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Regaining Your Childhood Gaze

A gaze is to look steadily and intently, especially in admiration, surprise, or thought. While it’s hard to remember my own childhood, I do recall faces my own children made when they were young. Certain things caused each of them to be in awe. As an adult, you can get caught up in the rat race called life. When you don’t take the time to have balance, all work and no fun, it’s easy to lose your excitement and joy for life.

For it is impossible [to restore and bring again to repentance] those who have been once for all enlightened, who have consciously tasted the heavenly gift and have become sharers of the Holy Spirit, And have felt how good the Word of God is and the mighty powers of the age and world to come, Hebrews 6:4-5.

The author of Hebrews writes about a spiritual gaze. Whenever an individual enters into a personal relationship with Jesus, Romans 10:9-11, there is an enlightenment along with an internal peace within your heart. Unfortunately, just as a child can lose their gaze, any addiction, bad habit or habitual act will cheapen God’s grace. When temptation becomes too great, some Christians pray for God’s forgiveness before indulging in sin all over again. This appears to be the context of the passage above.

If they then deviate from the faith and turn away from their allegiance—[it is impossible] to bring them back to repentance, for (because, while, as long as) they nail upon the cross the Son of God afresh [as far as they are concerned] and are holding [Him] up to contempt and shame and public disgrace, Hebrews 6:6.

I was introduced to Lay Witness Misson Weekends in high school. A visiting team of adults and teenagers come Friday for dinner as a meet and great and leave Sunday afternoon following church. I didn’t know what a spiritual revival was until I attended one. Under the leadership of Ken Horne, building blocks were used to point toward a climax on Saturday night. Over a decade, I was fortunate to attend several of these weekends which helped me regain my childhood gaze. It’s never too late to retreat to a place where you can reconnect with Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

The Tug of War between Self-Esteem and Pride

On a level playing field, there isn’t much between winning and losing.  Whoever possesses confidence often comes out on top.  While talent does make a difference, self-esteem either strengthens or weakens individuals.  Too much success can go to your head, creating a false sense of security.  Thus, the tug of war between self-esteem and pride commences.

I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses, 2 Corinthians 12:5.

The psyche craves encouragement, wanting to receive positive feedback.  Although constructive criticism can be beneficial, compliments boast one’s self-esteem like a pat on the back.  Yet, balance must be achieved by surrounding yourself with people who are  honest, realistic and truthful.  Maintaining this atmosphere is crucial to keeping you from going back and forth between self-esteem and pride.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me, 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Unfortunately, wounds to the soul leave most wallowing in self pity.  In a cruel world that can be unforgiving, recovering from any defeat is tough.  Perhaps, the words of apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians was meant to console and educate those with lost confidence.  Whenever you feel like you can’t go on, reach out to Jesus in prayer and God will provide the strength to carry on.  Subsequently, as the momentum turns in your favor don’t forget to thank the good Lord above so that pride doesn’t invade your soul.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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