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Words with an Attitude

The devil who shows up in the first two chapters of the book of Job is both articulate and intelligent. So are the friends of Job who unintentionally sided with “the accuser.” Both used truth/half-truths… not to lift Job up… but to knock him down.

I remember temporarily losing a few notches in my hat size when I discovered that living by the truth involves both words and the attitudes that resonate with them. In that respect Greek and Jewish language and culture complement one another. While the Greeks emphasized reason, the Hebrew approach to truth puts more emphasis on integrity of heart.

A careful reading of both Testaments show that the “truth” of our faith is expressed by both words and attitudes.

That discovery has reminded me that I can memorize the Bible, say I believe it, quote it, and still have the effect of a devil on others. It also reminded me that some of the most evil people are also some of the most charming.

When the Apostle Paul wrote about the truth , he was careful to remind us about the pattern of inspired words entrusted to us (2Tim 1:13; 2:2; 2;7; 2:15; 3:15-16; 4:2). But he also reminded us that truth, like error, comes with an attitude (2Tim 1:7; 2:24; 3:10; 4:22).

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65 Responses to “Words with an Attitude”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Satan the accuser…..How many times that quote has resonated in my mind before I speak or after.

    Though I do not give the devil omnipresense ability. I do recognize that our evil nature many times copies his rebellious tongue. we have all been witness to it and I dare say guilty of it as well.

    We have read that Satan and his demons quote the scripture. And tremble with fear at the name of Jesus.

    My great grandmother resisted belonging to any church and I even say Christianity for many years of her life because of a single quote of scripture. Used as a weapon instead of being understood. “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord,” (Deut 23:2) She being the product of an illegitimate union herself, thought there was no hope for her.The consequence had far reaching effect.

    It was a wonderful Christian neighbor, Cleo Blizzard, who over time won my great grandmother,Phoebe, over and praise God, I shall see Phoebe there in heaven with our Lord when our time comes.

    More often than not, people use the scripture to condemn rather than to light the way. It is my hope that I am a light rather than a stumbleing block to any.

  2. BruceC says:


    I think; maybe wrongly, that you are saying balance? Heart, head, and hands. If we are just “heart” and said the sinner’s prayer or “came to Jesus” during some emotional event, what service are we doing if we don’t go to church, study the Word, or do the Word? If we have memorized much of scripture but do not have the Saviour’s love burned into hearts, act self-righteous and puffed up, and do not participate in the work of God toward the unsaved, needy, and our fellow Christians; we become a walking book or judge of all. I we don’t have Christ in our hearts and don’t study and read the Word; but think good deeds are all that is needed; we are just kidding ourselves. We need all three to be effective for the gospel. We need the love of Christ and for Christ along with love for others to burn within us. We need to read and study scripture to strengthen our faith, to teach, to learn, to lead others to the Lord, and to use God’s wisdom in our lives. And lastly we need to be doers of the Word and put “our money where our mouth is” so-to-speak. Serving Christ by serving others and the Church and waliking the walk in our lives. It’s not an easy balance but there is nothing too difficult for Him and we need Christ to do it. Not 100% sure that is what you’re driving at. Am I on the right track here?

  3. bretnb says:


    I am glad that your Cleo helped your great grandmother understand all can accept Christ. It so bad when one miss understands a single passage out of the Bible.


  4. Laurielee says:

    I’ve heard of so many instances over the years in which someone who has not been healed through prayer of a “faith healer”, has been accused of not having enough faith. Later it was pointed out to me that it was not the faith of the ‘healee’ that was questioned, but the ‘healer.’ When the apostles had tried to heal, and could not, it was THEIR faith that was questioned, not the person they were trying to heal.

    We should NEVER take pride or show arrogance in our knowledge (note: knowledge does not equal faith) of the scriptures…if we do, we are setting up for a fall. None of us are above being taught, or being gently turned from erroneous understanding. Maybe that’s why humility is such a valued quality.

    rdcomp, I don’t know if this affects you or not…but I have noticed that many who have read the “Left Behind” series…which was wonderful fiction…somehow have adopted that the way the books say that the end times will happen, is exactly the way they WILL happen. We need to remember that ultimately the only words that we can be sure of are the words of the Bible that were inspired by God, and not by man.

  5. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Natusnemo In my prayers God reminded me of His prayer in John 17. It seems to be a perfect truth for you and me. He speaks about His truth through His word, He speaks about our obedience and He speaks about His love. I hope there is a sweet attitude in the sounds of these words I am writing as I want to be your friend and learn together.If I have sounded arrogant or as though I know everything please forgive me. Got to go to work. Hope to speak to you some more at some point.

    Thank you Mart.

  6. sawaybon says:

    I appreciate the continuation of this topic. Yesterday, I raised the question of the identity of “the accuser”. I have always thought of him as Satan, the devil. Mart refers to him as “the accuser”, and Steve writes “Satan the accuser”, which is what most translations have. My Job prof suggests that is is not Satan, the devil, but rather a member of the heavenly court. Here’s his explanation of why:

    “The devil’s job, as it was in the garden, is to deceive, tempt, lead astray. The book of Job is not about temptation; it is about testing. Testing does come from God, as it does in Job; God creates the test. This is not temptation and should not be confused with temptation by making this the devil. If this is the devil, then God is a tempter seeking to trip Job up. That is hardly what Job is about.”

    I also like Mart’s caution about exclusive claims to knowledge and truth. Again, my prof makes a couple of important distinctions:

    “First, let me make a distinction between faith and belief. The devil believes, but it is not doing him much good. All of us believe some things that are wrong, but that does not mean we do not have faith. Faith is to learn to trust. Believing is a pilgrimmage of learning. I would not want to charge someone with not having faith just because they do not believe things the way I do. I know that my beliefs are hampered by ignorance, that is why we engage in studies.

    As Anne Lamott likes to say, the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty. If there is certainty, faith is redundant.

