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Seeing as We Are

One of the thoughts that has intrigued me over the years is that, “We see things not only as they are, but as we are.”

I’ve wondered whether that could be one way of paraphrasing Paul’s words to Titus when he wrote, “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure” (Titus 1:12). The Apostle penned this after talking about those who were  misusing Jewish fables and rules. His primary concern seems to be not so much with the fables and rules as with the motives and behavior of those who were using ethnic and religious ideas for dishonest, personal gain (1:7,11).

Would he have reacted differently if he knew that Christ-centered people were using those traditions and rules as a starting point for leading people to the Cross and grace of the resurrected Son of God?

From our conversation of the last few days I’m guessing some of us would agree that it depends on our motive and purpose in looking for such connections.

Some of us are aware of our tendency to see a glass “half-empty” or “half-full”. The issue is why? What’s causing us to see things differently?

Seems like something worth comparing notes on…

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58 Responses to “Seeing as We Are”

  1. Loretta Beavis says:

    In Christ, I began seeing the glass half full; without Christ, I saw the glass-half empty. Christ-centered=full glass; self-centered=empty glass. I was never content. The focus or way to express that, I found in Phillipians 4, especially verse 8 (NKJ):” Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”

    It seems to me, God will fill the glass in His time since he is outside of time. So I have to look at the glass as half-full and filling up, that is, with my spiritual eyes. In the worldly me, I would see a situation, a half-full glass going toward empty or staying half-full. I wanted it filled now, in mortal time. There is fullness and contentment that comes with Christ IN us. He changes (reveals) the way I understand the scriptures and “stories” in the Bible so that I could see His providence in filling the half-full glasses; and the half-empties falling away from God.

    Many Christ-centered pastors whose studies I attend/listen to ask God to anoint their teaching so that their “traditions/rules starting point” reaches people for the glory of God, not themselves.

    Glass half-full, half empty, no glass at all, I love my Jesus.

  2. Loretta Beavis says:

    …and that “change” is where I am in relationship to the “glass.” When I was my own god, above, the glass, looking down and trying to fill it, I failed; it always looked half empty, the sides growing ever taller. When I came into right relationship with God and trusted Him, I positioned myself at the foot of the glass looking up-and see the half-full glass and a Faithful One fully capable, filling it, by His grace and mercy, to overflowing…

  3. rokdude5 says:

    To me why some of us sees things different maybe in part to how we were raised. It can also be due to how we intrepret the Bible itself. For me I see things in my life as “half full” though I think it is more than half.

    I think about how Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that He has the “living water” that will make her never thirst again. If I just lean on Jesus then my glass will be full again ….in fact it will be overflowing.

    PS Its good to be back as my previous computer took a nosedive.

  4. poohpity says:

    I think we want to be different so that in that difference the pride of being better than anyone else will take root. We are all needed to form the tapestry of life with all the different colors we weave different patterns and textures all being special and unique. When all are brought together the tapestry is beautiful. If one thread says I am better than another it may pull away and that will leave a hole in the beautiful design.

    Everyday I come to the throne empty and asked to be filled to do the day. Most of the time I have to come to the throne and asked to be filled every moment because I try to fill up on myself rather than on the Lord. I am unable to do this thing called life on my own. I need an empty cup to be filled with love when I give it out the Lord keeps filling it. When I do not give it out it evaporates and does not get filled as quickly.

    Some days I am optimistic and some days I am filled with pessimism. We are so loved no matter what we have been raised with or how we look at stuff because as we grow closer to God He changes our cups and how they are filled. Yea!!!!!

  5. poohpity says:

    Hey there rokdude5 glad you can boot up again. :-)

  6. wretch-like-me says:

    I am with you Rokdude5. So much of who we are is formed when we are nurtured in the first 5 years of life. That is why it is so important that moms and dads are working together to create a ‘christ-centered’ home that is positive and loving.

    Josh McDowell says that the greatest gift parents can give their children is to ‘love each other’. The strife that so many of us experience as children growing up in troubled homes can haunt us the rest of our lives. It creates all kinds of issues of security, self-image, overall outlook at life and reasons for living.

    Speaking as one who grew up in a home that was not at all peaceful, I know first hand how it shakes the foundations of happiness and twists my perspective on every event. I constantly battle negativism, self-doubt, vindictiveness, over-compensation/exaggeration, and a host of other ‘conspiracy’ ideas. Worst of all is the depression that is both physical and mental when I realize what I continue to do despite a sincere effort to overcome.

    I know I have victory in Christ; however, so long as I am housed in this ‘mortal tent’ the battle rages.

    That’s why so often I cry ‘Come Quickly, Lord Jesus!!!’


  7. poohpity says:

    I just read Mart’s “Symphony” man does that ever belong in this blog as of late. Wow, Mart, that was beautiful. I guess it is obvious what your gift is.:-)

  8. KryptoNyte says:

    With my glass half empty, as I see it so frequently in my eyes, I ask the Lord to provide me with a glass that is full. So many times, though, it seems I end up with the same amount of contents, but a glass that’s only half as big!


  9. kaliko88 says:

    I think because too many of us don’t really look at the people and things around us. We only look at their reflections in the mirror while we look at ourselves. And then there are those who can’t really see much at all except themselves because of the walls they’ve built to hide behind or as a self-imposed prison. But I also know that the reasons we do those things are varied and ever-changing. I think an additional question to ask is, do we use those reasons to reinforce the behavior or change it?

    I’m reminded of a quote by Abraham Lincoln. “If you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will.” (Anyone remember the movie “Pollyana”?)

  10. daisymarygoldr says:

    Very confusing:( Either I’m reading too much in between the lines or the handsome looking limply-legged doggy in his warm clothes is throwing me off the topic…

    …but as to “What’s causing us to see things differently?”, IMHO, if we all have the revelation of the same Spirit, bear the same mind of Christ, relate to the same Father, believe in the same Truth, strive with the same Faith and abide in the same Word, there will be no difference!

    So, as long as we relate to everything in Christ we will be with one accord having the same spirit and mind. The mind of Christ being Spiritual is way different than what is understood by the natural mind. The natural mind is carnal a.k.a flesh.

    Ethnicity, race, color, cultural traditions and social background are things of our flesh and will always jade our view of spiritual truths and will prevent us from coming to Christ, to know the truth that sets us free from falsehood.

