HATEFUL ENEMIES BLOG POST GRAPHIC

Redemptive Response to Cursing, Abusive, Hateful Enemies

Between emotion and action, Jesus issues four corrective commands. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” – Luke 6:27-28 Those commands seem unreasonable and impractical especially when we have such cursing, abusive, hateful enemies. Does Jesus really expect us to respond to such horrible people with redemptive action? The answer is, Yes. Not only does he expect it, but one character in the Bible exemplifies it, Joseph.

In my previous post, we looked at how Joseph loved his family despite them becoming his enemy. How did Joseph exemplify the other corrective commands of Jesus?

When Family Becomes Enemy Title for Blog Post

Do Good to Those Who Hate You

Joseph did good even when life was bad. Joseph’s brothers sold him. He served his master well and God gave him favor (Genesis 39:3-6).

Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of rape. Potiphar put Joseph in prison. Even there he did well and the Lord gave him favor (Gen. 39:21-23).

“Where” Joseph was never changed who Joseph was. He did well because the Lord is good. Joseph’s actions became a testimony to everyone around him. We can learn from his example. When you respond with bad, it does no good!

Bless Those Who Curse You

Joseph’s brothers conspired against him. Blessing and cursing; both are about words. Words hurt.

Our natural emotional response to cursing is to curse back. In Genesis 45, Joseph had the opportunity to get physical and verbal revenge on his brothers. At one time they determined his fate in a pit, now Joseph had the opportunity to determine their fate from the palace. What sort of words would Joseph choose, blessing or cursing?

Joseph chose blessing. If you read Genesis 45:4-14 you will find that Joseph directs his brother’s attention to what God has done. He then promises to bless them and provide from them out of the abundance of Egypt. Notice the last line of this paragraph full of blessings.

“After that his brothers talked with him.”

How many of us in our time of hurt would welcome a productive conversation? Imagine having a conversation in which wrongs are confessed, the hurt is expressed, and apologies are exchanged. That sort of reconciliation only comes through redemption. A conversation like that does not come about through revenge. Cursing for cursing does not cure the hurt.

Pray for Those Who Abuse You

The Bible doesn’t record Joseph’s prayers, but make no mistake, Joseph prayed. The integrity of his character, the strength of his witness through trial, and the favor God gave him only comes through prayer. Joseph never wavered from God’s will. He interpreted dreams through the wisdom of God. When the moment of redemption came, the emotions were overwhelming. I’m sure the hurt resurfaced. But rather than revenge Joseph chose redemption. A choice like that only comes as the product of prayer.

As for you! But God!

The climax of Joseph’s story comes in Genesis 50:20. Jacob, the father of these lost boys brothers has died. Now that dad is gone, will Joseph finally get revenge? Absolutely not. He explains:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good to bring it about that many people should be kept alive as they are today.

Genesis 50:20

Somewhere between angry emotion and destructive action is something only Christ can do in you.

So how do we tap into this redemptive response only Christ can give?

  1. Know Christ as Lord and Savior. Through repentance and faith, we enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:9,10, 13). We don’t need a situation change as much as we need a nature change. The Bible teaches that when we repent of sin and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior that He places His Holy Spirit inside of us (2 Cor. 1:22). The fruits of our new nature will begin to emerge (Gal. 5:22-24).
  2. Renew your mind. After giving his discourse on such a great salvation, Paul turns his attention to life application in Romans 12:1-2. Our new life in Jesus calls for us to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed into Christ. That transformation comes only through “renewal of the mind.” Renewal of the mind means that we unlearn those habits and patterns of reaction to emotion that conform to the ways of the world. We then learn Biblical, Christ-honoring patterns of behavior as part of the transformation of salvation.
  3. Feed and foster new life from the graces of the church and spiritual discipline. Part of discipleship is discipline. Seek to establish daily habits of Bible reading, prayer, service, and worship. Your church becomes a critical ally in the transformation process. God uses the church to minister His graces of forgiveness, conviction, grace, mercy, and love to His people. Prayer is a conversation with God. Sometimes in prayer, you feel as if you are only speaking to Him. You will be amazed at how God uses His church to speak back to you.