    I would like to distinguish faith and credulity. Faith is trust; credulity is a need to believe something. Credulity can be a very fragile thing; it appears to be very strong, like glass, but it also can shatter without warning. But credulity is not faith. Christian faith is based on trust in Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection on our behalf. It is not possible to trust someone you deny; but it is possible to trust Christ and accept that there is some ambiguity in some cases.”

    Wow — he is a wise man! I must give one other gem that is helping to guide my thinking:

    “Indoctrination is to teach us what to believe. Education is to teach us to think and learn. An educational institution like (ours) teaches from the point of view of its doctrinal statement, but as an educational institution its goal and method is not to indoctrinate, but to teach us to think and learn to understand those that differ.”

    I see application of those principles in this forum as well. We may not all agree, but this type of open interaction is very healthy.

  7. sitsathisfeet says:

    Mart Today your words are like a balm. I did read over the scripture you noted. I was looking for the passage ; against such things, there is no law. But found Gal 5:6b The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Now Jesus speaks a lot about Truth, but Love is usually there alongside, in, throughout, etc. because God is Love. I once heard a preacher say, because you know Love you know in part God. But, I actually look at it the other way because we know God, we know and are able to Love in a true Agape way. Our human love philo, eros is just not the true Love which the Lord so often refers to. Another thing that came to mind was Pilot who said What is truth? Ah, and as Shakespeare said therein is the rub. If we have not Love, do we have truth? And if we have truth, have we not Love? Another thing brought to mind was when the early believers were bringing lawsuits against each other, and Paul said no you are going about it all wrong, judge among yourselves, among the believers. (This I could relate to on many different levels) Paul poses the questions why not rather be wronged, or cheated… ICor 6:1-8 So it is when I insist on my perceived truth, trampling over someone else. How hard it is to lay aside myself to live the truth in love, and I find I can not do it without God’s enabling. As I prepare to go to court again Feb 2 (and Feb 4) for in part a final disolution,though I’m sure the custody and support issues will go on. I pray the Lord give me strength and wisdom, and that my thoughts, actions and attitudes be according to his will. In Jesus Name Amen

  8. soloyo says:

    I’m sure, most of people would close the heart, if have a disease or some kind of pain, and somebody comes saying it’s because your sin.
    I think God worked in Joseph’s heart while he was suffering, God did not write about sin in Joseph to be fixed with all he had to live, be saled, accused, etc. Sometimes I imagine that, like romans says there’s no just nor even one, he actually had sin but also a relatioship with God, so cleaned by, maybe his father preference for him make havoc in his character, but that, only God really knows each heart. The point is, what if one of his people came to him saying “It’s because of your sin, or your proud, or this or that”
    I’m sure God works all the time with us because He loves us and He cares, I’m sure that we have to ask His forgiveness all time before asking Him for wisdom, help, for others… we have to be cleaned first and then be heared. But I’m against going to somebody in need taking “our knowlege” quoting romans 3:10-12 before meditate the very meaning of john 3:16, love.
    “I feel I have to cry.” say somebody in big pain, and the answer was “Oh no, how you dare and give that testimony to others!” I saw that last person crying in a big pain, in secret, maybe somebody can be harsh or bitter with others because him/herself is treaten that way.
    So, my dear in God relatives, I think the first truth is the first, there’s no more than the love. that who doesn’t love, haven’t known God, ’cause God is love. 1st Jonh 4:8 And to know Him is to take this long trip by Him, following His steps nearly, hearing His voice, asking His wisdom, asking Him “what do you want me to do?” what do you want me to fix?

  9. soloyo says:

    Habakkuk 1:3-4 (King James Version)

    3Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.

    4Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.

  10. sitsathisfeet says:

    Oh I forgeot to say how much the booklets from Discovery series have helped me so much over the past year The Divorce and Remarriage one was very helpful, God’s Protection of Women, When Violence Comes Home, Eve and Rehab (Learning to make better choices) also read an article on Rachel and Leah (by David Cannistraci, Charisma Magazine) Covenant Keepers on Marriage (Calvary Chapel), and the Christian television For Better Or Worse all offer godly, scriptual knowledge in these areas. Also Billy Graham ministries has DVd mariiage counseling available, I beleive. RBC Ministries probably has others I’m not aware of. But thank you again for being there. In Christ’s Love, Janice

  11. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Have you ever met anyone and wondered if they knew how much God loved them? That is how I see each person I meet .I don’t judge their actions or their situations I do often see how God could change their actions and situations if He abided in their hearts. I always try to share Gods love because for me His love changed my life and my heart.My hope is always that if they know His love God will teach them the way.Life for me was very hard. I grew up in many different situations. Many different orphanages and with many different people with varied beliefs. Many taught me about God and told me what the rules were. No one ever told me He loved me in a way I could understand. I saw God as someone to be feared (not awed) someone you had better obey or hell was your home. My life as a child convinced me God surly did not love me. Christmas for me was not a tree and presents and family nor was any other holiday. When I was old enough to be independent I had learned well. You make your own life. One day someone did tell me about Gods love in a way that I could understand. Simply ask God. I did. That asking was the beginning. God has shown me many things about myself and taught me a better way to live my life and most of all He has been so gentle and kind to me. So that is why I think that all Jobs friends needed to tell Job was God loves you Job.One day you will understand why these things are happening just as I understand the events in my life. I would not trade with anyone as in the end. God is faithful and has revealed Himself to me and healed my broken self.

  12. drkennyg says:

    sawaybon … I read from the book of Job that God gives Satan the PERMISSION to test Job but within limits that he must not kill him. God knows that Job will not totally crumble despite his human nature. God is in control of these limits on Satan (but Satan would like to think otherwise as in … I bet I can break him despite Your great power, God). I always find it very relieving to know that the Devil’s days are numbered yet the Triune is forever; thus so can we be as believers, etc.

