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Tag Archives: immaturity

Breaking Up With God

Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield co-wrote the song Breaking Up is Hard to Do.  Sedaka recorded two different versions of Breaking Up is Hard to Do with the first released in 1962.  Thirteen years later the arrangement and style changed with the times.  This theme came full circle in 2011 with the jukebox musical Breaking Up is Hard to Do.

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living,” Luke 15:13.

While most people think of breaking up in reference to boy and girl friends, this can also relate to families.  The prodigal son couldn’t wait to leave home.  Unfortunately, he rushed off without any foresight, squandering his inheritance.  Immaturity, selfishness and pride severed the prodigal son’s relationship with his father.  This break up left this young man homeless, starving and spiritually dead.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants,’ Luke 15:17-19.

The parable of the prodigal son illustrates what happens when people break up with God.  Initially, instant gratification provides moments of pleasure.  However, when your expectations are not meet or fulfilled, a sense of emptiness enters the human soul.  Subsequently, purpose or meaning for life is lost, replaced by a void within hearts that only Jesus can fill.  May those who have wandered away from God come to their senses by repenting and drawing near the Lord.  Don’t let guilt or resentment delay your return.

by Jay Mankus

Opening Your Eyes to the Suffering of Friends

When I was younger, I was naive.  This immaturity lead me to become blind, oblivious to the needs of my friends.  Carl who eventually became my best friend in high school often punched me in the shoulder, shouting out “punch buggy” yellow or blue.  Behind this aggression was a boy crying out for help as he silently watched cancer take his mother’s life.  I could have been there for him, providing a shoulder to lean on.  Yet, I was consumed by my own life.

When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him, Job 2:11.

News of the tragedy that struck Job spread to his friends and neighbors.  Since no funerals are referenced, these three men dropped what they were doing to comfort Job.  However, as they approached, the sight of Job’s condition was overwhelming.  This brought out raw emotions, crying with their friend.  Based upon the words used by Job, none of these friends could come to terms with what happened, remaining silent for a week.  Sometimes a hug is more powerful than words.

When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads.  Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was, Job 2:12-13.

In this day and age, its easy to connect or reach out to friends using social media.  Since my emergency eye surgery last November, I posted on Facebook a need for prayers a couple of times.  I’ve been amazed and touched by the outpouring of support that I have received.  In the moments immediately following requests for prayers, I have felt the healing power of your prayers.  This experience has inspired me to open my eyes to the suffering of friends.  May this blog inspire you to reach a helping hand like the friends of Job in chapter 2.

by Jay Mankus

Another Hypocrite Behind the Driver’s Seat

When I get behind the wheel of my car, something happens to me.  Like an out of body experience, a spirit of impatience changes my personality inside.  All it takes is a few slow drivers, especially in the left hand lane and I become another hypocrite behind the driver’s seat.

Despite my prayers prior to entering my vehicle, the influences of the sinful nature leave my feeling like the apostle Paul in Romans 7:15.  The slightest error made by my fellow drivers erupts into an explosion of complaining, emotional distress and an occasional honk of the horn.  In my quest to fulfill Matthew 5:48, most trips behind the steering wheel often result in conviction, a painful reminder that I have a long way to go, Romans 3:23.

The imagery of 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 illustrates the fact that everyone has room for improvement.  Each soul has major flaws, needing to be transformed from a child into a mature Bible believing adult, Romans 12:1-2.  Unfortunately, there will always be growing pains and along the way, don’t be surprised if you see another hypocrite behind the driver’s seat.

by Jay Mankus

 

Uncharted Waters

During my last summer as a boy scout, I spent a week canoeing 50 miles in the Canadian wilderness.  To reach our goal, our troop had to average just over 7 miles a day to complete this journey.  Due to a few stormy days, one day was stretched to 10 miles after whitecaps, 3 feet high at times, through a curve ball into our original plans.  Once leaving our guide at the boat dock, our scout master had the only map of these foreign bodies of water.  Faith, trust and hard work was to key to finishing this adventure.

After graduating college, I faced a similar dilemma, but this time I endured uncharted territories, not 100 % sure where to go, what to do and how to survive living on my own.  Although I had friends who had made a smooth transition to this next phase in life, I thought finding a full time job would be much easier.  My greatest fear was settling for something less than ideal, but not waiting too long to decide.  Finally, like a master navigator, God provided the perfect position in Columbus, Indiana.  While having one of the best summers of my life, I treated my new position like a sprint instead of a marathon, eventually burning myself out after 15 months due to immaturity.

Twenty years later, I feel as if I am living the lyrics to Willie Nelson’s song “On the Road Again.”  Some where along the way, doubt has crept into mind whispering words of confusion.  Whether you are new parents driving home from the hospital with your first child, starting a new job or looking for purpose and meaning in life, uncharted waters await you.  Although waves of uncertainty may come crashing around you, James 1:6, there is a living God who can lead you beside still waters, Psalm 23:2.  Whatever trial is currently staring you in the eye, may the God of the Bible help navigate you through life’s storms so you may experience the gift of eternal life, Romans 6:23.

by Jay Mankus

Touching, Moving and Praying

In the game of chess, there is the Touch-Move Rule which states a player must move any piece once they touch it.  Despite any miscalculation or mistake, a player must finish their move with this piece regardless of their initial motives.  This rule is strictly enforced and maintains a sense of integrity during each game of chess.

In the game of life, a similar rule applies, known as Cause and Effect.  For any action take, there are consequences that follow.  Good decisions often lead to blessings and or rewards.  On the other hand, ill-advised decisions tend to result in harm, punishment and trials.  Like the apostle Paul points out in his letter to the church at Galatia, you reap what you sow, Galatians 6:7-8.

Touching things of righteousness moves individuals closer to eternity.  Yet, immaturity can lure people away from faith, essentially crucifying Jesus over and over again, Hebrews 6:1-6.  One touch of an apple by Eve moved mankind into a fallen world, now filled with Turkish Delights, James 1:14-15.  If there is any hope for the future, one must learn from the past, 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, to flee from modern temptations, 1 Peter 2:11.  Keep in touch with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25 and you will move beyond the game of chess, by entering into eternity.

by Jay Mankus

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