    In Titus 1, Paul was addressing such false teachers who faked themselves as Christians in order to get a foothold within the church. Clothed in the garb of religion, they introduced their Jewish fables and myths and promoted traditions and ritual practices of the flesh… all for their own personal and dishonest gain… so, I agree that it is the motive and purpose in looking for such connections.

    And I disagree that these are Christ-centered people. Their own prophets called them “liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons” and in v 16 Paul himself called them unbelievers that “…profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.”

    Glass “half-empty” or “half-full” depends on our personal relationship with our Creator. To the greedy mind that takes pride in the flesh, and is always about ‘me’: i.e. what will I get from God and the Church, what I need from Him/them, my desire is not being fulfilled… the glass is always “half-empty”.

    …but to the grateful mind that is saved by grace, which is always about ‘Him’ it is: what can I give Him and the Church, what does He need from me, what does He want me to do and is His desire being fulfilled, the glass will always be “half-full”.

    It all comes down to how much we know God, our Heavenly Father through our personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. When we put off flesh and put on Christ, regardless of our past we are all accepted in the beloved.

    With our positions securely fixed on the loving breast of Jesus, all of us, God’s children will see just as we are in our Father’s love that says to each and every one of us: “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours” (Luke 15:31)!

  11. poohpity says:

    IMHO we have the same goals and principles in Christ but that does not take away our individuality. God created each to have the freedom and acceptance to be themselves. For example God did not want David to act like Saul or His brothers but to be fully himself and David saw life through his own eyes and his personality was developed because of the experiences he went through.

  12. bubbles says:

    As rockdude said, I believe much of our outlook is formed from how we were raised when we were very young–just outlook on life in general.

    What do people do, then, when they feel they are shot down by another every time an idea is articulated–wheter it is to paint a wall, a picture, take food to another person who is sick or bereaved, etc. What if they are told their idea is stupid, or it is said, “Why would you want to do something like that??!!!” What if they are told they are not intellegent? What if someone never, never, never receives encouraging words from one that is supposed to encourage and care? What if one is told they are stupid when they cry? What happenes when kindness is not the common thing, but the uncommon surprise? What happens when help is asked for, but when given, it is seen as an imposition by the one giving the help, and the asker is made to feel bad for asking in the first place? What if one’s emotions are incessantly negated–they are never validated as real–if they do not conicide with another, they are stupid?

    What then? These questions are just thrown out there, not to be taken as sarcasm or unkind. . perhaps asked in a little frustration, but to no one on this blog site.

  13. poohpity says:

    Bubbles that is the type of person that the Lord loves to reparent. That sounds like how I was raised and through a lot of counseling and guidance from the bible through the Holy Spirit we learn new things. Those old ways of thinking get new ones and like Jesus said He has overcame the world and so can we. It takes time but one will understand that those type of people were raised by someone who treated them that way and that is all they know. It is a struggle but the Lord helps us learn how important we are to Him and that is all that really matters.

  14. daisymarygoldr says:

    bubbles, you and your posts are such a blessing to me! and no it is not stupid to be different and certainly not stupid to cry. No matter what has been said to you, you know in your heart that you are one intelligent person who loves the Lord. All the trophies you had won in AWANA are a testimony to that:) and since your life is hidden in Christ, God sees you as the smartest and most intelligent person… and you have really made Him proud! So please, don’t let your past determine how you are seeing things in the present! Now, if you are referring to how you have been raised by your father, who is also a believer, then bubbles we are on the same page. If he is too critical then it is OK. It is only when you become a parent will you realize and appreciate your father’s protective love for you…that wants you to grow up into a strong, healthy and wholesome woman! It will also help you understand the protective love of our Heavenly Father who does not use any kind words to encourage evil that will ruin the lives of His precious children. So, cheer up and keep posting!

  15. bubbles says:

    being criticzed for opening one’s mouth to articulate one’s thoughts is not love. It’s NOT protection. I’m sick unto death of having women who are ‘parents’ tell me that I don’t understand. I was in a 80 degree room with eighteen children for 8 hours today. and i don’t understand parenting??? i’m with them longer than their parents. christian women are cruel in many ways. always thought the way hannah was treated was byzantine, and never thought it would happen today. but it does. often.

    being told that one doesn’t tell someone they are loved, they just show it. . . this is protection??? have you walked a mile in my shoes? noting was ever said about being different.

    the awana trophies ha. don’t care about them. don’t even know where they are. memorization is the lowest level of thinking acoording to Bloom’s taxonomy. everyone can memorize. that is NOT a mark of intellect.
    the real prize is the Word of God. they were mentioned out of shame and wrong motivation. not as a boastful thing.

    ‘the protective love of our Heavenly Father doesn’t use kind words to encourage evil’: did anywhere in the previous blog mention evil things??? um, robbing stores? being disrespectful? using bad language? running wild? purposefully living in sin? no.
    just trying to live life. wait until you have no one on this planet to help you, and we’ll see if you want to ‘cheer up.’ this is not in the past. it is ongoing.

    this topic has hit an extremely raw nerve. especially about children. women who have children are not to be elevated up next to Jesus by themselves or others. in God’s eyes, there is no respecter of persons. unfortunately many don’t seem to/want to understand. childless women are many times treated as less than a person and less valued. this is been observed for many, many years here. we have a womens’ Bible study at church. a woman in the church invited another lady to attend. however, she said, “you are welcom to come, but our topic is about being a wife and mother, so you wouldn’t be interested.” that study will NEVER be attended by that lady. that comment was like a knife in the back.

  16. bubbles says:

    on the same page? no. in the same book? no no no.
    not even on the same bookshelf.


    life isn’t all blue skies, rainbows, and yellow smiley faces. we all know this.

    isn’t it wonderful that life here on earth isn’t all there is? it will be sooo good to be in heaven and leave all of this stuff behind. then it will no longer be important.

  17. wretch-like-me says:

    You speak with revealing insight about your incredibly caring heart. The world is a cruel and self-indulgent place that creeps into the hearts of even the most devoted saints. That’s why we have much to be thankful for from God.