    I also must confess that in my desire to correctly speak of the Gospel to a nonbeliever, I get a tad ruffled at some of the “off the wall” objections and accusations that I must meet – the quicker my response the better I feel but that’s not necessarily so. In meeting this face to face I can learn and perhaps deepen my own faith and belief. But self-control is essential lest I start an argument with self righteous indignation. What a mess that would be, eh?

    Remember as Steve points out that the devil is always close by and will invade and influence us if we let him. Our evil nature is always around to trip us up. Yet I think that if we have put on the full armor of the Lord we will be doing God’s work no matter the outcome.

  13. SFDBWV says:

    I remember when I was little, going to a different church than the one my mother, sister and I attended. The preacher was tall and thin and reminded me of Ichabod Crane of “Sleepy Hollow” fame.

    Well he was a very different preacher than the one I was use to. This was a revival meeting and all the teen age girls were sitting front row. He rose to his feet and began to point with his fingers at each and every one of thoes girs and tell them they were all going to Hell.

    Because they were listening to that Rock n Roll and smoking them cigarettes.

    Well it had all of them crying. I was only maybe 8 or 9 years old but I knew I didn’t like this place. Apparently neither did my mother as we never went back.

    Over the years I have remembered that revival moment and thought how much harm was done. I am sure the preacher had a desire not to condem thoes kids into Hell. But that was the picture I will always remember.

    Preacher (Satan) the accuser. Instead of Preacher (Christ) the redeemer.

    Gr8, My father and his brother spent about 5 years in an orphanage. It gave him a anger toward his mother he never got over. His father had died when dad was about 6. His mother sent him and his brother to an orphanage so she could go on with her life. When she remarried her new husband ,Copeland Harrell a WWI vet. He went and got the boys and brought them home. Life is a hard road. If not for love none of us could survive for very long. My dad loved that old man for the rest of both their days.

  14. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    soloyo My heart so connects with your words.:)

  15. daisymarygoldr says:

    “…evil people are also some of the most charming” and I totally agree with it, because charming people are always “being nice”… because charming people speak only half the truth…

    Examples of half-truth are:
    “God loves you”,
    “you will surely not die”,
    “there is no such thing as sin”
    “to call sin, a sin, is a sin”
    Does this ring a bell?

    God’s people will speak God’s truth….the whole truth… and that whole truth is bitter, because it tells people that they are sinners. God’s people will be honest and not hide the bitter fact in order to be nice…and honesty hurts …it offends people because they love their sins and don’t want to repent…hence they do not want to hear the truth, which is God’s Word. Faith comes only… from hearing of God’s word.

    If “God loves you” is the whole truth… and if love is what people need, why should they reject God’s love? People should be glad to hear the truth about God’s love, yet the Bible says, though they have ears yet they will refuse to hear.

    We are not called to please men but to obey God. Hence we must work the works of Him who sent us while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. If we say we love others, let’s make full use of this opportunity…while there is still time… because there will come a time of dearth when we will not be able to share God’s truth.

    BTW, as far as I know, Jesus was killed, His disciples were killed, Stephen was killed, Paul was killed, and the early Christians were all killed for speaking the truth! People don’t kill those who are being nice and charming to them. Will they?

    Q: Should we then, speak the half-truth to be nice and charming or speak the whole truth and be killed for it?

  16. rokdude5 says:

    Its so interesting to me since at the Bible study Im attending we just talked about how the New Testament is more “intellectually” written yet the Old Testament is more “passionately” written.

    I personally memorize just a few key scriptures as a teaching tool but more importantly, to keep as my arrows in my quiver in dealing with temptations that head my way. If my motivation lies elsewhere, I would praise God if He pierce my bloated head.

    The devil knows and “quote” Scriptures to use for his advantage like he try with Jesus second temptation. He is a charmer like he was with Eve in getting her to eat the forbidden fruit.

    On a different note, Ive seen folks who “brow beat” the Bible at unbelievers and some of them do respond to that. I do find that for me, non believers look more closely at my attitude and subsequent deeds rather than my words. Gentleness, kindness, compassion and “even-keeled” are the attributes that I strive for though at times, I do lose it.

    I praise God that this blog is blessing so many. Already, comments are at the mid-two-digit level. Mart, youre going to be a busy man when you try to monitor hundreds of comments in the near future.

    In the interest of brevity, I dont want to name each one of you individually but I do have you all in my prayers.

  17. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    SFDBWV Accuser instead of Redeemer. Powerful words and that is why I try to share a gospel of love. I try to leave the rest in God’s hands trusting He will show each one the way they need to go in their life. We need ministries and truth but for me the love defines both. God bless you steve

  18. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, Thank you for ruining my happy Friday! My mind is working at its sharpest best after taking your merciless blows Why are you being so mean…what did I do to deserve this? Anyway…guess, this how it will always be for me over here:(

    Do you know when God restores Job? After Job had interceded for his friends, GOD restored his fortune—and then doubled it! (Job 42:10)

    So, please do not scorn those who quoted scriptures or accuse those who spoke half-truths to knock you down. Love them and pray for them…otherwise you are no different than them when you are knocking them down by calling them evil!

  19. daisymarygoldr says:

    rdrcomp, we are in agreement:) and I also appreciate your insights very much!

  20. daisymarygoldr says:

    Some more half-truths:
    1. “God loves the sinner” or
    2. “God hates sin” or
    3. “The soul who sins will surely die” or
    4. “The love and grace of God is the gift of eternal life in Jesus”.

    Here is The full truth is:
    1. “God loves the sinner and hates sin”!
    2. “The soul who sins will surely die” but “The love and grace of God is the gift of eternal life in Jesus”.

