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Tag Archives: fool

A Man of Broken Promises

Sometimes you have to listen closely to what you say.  If you don’t, you could end up blowing smoke, carelessly throwing out words void of meaning.  As I reflected upon recent conversations with my children on my days off, its sad to say that I’ve become a man of broken promises.

A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool, Ecclesiastes 5:3.

Just because someone is intelligent, does not make them immune from making foolish decisions.  The context of the passage above likely refers to Solomon’s struggles to please his wife.  Like any good husband, there is a desire satisfy the needs of those whom you love.  Unfortunately, Solomon acquired 700 wives and 300 concubines as king of Israel, making it extremely difficult for him to be a man of his word.

When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow, Ecclesiastes 5:4.

As I try to pick up the pieces of my tattered reputation, the words of Ecclesiastes serve as a good place to start.  Whether you are talking to friends, family or neighbors, don’t promise anything you can’t keep.  If anything, limit your commitments and over deliver.  For if you don’t heed this message, you may wake up one morning like me and realize that you’ve become a man of broken promises.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Returning to the Scene of the Crime

In the film Absolute Power, Clint Eastwood plays a jewel thief who witnesses a murder during one of his heists.  When the secret service tries to cover up the president’s affair with a powerful donor’s wife who is now dead, only one person knows the truth.  On the verge of fleeing the country, a press conference infuriates Eastwood who is forced to return to the scene of his crime.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly, Proverbs 26:11.

In the spiritual realm, there are some people who tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over again without learning from their consequences.  The wisdom of Solomon relates this individual to a dog who returns to their vomit after throwing up.  This strange behavior is indicative of a fool who does not mature, lured into an addictive cycle that never disappears.

Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud,” 2 Peter 2:22.

In life, its much easier to run away from the truth and hide than confront the real issue.  While prepared to live the rest of his life off the grid, Clint Eastwood’s conscience urged him to take on the leader of the free world.  Despite the overwhelming odds he faced, Eastwood did the right thing, returning to the scene of the crime and putting back everything he stole.  Whatever situation you are currently facing, may you stand up for justice so that the truth will set you free.

by Jay Mankus

I Know More Than You Do

Human nature does different things to the soul.  To some comparison occurs, trying to find weaker individuals than oneself.  Others are persuaded to attack and destroy, tearing down others to build up their own self-esteem.  Thus, no matter where you go or what you do, you will always meet people who believe, “I know more than you do.”

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ – Matthew 22:36-37

Despite performing countless miracles, teaching with superior authority and outwitting religious leaders of his day, Jesus regularly encountered prideful men.  In their cunning minds, each thought, “surely I can trick Jesus into making a fool of himself.”  Not learning anything from the one before, each crashed and burned, trying to hide after their embarrassing moment.  Finally, Jesus’ enemies came to a realization in Matthew 22.

No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions, Matthew 22:46.

I don’t know if there is a perfect strategy to cope more with those who think “I know more than you do,” but its vital to stay true to yourself.  Your shouldn’t have to enter a pissing conest every day at school or work.  Rather, major in the majors and let the minor issues roll off your shoulders.  There is only One who is right.  Therefore, make Colossians 3:17,23 your daily goal so that in the end your efforts won’t be wasted in vain.

by Jay Mankus

 

Fifty Shades of Grey

The twentieth century wasn’t ready for the film Fifty Shades of Grey based upon E. L. James’ best selling novel.  However, the Hot Tub Time Machine generation welcomed this erotic romance, on pace to make over sixty million dollars during its opening weekend at the box office.  Fueled by declining absolutes in society, a wide range of patrons came out in droves, not caring whether or not their support was right or wrong.

In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.             Judges 21:25

Similar to Eve in the Garden, curiosity, enticing fantasies and lust led people to taste that which was once forbidden.  Now passe, kissing and telling is the rage, posting selfies on Instagram and the like.  Thus, the envelope continues to be pushed, with no restrictions in sight.  Go big or go home evolves with each flick, taking viewers where grandma and grandpa never imagined.

A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one. – Ecclesiastes 10:2

Despite what preachers may say, free will is offered to all human beings.  No one, especially God, is forcing you to stay home on the weekends to watch reruns of Little House on the Prairie.  Nonetheless, each decision you make on earth does have consequences.  Living life from a Fifty Shades of Grey perspective will leave you further and further from the truth, John 18:38.  May this blog speak to the Jonah’s of today, running in the compete opposite direction of God so that Fifty Shades of Grey doesn’t lead to an eternity in hell.

by Jay Mankus

Don’t Waste Your Breath

When cold weather arrives each winter, its not uncommon to see each breath you take.  In the context of a conversation, every now and then you will encounter an individual who is not teachable, disregarding your advice.  Thus, instead of wasting your breath, you have to learn to move on until the timing is right.

Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips. – Proverbs 14:7

Whether you are a coach, parent or teacher, it won’t be long until one of your pupils questions your authority.  Ignorance, pride and self-confidence are the usual suspects, making children think they know it all.  Rather than talking in vain, sometimes you how to wait until humility arrives before your words will be heard.

In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them. – Proverbs 14:3

However, when the fall does come, responding with “I told you so” won’t win you any fans.  As the opportunity arises, make sure your words are full of grace, Colossians 4:5-6, softening harden hearts.  In the meantime, don’t waste your breath until this day arrives, when the prodigal comes to their senses, Luke 15:17.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

No Intentional Passes

As baseball fans await Sunday, March 30th, Opening Night for MLB as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks will meet in Sydney Australia, its time to freshen up on the lingo used in America’s pastime.  Whenever a clutch or power hitter faces a pitcher with runners in scoring position on either second or third base, its not uncommon to intentionally or unintentionally walk this player to face a less dangerous batter.  Great pitchers will try to fool these individuals with throws that look like a good pitch before falling out of the strike zone.  Although they may give up a walk, broadcasters will use the phrase, unintentional / intentional pass.

In life, this term has become too familiar, excusing individuals for their actions, behavior and comments.  Like Adam in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:12, people have become experts in playing the blame game, passing the buck to someone else more fitting.  To escape punishment, rationalization has become a way of life to avoid consequences, shifting all the responsibility like a dishonest politician.  If this trend continues, no one will accept blame or take the fall, dodging the truth with distortion and lies.

According to Moses in Leviticus 4:22 and 4:27, unintentional sin is a common occurrence.  If someone has not heard, does not know or hasn’t been properly informed about God’s command, this individual is deemed amoral, not knowing right from wrong.  However, once this information has been clarified, no intentional passes should be granted.  Guilty parties should follow the principle set forth by Jesus’ own brother, James 5:16.  Since Jesus has become today’s great high priest, no shedding of blood is necessary anymore, Hebrews 4:15-17.  Thus, when you are convicted of a trespass against one of the Bible’s laws, approach the throne of grace with confidence God will pass over your sin, leading you around the bases of life.

Do you have a story of starting over that you’d like to share with my readers?

by Jay Mankus

 
    
 

The Purging of Fools

According to Webster, a fool demonstrates imprudence, silly behavior and unwise acts.  Today, it doesn’t take much effort to recognize foolishness in our culture.  Idiots, imbeciles and morons are making millions as reality TV stars.  Whether its the annoying person on Survivor, the American Idol contestant who can’t sing a lick or drunks on Moonshiners, some where along the way being foolish is now cool, especially if you can amuse others with laughter.

If there was an uncensored version of the Bible, I’m sure Moses muttered numerous things under his breath as he tried to lead a nation of fools into God’s promised land.  As Moses and Joshua listened to God for 40 days, providing guidelines for life, Aaron was holding down the fort as the high priest of Israel until they returned.  Like the blind leading the blind, Aaron panicked, failed to demonstrate leadership and broke the first 2 commandments by creating a golden calf in Exodus 32.  While most pastors stop their sermons here, I’ve never heard anyone speak of the purging of fools.

When the principle enters a classroom unannounced, students usually settle down, putting on their best behavior to avoid getting in trouble.  Unfortunately, when Moses rolled back into camp in Exodus 32:25-28, thousands of Israelites ignored Moses’ entrance, partying like it was 1999.  Like a coach or teacher trying to see who’s paying attention in class, Moses makes a challenge that is answered by the Levites, the priestly tribe, seemingly the only group disturbed by Israel’s reckless behavior.  Subsequently, God purged Israel of 3000 fools, who were not willing to obey or respect God’s commands.

In the New Testament, we find a kinder, gentler God, who offers His grace to those who believe in Jesus, Ephesians 2:4-8.  However, not much has changed since the days of Moses as millions are still living for the day, partying each weekend and are redefining foolishness with acts that  would make Sodom and Gomorrah blush.  As a circus of fools spread throughout America and across the world, may God have mercy, open the eyes of the spiritually blind and transform their lives before foolish acts result in death and destruction.

by Jay Mankus

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