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Tag Archives: a voice of reason

Do You Not Recognize This Voice?

To detect, notice, observe and spot are all words associated with discern.  Yet, when you don’t have your A game, get distracted or are tired, its easy to miss the obvious.  If you neglect your mind, you just might fail to recognize the advice and direction your conscience want you to take.

Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? – Proverbs 8:1

King Solomon writes many of his proverbs to sons struggling to make sound decisions.  When you are young, discernment hasn’t been fully developed.  This sense takes time to acquire, often learned through the school of hard knocks.  Therefore, sometimes you need a Eli to come along your side to point you in the right direction.

A third time the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy.  So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place, 1 Samuel 3:8-9.

In modern days, Jesus left the Holy Spirit as a voice of reason.  According to the apostle Paul, as soon as you begin to keep in step with God’s Spirit, you can avoid the urge to indulge the sinful nature, Galatians 5:25.  By developing a keen awareness, souls can keep their feet on the straight and narrow.  If you reach a moment of indecision or come across an unrecognizable voice, test it with the 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 principle.  May you find your wisdom along the way in this journey called life.

by Jay Mankus

 

That a Boy!

As the culture changes, so does the vocabulary.  Unfortunately, as a sense of loyalty diminishes, human beings are being discarded by employers, often finding a cheaper replacement.  I found out the hard way during my last year as a high school teacher.  In this climate, instead of hearing encouraging words like “that a boy,” criticism follows revealing a lack of appreciation.

With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it, 1 Peter 5:12.

Trying to stay positive in these conditions can be difficult.  However, after reading a letter from the disciple Peter, I am reminded of the importance to use uplifting words.  Since most communications at a typical work place tends to be when you make a mistake, what would happen if people received a compliment once a week.  While each individual is different, most need to hear “that a boy or way to go” every so often to make sure they feel appreciated.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen, Ephesians 4:29.

Although I have my moments of negativity, these passages of the Bible bring me back to where I need to be.  Thus, despite how I feel, its vital to guard my mouth to avoid being part of the problem.  In view of this, don’t be afraid to be a voice of reason, building up those around you.  By exercising this principle, you will rejuvenate others who yearn to hear, “that a boy!”

by Jay Mankus

 

Buffer Zone

Whether you’re at home, school or work, you are bound to experience a clash in personalities.  If this turbulence happens regularly, you may be in need of a buffer.  Whether this is a cushion, defense or shield, buffer zones lessen the impact of two stubborn people.

When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple, Acts 9:26.

However, sometimes a buffer can be a moderator, serving as a voice of reason.  As the Holy Spirit transformed Saul, who became Paul, the disciples were skeptical, thinking this was merely a ploy to infiltrate the first century church.  None of Jesus’ disciples were going to give Paul a second chance until Barnabas intervened.

But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus, Acts 9:27.

If it wasn’t for Barnabas’ relentless efforts, one of the greatest apostles all time never would have been discovered.  The buffer zone Barnabas provided insulated Paul from the doubts of Jesus’ disciples.  Despite their differences, Paul proved himself to be a worthy servant of Christ.  In view of this story, don’t let negative feelings prevent you from giving someone a fresh start.  And when necessary, create a buffer zone to guard and protect others from ruining someone’s reputation.

by Jay Mankus

On the Other Side of the Door

Deep inside a broken heart, desperation moves an individual to a closed door.  On the verge of change, an action is required to remove the burden from an unclean woman.  Contemplating what to say, faith leads her to turn the knob, hoping to leave the nightmares of the past behind, outside for good.  With a jar of perfume in hand, she risks embarrassment, passing shocked faces on the way before approaching Jesus.

by emilysincerely.wordpress.com

Inquiring minds begin to gossip in the corners of Lazarus’ house.  Dressed to invoke sinful thoughts, this prostitute opens up a pint of pure nard, kneeling beside Jesus.  Oblivious to judgmental hearts and wandering eyes, this woman came to do what she felt compelled to do, wash Jesus’ feet.  Using her long hair as a towel, she humbles herself before the son of God, adding fuel to an already tarnished reputation, giving religious leaders enough justification to put their plans for crucifixion into motion.

This encounter in John 12:1-11 is like a scene from a play, lived out every day in communities, schools and the workplace throughout the country.  When a person wants to change their identity, God is willing, yet his people often allow prejudices to keep their hearts from forgiving and forgetting, Matthew 6:14-15.  Although freedom exists on the other side of the door, Revelation 3:20, welcoming arms may not be receptive to your conversion.  May the Barnabas’ of this generation serve as a voice of reason, greeting anyone who turns the knob to get to the other side of the door, Acts 9:26-28.

by Jay Mankus

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