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Tag Archives: Biblical principles

Sin’s Impact on Mental Health

According to a 2019 article, the mental health of teenagers is at risk.  Based upon a recent study, 15% of teenagers seriously consider taking their own life.  Another 12% actually make a plan to commit suicide.  Nearly 8% of teens make at least one attempt to implement their plan.  Meanwhile, 2% of these botched attempts of suicide result in medical intervention.  This healthyplace.com piece has motivated me to contemplate sin’s impact on mental health.

For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God, Romans 8:5-8.

According to the apostle Paul, sin’s initial impact influences minds.  Human minds serve as a bodies compass.  When minds fixate on fleshly desires. decisions gravitate toward pleasing your own body.  Meanwhile, individuals whose minds are directed by biblical principles are more likely to listen and obey God’s still small voice via the Holy Spirit.  Inside of human beings there is a spiritual gravitational pull, tugging at hearts and minds.  The hardest part of this decision making process is that sinful pursuits gradually results in minds actively hostile toward to God.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives? 10  “I, the Lord, search and examine the mind, I test the heart, to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds, Jeremiah 17:9-10.

An Old Testament prophet adds to sin’s impact on mental health in the passage above.  Known as the weeping prophet after proclaiming bad news given directly to him from God, Jeremiah reveals another troubling problem.  Human hearts are deceitful and extremely sick.  Jesus expands upon this diagnosis in Luke 6:43-45.  Mouths speak out of the overflow of your heart.  Depending upon what your heart stores up inside will reflect your vocabulary, the content of your words.  Thus, anyone who holds on to roots of bitterness will negatively influence and impact your mental health.

However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. 10 If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you. Romans 8:9-11.

Based upon the passage above, the apostle Paul points to daily spiritual decisions, who or what are you going to live for?  You don’t have to live in bondage to a flesh that craves humanism, whatever feels good must be good.  However, those who possess any empty heart, void of any meaning have an option to choose life by becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus.  Yet, words mean nothing until you act upon your faith.  Therefore, if you are tired of feeling spiritually dead, may the power of the Holy Spirit free you from sin’s impact on mental health.

by Jay Mankus

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An Undeserved Curse

The origin of curses have been recorded throughout history.  Curses come in three forms: conjured up by an individual, a consequence from breaking a biblical principle and self-inflicted through a self-fulfilled prophecy.  While some receive more attention than others, the saddest are undeserved curses.

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest, Proverbs 26:2.

King Solomon uses an unique image to illustrate an undeserved curse.  According to Bible scholars this passage eludes to the invisible, yet powerful nature of curses.  After the birds leave the scene, the curse remains, not coming to rest.  Subsequently, no matter how hard someone tries, some curses take people to the grave.

Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow, 2 Kings 5:27.

Undeserved curses can take the form of a generational curse like the passage above.  Children, grandchildren and future descendants are sometimes dealt an unfair hand.  While generational curses can be broken as detailed in Deuteronomy 28:1-3, many don’t ever put two and two together.  Instead, attention, energy and thoughts are put in a different direction.  May anyone experiencing abnormal, bizarre or strange events seek answers from heaven to unlock any mystery and freedom from curses lurking over you.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Ebbs and Flow of Life

Since public education began to remove biblical principles from curriculum in the 1960’s, understanding the why’s in life is much foggier now.  Instead of searching for real answers, there is a growing tendency to blame others, becoming a victim of circumstance.  Unfortunately, the concept of taking personal responsibility for your actions is becoming rare, lost in the ebbs and flow of life.

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity, Proverbs 11:3.

According to Solomon, the virtue of integrity is a guiding light when things don’t go your way.  Whether the trial you are currently facing is self induced or a mystery, adopting a Christ like attitude will provide a big picture view of your situation.  While many overreact by losing control or their temper, giving into these raw emotions can lead to destruction.  Perhaps, this may explain the apostle Paul’s words below.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 8:38-39.

If anyone had the right to complain to God, it was the apostle Paul who was regularly arrested, beaten and accused for sharing his faith in Christ.  I’m not sure how Paul handled every trying moment, but somewhere along the way he learned to consider each trial as an opportunity for growth.  Thus, these experiences inspired the words above that remind anyone undergoing the ebbs and flow of life that nothing separate us from the love of God.

by Jay Mankus

Far From the Truth

Whether you are examining biblical principles, the constitution or terrorism, answers will vary depending upon the world view you can eventually adopt.  When America was founded, Christian theism was the most dominant worldview.  Yet,  post-modernism has now surpassed theism, redefining that which was once true.  What makes post-modernism attractive to millennials is that this worldview believes human beings only have a limited knowledge.  Thus, man cannot know anything absolutely, a view far from the truth Americans once held as a nation.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me, John 14:6.

As the media now airs, presents and reports current events, every story is filtered through worldviews.  While post-modernism is predominant, journalists may also adhere to Existentialism, Nihilism and Pantheism.  Existentialism believes each individual creates who they are by the choices they make in life.  Nihilism states that laws and values the government tries to indoctrinate or force upon a person can justifiably be resisted which explains the recent violence within protests.  Finally, New Age Pantheism believes that you can become a god by raising your consciousness.  So the next time you hear, see or read about current events, the context of what actually happened may be far from the truth.

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth, Psalm 145:18.