Conclusion

We will all have cursing, hateful, abusive enemies. When people take destructive action against us we are flooded with negative emotion. Our natural reaction is to return destruction for destruction. But Jesus is our in-between. He is our corrective thought. In a sin cursed world He has chosen to call his people to be the conduits of redemption. Unnatural? Yes. Supernatural? Absolutely. But by following Christ we introduce into the fabric of a fallen story something that will save many people alive. Think about it. Had Joseph chosen destructive action and destroyed his brothers the seed of the Savior would have been lost. What salvation could Christ bring from you if you choose redemptive response rather than destructive action?

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When Your Family Becomes Your Enemy, How to Effectively and Redemptively Love

When your family becomes your enemy, how do you redemptively and effectively love them? Is it even possible?

In my previous post, we examined four commands that Jesus gave us that call for radical, redemptive action in response to our hateful, abusive, cursing, enemies (Luke 11:27-28).

throat punch love your enemy title

But I say to you, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

Luke 11:27-28

I ended with the question of who can possibly carry out these commands in such an emotionally volatile situation? Has anyone ever done such a thing? The answer is, yes. The finale of the Book of Genesis is the telling of the story of Joseph. Joseph’s story is curious to us because his family becomes his enemy. He was hated, cursed, and abused by his brothers.

The CliffsNotes Version of Joseph

I would encourage you to read the Joseph story in its entirety. Joseph’s story is found in Genesis 37-50. Let me give you the CliffsNotes version.

Joseph was the favored son of his father as indicated by the magnificent robe he wore (Gen. 37:3). He was a bit of a tattle tale in that he brought a bad report of his brothers to his father (Gen. 37:2). Joseph was also a bit naive. He had a dream that indicated that there would come a day in which Joseph’s brothers would bow down to him. When he told them of the dream, to no one’s surprise, they did not take it well (Gen. 37:5-8). Joseph then has another dream that is much like the first. And like a naive, favored, little brother with a total lack of self-awareness, Joseph reports on his dream again as if they would be happy to hear it. Needless to say, again, it did not go well.

Do Good to Those Who Hate You

And so, in Genesis 37:4 the Bible says that Joseph’s brothers hated him. Joseph may have been the proto-typical annoying little brother in some ways, but that does not excuse their attitude toward him. Even still, bad goes to worse. In Genesis 37:5 the Bible says they hated him even more. As if that were not enough hate, Genesis 37:8 they hated him even more.

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Bless Those Who Curse You

The Bible doesn’t say that Joseph was cursed, but it does say in 37:18 that his brother’s conspired against him. They considered two options. Option 1, kill our little brother. Option B, sell little brother. In the traditional sense, cursing is the wish or determination of a destructive fate upon someone. In the modern sense, people think of cursing as the use of profanity. I would say in a “conspiracy” conversation of this sort, either applies. I’m sure there are some words the Bible bleeps out between men who are trying to dispose of their brother.

Checkmark on cursing Joseph.

Pray for Those Who Abuse You

As the brothers deliberate between murder and human trafficking, they throw Joseph in a pit. The most chilling verse in the story comes in Genesis 37:25. “Then they sat down to eat.” Imagine the confusion that would be in you if you were captured and thrown into a pit. How much fear would fill you to have brothers so evil deciding your fate? This is a horrible situation and Joseph’s brothers eat a sandwich. Abuse is a cold, calculated manipulation of a person.

Checkmark on abusing Joseph.

There is no peace in the relationship between Joseph and his brothers. They are enemies and not at all acting like family.

When Family Becomes Enemy

Abuse is always painful. That pain is multiplied exponentially when it is family. When the people who were put on earth to nurture you, abuse you; it is a twist in the fabric of creation itself. That is NOT the way the world is supposed to work. How can a mother, father, son, or daughter treat you like they do? How can a brother or sister turn on you as they have? There are a lot of people who have a Genesis 37 and it is very difficult to listen to them tell the story.

When your family becomes the enemy it unleashes an F5 tornado of negative emotion in a person’s heart. They live in an internal, inescapable storm. When family is the enemy, there is no shelter.

So how does Joseph respond? He responds with radical, redemptive action; just like Jesus commanded in Luke 11.

Joseph Loved His Family/Enemy

In an improbable turn of events, Joseph goes from being one of history’s first victims of human trafficking to becoming the Governor of Egypt. God gives him some insight that becomes valuable economic advice to the nation during famine.

