RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Human nature

Do Not Hinder or Delay

Procrastination is a common default of human nature. While everyone has aspirations, dreams and goals in life, anyone who is afraid to fail will put this a hold temporarily. Once you fail to act or exercise, it’s even harder the next day to get back into living a disciplined life. Subsequently, as Eliezer is ready to return home to fulfill his mission, he refuses to wait another day, eager to act and proceed now.

Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed there all night. And in the morning they arose, and he said. Send me away to my master. 55 But [Rebekah’s] brother and mother said, Let the girl stay with us a few days—at least ten; then she may go, Genesis 24:54-55.

Anyone beaming with confidence, won’t be afraid to try something new. Meanwhile, those who have experienced an extended period of failure, will be more likely to put something off, delaying the inevitable in their minds. This is where Eliezer remains mentally tough, focused on prayer and God’s blessing for his quest to find Isaac a wife.

 But [the servant] said to them, Do not hinder and delay me, seeing that the Lord has caused me to go prosperously on my way. Send me away, that I may go to my master. 57 And they said, We will call the girl and ask her [what is] her desire. 58 So they called Rebekah and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go, Genesis 24:56-58.

As I write this blog, I find myself more of the latter, delaying one major project as I’m afraid it won’t turn out like I hope and want. Perhaps, Eliezer ‘s success is more about a positive mindset, prayer and expectation that God will bless his journey. Whatever you’re currently facing in life, may you learn from Eliezer to do not delay or hinder what God has in store for your future. If you can live out Proverbs 3:5-6, God will take care of the rest.

by Jay Mankus


God Hears Your Voice

When I first began my faith journey on December 4th, 1983, my prayer life can be best described as babbling out loud to God. Whenever anyone lives for themselves for the first 14 years of their lives, it takes time to learn how to live according to a new set of rules. Subsequently, praying to an invisible God felt like I was talking to myself. It wasn’t until college as I matured spiritually when I believed and sensed that God heard my cries for help.

When the water in the bottle was all gone, Hagar caused the youth to lie down under one of the shrubs. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about a bowshot, for she said, Let me not see the death of the lad. And as she sat down opposite him, [d]he lifted up his voice and wept and she raised her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the youth, and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven and said to her, What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the youth where he is, Genesis 21:15-17.

Unfortunately, human nature and concepts like rugged individualism leads many people to trust in their own abilities. God is usually placed on the back burner until desperation results in calling out to the Lord as a last resort. This is the context of the passage above as Hagar comes to the conclusion that her baby boy is going to die. Homeless, dehydrated and left to fend for themselves in the middle of a desert, Hagar weeps in prayer.

The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. 18 The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent, Psalm 34:16-18.

Hagar’s answered prayer reminds me of God’s promise in the passage above. As for the righteous part from the Psalmist, Isaiah 1:15-20 uses snow in connection with confession. Those who fully repent of their mistakes to God are forgiven like the righteous. Therefore, whenever anyone pours out their heart in prayer like Hagar, can be assured that God does hear your voice.

by Jay Mankus

The Intent to Deceive

Lying is one of those traits which doesn’t mean what it once did in the United States. There was a time before lawyers got involved that a handshake agreement was as good as gold. This was during an era where a name and your word reflected upon the character and integrity of an individual. Unfortunately, those days are gone, replaced by an intent to deceive, either for personal gain or to avoid punishment.

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said, Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken [as your own], for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her, so he said, Lord, will you slay a people who are just and innocent? – Genesis 20:3-4.

Rather than call lying for what it is, cable news anchors, journalists, and reporters play the intent to deceive game by using words like “this is controversial, it’s a right-wing conspiracy or that’s fake news. Due to collusion between the global elite, print and social media, the intent to deceive continues daily via political talking points as every member of the mainstream media reads off the same script, in locked step together.

Did not the man tell me, She is my sister? And she herself said, He is my brother. In integrity of heart and innocency of hands I have done this. Then God said to him in the dream, Yes, I know you did this in the integrity of your heart, for it was I Who kept you back and spared you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not give you occasion to touch her, Genesis 20:5-6.