One of the reasons why sites like the Drudge Report have become so popular is that the news is presented unfiltered.  Meanwhile, the motto of Fox News, “We Report and You Decide” is also appealing to those who feel like the press isn’t being fully honest and open.  As the Lord continues to change, other new worldviews will arise and take shape.  Thus, unless you stay updated on the latest trends, your understanding of current events will be far from the truth.  Therefore, be diligent in, educated and seek the Lord to obtain understanding.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

The Hope of Glory

Hope is usually a vehicle which leads to glory.  When hope is absent, individuals struggle to find meaning and purpose in life.  However, as soon as the fruit of hope is conceived, this invisible source leads people to reach their final destination.  The hope of glory is achieved when souls put their faith in Christ for eternity.

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, Colossians 1:27.

In a world full of disappointment, its hard to find something that will last.  While Israel was always known as God’s chosen people, those outside of this nation developed an inferiority complex.  Nonetheless, the Bible promises a day when Gentiles will be introduced to the glorious riches of Christ.  Thus, the moment anyone confesses with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, the hope of glory is obtained.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ, Romans 10:17.

As this modern age turns toward a progressive life style, the words of the Bible is being discarded as a source for truth.  In return, the narrative of this historic book is being devalued causing many to lose their faith.  The best way to combat this reality is to daily listen to biblical principles.  Unless a devotional and prayer life become deeply rooted, experiencing the hope of glory is a pipe dream.  Therefore, before its too late to repent, place your trust solely in the Holy Spirit so that Christ within you will be manifested as the hope of glory.

by Jay Mankus

The Heart of this Matter

Troubled souls watch in horror following the third act of terrorism in less than two weeks.  After the shock wears off, people are looking for answers, searching for the heart of this matter.  While the facts of the most recent ambush of police officers in Louisiana is unclear, there elements shine some light upon the darkness behind these evil acts.

1. Opinions have been elevated to truth status.

Whether you watch cable news, follow social media or read secular publications, public opinions go viral weekly.  Cable news uses talking points to define the narrative, filtering out the context by over-emphasizing what they want the low information voter to believe.  Facebook, Snap Chat and Twitter elicit emotions, creating an environment for anger, hatred and negativity to have a voice.  Meanwhile, a few elite members of the media daily spoon feed the American public, repeating ideologies, philosophies and worldviews until their opinions become what is good, right and true.

2. Political Correctness has replaced the Bible as genuine absolutes.

During my last year as a high school Bible teacher, our administration felt it was necessary to bring in a professional for an inservice day on sensitivity training.  As the black student population grew, a series of seminars was designed to equip teachers with a better understanding of the African American community.  Unfortunately, most of the time was spent regurgitating liberal beliefs void of any biblical principles.  When public schools kicked the Bible, prayer and God out of education in the 1960’s, the measuring stick for absolutes were eliminated.  More than fifty years later political correctness has now become the gospel of the twenty first century.

3. You can’t force people to act, believe or change.

One of the things I learned during my months in a youth ministry trade school is that you can’t change someone’s attitude.  However, once an individual takes ownership and responsibility for their actions, they can change themselves.  If God doesn’t force people to believe in Him, creating free will, why is the world trying to convince those who differ from their worldview to become open minded?  According to Jesus in John 16, the Holy Spirit is the only source that provides permanent change.  Discipline, good intentions and hard work are productive, but not eternal.  Therefore, if you want to start making this world a better place, begin with the heart of this matter by looking at the man, woman or child in the mirror.

by Jay Mankus

 

Why Blogging Should Be A Lifelong Pursuit

In the second Ultimate Gift movie the narrative shifts toward the life of Red Stevens, a billionaire in the oil business.  After Jason Stevens’ girl friend abruptly leaves, Red’s grandson seeks the council of Mr. Hamilton played by Bill Hobbs, the firm’s attorney.  During this conversation Hamilton loans Jason Red’s diary, an account of his rise to the top.  Along the way, Red journals each life lesson beginning as a young teenager.  This daily exercise gave birth to the ten gifts Jason faces in the first film.

“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him,” 2 Samuel 12:4.

Another illustration of writing can be found in Fireproof starring Kirk Cameron.  When his marriage hits the skids, Caleb Holt, Kirk’s character, considers divorce until a near death encounter changes his heart.  Desperate to salvage his marriage, Caleb turns to his father for advice, who suggests following a forty day Love Dare Challenge.  Early on, Caleb goes through the motions until God transforms his heart.  Fighting a losing battle with pornography, these recorded words provide a blueprint to overcome a life void of purpose.

David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this must die! – 2 Samuel 12:5

When individuals take the time to contemplate, reflect upon life and question their beliefs, pioneers of literature are born.  During my years of taking seminary classes, I found myself drawn to Augustine of Hippo.  Augustine regularly spent time in his backyard, relaxing his mind by observing his garden.  In this quiet place, a theologian was spawn connecting the dots between life, philosophy and biblical principles.  According to Jerome, Augustine’s practice of documenting his beliefs established anew the ancient faith.

He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity, 2 Samuel 12:6.

Today, the closest thing to a diary is blogging.  Although motives for writing are different, words serve as a map of where you are, where you’re going and show where you have been.  After beginning a pursuit to become a screen writer in my free time, I thought about ending this blog, blazing a trail in a different direction.  However, during a car ride on Thanksgiving Eve, I now feel called to continue this for life.  Though my topics may be sporadic, this daily habit helps me keep in touch with my soul as I express myself for Him.

by Jay Mankus

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” – 2 Samuel 12:7a

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