In Genesis 42, Joseph’s father sends some of the brothers from Canaan to Egypt to buy food. In an incredible twist of fate, Joseph’s brothers walk into the room and bow before Joseph. They do not recognize him, but he recognizes them. It plays out just like his boyhood dream.

The Bible says in Genesis 42:7 that Joseph treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. We might respond, “Serves them right!” I can’t imagine the amount of negative emotion that may have built up in Joseph over so many years. But Joseph is not getting revenge, Joseph is seeking redemption.

Joseph Tests His Brothers

If you continue to read the story, Joseph begins to test his brothers. In each test, Joseph brings the fate of his younger brother, Benjamin, into question. Benjamin is an important point of focus because he is also the only other brother born by Joseph’s mother Rachel. Rachel is the favored wife. Joseph was the favored son. With him gone, surely now favor has fallen on Benjamin.

Will the brothers tell him the truth about Benjamin? Will they use him as a pawn in bargaining for their own self-interest or will they abandon him as they did Joseph? In short, Joseph is trying to see if they have had a heart change.

So why go through all of this trouble of testing them? Why choose redemption rather than revenge? Genesis 42:9 says that “Joseph remembered the dreams that he dreamed of them.”

What we know of the dream is that Joseph’s brothers bow down to him. That is all that Joseph’s brothers really cared to know of the dream as well. But though that may have been the content of the dream, that was not its full meaning. If that is all the dream was about, the vision is fulfilled and Joseph can move on. But Joseph realizes that the dream is not about humiliation, it is about redemption.

The Emotional Release You Need

From Genesis 42 – 44 we read of Joseph testing his brothers. How do the tests end? Pass or fail? At the end of Genesis 44, the brothers break. They exhibit a heart of compassion and a commitment to the protection of their younger brother. Finally, in a roundabout way, they realize that they have brought much grief upon their father in what they have done to Joseph. They do not want to cause more family pain. The brothers have had a heart change.

And here comes the emotional release!

In Genesis 45:1-3 we read one of the Bible’s most moving scenes. In a torrent of tears Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers. They stand silent, in total dismay of this incredible twist of fate.

This is the moment we dream of when we have been hurt by an enemy; especially when it’s family. This is the great equalizer when all that is wrong is made right. When we finally have the upper hand – and it would feel so good – right!

But notice that this emotional release does not come out of revenge. It comes through redemption. It does not come from a heart of destruction, but reconciliation. Joseph saved his family because he loved his enemies.

Critical Truths in Loving Your Family/Enemy

There are some critical truths we can glean here from Jesus’ command and Joseph’s example.

  1. You may be the victim, but in Christ, you possess the greater power. It takes little power or integrity to destroy a person or a family. To retaliate is natural. To redeem is supernatural. If you follow Christ as your Savior, through God’s Word, His Spirit, and His desire to seek that which is lost, you have access to the greater power to redeem. Imagine God using you to bring some horrible people to salvation.
  2. God protected Joseph. God will protect you. As terrible as Joseph’s story was, hindsight shows us that it wasn’t all bad. There may be a time in which the actions of an enemy result in what seems like a loss to you. You may lose your family. In the end, you may lose a job. It may not be your fault, but you lose a friend. Whatever you lost, it may be terribly unfair. There is no excuse for what happened to Joseph, but being removed from his family at that time may have been the best thing for him. I’m afraid that the conversation the brothers had about killing Joseph in Genesis 37 would have only continued. Eventually, they may have followed through. We also see that despite the evil of the removal, God used that time to work in Joseph’s life. Sometimes God has to work in you before He will work through you. When people are up to awful things, God is up to greater things (Rom. 8:28).
  3. Who they are doesn’t define who you are. Joseph was sold into slavery but it never compromised his integrity. Our culture seems to embrace a “once a victim/always a victim mentality.” That doesn’t have to be the case. A victim has every right to make choices that eventually lead to victory. Furthermore, if you read Jesus’ four commands in Luke 11 in context, you realize all that the enemy does to you comes down to a single issue. And that issue ultimately has nothing to do with you. It has to do with Christ. People victimize us either 1) because they don’t know Jesus or 2) because we do know Jesus. They are going to do what they do because of who they are, but we respond in the way we do because of who Jesus is.
  4. Your enemy ultimately faces eternity. I pray that you know Jesus as Savior. If you do, what someone did to you will have no bearing on your eternity. A person may take something from you in this life, they cannot touch your eternity (Matthew 6:19-21). God will restore eternity-fold what the enemy has taken. So, let’s ask an objective question. If you get revenge, it may feel better for you in this life, but what good does it do for eternity? What good does it do for yours or for theirs? In revenge, there is only loss. In redemption, there is eternal gain.

