance of dying from a mountain lion attack.  A 1 in 354,319 chance of dying in a plane crash.  A 1 in 5,005,564 chance of dying from contact with hot tap water—really; a 1 in 9,380 chance of dying by suicide; a 1 in 15,585 chance of dying in a car accident.  San Diego U-T, 2/22/04

But if we want to know what chance in a million—or of any other number we consider—to die, we’re still 100% mortal, with a 100% mortality rate.  Living longer is possible, through better medical care, personal eating and exercise habits, more positively processing stress and anxiety, etc.  Living eternally here, in this life, isn’t, and it’s a waste of time to consider living even an average of 125-150 years, as some speculate.  The Biblical span remains in place:  70 years as a rule, 80 and beyond an exception Psalm 90:10.

How to prepare for the inevitable mortality chasing us IS our choice.  No one can decide it for us.  We can prolong ourselves past this life, and into the next, and qualify to enter that world.  But let us be forewarned:  intelligence won’t qualify us, where wisdom does; adding to prosperity of this life won’t qualify us, where enriching our life with Christ-honoring behavior does; dwelling in ever-more expensive homes graced with ever-more expensive furnishings won’t qualify us, but making a throne of our minds and hearts where Jesus can rule over us does.  And so forth.

It takes no special intelligence to know death is in our future.  It takes God-given, Christ-honoring wisdom to look beyond the INSTANT of dying to the life beyond.  Only wisdom that fears God and obeys him survives death to grant us a happy life with God.  Why would people content themselves with intelligence for this life when only Biblical wisdom teaches us through life to honor God and his Christ and leads us through death into God’s everlasting Presence.

 

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Grudges – useless, unless…Part II

God’s anger against Israel was no petulant reaction of an immature adult over a slight or imagined wrong by helpless children.  It seethed against generations of adults who systematically violated every Commandment.  In the same way, God’s anger continues to accuse the willful, repeated, violent sins of an American nation determined to flout God while flagrantly worshiping the  idols of science, education and pleasure.  To leave those sins unpunished would deny God’s holiness, which he cannot and will not do.  He will always be true to himself, no matter how callously we betray him.

Can’t we honestly see that God has multiple reasons for anger against our generation and society?  What has really changed to make us better since 9/11?  What openness to God’s word have we found?  What renunciation of our opposition to Jesus Christ’s sovereignty have we witnessed?  Instead, we openly and aggressively tolerate sins and vices that previous generations hid in shame.  While we expect the blatant misdeeds and wanton lawlessness of “criminals” to be arraigned, we want our own exempted.  Our “pranks” against God should go scot free, we claim.  After all, we never meant him any harm.

But God won’t be mocked, at any time.  And the refusal of 21st century Americans to accept responsibility for our sins only assures God’s greater judgment.  The Great God will forgive all who repent.  But he will never forgive those who obstinately refuse to think they need to repent.

Grudges – proves the weakness of a position (Part I)

Today’s blog has two emphases; the first relates to the monstrously wicked attack by Moslem terrorists on a French satirical newspaper; the other to a previous act of vengeance.  As soon as I heard the news of Moslems attacking a newspaper, and before I heard the details, I knew violent men had assumed the right to avenge attacks on their founder.

We cannot too soundly condemn Moslem violence whenever they feel the Koran or Mohammed has been offended.  We can offer a suggestion:  if violence is your only answer to criticism of your ideas or religion, you need to re-evaluate your ideas and change your religion.  Violence is the weakest possible defense of any idea or faith.

Now to the second emphasis on the same subject.  In 1940 a paper boy was nipped by a dog as he made his delivery.  He reported it to the Humane Society, which hauled the animal in for observation, kept it a few days and released it to the owner.  She never forgot what she considered an insult.  Decades later she still tormented the former newsboy with phone calls.  Even a sentence to a penal farm for her activities didn’t halt her maddening calls.  San Diego Union, 1/83

Why would anyone spread a banquet for revenge and consume its poisonous fruit?  What corrosion occurred in the mind and emotions of that lady through those 40 years?  She hoped to afflict the boy-become man, but tortured only herself.  Vengeance eventually destroys the consumer, not the victim.

God warns us against taking revenge because he alone is capable of imposing just, measured punishment for sin.  We can’t harmlessly hibernate a vindictive spirit within us.  Whether sleeping or awake, it harms us.  If we’re harboring hard feelings, or outright dislike or hatred for some imagined or real offense against us, our ideas or religion, GET IT RESOLVED.  It will otherwise ruin us.  While getting it resolved will release our mind and heart to peace.