Archive for September 18th, 2012

3 John 1:11

The random Bible quote generator gave me the following:

3 John 1:13 (NIV)

13 I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink

Intrigued, I looked up the surrounding lines, and got this show-stopper:

3 John 1:11 (NIV)

11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?  Have you done anything evil?  ANYTHING, even of a lesser variety?  Deception, mean-spiritedness, judgmentalism, pettiness, sneakiness, jealousy?  If so, have you considered that this is keeping God from making answering your prayers a priority?  If you haven’t done anything bad, first of all, good job, and secondly, you should still keep quote this in mind when deciding what behaviors to choose;  *I* certainly will.

The message is clear;  don’t act like they did (“imitate”), and feel sorry for them rather than angry as clearly they don’t have the closeness to God that we are blessed to be granted.

Another interesting quote is:

James 1:26 (NIV)

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

These quotes show very clearly how your behavior affects your relationship with God, so follow the Golden Rule when you interact with others, be gentle and kind, and God will bless you beyond what you asked for or even imagined.

I glanced up at an ad for I know not what, because this quote was on the screen and it filled my mind as soon as I saw it:

“Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Understanding evildoers, and helping as many as possible to accept God into their lives, will be the central goal of the 2nd half of my life;  I see this more clearly with each passing day.  To do this I must overcome an aspect of my nature that is too Old Testament to be spiritually transcendent in the modern day:

“Beware of all those in whom the urge to punish is strong” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Dear God, please help me to stop focusing on how people need to make up for their wrongdoings, because this discourages them from ever evolving.  Help me to just let past evils go when a person shows the desire to improve, and to focus instead on helping them move forward.  No one wants to move forward if they have to suffer or sacrifice or grovel first.  

Having written the above, I generated a new quote and got one of my favorites:

Psalm 30:11-12 (ESV)

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!


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