What else can we learn from Joseph’s response? To be continued in the next post.

What more can be learned from Joseph’s response? Read the follow up post: A Redemptive Response to Hateful, Abusive, Cursing Enemies.

HATEFUL ENEMIES BLOG POST GRAPHIC

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Don’t Push the Panic Button on Death

Other than crashing, do you know what is the #1 concern for airline passengers? It is not the hassle of delays. It is not even the long lines at security. It is not the high cost of tickets.

The #1 concern of airline passengers is turbulence.

I’ll admit, of all the things that I hate about the whole hassle of air travel, it is turbulence that makes me hold on to my seat and pull the seatbelt a little tighter.

But have you ever wondered what is actually going on in the cockpit during turbulence? According to Patrick Swift of AskthePilot.com, not much. He says from a pilot’s perspective, their reaction to turbulence is more about trying to avoid coffee spilling on passengers than it is a safety issue. He says:

“For all intents and purposes, a plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket.”

When the pilot comes over the cabin speakers to announce that we are going to encounter a small patch of rough air, all I hear in my mind is, “We are in a patch of rough air and WE’RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO MAKE IT! Those 17 tiny pretzels we gave you will be your last meal – we hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for flying Delta.”

What’s most interesting is that passengers tend to exaggerate the actual effects of turbulence. Some passengers would say that the plane suddenly descended by as much as 3,000 feet when in reality it may have been as little as 10.

Why are there such divergent reactions between the pilots who are relatively unphased by turbulence and passengers who are in a total panic? It all comes down to perspective.

Life has a lot of ups and downs to it. Along the way, there will be turbulence. How do we avoid wild swings of emotion? How do we avoid hitting the panic button?

In Ecclesiastes 7, Solomon outlines the ups and downs of life. Along the way he gives some incredible perspective. When a person trusts God he can actually glean some very good things at some very bad times.

The key verse that unlocks the meaning of the passage is 7:14a. “In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made one as well as the other.

It is in realizing that even in the turbulence, our pilot is not in a panic. God has something good for us even in the bad. In Ecclesiastes 7, Solomon is giving us a pilot’s perspective on life turbulence and in a sense telling us – don’t hit the panic button.

Don’t Hit the Panic Button on Death

At first reading, Ecclesiastes 7:1-4 seems to be a morbid perspective on life and death. He says that death is better than birth. Is this a gruesome wish to die? Is it a twisted encouragement to end one’s life? Not at all.

In the final line of verse 2 Solomon says about death that “the living will lay it to heart.” He is not endorsing death. He is pointing us to wisdom. The greatest lessons for the living are not learned at a party, but at a funeral.

Given the choice, I think we had all rather be at a birthday party than a funeral. A party is a much happier occasion – it involves feasting (v. 2b). At a good party there is a lot of laughter (v. 3a). Everyone is in the fun zone when they are at a party. Solomon describes it as a house of mirth (v.4b).

We can learn a lot about living if we take some time to think about dying.

But it is foolish to think that life is just one big party (4a). As ridiculous as it is to believe the earth is flat, so it is to believe that your life can be perfect. Every day can’t be a party. People who run from party to party usually make a mess of their lives. Parties are great experiences, but there is very little wisdom that is learned on the dancefloor.

A funeral has a sobering effect on life. Losing someone will make you push the pause button on the fun zone and force you to take some time to think. As hard as death is, don’t push the panic button on the moment or on the rest of your life. “Lay it to heart.” Learn from it. Remember verse 14, God made even this day. We can learn a lot about living when we pay attention to dying. What are the lessons of a funeral?