    All of us are undeserving of the Love that God has for us even as we, sinners, were His enemies(unfortunately many still are His enemies). I want to offer you a word of encouragement as a fellow sinner who recognizes how miserably I fail to measure up to Christ’s perfection. Yet, we are instructed to follow Him and His example.

    Take courage my friend. God knows your pain and suffering. As Paul put it, you can take comfort in knowing that with your suffering you share in the suffering of Christ and carry your cross just as HE.

    We are indeed only pilgrims in this world. Our home is ahead with Christ in Heaven and as much as we might want to hasten His return or our departure, His timing is perfect. I know you would not want to disappoint Our Savior by leaving the work He has for you before it is accomplished.

    My prayers are with you; but, your greatest strength and comfort will always come from Our most gracious and loving God who is perfect in all ways. He is eager to bless you with a peace that surpasses all understanding.

    Get some rest and let Him minister to you in your sleep.


  18. sjd says:

    Dear family,

    Today, I witnessed a 15 year old girl that has been abused, neglected, already has birthed a child, been on antidepressants, being called a name I can not repeat here. By her mother no less! How is this young lady going to look at life? How will she trust others? How does she view the “glass”?

    I agree with some others to a point. How believers view that “glass” can be very different and much of it can be traced back to those early years.

    Yet by God’s grace I am seeing people transformed before my very eyes. Sure there are many that are seeing “half empty”, yet I am hearing weekly a middle aged woman who has suffered much of her life with suicidal thoughts, praying to our Father in Heaven, thanking Him, praising Him, and reaching out to others.

    Another man that used to think God hated him, now rejoicing in his life in Christ.


    By the reality of God’s Truth! Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life! By the Word of God, the Truth!

    I have not had near the life that many of you have experienced. Yet in the struggles that are unique to me I am finding the glass to be more and more full!

    It has been as I realize the reality of who I am in Christ, and Who Christ is in me! And believing it, trusting Him!

    I have been forgiven, being seen with Christ’s righteousness! I am no longer a sinner! I am now His child! I am now a saint! He has given me a new heart to love Him and others, an actual desire to do what is right! He has determined to reside in me, and to empower me!

    For eternity past He has planned to make me part of His Son’s bride! He has chosen me to be part of His dwelling place! He has chosen me to be part of a royal priesthood! He has chosen me to be part of the body of Christ, to be part of the family of God, to enjoy His inheritance.

    I have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness, and transferred to the Kingdom of Light! I have been given everything I need for life and godliness! I have been given every spiritual blessing!

    Jesus has gone to prepare a place for me for all eternity, yet He is already living in me, and has promised to never leave me nor forsake me!

    Even in the midst of the ugliness of this world, how can I not begin to see the “glass” as half full and more!

    The fullness of Christ is in me! He is my life!

    Psalms 23:1-6 (NASB95)
    1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
    3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
    4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
    5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
    6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

    You all are part of my family! Thank you for helping me continue to see the fullness of my glass by your participation on this blog! I am enjoying my family now and have all eternity ahead to learn of our Lord all the more.



  19. daisymarygoldr says:

    bubbles, I am really sorry if I was not clear in my comment to you. It was meant to sincerely extend some encouraging words to a fellow blogger…nothing more than that.

    My reference to parent was intended for a young woman who is yet to experience parenthood and absolutely did not include childless women. God accepts us based on not the fruit of the womb but the fruit of the Spirit. I know you are very hurt and I do feel your pain… It is my prayer for God’s love to comfort and heal every wound of your aching heart…

    …and yes, you are right we do not belong to even the same bookshelf. Sorry that I even dared to place myself beside you. 80 degrees with 18 children for 8 hours a day is a special privilege when compared to 500 children in 112 degrees for 12 hours under an asbestos roofed-shack with not even a single fan…no cold water, only 2 bowls of rice and soup/day, no proper toilets which forced them to relieve themselves just everywhere out in the open…and needless to mention the outbreak of chicken pox, measles and pink eye. With no sufficient medicine or sanitation all of them painfully sighed and complained…

    No, No, No! all of them nurtured with the love of Christ by cruel Christian women that resigned their jobs, chose celibacy for Christ and even at the age of 87 are sleeping on the hard floor to teach these little ones who… sang away at the top of their voices with one accord:

    “It’s Bubbling it’s bubbling It’s bubbling in my soul
    Am singing and laughing, Since Jesus made me whole
    Folks don’t understand it, Nor can I keep it quiet
    It’s bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling day and night”

    Life is indeed wonderful to all those who may not have much stuff but are blessed to enjoy all the riches in Christ right here on earth. Although we may not belong to the same bookshelf, God is so good and He loves us all!

    Thanks for helping me learn a good lesson that much of our outlook is formed from how we were raised when we were very young. bubbles, you are in my prayers tonight…

  20. dependent says:

    Mart, I read Paul’s exhortation to Titus as being centered on protecting sound doctrine in response to those who were “posing” as believers, and teaching things that turned people away from the truth.

    So, maybe I missed your point here. But the context doesn’t seem to be a case of true believers agreeing to disagree on the non-essentials of the faith. But, rather, rebellious men teaching things that Titus should silence because of the evidence that they had rejected the truth.

    So, were these folk who “professed to know God, but by their deeds deny Him” simply glass-half-full members of the Body of Christ that needed correction? An adjustment to their motives?

    Seems the key might be in how one interprets v13. Who is to be reproved by Titus? Believers who strayed down the wrong doctrinal path and were allowed to teach it? Or those in the flock that were accepting these teachers/teachings as truth?

    False teachers as “posers” trying to profit from unsound doctrine? Believers who ignored the unrighteous fruits of those diluting/perverting the gospel?

    Or, more benignly, just differing cultural perspectives of true believers that would have been doctrinally acceptable had their motives not been “sordid gain”?

    I’m not sure their ‘fables and commandments’ would have been (forgive me) kosher, had they been propogating them for free?

    Your thoughts?

  21. lilu1314h says:

    I was brought up in an environment that was never lack in anything – physically (food, cloth, education…) but lacking in many thing – spiritually (love, affirmation, encouragement…)

    And I grew up being a very negative person, looking at everything through the “negative spec.” It’s only after become a Christian I was taught that my thinking was “wrong”, it took me sometime to re-learn how to be a positive person from “God’s spec.”. I thank God that others had help me to see the weaknesses that had ruin my happiness.

