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Tag Archives: opinions

When Loose Lips Sink Relationships

One of Billy Joel’s most profound songs Honesty debuted on the airways in 1979.  Part of the 1978 album 52nd Street, the chorus of this ballad suggests honesty is such a lonely word.  Perhaps, Billy Joel was on to something, prophetic, sharing a glimpse of what the future would hold.  Before gun or fist fights, human beings often talked out their differences, no matter how heated a conversation got.  Unfortunately, in this age of Facebook, texting and Twitter, loose lips expressed on social media can sink relationships.

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! – Psalm 141:3

Depending upon your personality, you will either seek confrontation or run away.  Texting has emboldened some former cowards by avoiding face to face encounters.  Yet, what is posted, typed or shared can create a wedge between friends.  Politics, religion and worldviews are factors that tend to divide neighborhoods.  When opinions are openly expressed on these topics, loose lips sink relationships.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear, Ephesians 4:29.

The apostle Paul provides a solution to those who have fractured relationships due to careless words.  Sure, all human beings are imperfect, prone to moments of weakness where the choice of language is inappropriate.  In view of this, the more positive you remain, the less likely you will offend friends and strangers.  Faking this will prove to be a waste of time so its essentially to be genuine and honest.  While no one will ever be 100% encouraging all the time, this is the goal to restore formerly loose lips to repair relationships.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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The Content of Character; Not the Color of Your Skin

In this age of instant information, individuals have become synonymous with specific acts, movements or speeches.  Whether its Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a civil rights leader or Abraham Lincoln for his second inaugural address, these moments transcend time.  Yet, in the end, you should be judged based upon the content of character displayed, not the color of your skin.

But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, Proverbs 1:24.

During the most recent Democratic and Republican National Convention, certain groups tried to high-jack and steer the audience toward their movement.  Thus, Black Lives Matter either protested or expressed their beliefs within these avenues.  In response, opposition crowds chimed in with All Lives Matter as well as Blue Lives Matter.  These highly charged reactions is freedom of speech in action.  Nonetheless, those caught up by emotions may miss the point, the content of your character is what truly matters.

I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—Proverbs 1:26.

Sure, this day and age is not your parents generation, but respect should be encouraged.  Without decency, open debate and common courtesy, opinions are merely a voice in the wind.  Maybe children haven’t been raised properly.  Perhaps, parents have become hypocrites, setting a bad example for those still growing up.  Despite this, Americans should not forgot Dr. King’s “I have a dream speech.”  For if this message is rejected, this country will regress, returning to a nation that is once again color blind.

by Jay Mankus

Fact Checkers

Sometimes you find yourself stuck in a place with no where else to go.  You may be in a room full of people with whom you disagree, a guest at a table taking part if a foreign topic of conversation or at a restaurant with a television on airing an opinion that floors you.  This is the setting that I found myself in, forced to observe CNN analysts pick apart Melania Trump’s speech like gossiping teenage girls tearing apart their enemies.  Its ironic that these same fact checkers have been asleep the last 7 years, turning a blind eye to the current administration that they worship.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged, Matthew 7:1.”

While everyone is entitled to their opinions, the fact is no one is worthy enough to cast the first stone.  Sure, the average American citizen has their moment of integrity, doing the right thing when no one is looking, but how long does this stage of conviction last?  If enough individuals stood up for fairness, justice and righteousness, police officers would be needed as much as they are today.  The sad reality of these times is the media is exempt from scrutiny for the most part, trashing whoever or whatever movement that gets in their way.  Just ask Tea Party members who are marginalized despite their impressive grass roots movement.

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, Matthew 7:2.

The only positive step forward is to put into practice the closing remarks of Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount.  The next time you have the urge to criticize, condemn or complain, take the plank out of your own eyes first.  Perhaps, once you’ve gotten your life in order, there will be opportunities to correct others.  Yet, for now its time to look into the mirror and see what’s out of place within us.  The closer one gets to God, the greater sin appears, causing the apostle Paul to suggest “he’s the greatest sinner of all.”  Unfortunately, the opposite is also true, meaning the further away you slide, the better you feel about yourself.  May a spirit of conviction fall upon future fact checkers before any further words roll off their tongue.  Look within before you point out the flaws in others.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Devilution of a Nation

Signs of evolution develop when someone or something experience subtle changes over time.  Certain species of animals may go through genetic alterations as its ecosystem is impacted by disease, over population or the weather.  Meanwhile, societies undergo spiritual transformations from generation to generation, either drawing near to God through revival or backsliding due to what I call the deviluation of a nation.

For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. – Genesis 3:5

Devilution is spawned by adding and or subtracting to God’s commands.  Challenging, questioning and reinventing the rules attempts to create doubt within the minds of citizens.  This atmosphere has inspired past writers like Saul Alinsky to promote curriculum in the form of Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals.  If these teachings are embraced by enough leaders, a culture shift will begin amending beliefs, values and worldviews of a nation.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. – Deuteronomy 4:2

When minds are persuaded to taste what was once forbidden fruit, justification and rationalization is conceived.  Subsequently, right and wrong is turned to gray, genetically altering truth.  A byproduct of this switch elevates opinions to fact status; thereby causing absolutes to disappear little by little.  According to the Bible, these conditions breed demonic strongholds, Ephesians 6:12, enabling dark powers to deceive an entire region.  If unstopped, the next generation will learn to do what’s right in their own eyes.

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. – Judges 21:25

May God help us all to do an about face so that the devilution of America will be replaced by a spirit of prayer and fasting.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

The Origin of Blessings

The concept of blessings is a central focus of God’s covenant relationship beginning in the book of Genesis.  This term is mentioned over 600 times in the Old Testament.  Following the fall of human beings in the Garden of Eden, God countered the curse of Genesis 3:14-17 with a promise of blessings to Abraham and his descendents, Genesis 12:3.  However, this promise comes with a condition of obedience and if individuals stray from these commands this pattern can be reversed in the form of curses, Deuteronomy 27-28.

The Psalmist provides more concrete examples of blessings as well as how one arrives at becoming blessed.  The foundation of blessings derives from a blameless state, Psalm 119:1.  This process is achieved over time keeping the Bible’s statutes, seeking God with all your heart and walking in the ways of the Lord, Psalm 119:2.  To arrive at this desired goal, though perfection is unattainable, careful attention must be paid to decrees, avoiding short cuts and eliminating wrong from the equation, Psalm 119:3-4.  Passing the torch from one forefather, Moses, to another, advice has been passed on to maintain blessings, Joshua 1:8.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.Joshua 1:8

Today, there are various beliefs, opinions and views on why someone is successful or not.  Yet, history contains examples of people, families and nations that were blessed over time as well as countless who experienced one disappointment after another.  Although the thought of being blessed by God is exciting, the work that goes along with this commitment can be exhausting.  Human nature causes even the strong to get side tracked and wander away from the truth.  Therefore, if you want to find God’s favor in 2015, follow the steps mentioned in Deuteronomy 28:1-2, Matthew 6:33-34 and Galatians 5:25.  Go with God and the Lord will walk by your side.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

by Jay Mankus

 

A Sitting Duck for Stupid Decisions

An individual who is an easy prey, out in the open or vulnerable to an attack is considered a sitting duck.  Finding yourself in this predicament could be an accident, by chance or self induced.  Yet, anyone who speaks without filtering their thoughts is like a sitting duck for stupid decisions.

In this politically correct climate, the slightest slip of the tongue can be costly.  Unless you are a liberal comedian, no one else is exempt from public scrutiny.  Hank Williams Jr. spoke out against president Obama, Jimmy the Greek made an off-color remark and Mississippi State beat writer Matthew Stevens is the latest to lose their job for expressing their opinion.  Loose lips ship ships as well as open the door for becoming a sitting duck for the media to shoot down.

For those who fly under the radar, stupid decisions are a by product of the choices you make.  Words such as “trust me, I know what I’m doing or so and so said” often set the stage for humiliation.  As for me, the further I drift apart from the words of the Bible, the stupider I become.  Pride comes before the fall, Proverbs 16:18, is one of the most profound sayings of Solomon.  Thus, if anyone boasts, holds their nose up in the air or pumps out their chest, sooner or later the confident will become a sitting duck for stupid decisions, 1 Corinthians 10:12-13.

by Jay Mankus

 

The End of Days

Whether you pick up a news paper to read, watch headline news or listen to daily conversations, life is full of opinions.  Each voice filters current events through their own worldview, trying to sway others to embrace their beliefs.  However, some arguments deviate from the truth, based upon emotions rather than the facts.  The only conclusion I have come to recently is we are living in the end of days.p

Jesus first gave initial warning signs in Matthew 24:6-15.  The end of days is compared to a pregnant woman enduring labor pains.  Contractions will begin with false Messiahs, followed by wars and rumors of war.  In addition, earthquakes and famines will bring death, suffering and trials to the ends of the earth.  As these pains intensify, persecution, hatred and wickedness will spread.  One of Jesus’ final statements rings true today, “the love of most will grow cold.”

I’m no prophet nor will I make any predictions.  Yet, as I look to the Bible to try to understand what’s going on in the world, the apostle Paul builds upon Jesus’ words, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9.  In the last days before Jesus returns, Satan will influence human being to believe lies.  As soon as minds become deceived, lawlessness will reign.  Once a baby is ready to come out, you can’t stop this natural process.  However, if these signs are a precursor to the end of days, prepare your life now or you may be left behind.

by Jay Mankus

 

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