Human nature causes Christians to play this game as well. Abraham is the mastermind behind two separate deceptions: Genesis 12:9-20 and Genesis 20:1-6. Perhaps, Abraham thought, “this worked before, let’s try it again.” According to King Solomon, lying is a byproduct of not fully trusting God, Proverbs 3:5-6. Like the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:33-34, until a complete trust in God is formed, human beings will continue to possess an intent to deceive.

by Jay Mankus

Is There Anyone Righteous Still Standing?

If I ever wanted to be depressed as a teenager, all I had to do was listen to one of Chicago’s ballad, the popular soft rock band of the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Perhaps, band members were inspired by breaking up with their girlfriend, singing about the anguish, emotions and pain of saying goodbye to someone you once loved. If I want to get depressed as an adult, all I have to do is watch five minutes of cable news to see how bad things have gotten on planet earth.

And [Abraham] said, Behold now, I have taken upon myself to speak [again] to the Lord. Suppose [only] twenty shall be found there. And [the Lord] replied, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. 32 And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again only this once. Suppose ten [righteous people] shall be found there. And [the Lord] said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake, Genesis 18:31-32.

Perhaps, if CNN went through a complete transformation to PNN, the positive news network, I wouldn’t feel as bad. Unfortunately, positive news doesn’t sell so death, sex and violence tend to be the leading stories. Of course, there are always plenty of segments on corruption, deceit and lies which makes me wonder if there is anyone righteous left in the world. According to the apostle Paul in Romans 3:9-12, my gut feeling is correct as human nature has led everyone astray.

The people of the land have used oppression and extortion and have committed robbery; yes, they have wronged and vexed the poor and needy; yes, they have oppressed the stranger and temporary resident wrongfully. 30 And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none, Ezekiel 22:29-30.

One Old Testament prophet asked a similar question in the passage above. As Ezekiel looked at the signs of his time on earth, everyone seemed self-absorbed. Rather than following the JFK doctrine, “ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what can you do for your country,” a me first sentiment took over. Like a politician who says one thing in public and does the complete opposite privately, look to those who demonstrate, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. While your search may turn up empty, God’s remnant is out there, focused on God’s will.

by Jay Mankus

It’s Never Too Late to Call on the Name of the Lord

“Survival of the fittest” was once an important life lesson within public education. Darwin believed that the continued existence of organisms are best adapted to their environment as species evolve over time. From a human nature standpoint, individuals tend to be self-reliant until there’s a realization that certain things can’t be accomplished on your own. Subsequently, when people become desperate in life, God is usually a last resort after everything else you have tried fails.

So she called the name of the Lord Who spoke to her, You are a God of seeing, for she said, Have I [not] even here [in the wilderness] looked upon Him Who sees me [and lived]? Or have I here also seen [the future purposes or designs of] Him Who sees me? – Genesis 16:13

After running away from home, Hagar was alone in the wilderness and expecting a child. Perhaps, Hagar experienced her own version of a prodigal child, Luke 15:11-32, coming to her senses in the middle of a desert at night. Prior to calling upon the Lord, Hagar had an encounter with an angel of the Lord. While she may not have initially agreed with the advice provided by this angel, she calls upon the name of the Lord shortly after this angel departs.

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. It is right and appropriate for me to have this confidence and feel this way about you all, because [b]you have me in your heart and I hold you in my heart as partakers and sharers, one and all with me, of grace (God’s unmerited favor and spiritual blessing). [This is true] both when I am shut up in prison and when I am out in the defense and confirmation of the good news (the Gospel), Philippians 1:6-7.