    It’ll take a life long journey to walk with the Lord & allow Him to mold us to someone that God is desired.

    I think the “half-empty” / “half-full” is the common illustration in showing whether a person is Optimistic / Pessimistic.

    “half-empty” – being the pessimistic – it will be “Oh dear! The glass is half-empty”

    “half-full” – being the optimistic – it will be “Thank God! The glass is half-full”

    Thank God! I’m now “half-full”

  22. Mart De Haan says:

    dependent, you’re right!

    The half-full, half-empty example/language I used didn’t fit the seriousness of the kind of error Paul was asking Titus to confront.

    The Apostle was not writing about Christ-centered people who just had different life experiences. In addition, regardless of who they were, if they were teaching fables as fact, or the words of men as the words of God, they would have needed to be challenged.

    I was going for a principle that I think is true of those who are, and who are not, in Christ. i.e. the condition of our heart (like our life-experience) limits or expands what we can see.

    As for the effect of motive and purpose, in a positive sense, I was thinking of people like CS Lewis who used fiction to create word-pictures and analogies designed to point people to Christ (rather than false teachers who make up stories to deceive). We also talked recently about missionary Don Richardson who found within pagan culture practices that could be used to encourage an understanding of Christ.

    As this discussion is showing, there are many sides of this issue that deserve careful thought, and the kind of mutual care and clarification that is being expressed. Some of what we are talking about is a matter of degree.

  23. bubbles says:

    DMG: the blog was in no way intended to put myself above you, only for you to see that women who are mothers can misunderstand those who arent’.

    the Lord laid this job in my lap. they are told daily that we could be in a third-world country in triple digit heat. i would work in a landfill to be with them. they are never cold in winter. i’m sorry if you missed the point. the point wasn’t about the heat in any way, or the number of children.

  24. SFDBWV says:

    How can anyone live in this dark sinfilled broken world and not be affected by it?

    When I was first learning about God, I was somewhat offended by the statement the God punishes the sin of a man for four generations.

    As new believer I looked at this as unfair, perhaps even cruel. To punish the innocent.

    It was through living and observing that I seen the truth of this scripture.

    Sin comes with a far reaching consequence. The wrongs or sins of a parent can and will influence a child for it’s life and so the effect will continue to be passed along from generation to generation.

    I would also like to say that it isn’t always a parent that adversely affects a childs development. It can be any person that has influence on the developing child.

    That sin itself has a parent. Any time any sins against another the cycle of sin can begin, with the same effects.

    Only the power of Jesus Christ can break the cycle. Each generation has now the free gift from God to break the chain and be set free of the stain of sin. And alter the future.

    I have learned that the most terrible person has a past that helped form them into who they are now. That perhaps a kind word or love could have made all the difference in the world, to this person at the right time.

    That the consequences of the sin are now in motion, but that the power of Christ can transform the sinner. That once forgiven we must also learn how to forgive.

    The pure of heart may look for purity everywhere, but who among us is pure of heart?

    Yes we all see life differently, because we are different.

  25. SFDBWV says:

    Yesterday evening I watched a debate on CSPAN2 concerning the release of the Lybian murderer by the Scotish Secreary of ?

    I speak the American version of english, but I had to listen very closely, to be able to understand the Scottish version.

    I was very impressed by the integrity and courage of the Secretary, as he was bashed about by nearly all of his colleagues. For his release of this terrorist.

    He accepted full responsibility for his actions, as he stood alone against his accusers.

    But it was when he said that his actions shown that we (Scotland) have a different view of moral behavior then thoes of the Lybian terrorist, and his countrymen. that realy rang loud in my heart.

    Immediately following his remark, another colleague stood and said that she too was a Christian but disagreed with his decision.

    This Secretary sent home to die a terrorist, who showed no remorse for his actions.

    But this Secretary showed that there is something bigger and better in mercy than in revenge.

  26. pegramsdell says:

    In Romans 12 I see that we all can have different gifts and abilities. We are different, but have the same Spirit if we are born again. All of us have something to offer someone else. Especially encouragement. Don’t we all need that.

    3 Because of the privilege and authority[c] God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.[d] 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

    6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

    Also in 1 Cor. 12 I see that we are also one body. We need each other. Thank you all for your comments, they really minister to me. :)

  27. Loretta Beavis says:

    I thought today’s Our Daily Bread: “Cast Down Sheep” focusing only on verse 3 of Psalm 23 could be comfort to bubbles and all us other cast down sheep. He will restore our souls, our spiritual equilibrium.

    I train horses and they get “cast” in their stalls, just like sheep. To look at their lives, in a fragrant, wood-shavings filled, walled box (10’x10′ or 12’x12′), with automatic water and room service meals, one thinks this protected life is what they need. Instead, when they lay down to sleep or roll (itchy) they get upside down, cast. (They need big pastures) (I love the way Jesus taught with natural objects)

    Such a powerful, beautiful, soul-full, fascinating and submissive animal-but weak, helpless, suffocating in it’s “caretaker’s” ignorance or intentional confinement.

    It bugs me when I read the hurt you have, bubbles, especially that it is ongoing. I’m praying for the Lord to restore your soul today. Jesus said He is the Good Shepherd. I don’t have the right words, but you are His Barbie doll (do you know what the Barbie doll is?-the perfect woman). Every time the world beats me up, I say out loud that I don’t care because I am Jesus’ Barbie doll-just right for Him.
    I love you bubbles.
    I love my Jesus.

  28. phpatato says:

    It depends on what is happening in my life as to how I view the glass. Some days it’s half full and other days it’s half empty. It can be so easy to look at that glass and see it half empty; wearing the self-pity sunglasses, singing that “nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I think I’ll go eat worms” tune. The evil one is so good at putting those sunglasses within easy reach. he has an unlimited supply of them. I am learning that when the storms of life are raging against me, I must simply stop and drop. It is when I am on my knees in quiet prayer that His still small voice asks “Do you trust Me?” I slip off the pity glasses and see life in a different hue. The glass is half full!!!

    Psalm 118:24 (NIV)
    This is the day the LORD has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

    Note: Even though it is bad grammar/spelling, I refuse to use a capital letter when referring to satan. Quite simply, he isn’t worthy of it.