  1. Decisions matter. Funerals have a way of reminding us, that both good and bad decisions matter. Health decisions matter. Life decisions matter. Moral decisions matter. There is nothing more tragic than losing someone to a bad decision. There is nothing that would make that lost life more wasted than you making that same bad decision. There is nothing like a funeral to also remind us that good decisions matter. There is a greater spirit of comfort in a family whenever someone is lost who made great decisions. Those decisions blessed that family. Those decisions will continue to help guide that family. Every funeral puts a finality on decisions. Observing death helps us to evaluate life and wonder if it were to end soon, have I made great decisions that will last long after I’m gone?
  2. Family matters. There is nothing like a funeral to bring out the true family dynamic. You see some great, bonded families at funerals and you also see the horror that a segmented, divided family can bring. Funerals remind us that the decisions we make in marriage and parenting matter. Death brings finality but awakens us to the opportunity we have in life. How do you want to be remembered by your kids? How do you want to be remembered by your spouse? Funerals are sobering reminders to tell people you love them while you have them.
  3. Life matters. Funerals confirm what James says in James 4:14, life is but a vapor. It comes for a short time and then vanishes away. No matter how long we live, it is never long enough. I think part of what Solomon means by “the living will lay it to heart” is that the wise learn from death how to make life count.
  4. Jesus matters. If anything funerals remind us is that we are not going to live forever. But wait a minute; according to the Bible, we are going to live forever. The Bible teaches us that we are eternal creations of God. Each of us will live forever, but there are two very difference versions of forever. One is an eternal lake of fire reserved for those who have rebelled against God. The other is a new heaven and a new earth for those who have received God’s Son, Jesus Christ, by repentance and faith. Death makes the decision final, but you are going to live forever. Jesus said today is the day of salvation. Why not make your forever decision today?

Don’t push the panic button on death. Losing someone is a turbulent time. But remember, God gave you plenty of days to party and He has also made this day. Lay it to heart. Learn from it. The lessons we learn in dying give us the wisdom we need to really live.


The Voice of Intimidation

This week I am sharing some excerpts from my new book, Pulse. These excerpts are taken from chapter 2, Courage in which David is making his way to fighting Goliath. Before Goliath draws a sword, David is assaulted with words. Personally, I know no one who has ever been attacked by a sword, but all of us are well acquainted with the cutting sting of words. How do we overcome those inevitable, critical voices? We have already looked at the voices of insinuation and humiliation. Now let’s discuss the most frightening voice of the three, intimidation. 

Critic #3: Goliath, The Voice of Intimidation

When David stepped onto the battlefield, Goliath took it as an insult: “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” (1 Samuel 17:43).

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In the annals of ancient battles, you will discover that before there was fighting, there was talking. It was customary for warriors to brag about their own superiority and strength and to parody their opponent’s weaknesses. Trash talking is an ancient art.

Insults are weapons against your “want to.” Intimidation is an attack on the will. We see this in every area of life from athletics to politics. It’s easier to call someone slow than to chase them. It’s easier to dismiss someone as ignorant than to listen to them. If a person’s will can be stunted with brutal words, it makes the fight that much easier to win.

But rather than paralyze his will, David saw Goliath’s intimidation tactics as an invitation, especially when Goliath began to mock the one true God. In ancient warfare, this was also customary. It was part of the routine of trash talking to mock the gods of your opponent.

Earlier, David had asked some of the soldiers at the battlefield, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26). Then, as David drew near to Goliath, we read, “The Philistine cursed David by his gods” (v.43).

David understood that the battle with Goliath was not merely for the honor of Israel’s army, but for the honor of God himself. This was the part of Goliath’s taunts that pushed David over the edge. Judging by David’s response, he cared very little about what Goliath thought of his size. But he cared very much about the honor and glory of God, and he cared very much about shutting the mouth of a Philistine who would dare defy Israel’s holy King!

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1 Samuel 17:45-47 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head.”

Intimidation is a distraction from the mission. In response, David could have gone into a diatribe about his amazing talents with the sling, but there was no need. Rather than boast about his talent, he simply used it for the glory of God. Nothing more needed to be said to Goliath. He would discover soon enough how great David was with a sling!

How do you handle the critical voice of intimidation? Stay focused. The mission is too important to get sidetracked by bullies.

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Be sure to check out the previous posts in this series, Insinuation and Humiliation.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Pulse, subscribe to my website and I will immediately give you access to a digital copy of Chapter 1, Commitment.