  21. violet D says:

    Gr8Gran – I, too am a great grandma (of 5 )
    To you all I confess that I am not an intellectual but am encouraged by Scriptures that assure me God can use the ‘simple’. :) and enjoy reading each of your comments daily.
    Mart’s title – Words with an attitude – reminded me of several people I have met over the years who have been ‘turned off’ by enthusiastic Christians and as a result were much harder to share the Gospel with. A radio broadcast in my area always ends with the admonition from 1 Peter 3:15b “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”.
    ‘Gentleness’ being one of the fruits of the Spirit – and ‘respect’ can be applied whether or not we agree with the other person’s point of view. (As I see many of you modelling on this blog!)
    Soloyo – God bless you – I enjoy your sense of humor!

  22. sawaybon says:

    I’m not sure where this saying originates, but I’ve heard it many times: “God loves you just the way you are, but too much to let you stay that way.” Would that complete the “half-truth” of “God loves you” and make it the whole truth?

  23. daisymarygoldr says:

    Sawaybon, not speaking as an intellectual (as I never went to Bible School)… yes “God loves you just the way you are, but too much to let you stay that way.” is the whole truth because God is love and He is Holy!

  24. NatusNemo says:


    I too must apologize. God has been moving mightily in my life revealing things I did not ask to know. I agree completely with your post of yesterday. We sow and water but God gives the increase. Amen!

    My point concerning Job was one which I learned the hard way last year. There are times when God tries us and that trial brings us to such an end of self that we can’t function. When these trials come there is only one response: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.’

    Oh how this strikes at the heart of self! But in the end it is very sweet. When I consider how shallow and light my afflictions are I marvel at Job, but even more at Jesus.

    I know I have taken off the gloves in several of my posts. In reflection I certainly may have gone too far: God knows. But, sometimes hyperbole and sarcasim are necessary. Sometimes a harsh and polemic stance is necessary to awake those that slumber: we slumber….

    In the end I’m concerned for the many Christians who are like me. We have our affections set on things on the earth – we think we’re rich and we are not. We are poor, blind, miserable, and naked. You see we’ve compromised the truth, and by extension God’s love. We have been beguiled from the simplicity that is in Christ. I am concerned for believers.

    Yet I recognize that a man can not receive a thing unless it be given him from above. This is true with salvation, and it is true even after salvation, as God grows us in grace and knowledge.

    Bless you Gr8grannyjacobs for being a peacemaker, and forgive me if I’ve offended you. Yet, conflict is necessary, as is anger – they are tools God uses to motivate us to action!

    Consider: if there is no conflict in our lives, if we see not the battle raging, then we have already lost. If we see the battle then we know God is at work, in us, and in those around us.


    Again I must offer a different perspective on your observations. What you say is true – yet there is more truth than what you say.

    God also knocks people down. God uses attitude. He places his mighty hand on a vessel(s) (to no glory of that vessel) and often brings great words upon a people, his people, to the end they might repent. So is the case with John the Baptist.

    But, then again, the Bible is full of this very thing. Even Christ choses to use extreme attitudes in certain places. It is also an affective literary device (i.e. hyperbole) – it grabs attention. It awakens the senses and forces men to look at hard truths.

    “If any man come to me, and HATE not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethern, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

    Or, ‘Ye are of your father the devil, and the works of your father ye will do…” John 8:44

    When the church is blind, when they are in a deep sleep. When their minds are blinded to truth, the only way to reach them with truth (out of a motive of love) is to speak with attitude.

    Today leaders coddle believers (ones often saved for decades), and much worse. In the end the congregation is made dependent on the leaders in an unnatural way, and so the body never matures. In fact many a leader is not spiritually mature – for they have grown up in the same corrupt system that violates scripture left & right.

    Breaking down those paradigms, those false gods of state, church, and man, requires boldness in action and speech. Thus did Christ drive the money changers out of the temple. Today, the money changers run the temple of the Lord once again. The truth of this runs so deep we refuse to see it. Immaturity in the church is ubiquitous. Thus the truth of Revelation chapter 3:14-22 – The rapture is the judgment which will call all these things into account – my things included.

    So there is a time to build up with words, and there is a time to build up by tearing down false imaginations that have gained a strong-hold in the imagination of the body. The Spirit gives wisdom to discern both time & place.

  25. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    natus Jeremiah came to mind today as I read your post. It seems God has given you a message to share about the condition of the heart of man.You call that the church and that is ok. I call that the lost who go to church but are lost. Making sense I hope :) Whichever like Jeremiah God has shown you the desperate condition of mans heart and the need of God in their lives. You have a heavy burden and probably much weeping to do. Jeremiah 9:1. God be with you

  26. sitsathisfeet says:

    GR8grannyjacobs I was touched by your telling of some of your early life, that you didn’t realize how much God loved you, until someone told you, and showed you, and God Himself revealed it to you. I was never in an orphange, though my adopted son was, and my grandparents actually were houseparents of an orphanage, and adopted one of their sons there, into their family which already exsisted of my mother, and her two brothers. To this day I have a loving relationship with my two uncles, though my uncle who was adopted has passed away. But I have to say I have seen the many issues of orphanages and adoption, the grief, separation, abandonement, divorce, drugs, alchohol, poverty. sickness… to this day I am still involved at some level. I still take classes from the adoption/foster/kinship care programs that have a whole network of programs. Families First, the First Five, the Fair program, the Far program etc. Some are national. some state and some local – and even in my case in adopting, international. The need is still so great. Franklin Graham’s the Samaritan’s Purse is one that comes to mind. But I can remember as a young child as my Dad succumbed to alcholism, and my Mom trying to raise 5 children on her own. My grandparents and uncles stepped in so often through the years to help my Mom and us. Otherwise, it would have been a very different situation. Once in a while I’ll talk to my 89 year old mother about it, and she’ll recall the winter we didn’t have water for two weeks, cause the pipe’s froze, we went to a neighbor’s to get water, and even got to take a bath. Or the heat was cut off cause she couldn’t pay the bill – she said though the gas was cut off, we still had electricity – so she got a little electic heater. She said the salvation army helped because the milkman who used to come around to deliver the milk, saw she had a bunch of young kids and could use some help. So he told the Salvation Army. The church helped in spiritual ways, but they were as poor as the rest, so not really physically supportive directly. Though I believe all the help in those times in our life was God sent. So even though we were poor by some standard, by others we were rich. I remember memorizing my first bible verse when I was eight. John 3:16 and my mom teaching sunday school. And what I responded to as well was the love God showed to me. And much later when I was “born again” I still responded to the same message of love and forgiveness. I agreed with God that I was a mess, a wretch, and sinful, but I loved him for loving me. For against Love there is no defense. Would I respond to being shaken not stirred, to being admonished, to having someone angry at me for not accepting the message, or seeing it right? No thank you. Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