  29. poohpity says:

    Hey guys did anyone read the “Symphony” article by Mart? You go to the RBC home page and on the right side Been thinking articles you will find it. It is so relevant.

    phpatato you can write how ever, just as long as you write. :-)

  30. wretch-like-me says:

    Dear Friends:
    What I glean from most all of our comments is what separates us (christians) from the rest of the world is the ‘awareness’ of Christ and the ability to ‘choose’.

    If we were no more than animals, our environs and people in them would have tremendous power over us. As the mystics would have us believe, a chain of seemingly unconnected events (beyond our control) would shape our lives. It is easy for atheists and agnostics to be swayed by this ‘logical’ progression. It gives them excuses for their ‘irresponsible’ behavior.

    As christians, we know better. We have ‘chosen’ to believe in God. We have ‘chosen’ to believe He is in control of all events and wonderfully causes them to bring about good for those who have accepted and ‘chosen’ His Son, Christ Jesus.

    My closest friend (my wife) reminded me the other day of the final exam of her philosophy class in college. It was a one word question.


    Most of the class immediately busied themselves with pen and paper writing long and arduous answers that took the entire class period.

    My wife paused and wrote two words on her paper, tuned it in and then left after less than a minute.

    She got the only ‘A’ on the exam.

    Her answer?

    “Why NOT???”

    thanks, Mart, for this blog, the stimulating exchanges and the possibilities.

    To the rest of us:
    May we pause more quickly, listen more readily, hear more clearly, ask before we answer, and always couch our responses in the Love of Christ. Let us remember how when He saw needs, He met them with kingly kindness.

    Afterall, we are children of the KING.


  31. dependent says:

    Thanks Mart! Now, I think I’m tracking with ya.

    Kind of reminds me of Paul’s “all things to all people” comment. Or what was seen by the religious folk as Christ’s unseemly interactions with the “unclean”.

    Oh how the Kingdom would grow if we could only love people with this brand of selflessness that focuses more on our neighbor’s need for Christ and less on the non-essentials that might offend our particular sensibilities.

    I admire the people who can navigate across huge cultural divides, without compromising the Truth, in order to minister Christ’s love in a way meaningfully points to the reality of the cross. It seems that sort of ‘agape’ love, modeled by Jesus, produces a willingness to recognize and then lay aside assumptions, prejudices, personal convictions and even our freedoms in order to present more of Christ and less of ourselves.

    Recently I’ve been looking at Paul’s recognition that even though for some walking in the liberty of Christ, they could in good conscience eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols—that personal liberty and revelation was constrained by love for those whose journey toward/with the Lord would be offended by such actions.

    A modern example I recently saw was the dilemma that presents itself when a man accepts Christ in a cultural setting where polygamy is the norm.

    Does the bearer of the Gospel and mentor to the new believer demand a monogamous marital relationship as part of this new life? Sadly, this has been the case. And, the cause of Christ is damaged when the community equates the pain of the new ‘orphans and widows’ with the supposed Good News.

  32. wretch-like-me says:

    Mart, One final thought:

    Do you think it helped Christ to know that His time on earth was barely a ‘second’ compared to eternity He enjoyed before and after this task He accepted from the Father?

    Does it help us to know that our existence, here, is a heartbeat compared to the ‘forever’ we have with Christ ahead of us?

    It does for me!!!


  33. dependent says:

    pegramsdell, thanks for the reminder of the intended diversity of the Body of Christ in terms of gifting and function as the body-parts metaphor illustrates.

    Brings to mind the differences between Unity and Conformity–sharing/conforming to the mind of Christ while operating as vital and equally important “members of the whole”. The body, in its love for one another and Christ, embraces and esteems the diversity of ‘function’, in order to walk the direction that the Head desires.

    Do we indeed esteem other believers as better than ouselves? Hmmmmmm….easier said than done, for me at least.

  34. daisymarygoldr says:

    bubbles, it is unfortunate that my comment did not clearly communicate my thoughts. “It is only when you become a parent will you realize and appreciate your father’s protective love for you…” was not intended for women who are not mothers. It meant that when we are young and growing up we will not understand or appreciate the love of our parents.

    Anyway, please, ignore my comments as it was a mistake in trying to reach out to you. Whether you believe and accept it or not, I want you to know that I still love you in the Lord and you are in my prayers…

    Be it in the third-world or super-world, human suffering is universal to all and is rooted in sin. Extreme poverty, or malnutrition, or mental depression, or barrenness, or broken marriages, or joblessness, or sickness or death the question is how do Christians see things differently and respond to suffering?

    It certainly differs depending on whether we see the glass “half-empty” or “half-full”. In the third-world Christians are glorifying God while suffering… because they see the glass as “half-full”. In the super-world, are we choosing to glorify God in our sufferings?

  35. daisymarygoldr says:

    If this sounds superior and boasting, then am boasting in the Lord. This is not to esteem myself as above others and look down on anyone here but to help us wake up and realize that in Christ we are already more than conquerors, sitting in high and heavenly places with Him!

    Do agree that we see things differently, depending on how we were raised when we were very young. Ever since day 1, my parents raised me with a clear Christian sense: life is not about me; it was, is and will be always about Him.

    The importance of my life is in this that God has created me and called me for a special purpose i.e. to give Him all the glory He deserves. This knowledge, that a dead sinner like me is important and significant to Him personally, is too wonderful for me.

    It has so satiated me for eternity that my life here and now is filled and overflowing. Hence, in spite of lack of encouragement, disappointment, criticism, failures, rejection, poverty, sickness and death of dear ones… my glass is always “half-full”. God is glorified in the good and bad, both in what He has given and what He has chosen not to give me.

    Regarding the Body of Christ, I have been raised among merciless churchmen and cruel Christian women that have counted their education, professions, health and wealth as garbage when compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ. The sole purpose of their lives is to know Christ personally and to experience the fellowship of faithfully sharing in His sufferings.

    It is abusive churchmen that followed God’s commands to keep His house in order—for the church to shine as a bright light among the dark pagan world. I have grown up seeing believers relentlessly giving their all: their jobs, homes, comforts…even to their last drop of blood for the sake of the Gospel.

    Subjecting themselves to the authority of Christ, all the different members with their diverse calling and their individual functions coordinated together with one mind to perform the one and same purpose of the church! With that background how is it possible for me to even remotely try and understand believers here that see things so differently… to hate their own Christian brothers and sisters and have no regard for the body of Christ?

