Tag: bible

Raising Successfully Selfish Kids

Raising Successfully Selfish Kids

While driving home from work Friday, October 23, 2015, I tuned in to a radio talk show hoping to catch a local weather update. Instead, I had the opportunity to listen to two rather annoying gentlemen talk about a new study that shows that children who talk back to their parents tend to be more successful as adults. After ten minutes of listening to them go back and forth and the examples that callers shared of their own children, I had an epiphany.

The world’s definition of successful means an individual who is self-centered and manipulative, always looking out for what is in their best interest at the expense of others.

It is true that an individual who pushes back against authority, manipulates others, and always seeks out that which would benefit him or herself will most likely find success in their professional careers.

However, is this the type of person we want to raise our children to become? Someone who has no compassion or empathy for others? Someone who is always looking out for Number 1? Is this selfishness and lack of cooperative spirit truly a characteristic of a good leader? And even if these traits might bring more success in a professional capacity, how much harm are they doing to the individual’s personal relationships and emotional health?

The Bible warns:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5, English Standard Version

This list of negative characteristics includes many attributes that the modern world would deem as essential for a successful person, but those who desire something better are encouraged to “avoid such people”.

Philippians 2:3-4 tells us: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Notice that the Bible is not saying that we need to be doormats, just that followers of Christ should be concerned with others. As parents, we should be striving to raise our children with godly characters, molded from the traits listed in the Fruit of the Spirit passage.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Galatians 5:22-26, NKJV

The world would be a better place if more children were being raised to be kind, gentle, patient, content, and with the ability to exercise self-control. Contrary to how society may think, I believe that true success is not measured in what an individual has material-wise but the relationships he or she has built along the journey of his or her life.

The world needs love

The world needs love

I am praying that all those who have experienced tragedy from the recent violence around the world may find comfort. There is no fear in love. “There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18

What is love? “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Let go of hatred and prejudice and embrace genuine love and compassion for one another as brothers and sisters. The world needs love. Not the feel good sensationalism in songs but the every day acts of compassionate love that makes a true difference. Not hashtags and catchy slogans, not pictures to evoke emotions, but a conscious decision by millions of ordinary people that we won’t let fear and hatred control our lives. That we can make a difference right where we live today, everyday, with our words and actions. And this love will grow as more and more people experience genuine love through compassionate acts until it spreads around the whole world.

I want my life to be a beacon of God’s love, love of the highest ideal and purity, shining out in a world of darkness and sorrow, spreading hope. This is my humble prayer.

Adapted from a series of tweets I posted on November 16, 2015.

God’s Protecting Care

God’s Protecting Care

Awhile ago, Bradley found an 1923 edition of “A Book of Worship: For Use at Table On Every Day of the Year” by Wade Crawford Barclay at a Goodwill or Savers. As you already know, I absolutely love collecting old books, and it is even better when the book is on a subject that interests me: Christianity, history, teaching, etc. This book in particular is a very early daily devotional, and we both love it! Each day has a theme, a verse of the day (single Scripture verse), a lesson for today (longer Scripture passage), a poem or prose on the topic, and a powerful prayer. It is wonderful to read aloud. We even read one at Vespers last Sabbath when we had a large group of friends over and they seemed to enjoy it, too.

To share an example, here the devotional for July 16:


FAITH AND HOPE

July 16
Verse for the Day: “But let all those that take refuge in thee rejoice, Let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them.” –Psalm 5. 11.

Lesson of the Day: 1 Peter 5. 5-11.

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; 7 casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 whom withstand steadfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffer a little while, shall himself perfect, establish, strengthen you. 11 To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

“Whate’ver God does is well!
In patience let us wait;
He doth himself our burdens bear,
He doth for us take care,
and he, our God, knows all our weary days.
Come, give him praise.”
–B. Schmolck.

“Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without thee I cannot live;
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without thee I dare not die.
Watch by the sick, enrich the poor
With blessings from thy boundless store;
Be every mourner’s sleep to-night,
Like infant’s slumbers, pure and light.
Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere through the world our way we take,
Till in the ocean of thy love
We lose ourselves in heaven above.”
–Henry F. Lyte.

Prayer for the Day: “Almighty and most merciful Father, thou art a God that hearest prayer; and we are encouraged to draw nigh unto thy throne of grace, most humbly beseeching thee to look upon us according o thy tender mercy in Jesus Christ. With many thanks for thy past mercies we now cast ourselves upon thy protecting care, trusting in that wisdom which cannot err and in that love which cannot fail. Do thou appoint our lot as seemeth good to thee. Father, not our will but thine be done! Preserve us from temptation; preserve us from sin; preserve us from our own evil hearts. Send thy good Spirit to direct and guide us in the ways and works of godliness; purify our affections; enliven our devotion; teach us how to pray and how to hear and read and profit by thy Holy Word. Whatsoever we do in word or deed let us do all in Jesus’ name, giving thanks to God and the Father through him. And let the words of our mouths, and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sigh, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer.” Amen. –Hannah More (1745-1833)


It is wonderful not only to read the Word of God, but to get a glimpse into the thought processes of those who tread this path before us. Here is some insight into the writers who works were included above:

Benjamin Schmolck (1672-1737), hymn writer
Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847), hymn writer
Hannah More (1745-1833); poet, religious writer and philanthropist

Fruit of the Spirit

Fruit of the Spirit

Harsh, mean-spirited, and judgmental.

More and more often, I am hearing saddening accounts of brothers and sisters within our church families who have been attacked by fellow church members for having different experiences, different opinions, different likes and dislikes. Attacked by individuals displaying the works of the flesh and not the fruit of the Spirit. Individuals who have exalted themselves so highly in their own mind that they actually feel that they are entitled to cast judgment upon their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ… Continuing reading at UNashamed →