Most human beings have not had the fortune of being visited by an angel, but modern-day Christians do have access to a copy of the Bible, either physically or a virtual copy online. When the apostle Paul wrote the comforting words to the Church at Philippi, this message still applies today. Whenever you do call upon the name of the Lord, pray with confidence about the plans God has for your future. As you follow the steps listed in Romans 12:1-2, you’ll be ready to meet God with a willing heart.

by Jay Mankus

The Truth Be Told

As good and decent as some human beings appear on the outside, an internal struggle occurs daily. Human nature places a desire within hearts to be accepted, cool, and embraced by their peers. After graduating from high school, I was playing in my last competitive tournaments as a junior golfer. As I was walking up the 18th fairway about to conclude my round, I thought I was cool with a sly comment to my playing partners. The truth be told, I was merely a foolish immature Christian.

And when he was about to enter into Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, I know that you are beautiful to behold. 12 So when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say, I beg of you, that you are [c]my sister, so that it may go well with me for your sake and my life will be spared because of you, Genesis 12:11-13.

From Abram’s perspective, God had just introduced Himself while living in Haran. The promise spoken in Genesis 12:1-3 seemed far-fetched for a man with a barren wife. Throw in the bad timing of a severe drought. which put Abram’s journey to this promised land on hold, doubt began to creep into Abram’s mind. Perhaps the same Devil who persuaded Eve to break God’s only rule in the Garden of Eden, planted the thought of lying into Abram’s head.

And the men of the place asked him about his wife, and he said, She is my sister; for he was afraid to say, She is my wife—[thinking], Lest the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah, because she is attractive and is beautiful to look upon. When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah his wife. And Abimelech called Isaac and said, See here, she is certainly your wife! How did you [dare] say to me, She is my sister? And Isaac said to him, Because I thought, Lest I die on account of her, Genesis 26:11-13.

Any sinful decision has lasting consequences. As for Abram, this tiny white lie turned into a generational sin passed down to Isaac, and Jacob. One poor choice leads to a bad habit. If this bad habit isn’t addressed quickly, addictions are formed that bind souls for months, years and in worst case scenarios, a lifetime. While not human being is tempted by lying, everyone has their own kryptonite. The sooner you address this fatal flaw, the better your chances will be for finding a way out of temptation, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

by Jay Mankus

When You Think God is Done With You

Human nature has a way of viewing God like a strict disciplinarian who forbids any moments of having fun. According to the apostle Paul, this flawed mindset is hostile toward God, Romans 8:5-8. This is one of many ungodly beliefs that the father of all lies places into your thought life, John 8:44. Subsequently, when you blatantly since against the Lord in one form or another, you may come to the conclusion that God is done, finished with you. This is how Cain felt after killing his younger brother Abel.

And [the Lord] said, What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed by reason of the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s [shed] blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth [in perpetual exile, a degraded outcast], Genesis 4:10-12.

Besides dealing with the curse placed upon his father Adam in Genesis 3:17-19, Cain was forced to live as a vagabond, spending the remainder of his days on earth in perpetual exile as a social outcast. Surely, God was finished with Cain based upon his reckless act of disobedience to erase the source of his jealousy. However, this isn’t the end of this nightmare. According to Moses, Cain was allowed to marry and have children.

So Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod [wandering], east of Eden. 17 And Cain’s wife [one of Adam’s offspring] became pregnant and bore Enoch; and Cain built a [f]city and named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methusael, and Methusael the father of Lamech, Genesis 4:16-18.

Long the days before King Solomon who had 700 wives and 300 concubines, Cain didn’t need to write a book like Proverbs to warn his first son Enoch of all his careless mistakes of the past. Rather, Cain appears to have raised and taught Enoch to walk with God daily, Genesis 5:20-22. While Cain may have given up on himself, the Lord was not done with this sinner. Cain emulated Proverbs 22:6 before it was ever written. Although Cain wasn’t a perfect father, he must have done something right. Enoch became the first and only human being not to experience death, an ironic ending to the son of a convicted murderer.

by Jay Mankus

Pleasant to the Sight

The King James Version uses the word pleasant 57 times in the Bible. The context of this usage ranges from pleasant to the sight to delightful places on earth. Human nature tends to focus on the physical aspect of pleasant. According to Jesus’ earthly brother, anyone who fixates on physical features with a second glance opens the door for lust to enter your life, James 1:13-15. This is what happened to Eve in Genesis 3:6, turning what God meant for good into the rebellious act of sin.