    BTW, though all the parts of the body are different in structure and function, under the direction of the one mind/brain all will see an apple as just an apple. I have never known of a healthy living body that will perceive things differently where the eye sees the apple as a red ball, the hand senses it as a red scorpion and withdraws away from it and the feet remain rooted not knowing whether to move towards or run away from the apple.

  36. bubbles says:

    apologies are here. the comments made were not intended to be self-indulgent. . .didn’t mean to be selfish. the comments made here last night/this morning have NEVER been said out loud to anyone except to one very close friend. some things cannot be mended here on earth. of course God’s timing is perfect. He is omniscient(sp??)

    the work laid out has already been left, but the Lord has blessed another work beyond anything ever known before. He is so good.

  37. faaford says:

    Just because the glass has something in it, I would have to say that it is half full. Just because there is hope in JESUS. With man some things are not possible. I know beyond a shadow of a adoubt that all things are possible with our Lord and Savior. Hope makes the glass half full.

  38. BobbiLee says:

    I have loved all of your comments on this topic. My day has been blessed. One comment on that glass. . . whether we see that glass as half empty or half full, Paul reminded us that for now we see “through a glass darkly”, but instilled in our hearts that someday we would see “face to face” with Christ. While on this planet we see and are different from one another. What a wonderful event to refocus on – the light that is Christ. It is only then that we will all see as one body and be in total unison with one another.

    “Be thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart. . .”

  39. Dixie says:

    Like the song goes – “it’s all about You, it’s all about you, Jesus”. For me, that’s how my cup turned from half empty to half full. Life’s circumstances as a young child too had their toll on my outlook in life. Praise God, I was brought up to know Him early, but our home life turned devastating, creating inner conflicts for most of us in the home. Many bad choices were made growing up, many consequences as a result, but grace prevailed, and the Lord did rescue me from the pit of hell. The biggest turn around in my cup was through God’s forgiveness, for as the Bible says, he who is forgiven much, loves much, and God has forgiven much in me, loved me much through it, and is teaching me to love him and others much in return. Thank you Jesus. And as for my upbringing, I’m beginning to see like the blind man that met Jesus, it wasn’t my parent’s sin that made me blind, it was to bring glory to God, which he did for me. I was blind, now I see, all to the Glory of God. So with that, I can say, I love you family and I love You God. Praise the power of Jesus.

  40. SFDBWV says:

    Poets, song writers, nonfictional and fictional authors,have all expressed the lonelyness and uniquenes of a person.

    We have all heard the expression, “take a walk in my shoes”

    We can come close, very close to seeing through anothers eyes. But no one can clearly do this except God.

    Because God sees into the heart, and backward in time to the causes and effects that make us percieve things as we do.

    Saw a comment on one of the learning TV channels, “all mankind is 99.9% alike.”

    I can believe this, because we all, everyone of us came from the same ancestor.

    But this is only the cold scientific data about our bodies and basic psycology.

    There is no measurement about the spiritual, nor where each of us are at any given point in life, with or without God.

    Love can overlook what we don’t see from another’s heart. Love can be patient and allow for the blindness of another who can’t see through our eyes as well.

    No we don’t all see eye to eye, but love can keep a smile on our face and a warm place in our hearts for what we don’t see.

    This kind of love is the peace that Jesus Christ offers us. Free for the asking.

  41. foreverblessed says:

    thanks for your comment of 4.03 pm, when you write it, and say: even when suffering because of fellow human beings in the way the treat me, may it be church men or other, I still am blessed in the Lord.
    That might be insulting for those who are believers, but suffering because of maltreatment by others.
    (This reminds me of Corrie ten Boom, who learned to rejoice in Jesus, while being maltreated in a concentration camp.)

    Can you be more specific in the abusive churchmen and women?
    I do not really get what you want to say. Do you say these men and women gave up everything for the Lord, or do you say, the followers gave up everything for the Lord?

    Anyway, I had to deal with a ministry leader who was very authoritive.
    He said, that the Holy Spirit works from the top down to the bottom of believers. When God wants changes, He will first tell the leader, and otherwise it is not from God. He said, one stone is above the other.
    I had to bow down to the strucure that was laid down through the inspiration of the HS so many years ago, and unles God made it plain to the leaders, everything should stay the same.
    We prayed together about it, and while praying, I got the vision of all of us standing around Jesus, bowing to Him. So I said: I want to work with those who bow down to Jesus. Do yo want to work with me?
    The answer I got was: You cannot work with our ministry.

    That was years ago. And just lately I had a talk with the same person, I wanted to clear of the past. I said: Sorry for me having been too agitated, and too angry about your way of leading. He accepted my apologies, and said I was forgiven. And that was the end of the conversation.

    It left me a bit down. This was not reconciliation, this was a one sided talk.
    I do pray a lot about this, and no real straight answer has been given. Maybe I have a choice,
    “if you do submit I will see you through”
    “You do not have to work together with this ministry, I will give you another, a less dominant ministry”.

    But seeing you had to deal with dominant church leaders, what is your experience?

    And to stay on topic: While dealing with this man, in the conflict it is hard to see the glass half empty in the other person.You tend to see only the wrong things in the person. And that is my part in it: to stay close to Jesus, so as for me not to get to negative in my thoughts.
    I must say, I did not succeed, the irritation got the most of me, and that was my fault. It took me years to get over it, and just lately apologised to the person. Hence this conversation which I just mentioned.
    Have I learned, yes, Now I know the meaning of Col3:1
    Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

    You have to, because here on earth too many things are upside down.
    We have to be a stone, a living stone, and the higher stones are carried by the stones under them.

  42. poohpity says:

    What causes one to follow someone that does not lead with the structure of the bible. Is it because a person is not familiar with the bible to know what is truth? It is so important to fill our glasses with the knowledge of God’s word so that we are able to discern truth and when we are confronted with lies, “Run Forest Run”. In this day and time there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing so be on guard and protect your heart.