  27. sitsathisfeet says:

    If Brothers and Sisters you would bear with me a little more. I was thinking about animals and how we gentle wild horses. We don’t break them anymore because we found that doing that the horse wasn’t much good. so we develop trust, so the horse chooses to respond. With dogs it is a similar thing with trust, caring and reward, and I daresay love, the dog chooses to respond to please it’s master. Now we can beat a dog, and a horse into submission, and force our will onto it, but what will it profit us or the animal in the end? Now I’m not talking about discipline which is a separate issue, if your dog eats your sandwich you’ll probably scold him. But, if we talk about the church, those in the church, or coming to church are we talking about those who know the Lord already, or those who don’t? Whenever our Pastor gives an “invitation”, he always starts with now I don’t know where you are with the Lord today, whether you know him, have a relationship with him, or aren’t sure….. and then goes on to explain salvation, using related scriptures of the day. I really liked reading DL Moody’s sermon, and his book for children, where he recounts so many instances of people’s encounter with the Lord in the late 1800’s to 1900. He did not use particular ‘fire and brimstone’ tactics, but let people’s encounter speak for themselves. One particular story I remember was a man who forged some checks. and ended up in Joliet prison, he wrote to Rev Moody to tell people not to do it just for greed, cause in the end it’ll be their downfall, and lose everything as he had. Not that different than some things that happen today, only it was 100 years ago. We know the bible is timeless, but it struck me just change a few instances, instead of the gold rush, insert the stock market, and you have a sermon for today! I think we can pattern the way we act after great evangelists of our day. I wouldn’t call them wishy washy, milk toast, or not being firm in their resolve and convictions, but they I believe responded to people with genuine Love. DL Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Wesley, Billy Graham, many others I’m sure. I think all of them help us to see the way in part Jesus might walk among us today.

  28. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    sitsathisfeet Thank you :) Against love there is no defense.

  29. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Pooh am thinking of you, just in case you get here before I do. I am so hoping you are back with us tomorrow. Prayers

  30. soloyo says:

    You can be sure, as Christ asked us to receive Him as a child, nobody feeling intelectual can be necessary spiritual, Mart already said thay you may memorize all Scriptures but not being doer, so, when you receive Christ in your heart, the first thing He ask to you is time, just time with Him. do you eat every day? so your spirit does, and its meal is the Bible, first the gospel of John, then al New Testament, then the rest. we all learn here from Mart, and so learn from each other, because that makes grow somebody will do to other, that makes cry somebody heals you too when you read everybody like gathering around the wounded, that’s God’s family.
    I do have hard work trying to remember quotes, but, if you memorize something God shows you in your reading, when you are in need, He brings to your memory that exact verse from your mind archive. It’s great!
    Be always tender in His hand, never proud of knowlege, you’ll see.
    send you a big hough

  31. soloyo says:

    violet, btw, everybody knows as you notice, this is not my natal language, so if I missunderstood your meaning, just pat my head and say, yeah yeah everything is ok…take a deep breathe… and learn english please.
    oh, thanks for the last phrase you gave me about my sense of humor, thanks everybody who likes my writting, and if somebody does not like it, send you my apology, but I can’t avoid my thinking cascade, just comes out of my mouth or fingers and… splash!
    ….mmmh,…maybe I write a book one day… so I’ll let you rest, he he!…

  32. soloyo says:

    yeah, a friend mine told me about one bro who’s always bothering her about her son, “correct this boy…do not let him do this or that… give him discipline…” or something, he became a big big load over her shoulders. so, I told her to get the good, “if the river sounds it’s because water has”, take good look of the boy not to miss something in case, clean your heart about the botherman (sounds like a hero he he!) and ask God for him, when you do this, you may begin to see the person not as botherman, instead, see him like a person in need, yeah, in need to restore his mind or rather, change his mind for Christ’s. that’s the way wew can stop bad feelings, and begin lovely feelings, I think this is being godly isn’t it?

  33. BobbiLee says:

    Thank you Mart, for a great reminder about attitude. I think we have all met friends like Job had. At work, as others know that I am a Christian, I must be very careful to watch my attitude. It is easy to be drawn into conversations that can become judgmental, just like Job’s friends. And, like his friends, we can look at a person’s situation and think that one is being chastised or punished. That could be… or not. The purpose of the book of Job is not testing, but God setting forth the foundation of grace and not retribution, as Job’s friends believed. We must always be aware of God’s grace in a situation, even though we don’t understand it. If you notice, Job never asked for healing, but asked over and over the question, “Why”? God honors those honest questions. Most of us will never know the “whys” on this side of eternity. As the old proverb says, “Sorrow looks back, fear looks around, and faith looks up”. Our attitude at the end of the day should always be that of gratitude that only comes with His grace.

  34. SFDBWV says:

    As I have read over the last couple days of postings, I have to say there have been a lot of “Words with Attitude.”
    There have also been wisdom shared and the heart of the peace maker heard.

    I notice some of you are still up about the time I am getting up. It is a big world and filled with different people, though we do have common ground in the areas of life that really matter.

