Keys to Overcoming Opposition In Your Mission

Keys to Overcoming Opposition In Your Mission

Push AwayThere’s a popular myth – perhaps unspoken – that says everything should be easy if you’re doing the right thing. But that’s just not true. Call it “the resistance,” spiritual warfare, or inertia, but the fact is that if you’re trying to do anything of significance you will face opposition. Coming to terms with and overcoming opposition will make the difference between success and failure in almost anything you do.

Change is usually painful, and almost always difficult. Every system wants to maintain the status quo. Your brain want to keep right on practicing the same bad habits, thinking the same negative thoughts, or enjoying the same addictions. Your family system wants to continue the same unhealthy or dysfunctional patterns of relating. Your church or business wants to remain at the same level, getting the same results as it is now, instead of growing.

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How to Grow Your Character

How to Grow Your Character

In some ways your character is like your closet, your car, or your bank account. Of course it’s much more valuable than any of those. Thinking of your character in those terms, however, helps make a number of things clearer. If you want to grow your character or help others grow theirs, you must be intentional about it.

You don’t want to be caught with a cluttered, run down, or bankrupt character. At some point your character will be challenged. Someone will treat you badly. You’ll face a tragedy in your personal or professional life. An opportunity will present itself for you to make dishonest money or to have an affair. There won’t be time for a Bible study course or six months of professional counseling before you’re forced to make a decision. Who you really are inside at that moment – your character – will determine what you do.

How do you go about growing your character so that you’ll have what it takes to pass those tests when they come? At least these 5 things are important. And they apply just as much to growing character in those you’re responsible for, such as children, students, parishioners, or employees.

  1. Spend time around others with good character.
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When Good People Do Bad Things

When Good People Do Bad Things

PaparazziMany in the popular media seem to relish exposing “skeletons in the closet” whenever an individual or a group that claims to be Christian does something bad. “Hypocrite!” they shout. “Why do you think you can judge others when you are doing worse things yourselves?” A recent media circus has made political fodder of a Christian family’s pain, and that’s wrong.

But even though the circus is wrong, it’s normal and understandable. This is only one of the more recent scandals involving those who claim the name of Christ. Those who would rather continue living without any restraint on their lifestyle love to demonize those who fail to live up to the standards they themselves portray as right. “Bad” people feel justified in their badness when good people do bad things too. And talk of “forgiveness” and “bad choices” doesn’t address the real issues.

The media will not be silenced when Christians engage in bad behavior involving sex, lies, or money. While such publicity may be personally excruciating and publically damaging to the name of Christ, I want to look deeper. While there are real benefits to adopting an openly Christian lifestyle, why are the lives of many who claim Christianity no better than others?

The data is not all negative, but there’s plenty of evidence to say that on many fronts Christians are behaving badly all too often:

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5 Benefits of Reading the Bible

5 Benefits of Reading the Bible

As a Christian you’ve probably heard over and over, “Read your Bible!” But why? You get busy and it just doesn’t happen. Or you begin, but get bogged down in the “begats.” Or you really try, but it just doesn’t seem worth the effort; it’s not doing anything for you. Reading the Bible becomes one of those “should’s” hanging over your Christian life and making you feel guilty.

If that’s our experience, we must be missing something. Consider what the Bible has meant to believers throughout history. Would monks and other religious workers spend their entire lives painstakingly copying the Bible by hand if it were just a duty? Why would Guttenberg choose the Bible as the first work to be produced on his new invention – the printing press? Why would governments aligned against the Christian faith not uncommonly kill people simply for possessing a book? Would underground evangelists risk their very lives to bring Bibles to people if it were just something they “should” read? Why would believers in some countries rejoice with tears when they received their first Bible if they were only “supposed to” read it?

There must be something more to the Bible than we usually pay attention to. Many people in our culture possess multiple Bibles that are never read. Perhaps we value it too lightly because it hasn’t cost us anything, or we haven’t experienced any benefits from putting it into our souls.

If you haven’t experienced the Bible as vitally nourishing to your soul, here are 5 benefits that you’re missing out on:

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How to be Both Heavenly Minded and Earthly Good

How to be Both Heavenly Minded and Earthly Good

You know the old saying: “Christians are so heavenly minded they’re no earthly good.” It’s meant as a derogatory reference to Christians who spend their time and energy on spiritual activities, while seeming uninformed on current events or unavailable for making any positive impact on the world around them.

There are others who say that doing good – helping those who are hungry, poor, sick, or in prison, or providing disaster relief – is what it’s all about. For them, getting busy helping others is the mark of spirituality.

The Christian church has had heroes in both camps. The best known “heavenly minded” saints would be those in certain monastic religious orders who spent their days primarily alone and in prayer. And perhaps Mother Teresa would be the best known example of the “earthly good” camp. And yet all these saints understood that both aspects are needed. Many of the monastery residents worked to provide help to those in need, and Mother Teresa is well known for her deep personal spiritual life.

Jesus talked about both aspects – the need to love both God and people.

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