  43. InHisHands says:

    As I scanned the comments on this thought, I kept thinking about the motive of our actions when we see the glass “half-full’ or “half-empty, and the words of the song, “Fill My Cup Lord” popped into my head. With Christ as the center of our lives, ought not our cups full and needing to be emptied out on others so that there will be room for Him to continue to fill them? David states, “my cup runneth over.” The blessings, talents, gifts, knowledge and wisdom we attain from our precious Lord, is not to keep our cup half-full, half-empty, or but to flow out to the brethern and world around us. This is my first time at commenting, and I do hope it made sense to someone. Thank you for having a place for bro. and sisters in Christ to share.

  44. sjd says:

    John 4:13-14 (NASB95)
    13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;
    14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

    John 7:37-39 (NASB95)
    37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
    38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ”
    39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    Revelation 22:17 (NASB95)
    17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

  45. sjd says:


    It is so true. Glasses were not just for holding water are they? They are for dispensing!

    I was greatly encouraged this morning by a fairly new believer hearing him speak about light and darkness. He had been reading in the Gospel of John.

    Jesus is the light of the world. The truth about light is that it can not be overcome by darkness. But light can dispel darkness as it overflows into darkness.

    He then remembered that in Christ we are now light. (Ephesians 5) We are to be entering this dark world.

    As I think about us being filled with the fullness of Christ, I picture that glass as having this living water flowing up and out, that is blazing with light. Nothing can overcome that flowing river of “shining water”! No, darkness can not overcome the light that is now in us, and the light that we now are.

    My cup is truly running over.

    Should I say “our” cup is truly running over. Together we believers are the Bride of Christ. Our experience is joined together as we are one in Christ.

  46. daisymarygoldr says:

    foreverblessed, abusive churchmen and cruel Christian women are words that I have picked from others in this blog. It is not my terminology.

    What others here perceived as “abusive churchmen” I see them differently—as men who followed God’s commands to keep His house in order. A Christian woman that invites another lady to a Bible study and clarifies that the topic is for wives and mothers is perceived as cruel. However, because of the way I was raised, I have high regard for women who chose to serve the Lord in His house in spite of their physical sufferings or limitations.

    It is because these men and women have sacrificed everything for the Lord, I know they are serving in God’s house…not for the money or some sort of personal gain. Hence, if they insist that I conform to some of the “rules”, God’s word teaches me to be subjected to their authority.

    If for instance, the church leader tells, lets all sit down to party, have fun, commit adultery and rise up together to fornicate with the world….then I will expose their evil deeds for the whole church to condemn and exterminate that wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    …but, let’s assume that I was a woman who after being married for 33 years feels no more desire for my abusive husband and in stead am attracted to and want to marry another man who is already married to a wonderful wife. If the church leader rebukes me and tells wives to be subjected to their husbands… it is not seen as abusive/dominant by me. He is doing his job of keeping order in the house of God.

    foreverblessed, I do not see them as dominant church leaders who are lording over the flock. I see it differently as leaders who have been ordained by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and have been authorized by the Head to feed and lead the flock. If they have hurt a little lamb like me, I know that they are accountable to the Chief Shepherd but on my part I will not talk ill about church leadership. If I talk ill…then I am giving occasion to the enemy—satan to work through me and hinder God’s work in His body.

    If the hurt is really bad, then I have the choice to amicably part ways with that church… something that has not happened to me so far. In fact, it was the other way around, where my father was hurt by the leader and decided to stop going to church. We had stayed away from the fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ for 4 long years.

    As a teenager back then, I knew that this was not right and decided to restore my family back to church. By God’s grace and some human drama of putting my foot down to say enough to the ego of grown men i.e. my father and that elder… and wielding the sword i.e. God’s Word along with a lot of prayers and tears…the climax was one sweet and happy one to see the “family” become whole again!

    That is my experience foreverblessed, and hope this helped answer your Qs…

  47. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, if we encourage wives to be subject to abusive husbands, are we encouraging order in the house of God?

    If we are not talking about normal marital conflict but rather:

    a pattern of behavior whereby married persons use power and authority over their mates to get their needs met through (1) physical or sexual assault or by (2) creating an environment of fear by threats of violence, sexual coercion, deprivation, isolation, or shame…

    and if patterns of emotional abuse include but are not limited to: name calling, ridicule, humiliation, isolation, control of finances, destruction of property, threats to harm, sexual coercion, withholding of appreciation, or locking a mate in or out of the home…

    isn’t such marital abuse as out of order and inconsistent with the spirit of Christ as sexual unfaithfulness?

  48. bubbles says:

    please allow for clairifaction of a comment made here.
    the important woman in church that invited another christian lady to a Bible study wasn’t unkind by doing so. this important woman KNEW that the lady/her husband couldn’t have children. what was caustic and unkind was when she pointed out the lady would be uninterested because the topic was about ‘being a wife and MOTHER.’ the lady was made to feel ostrasized by the important woman. she was not perceiving unkindness. it was evident and being stated.

    of course, there are far, far, far worse situations that being unable to bear children. people right now are suffering untold hardships because of their faith.
    were are so blessed to live where we do. why God allowed us to be born here is unfathomable. it is humbling. we thank God each day for His mercy, and pray for those persecuted to remain faithful to Him,and for courage and strength.

    but, this was her pain. it was real to her. are caustic barbs used of God to keep His house in order?
    was the childless lady out of order? she didn’t instigate the converstation. the comment was meant to separate her from the ‘mommy group.’ this was just one example. her deep hurt wasn’t perceived. it was real.

    so sorry to have ever said anything here. it’s always, always best to keep still/quiet and be misunderstood than to cause discord, which was not in any way intended.

  49. poohpity says:

    bubbles, please do not feel that what you have to say is not important, it is to me and others. Sometimes the words written here can be misunderstood and some people just do not have a clue about compassion, their loss. Remember the seeds sown return good and bad. The Lord knows the heart.

    This is the exact thing that has been going on for days here. See this a good example of the way one is brought up affects their attitude now. We are all still in process of growing.

  50. bubbles says:

    thank you, thank you. i really want to be an instrument of peace–not a person of contention. unless it is a point of incorrect teaching, it’s just best to be quiet. compassion is always nice-like a glass of ice water on a hot sticky day, but i can live without it.;)

    “. . .she speaks with a gentle wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Prov. 31 says. that’s so very convicting for me. it’s taped on the ‘fridge. i need to remember it more.