    One of the matters we all share but that is paticular to each person, is our comfort zone. Where we feel safe and at ease.

    We are at peace with God in our comfort zone and every piece fits into place. We can endure lifes struggles and without all answers be ok with todays problems. In our own personal comfort zones.

    It is when that happy place is attacked that we become offended and defend our beliefs so strongly.

    For me I must remember that my zone is different than anothers, and respect that person. And their place where they are personaly with God. If they have not yet learned a truth of scripture. I must be patient and allow them to learn at their own rate. As I too learn from both God and from others.

    This blog that our most gracious host, Mart, has provided for us, is a very welcome part of my life now. A large window into the world of believers outside my comfort zone that I may share with and learn from.

    I appreciate you all, and look forward to that day when we all share heaven together and finally have all the answers we seek.

  35. violet D says:

    Steve – I totally agree!
    Soloyo – thanks for the hug – sending one back to you.
    Pooh – I pray you are recovering well and will be back with us soon.

  36. refump says:

    sawaybon- I enjoyed your comments, especially the “distinction between faith and belief”. It was sort of like turning a light on so I could clearly see something I had been rummaging around for in the dark & could not find. How uncomfortable & at the same time freeing it is when the light of God’s Word reveals something we have been hiding or not dealing with in the dark corner of our house. I find myself very guilty of wanting to possess spiritual knowledge over expressing God’s love to others. Head knowledge versus heart knowledge of God.

  37. poohpity says:

    Words with an attitude, very good topic. You can tell what is in a persons heart by what comes out of their mouth. Hearts are on display all the time. I was not the most pleasant person in the hospital when they moved me the wrong way my heart came out in words and they were not pleasant.

    When God confronted Job about any questions he was having about God. God pretty much said you do not have a clue about me and how I work. I believe that is what God continues to tell us. Quit trying to figure me out and just work on the things I have asked you to do, that all in it’s self is a overwhelming responsibility and will keep you busy. As you do the work you will learn about me.

  38. daisymarygoldr says:

    This is something new I’m hearing from all of you here, that… when someone is suffering, his friends are supposed to be silent. The story of Job has a totally different lesson for me. With Job’s example, I was taught that suffering is synonymous to Christian living; therefore, a child of God should always expect and endure suffering.

    Yes, by their half truths, Job and his friends did not have the right perspective of God because they were completely engrossed with “self-words”. In his sufferings, Job was seeking to justify his self-righteousness (Job 34:5-9) while his friends were trying to prove their self-righteousness by accusing Job of hidden sins. Both of them were wrong….because they were all about themselves…hence, God silenced them. However, God did not silence Elihu …because Elihu showed God’s “wisdom” and spoke God’s “words”.

    Did Elihu comfort Job by sharing about himself….his sufferings…his wisdom? No, Elihu showed his love to Job and his friends by pointing them to God- His sovereignty, power, justice, righteousness and most importantly, His grace in providing a mediator who will pay the ransom for sins…for by “faith” Elihu had seen Jesus Christ (Job 33:24)! …and when he shared God’s words, what was his attitude? He lost his temper. He blazed out in anger against Job for pitting his righteousness against God’s and he was also angry with the three friends (Job 32:2-3). Not trying to justify anger, but I believe people who love God’s righteousness should get angry with sin and not the sinner, correct me if I’m wrong about righteous anger…

    Elihu “knew” the only answer is God and…that is the very purpose of fellowship…when we lose our perspective of God in our pain and suffering, God gives us friends who will orient our thoughts back to Him!

    Mart, sorry about yesterday…did notice that you have deleted your prayer…you were right…about being nice:)
    soloyo, you are also right…it is Godly to have lovely feelings… sorry, if I showed you any bad feelings:)
    poohpity, Welcome back…you were greatly missed! Praying for healing and recovery…

  39. sitsathisfeet says:

    Pooh, God bless you, you’re back! We missed you, and others who have not blogged in a while, (motorcycle guy and prison ministry, and ahy others)And I want to apologize to NatusNemo and any others who were offended by my words with attitude. My sincere desire is to be correctly convicted, according to the Word, but not to offend or be a stumbling block to anyone. And to be a hearer, as well as a doer. I pray the Lord help me in these areas, and bind my words when they are not of you Lord. In Jesus Name Amen

  40. daisymarygoldr says:

    sitsathisfeet, you are also in my daily prayers…
    I’m also missing Michael (plumbape), wretch-like-me, desert rose, chfranke and wondering about Markiemark…?

  41. SFDBWV says:

    Job 42:7, “And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, my wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends:for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
    :8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering;and my servant Job shall pray for you:for him will I accept:lest I deal with you after your folly,inthat ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
    :9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job.
    :10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

    God was angry at these three men who spoke as if they knew the mind of God. And so spoke foolishly in giving advice to Job. God told them He would accept prayer for them only from Job, because their prayer wasn’t going to be heard. Grace was being hinted at here.

    I have often thought about these friends of Job and thought that they were actualy good friends. For they came straight away to be at his side and sat in silence with him for 7 days and seven nights. Before anyone spoke a word.

    Once the mouths of these men were opended though, then each felt they knew all the answers and reasons for Job’s misery. I am sure they thought they were right and could through some means prove so.

    Maybe words of consolement instead of words of condemnation would not have angered God. I do not know why God says nothing of Elihu. Wether right or wrong.

  42. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Hi pooh I was thinking you might get here before me so happy to have you back. We all missed you as you can read on the blog. A hug to you….:)

  43. poohpity says:

    Thanks to everyone for all the prayers that is probably why I got to come home so soon.

    It may not seem like God says nothing to Elihu but by the beginning of the 39th Chapter verse 2: “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? This may have been directly toward Elihu’s speech or it may have been intended for all and even for us today.

    I know for myself I would rather hear words of empathy rather than people trying to fix my problems for me. I think that is why God gave us two ears and only one mouth. I also believe that problems are not a bad thing they help us grow so those without problems which is unheard of are the unworthy. I believe it has to do with how much we trust our lives to God because He is in control and we can choose to rest in His arms or go fighting and screaming and not be used by Him.

  44. SFDBWV says:

    gr8, I wanted to agree with you about Love being a gift. Not a gift in the sense of gifts of the Spirit. As Love is a fruit of the Spirit.

    But that Love is the most free of all things. Love cannot be forced upon anyone, Love can only be accepted, freely. Love cannot be demanded, but offered freely.
    This gift of Love is what God put into our hearts when he gave us the gift of life.
    Because we are made in the image of God we know how great His Love is for all of his creation. His Love story is our Bible. Every thing we have from God is a gift, as nothing can be earned.

    Deborah, I hope you are recovering well. You were very missed.

  45. soloyo says:

    She’s back she’s back!!! yeah!! tatatata la la la la boom boom (some artificial fires or whatever it names), a parade is passing and everybody shout:

  46. soloyo says:

    oh, daisy, I prefer not to think so much I mean to judge my friends, I enjoy each one, I don’t remember feel like you have bad feelings, I just like to share my thining, reading and meditation of God’s Word, also, really I can tell you, I’m not able to understand completely all you everybody write, sometimes I have to use a dictionary, so, when I read somebody apologize with another, I realize I didn’t catch what exactly happens, but I believe, here we are all growing, so, sometimes apologize is necessary. I hope I didn’t make you feel bad, if so, please receive my apologize, and a kiss.

  47. soloyo says:

    Pooh! If you were near, I would eat an apple pie with you, but… since you’re not… I’ll eat it!! ha ha… oh it’s true, my daughter just made one, but seriously, I’ll eat one slice in your name…
    God bless you, and make you recovering so so soon and unpain.
    we’ll keep on praying 4 ‘u.

  48. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    SFDBWV I do agree with you God=Love is so freely given to us. The sorrow: So many have yet to receive that love. Thank you Steve as you understood what I was saying. Love is a gift and we all share it with each other differently as we are all unique. Some a kind word some a hug some a shoulder to cry on some a listening ear some soothing words…… .

  49. SFDBWV says:

    I know of no better immediate pain reliever, than a sympathetic ear.

    Maybe if Job’s friends had just offered that, we would have had a very different book of Job.

    Though there is much gold to be mined from the oldest book in the Bible.

  50. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    natus In my post to you about Jeremiah I hope I wasn’t being like Job’s friends. Perhaps I should have said things differently but the words were from my heart. You do remind me of Jeremiah but for me to say what God is doing in your life ……. Please don’t be offended.

  51. Mart De Haan says:

    Good discussion and caring for one another!! Welcome back poohpity/Deborah.

  52. daisymarygoldr says:

    soloyo, please do not apologize…its true that sometimes we are not able to understand what others write…but a kiss? now, that is something that is always understood and readily accepted:) i.e. a holy kiss! Thankfully, it requires no words and shows an attitude of Christ-like love! Don’t know how it is in Mexico, but exchange of cheek kisses is practiced in Middle Eastern cultures. Sending one back to you:)

  53. Cantata12 says:

    Words with an Attitude.

    The Beatitudes-

    Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kindom of heaven.

    Blessed are the meek:
    for they shall inherit the earth

    Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

    Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

    Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

    Blessed are the peacemakers :for they shall be called the children of God.

    Blessed are they which are persecuted for righeousness sake: for theirs is the kindom of heaven.

    Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

    Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matt 5:3-12

    Lord, enable me by your grace to demonstrate in my words the blessedness of Your Be-atitudes.

    In Jesus Name, I pray.

  54. kaliko88 says:

    Sawaybon, I think that saying about God loving us too much to leave us the way we are comes from C.S. Lewis, though I’m not sure. I remember an illustration of his in a book about artists. I’ll probably spend part of the day trying to hunt it down.

    I think people each have different understandings of the word ‘attitude’. I guess it depends on how it’s used, but it also depends on how we wish to receive it when we hear it. But in this case with Job, I’m reminded of an interview I heard recently on Air1 of a new artist. Can’t remember the name – I only get that station on one side of town – but he spoke of how when people are troubled others try many different ways to help or comfort. And he said that we need to remember that most times people don’t want our opionions or ideas, they want and need our love. After all the trouble my family has been through these past few years, it was a good reminder. It’s what I’ve been trying to do, and I hope I succeeded.

    And I’m very glad for this lesson and all the posts. It’s a good reminder for me. My pastor sometimes reminds us that because he tries to teach from the bible, ALL of the bible, sometimes uncomfortable subjects come up. Sometimes the same message comes up, too. Those of us who have been there for a while, might hear a message more than once. Sometimes his thoughts and teachings and examples may come across clearly and sometimes not. But, in all cases, he is not trying to direct his teachings at any one person. It might seem like that because of the timing, but he has his lessons planned out well ahead of time. I’ve had that happen to me, where the teaching came right when I was dealing with that specific issue. I’ve learned to accept it as God’s timing. And if it is a repeat message, I’ve learned that it could be because I needed the reminder, or because there’s someone else there who’s hearing it for the first time and needed to hear it. If it pokes my comfort zone, well, maybe I need to take a closer look at it.

    This posting was a good reminder about what I do with God’s Word. I try to learn it for myself so that I can do better, and I try to share it with others the right way. Reminds me of something I read in a book about studying the bible by Tim LaHaye. He cited an example of someone he knew who studied the bible while on his Navy cruise. His bunk mate kept challenging him about the bible – what does it say about this, what does it say about that? He almost never immediately quoted scripture unless he knew it for sure. And when he didn’t, he’d simply say, “I don’t know, but I’ll look it up.” Always patiently, and always without being pushy and superior, or embarrassed to admit when he didn’t know something. I hope I talk about the bible like that. That’s the kind of gentle patience that I think works best. It worked for his bunk mate, though it took several months.

    Great posts, everyone! I’m going to go look for that C.S. Lewis quote. Can’t hurt me to read the book again. :)

  55. kaliko88 says:

    Oh, and soloyo, please stop apologizing for your English. If you can be patient enough to look up words in a dictionary or post again to try and be clearer, we can be just as patient. I think it’s fine, and it’s obvious you’re learning. You’re a better scholar than I am. I’m still learning how to be that patient. :)

  56. soloyo says:

    He he! thank you kaliko, the proof of your faith produces patient, stay by me, I’ll make your patience grow :-)

    well, yesterday I went to Bible study, pastor asked us how to return a friend who’s getting his own way instead God’s, you may not have a close friendship ’cause you’re not agree any more, but so keep being his friend; some said “oh, praying and advise him about his behaviour”, “well, praying and telling him he’s not wright, he’s to talk with the pastor”, some of us said for experience “that does not work…”
    Finally the conclusion was: -Clean your heart through confession for your prayer may be listened, pray for your friend and just show him your faith by your testimony-
    Yes, our acts in God’s love, makes hearts move toward Him.
    I’ll be quiet today, didn’t went to church, still in bed, please pray 4 me, I don’t want to be in a surgery, but if God wants, surely I will, just if He goes with me.
    Thank you my friends. smack everybody,
    and yes! we use to exchange cheek kisses, and I’m specialist, like mollusk I’m afraid he he!
    Mart, I beg of you, please write me.

  57. SFDBWV says:

    soloyo, I am sorry to read that you may need surgery. But if you do. I am sure God will see you through it as he has reciently with our friend poohpity(Deborah).

    It occured to me as well that soloyo’s Bible study class summed it up very well. People don’t like being told they are wrong. So a better approach is a good witness and prayer for that individual.

    I have 1 Corinthians 13 up on my wall in front of me. I read it every day. Living it is difficult. But I have learned that the more it’s practiced the easier it gets.

    Job did have good friends and when God forgave them and restored Job, it doesn’t say so but,I would bet they all had quite a celebration of worship together. And all came out of the experiance humbled and closer to God.

  58. ytalk says:

    God has taught me that there are three definitions to every word spoken.
    1. God’s = easily understood and attainable.
    2. Satan’s = leads all away from God.
    3. Man’s = Confusion, God’s, Satan’s and man’s worldly intellect combined.
    Paul said in Cor. 14.19 that he would rather speak 5 words of understanding than ten thousand in an unknown tongue.
    Children are without understanding and trust their parents to teach. “COME AS A CHILD” “I WILL TEACH YOU”. I am blessed to be taught of the words of my Beloved Father. I must set my attitude as a child when I approach my Holy and Beloved Father God. Love is always God’s answer to me.

  59. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    ytalk, Nice to hear from you again. I like your love attitude. Yes we are blessed and yes God is the ultimate teacher to all of us. :)

    Soloyo, Hope you are feeling better. You are in my prayers.

  60. SFDBWV says:

    daisy, You stated that you were taught that suffering is synonomous with Christian living. Therefore a child of God should expect and endure suffering.

    Was this part of your Christian education under the direction of Catholic schooling? Or something you have learned from being Christian and observing others?

    I was not educated with the influence of Catholisism. But have in my observation of life that Christian people seem to get more than their share of suffering. That so many people I have known got the “short end of the stick” if you understand what I mean.

    I honestly don’t understand it. But see good people have to endure the worst of life, while not so good people just go on and on. Having children they don’t take care of, nor do they seem to care about anything except themselves and their imediate pleasures.

    I also have read in scripture that this mistery is expressed throughout Job as well as the words of Solomon. And can be found in the Psalms. So it is not unique to my understanding or lack of.

    Just interested in your thoughts on the matter.


  61. soloyo says:

    I don’t think suffering is sysonymous of christian living, I think it is a tool from God to make us clean, grow in faith and so prove our faith to be confirmed an aproved. When we’re spiritual child, we think only of ourselves, when we are growing we can think “also on things of others” as said Philipians, so, suffering takes the next place after that you are caring about. this is only from work of the Holy Gohst through reading the Bible.

  62. daisymarygoldr says:

    Steve, yes, Job was perplexed and was unable to understand the cause for his sufferings… Because he did not have the scriptures as we have them today. We have Job’s story and know why he suffered. We know exactly what happens in the courts of heaven as God initiates it with “Have you checked out the faith of my upright servant Steve?” to which Satan’s obvious response is “Well, you have placed a hedge around him and have blessed him abundantly….that accounts for his faith”. And God continues with confidence “OK go ahead and test him…you can touch everything he has except his life which is already mine”. And so with this permission Satan lays his finger on everything that we hold dear and precious- spouse, child, health, wealth…to unleash untold pain and suffering. Now that we know the cause, question is how should we respond? Its human to groan and maybe even ask God why? …but since we already know that our heavenly father is proudly displaying our faith to the unseen world…our desire is to make Him all the more proud…hence we “faithfully” endure. Moreover, we also know the end result. The testing process is certainly not a joyful one but the comfort is in receiving the end product- our proven faith. Our loss may not be restored in this life but our proven faith will surely earn us a great reward!

    None of the OT or NT saints have been exempted from suffering. Didn’t learn this in school but from my parent’s lives and those of others at church…it was crazy to see, the moment a person received Christ, there was a trial waiting in the form of a sudden job loss or death of a family member or even sometimes being disowned by their families. And every saint that I knew had some health problem either in person or in their family. Hence, I believe that suffering indicates an intimate walk of a person with God and you are right, Christian people seem to get more than their share of suffering. Jesus tells us “Don’t run from suffering; embrace it..” (Matt 16: 25)

  63. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you daisy. I agree.

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