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Tag Archives: tension

Walking a Fine Line

There is a growing tension that exists between men and women.  As sexual harassment accusations continue to come forward daily from previous encounters, common interactions that were once considered the norm must be re-evaluated.  The days of coarse joking, innuendos and sarcasm may be over as someone from the opposite sex could be offended by what you thought was funny.

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 Bible provides instructions for those sensing that a change needs to be made.  In a letter to the church at Ephesus, the apostle Paul urges individuals to focus on the positive.  Despite how difficult it may be to alter your vocabulary, the advice encouraged above isn’t complex.  If you want to walk the fine line, focus on only those things that build others up.

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving, Ephesians 5:4.

When I was in college back in the early 1990’s, a series of rapes had taken place on campus.  The university did a study to pin point some of the reasons to explain why this was happening.  One report blamed this on poor lighting throughout campus.  Female students were so afraid walking alone at night that if you were a guy and said hello or smiled, girls thought you might be a rapist.  This atmosphere caused most male students to keep their head downs, avoiding any type of eye contact.  It’s sad to see interactions come to this point, but keeping a low profile is another way to walk a fine line.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Bidding Time, Waiting for an Opportunity or a Wasted Effort?

Whenever you have to stick around to see the final results of a close race, tension arises.  Uncertainty can be heavy, causing participants to second guess themselves,”what if I only did this or that, handled a situation better or recovered quicker from a mistake.  Unfortunately, life is full of periods where you have to sweat it out, wondering if you are good enough or have the right stuff to make your dreams a reality.

The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “ ’No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves,’ Matthew 25:8-9.

While you experience delays like an airplane stuck in a holding pattern, sometimes you have to wait your turn in line.  If something is worth it, you may have to lie in wait until an open door comes or an opportunity arises.  This scenario is what faced ten virgins in Matthew 25, shared by Jesus in a parable.  This story illustrates that individuals must earnestly wait for the Lord’s return in eager expectation.  As you carry on with your daily life, don’t lose sight of the end goal, eternal life in heaven.  If you’re careless, you just might find yourself on the outside looking in.

For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them, Matthew 25:29.

If you’ve done everything in your power to keep your dreams alive yet still fail, many will come away with resentment, questioning all the hours spent without success.  Others will proclaim in haste, “what a waste!”  Nonetheless, the parable of the talents provides an important life lesson.  The Lord has given every soul a gift, talent or special ability.  God holds us responsibility for that which has been given.  Therefore, do not bury, hide or neglect the special gifts God has given you.  Rather, make the most of what you have been given by being a good and faithful steward of your talents on loan from God.

by Jay Mankus

 

Friction and Frays

A rope exposed to the elements is vulnerable to becoming worn or tattered along the edges.  When friction arrives, increased tension can further weaken strands.  Under extreme conditions, this cord can snap, causing permanent damage.

David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. – 1 Samuel 30:6

Human beings have a lot in common with ropes.  The adventures in life can push individuals to their limits.  Stress added to any number of trials can cause people to become unwound, hanging on by a thread.  Thus, as friction and frays threaten to harm souls, something needs to be done to reattach these broken fibers.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3

If you ever feel like you’re coming apart at the seems, call out to the One who can weave you back together, Isaiah 41:10.  Jesus didn’t promise that life was going to be easy.  Rather, as storms develop, God has given us a solid rock to stand on when earthly foundations are washed away, Matthew 7:24.  Therefore, as friction continues to pose a threat, fraying parts of your soul, hold on to Jesus so that in God’s perfect timing, you will be made whole.

by Jay Mankus

 

Staying Cool When the Heat is On

Before any volcanic eruption occurs, there are subtle signs.  Tremors, increased steam and ground swells are some of the warning signals scientists have uncovered to prepare nearby residents.  As for human beings, increased tension, a red complexion and short temper are precursors to someone blowing their top.

Regardless of how disciplined someone may be, its hard to stay cool when the heat is on.  In the days of my youth, there were numerous occasions when I lost my composure.  In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis talks about Cardinal Virtues.  One of these 4 is known as temperance, going the right distance and no further.  While this trait is available to everyone, you can’t stay cool when the heat is on all by yourself.

According to 2 Timothy 1:7, the Holy Spirit is the piece of the puzzle  individuals are missing.  When push comes to shove in the form of temptation, a spirit of anger lurks in the air.  Don’t fool yourself with over confidence or you too may fall, 1 Corinthians 10:12.  Place your trust in the words of Proverbs 3:5-6; then you too can stay cool when the heat is on.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Suppressed Anger

If you slow down enough to take a look around, suppressed anger lingers deep inside the human heart.  The tension within the bullied builds until a spirit of revenge is born.  Once this seed is implanted inside of  troubled minds, the stage is set for the next school shooting.

During my sophomore year of high school, I was introduced to another form of suppressed anger.  A friend from my cross country team began to punch me in the arm every team I saw him in school.  This scenario repeated itself for 6 months until I took the time to find out why.  Carl, who became my best friend, hit me to express his frustration as he helplessly watched his mother slowly die of cancer.

Today, some of the cruelest people you encounter often possess a secret that motivates their behavior.  Just watch the Breakfast Club, paying close attention to John Bender’s character played by Judd Nelson.  Whether its a bad family life, negative influences or low self-esteem, each plays a factor in determining which person you will meet.  May a clear understanding of Galatians 5:19-22 allow you to discern suppressed anger from those who are simply evil.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

What the Hell is Going On Out There?

Legendary coach Hank Stram roamed the sidelines for nearly 2 decades in the American Football League, most notably for the Kansas City Chiefs.  Thanks to Steve Sabol of NFL Films, Stram was regularly microphoned, giving the public access to Hank’s commentary on the game he coached.  Subsequently, archives exist of  in game reactions to his teams play on the gridiron.  One of Stram’s famous sayings was “what the hell is going on out there?”

After this past week of events in the world, perhaps you are like me thinking, “what the hell is going on?”  Tension on the Gaza strip, terrorists shooting down a passenger airline and countries falling apart at the seams.  Like a perfect storm brewing in the tropics, hurricane force winds are starting to impact society.  Have these signs always been there or has the world lost touch with their Creator?

Unfortunately, the only person you can control is yourself.  Despite this truth, failure is inevitable, Romans 3:23.  Thus, you have a world full of imperfect people, tempted by evil, power and selfish desires.  These elements create conditions where hell meets earth.  To answer the question what the hell is going on out there is simple using biblical terms.  Innocent children, Luke 15:11-13, are swayed by curiosity, seeking to find pleasure in life.  Void of meaning, prodigals wander around longing for a father’s love and forgiveness.  This vicious cycle continues til someone displays the love of Jesus.  Until the lost experience agape love, hell on earth will linger.  May God’s grace and mercy come quickly.

by Jay Mankus

 

Just say No… Go Against the Flow

Richard Evans was the pioneer of the slogan “just say no” as a Social Psychology professor at the University of Houston in the 1970’s.  Supported by the National Institutes of Health, this concept was geared at attacking substance abuse inspired by Woodstock that cultivated a generation of sex, drugs and rock and roll.  By the 1980’s, first lady Nancy Reagan added premarital sex and violence to this slogan, becoming a champion of the just say no movement.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of the first century, one man blazed a new trail, going against the flow like no one ever before or since.  Similar to America’s Civil War, Samaritans occupied northern Israel with Judah dwelling in the South.  Following captivity by the Assyrians and Babylonians, Samaritans embraced foreign gods as well as intermarrying Gentiles.  Subsequently, when Jewish leaders made plans to reunite both kingdoms, the Samaritans did everything in their power to undermine this attempt.  Bitterness, hatred and tension carried over for 500 years until Jesus arrived onto the scene.

In John 4, the disciples avoided Samaria like the plague, taking the belt way around town.  However, Jesus didn’t let peer pressure ruin God’s will, going against the flow to wait for a Samaritan in need.  Despite committing social suicide, Jesus begins a conversation with an adulterous woman at a well.  Led by the Holy Spirit, Jesus takes a casual talk into the spiritual realm.  Before the day is over, this carpenter leads several individuals to place their trust in God.  If you just say no to the world, by going against the flow, who knows how many lives you can alter for eternity?  The world is waiting for you, Matthew 9:37, to lead be example.  Please share how you’re making a difference.

by Jay Mankus

 

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