  51. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, husbands who resort to the atrocious sins that you mentioned should be dealt by the church leadership to maintain order in the house of God. The church in pagan countries deals with much more awful acts done by men and women who come to Christ but do not leave their cultural baggage behind. Those places do not have a Law system that is as well developed as yours. There it is the law of the jungle. It therefore becomes the sole responsibility of the church to tame both husbands and wives that behave like beasts.

    The churches there are able to handle such abnormal behavior/patterns by using God’s laws i.e. the Word of God. They don’t respond to such problems by slandering their own brothers and sisters in Christ. They don’t solve such issues by reinterpreting the meaning of head. They don’t see anything wrong with Paul’s head-body picture. In fact, Paul admonishes the Corinthian church that failed to address and condemn men who commit sexual unfaithfulness. I don’t see Paul saying I don’t want to go to church because of abusive churchmen.

    Mart, are you saying that you don’t want to go to church because all the men in church are doing these things to their wives? If that’s the case then it clearly indicates that the Bible is not being taught and followed in those churches. And so, the solution to this problem is for you… to teach the sound and solid Word of God so that people will know God’s real purpose for marriage. And no, you don’t wait until Marriage 101 to teach these things.
    That is too late because by then worldly wisdom puked out by Hollywood would have already taught us that marriage is simply getting into the tent and becoming one flesh. The profound truths of God in the meaning of marriage reflecting the union of Christ and His body must be taught right from the cradle and Mart, we don’t learn God’s truth from The Chronicles of Narnia, do we? If we all abide and follow the one and same eternal Word of God, then the body of Christ with different members but one head will not see things differently.

  52. daisymarygoldr says:

    foreverblessed, you are right in the way you dealt with that conflict. When conflicts occur in ministry and believers do not see eye to eye, then it is best to part ways amicably… just the way Paul and Barnabas had a sharp disagreement over John Mark and peacefully parted ways. You are also right about staying close to Jesus. By doing that we have our eyes focused only on Christ our Head and not on men and women in the Church.

  53. praisehimalleluia says:

    I believe that my life has always been pondered as half empty. Its because I choose to view it that way and its my fault to fall out of trust of the Lord. This is a state of my own failure to seek the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind. Something I repented and striving to work at now.

    We often blame it on God when things go wrong. And that was what I did. It hurts to know that we are so weak as humans to make such judgement on God’s grace upon us.
    Now I know He filled me half full. And He is waiting to fill me to the brim, but I must surrender all to Him.

  54. SFDBWV says:

    Someones pain is never funny nor trivial. Some can have their feelings hurt very easily because they are so very tender and innocent. Others because they carry around unresolved unforgiveness in their hearts.

    Here we are, topic in mind, talking about “seeing as we are”.

    As soon as one sees differently, up comes emotions, both defensive and offensive.

    Is getting clearity on anothers point of view limited to convincing them to adopt your point of view?

    Sometimes looking through anothers eyes, exposes unpleasent aspects of ourselves.

    Much more to contemplate concerning, “seeing as we are”

  55. cherielyn says:

    Saw a couple comments about “Symphony” and spent quite a bit of time trying to find it, unsuccessfully. Please send me more detailed info. I would like to read it.

  56. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, no I’m not saying what you suggest I might be saying :-)… The issue is more the difference between what should happen and what actually does when the truths of the faith are used (1) to protect the form and permanence of marriage more than its heart and purpose; (2) to leave unprotected the persons who form it; and (3) to misrepresent the God whose own reputation is harmed when abuse in church families is underestimated and under-treated.

    cherielyn, will post “Symphony” here since it’s been awhile…

  57. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, I know you are not saying that… and I also completely understand your point that abuse in church families is underestimated and under-treated. Abuse should not lead us to quit the church. It should rather burden us all the more to address, correct and eliminate marital abuse from within the church.

    …and that is possible only when the church in accordance to God’s Word, severely disciplines sin because all abusive behavior of both husbands and wives is ultimately rooted in sin. Only when sin is completely rooted out righteousness is restored within the body of Christ. That is how church families free of marital abuse correctly represent the Holiness of God to the unholy world that struggles with abuse.

    If we discourage the church from correcting sin in order to protect the form and permanence of marriage, the vicious cycle of sin will keep repeating and will only lead to more harm. It will cause more damage to the victims who would then face a whole lot of unexpected challenges in terms of financial support compounded with raising fatherless children that would grow up to face more complex problems of their own.

    Mart, how long do you think one can keep protecting victims of marital abuse? How long can one wait for the pattern of behavior to change? 10, 30, 60 years? …And then what? Do you think we would have delivered the world from marital abuse? Is there any sense for us to simply remain focused on curing causalities of sin without taking any measures to prevent sin? No…that futile approach will only lead us to nosedive straight into the bottomless pit of incurable depression.

    It is a matter of striking a balance. Our zeal to show mercy and protect victims of marital abuse should not clash with our zeal to uproot sin in order to protect the form and permanence of marriage instituted by God Himself. In His eternal wisdom His heart and purpose for marriage is that a man and woman remain as one flesh for better or for worse. Besides, He has approved and sealed it as good. Should we then trust our human wisdom to do more good in trying to protect the heart and purpose of marriage by undoing the good done by God?

    Mart, it is sad that when someone comes along swinging a swastika and a spiderwoman, you all accept him with love as your own brother. …but someone that tells the truth is hated and seen as the enemy. It really hurts:( because as long we consider our own brothers and sisters as enemies, the body of Christ will remain painfully divided as we will always see things differently…

  58. poohpity says:

    It is impossible to completely root out sin. Unless you could give us some pointers by the example of your life. As I understand it only Christ who lived a perfect sinless life and has allowed by only His shed blood for our sins to be covered before the eyes of a Holy God. Explain how one uproots sin in another human being? I think that is something that God does by transforming someones life, I have never understood that to be our job. I do believe when a person is having trouble in a church or a blog site slinging stones is not the answer.

    No one on here has ever referred to a brother or sister in Christ as an enemy. This is exactly what the topic for the day is talking about seeing things because of what we have experienced in life. There are times when your wisdom and scripture references are so right on and then there are times when it is like you change to someone words can not even explain what but you are still not the enemy. You are a imperfect Child of God like the rest of us. Welcome to the family and I love you no matter what.

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