And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight or to be desired—good (suitable, pleasant) for food; the tree of life also in the center of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of [the difference between] good and evil and blessing and calamity, Genesis 2:9.

Like any famous garden, there are certain centerpieces that attract visitors from across the country annually. According to Moses, the focal point of the Garden of Eden was the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. Based upon the passage above, both were located in the center of Eden. The beauty of this garden inspired the name for this special place as the word Eden means delight when translated into English.

The Lord is my chosen and assigned portion, my cup; You hold and maintain my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good heritage, Psalm 16:5-6.

The apostle Paul explains the internal struggle that takes place within every human being, Galatians 5:16-18. While certain individuals and places have been blessed with attractive physical features, you have to make sure appreciation doesn’t turn into enticement. Jesus compares eyes to the lamp of human bodies, Matthew 6:22-23. If a lack of discipline causes your eyes to turn toward darkness, you’ll likely experience unwholesome lust, 1 John 2:16. May this blog urge you to center your attention on appreciation rather than lust.

by Jay Mankus

When Character Seems Illogical

August 28th is the 59th anniversary of Martin Luther King Junior’ I have a Dream speech. While there are a couple of memorable moments, my favorite is Dr. King’s vision of an America where people are judged based upon the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Unfortunately, recent efforts by the Cancel Culture and Woke Movements have prevented MLK’s dream from becoming a reality.

You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the evil man [who injures you]; but if anyone strikes you on the right jaw or cheek, turn to him the other one too, Matthew 5:38-39.

Human nature is one of the main reasons to blame. According to the apostle Paul in Romans 7:14-20 sinful desires tend to take over human bodies. Subsequently, that which you were told to do as a child, which the Bible refers to as good and right, is not carried out. Meanwhile, a new age of justification and rationalization has swept through the United States to excuse bad behavior.

Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection], 1 Peter 3:9.

Yet, there are situations where character seems illogical. Jesus spoke about turning the other cheek when you are emotionally or physically attacked. C.S. Lewis wrote about self-preservation in Mere Christianity. Lewis uses the context of war for self-defense. Nonetheless, the Bible claims that God is the ultimate judge who will seek revenge on your behalf. Therefore, while character does seem illogical in the passages above, Christians need to be spiritually transformed before portions of the Bible make sense.

by Jay Mankus

What is Causing Christians to Stop Living

The Church of Galatia is comprised of Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Prior to writing the Book of Galatians, the apostle Paul heard rumors of Christians who began to stop living. A Jewish sect called the Judaizers infiltrated Galatia and used zealous peer pressure to add circumcision to salvation, Deuteronomy 4:2. According to Galatians 2:11-13, Barnabas and Peter began to withdraw from non-Jewish Christians, influenced by these Judaizers.

In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off], Galatians 5:1.

In the past few years, progressive ideology and wokeness has been embraced by inner city churches. This modern day Judaizer group have stunted the spiritual growth of many believers. Rather than learn from the mistakes of the Galatian Church, many Christians have failed to heed the warning of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:1-6. When anyone ignores history, it won’t be long until Christians stop living for Jesus, distracted by cultural trends.

You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth? This [evil] persuasion is not from Him Who called you [Who invited you to freedom in Christ]. A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church], Galatians 5:7-9.

Human nature makes individuals to want to be liked by society. Yet, it’s impossible to please everyone on social media. There will always be someone who finds your comments offensive. Perhaps, this is why the apostle Paul addresses this issue in Galatians 1:10. The reason why Christians stop living is by beginning to please others rather than to glorify the Lord. There are other reasons like idleness to blame, but if you follow Jesus’ advice in Matthew 6:33-34, faith can be revived abundantly, John 10:10.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: