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Tag Archives: prudence

Keep Up Your Courage

The English word cardinal comes from the Latin word cardo, which means hinge. Thus, cardinal virtues are four moral principles which all other virtues are connected. While courage was not selected as a cardinal virtue, prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude share similar traits. The ability to do something that frightens you by exhibiting strength in the face of adversity will test your soul.

So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith (complete confidence) in God that it will be exactly as it was told me; Acts 27:25.

The context of the passage above occurs on ship being battered by the first century’s version of the Perfect Storm. Stuck in the middle of a typhoon for 14 days, the urge to abandon ship increases daily. While everyone else is freaking out, the apostle Paul addresses the crew. Displaying leadership during a time of crisis, Paul verbalizes his complete confidence and faith that God will spare everyone’s life.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you,” Deuteronomy 31:6.

Paul’s comforting message is consistent with the words of Israel’s forefathers. In the passage above, Moses uses a farewell address to remind the Jews that the Lord is with you. This was followed by his predecessor who urges God’s people to be strong and courageous, Joshua 1:9. You shouldn’t have to endure a disaster to be courageous. Rather, God uses extreme situations to provide opportunities for courage to prevail.

by Jay Mankus

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World Mental Health Day

This year’s day to recognize global mental health is Thursday October 10th. World Mental Health Day was first celebrated in 1992 as an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health. More than 150 countries take part is this day to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ life worldwide. Leaders in Australia feel so strongly about this issue that an entire week is dedicated to Mental Health Awareness.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace, Romans 8:5-6.

Unfortunately, most of the curriculum, education and programs will steer clear of biblical principles. Yet, this provides me an open door to examine what the Bible has to say about mental health. The apostle Paul claims the biggest obstacle to achieving a mind at peace is fleshly desires which crave instant gratification. This internal force must be brought under control and tamed by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit.

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word [the message, the basis] of faith which we preach— because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation, Romans 10:8-10.

According to C.S. Lewis, the Holy Spirit is only accessible to those who have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Mere Christianity details Cardinal and Theological Virtues. Cardinal virtues include prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude. These traits are available to everyone who strides to obtain mental health. Yet, access to the Theological virtues of charity, hope and faith is limited to active believers in Jesus. Therefore, if you want to truly celebrate mental health, embrace Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

Making the Call to the Bullpen

After coaching my son’s baseball team the last several seasons, I decided to take this year off due to a busy work schedule.  Thus, when a pitcher starts to struggle, someone else has to make the call to the bullpen.  However, if they are too impatient, the coach might just remove their best player from the game.

For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess, Deuteronomy 30:16.

The game of baseball has several rules that you must know before you begin.  For example, you are only allowed to visit your pitcher once per inning.  If you’re not paying attention, you will be forced to change pitchers upon your second visit in the same inning.  Therefore, any manager must demonstrate prudence or else a quick hook could result in a loss.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God, Ephesians 5:1-2.

For those of you who don’t care about the game of baseball, you still have to make important decisions.  While these choices may not impact a team of kids, your friends, family and co-workers will be influenced by what you say or do.  In view of this, make sure you are slow to speak and think wisely before you make any decision in the future.

by Jay Mankus

 

Tongues of Ruin

With the rash of individuals sharing their controversial opinions in the media, tongues are ruining the lives of once prominent Americans.  Donald Sterling isn’t the first or last to do so as Jimmy the Greek’s of today have been shown the door, with bosses caving into peer pressure from sponsors and civil rights groups to fire anyone who is politically incorrect.  Unfortunately, these souls didn’t listen to mothers who proclaimed, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!”

I guess you can say the old adage applies, “you’re your own worst enemy.”  By opening your mouth at the wrong place or the wrong time, you might be the next Riley Cooper, caught on video with a racial slur.  Whether its alcohol, anger or impatience, the mouth is full of poison waiting for the right trigger to explode, James 3:5.  Without zipping your lip or shutting your trap, ruin will fall on those who don’t practice prudence and temperance.

According to King David, God will allow tongues to destroy anyone who plots injustice in their hearts and minds, Psalm 64:6.  Despite the cunning schemes of mankind, the Lord will let human beings destroy themselves with their words, Psalm 64:7-8.  God will have the last laugh when tongues of ruin will bring about justice.  The next time you have an urge to gossip, slander or trash someone’s reputation, remember David’s warning by practicing self-control.  If you don’t, you might make the grapevine for the wrong reason.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Mindset of a Killer

In light of yesterday’s indictment of Aaron Hernandez for a 2012 double murder in South Boston, family, friends and sports fans are left with troubling questions.  Yes, I know in America, you’re considered innocent until proven guilty, but how can a former rising star of the New England Patriots fall so far and fast?  If guilt is by association, what led Aaron to entertain such bad company?  What triggers someone to snap, inspiring the act to take another person’s life?  The answer lies in the mindset of a killer.

According to Psalm 64, there is an enemy who uses thoughts of conspiracy and evil to steer individuals off course.  The tongue serves like an invisible sword full of poison, aimed at bystanders that rub you the wrong way.  Anger, rage and hatred engage violence, tempting frustrated souls to leave prudence and temperance in their rear view mirrors.  Subsequently, a gang or mob mentality develops, persuading rushed vengeful acts.  At this point, the sinful nature grabs control of minds, Galatians 5:16-21, leading the lost down the highway to hell, Matthew 7:13-14.

In 1972, the United Negro College Fund created the slogan, “the mind is a terrible thing to waste.”  Whether you’re in high school contemplating college, a laid off employee forced to start a new career or a troubled soul bombarded by temptation, the mind plays a vital role in life’s final outcome.  If unwholesome thoughts begin to creep into your brain, take the apostle Paul’s advice in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  The sooner you take your thoughts captive, the less likely you’ll be heading toward a mindset of a killer.

by Jay Mankus

 

Wars You Can’t Win

Political battles rage daily in congress, making their case of pulling out, not backing another country or recognizing that some wars you can’t win.  Whether its the war in Afghanistan, Iraq or the next tense situation, common sense screams, “certain places in the world aren’t worth fighting for since there is no clear winner if you engage in war!”  When this or that country has been battling it out for centuries or close to a thousand years, why shed innocent blood?  Hopefully, someone in Washington D.C. will learn this lesson soon.

On American soil, there is a different kind of war brewing, the war of public opinion.  In the 1997 film Wag the Dog, Dustin Hoffman plays a Hollywood producer who deceives the American people of a fictional war in Albania.  Using special effects, talking points and a montage of sound bytes, Hoffman convinces the people of a war that doesn’t exist.  Today, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Youtubes are the weapons of choice, steering minds in their direction.  In a world of shrinking absolutes, where opinions have become elevated to fact status, this war is like chasing the wind.

The only thing you can control in this life is your own character.  Sure, your enemies will attempt to assassinate your reputation, yet your actions, attitude, behavior, body language and words serve as a means of defense.  As long as you are consistent, you can’t control what others says on blogs, Facebook or Twitter.  Therefore, fighting back or responding to your critics is futile.  By coming down to their level, you are strengthening their argument.  Despite the mud opponents sling your way, display prudence by recognizing they are some wars you just can’t win.

by Jay Mankus

The Conservative Conscience

Conservative refers to holding firmly to traditional values.  From an American perspective, this means adhering to the biblical principles which the United States of America was founded upon.  Meanwhile, a conscience is an inner feeling or voice in your mind, serving to guide one’s behavior in the right direction.  Thus, the conservative conscience was designed by God, implanted within each soul, to impart prudence, temperance and fortitude to individuals.

An example of the conservative conscience is found in Genesis 42:21-23.  Reuben, the oldest of Joseph’s 11 brothers is steered away from blaming God for his trial.  Instead, Reuben’s conscience convicts him of throwing Joseph into an empty well, faking his death and lying to his father, by placing goat’s blood all over the special rob Jacob made for Joseph.  As long as a spirit of compromise does not enter your body, this conservative conscience is available to all human beings.

Unfortunately, the conscience has been under attack for more than 50 years in America.  Atheists convinced educators that God did not belong in public schools during the 1960’s.  Abortion made killing a children inside a mother’s womb legal in the early 70’s.  The Home Box Office brought nationwide cable television into homes by the 80’s.  Little by little, compromise by compromise, lie by lie, the conservative nature of the conscience has been lost.  Without many Reuben like role models, society has forgotten why the conscience exists.  May God has mercy on us, turn us back toward the Holy Spirit and rejuvenate the conservative conscience!

by Jay Mankus

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