How do you deal with critical voices in your life?

Overcoming Critical Voices – Voice #2, Humiliation

This week I am sharing some excerpts from my new book, Pulse. These excerpts are taken from chapter 2, Courage in which David is making his way to fighting Goliath. Before Goliath draws a sword, David is assaulted with words. Personally, I know no one who has ever been attacked by a sword, but all of us are well acquainted with the cutting sting of words. How do we overcome those inevitable, critical voices? In the next few posts, I want to share with you how to overcome three critical voices that will try to crush your vision, Insinuation, Humiliation, and Intimidation. 

Critic #2: Saul, the Voice of Humiliation

Upon learning that David was ready to fight Goliath, King Saul immediately called David’s lack of size and experience into question.

1 Samuel 17:33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.”

How humiliating was that? Basically, the king told David that he was too small and too young and that Goliath was an experienced champion of war who’d been fighting longer than David had been alive. Goliath was too big for a kid like David.

When people humiliate us, it’s often tempting to belittle them and magnify ourselves. But David did neither. Instead, he magnified his God. His response is instructive for us when we hear the voice of humiliation.

1 Samuel 17:34-37 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

When we are humiliated by others, it provokes our pride. When belittled, our natural reaction is to take it personally. But David’s heart was in a different place. He was concerned primarily about the honor and glory of God. Saul’s words were directed at him, but he knew well that this situation was not ultimately about him. The battle with Goliath belonged to the Lord. David’s size was not his problem or Saul’s problem. David’s size was God’s problem, and David trusted that God could overcome it.

In fact, David rightly discerned that Saul’s statement revealed more about what Saul thought about the Lord than what Saul thought about him; it revealed a lack of faith in Saul’s heart more than a concern about the relative sizes of David and Goliath.

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But David had not been the king in waiting; he had been the king out working. Out in the fields protecting the sheep, David had already encountered many life-threatening beasts, namely, lions and bears. Goliath wasn’t the first giant he’d faced; he was merely the next one. David had already seen what God could do in bringing brutal foes to nothing. As a result of seeing God’s power, he knew God’s power. He wasn’t concerned with being short when his God was the mightiest of all warriors.

Too many people wait to be named the starter before they decide to get started. Too many people stall and hold out until what they think should happen actually happens. But waiting leads to watching—watching your best opportunities pass by. You can’t wait to be named the starter before you start getting better!

No matter what anyone may say, champions aren’t lucky; they’re good. If you can tangle with bears and grab lions by the beard, then nine-foot giants are much less intimidating. David became “big” because of his experiences, not because of his entitlements. He knew from experience that if God wanted him in the fight, he couldn’t lose. He knew he had a purpose and a calling, so he fearlessly trusted God whether he was fighting a bear, a lion, or a giant.

Don’t wait around for someone to give you some entitlement you might feel you deserve. That’s a waste of time. Instead, step out and experience the power of God in your life. Get started now.

But keep in mind, when you get started, you will likely face the critic of humiliation. Some may humiliate you as a way of making sure you always seem smaller than them. Saul surely wanted to keep David in his place by calling his size into question. But isn’t it ironic that even though Saul was the tallest man in Israel (1 Samuel 9:2), when he was confronted by Goliath, he was too small to fight?

The best way to deal with critics who humiliate you is to keep moving on. Recognize that they are most likely humiliating you because of some issue with their own heart and let it go. You’ve got more important issues to deal with.

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Be sure to check out tomorrow’s post, voice #2, Humiliation. For more information about Pulse or how to get your copy, click here.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Pulse, subscribe to my website and I will immediately give you access to a digital copy of Chapter 1, Commitment.


 

How do you deal with critical voices in your life?

The Bible Says to Love You, But What If I Don’t Like You?

The Bible’s command to love one another seems out of touch and impractical when some people give you good reasons to hate them. Hate involves hurt, and there is a lot of hurt that brings about hate. Some people are abused. Some are hurt by words. Many have been hurt in church!

How can you love someone when you don’t even like them (and maybe even hate them)? I’ll give you some insight from 1 John 4 in this message I shared recently at Liberty (www.LibertyBaptistChurch.ws).

The Bible Says to Love You, But What If I Don’t Like You? from Liberty Baptist Church on Vimeo.