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Tag Archives: weakness

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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I Can Handle It… Not!

Human nature makes individuals believe that they can handle most things thrown their way.  Thus, don’t be surprised when you hear a young person proclaim, “I’ve got this!”  However, history leaves a chapter written by the apostle Paul to guard people against becoming over confident.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! – 1 Corinthians 10:11-12.

Unfortunately, Samson, one of the strongest to ever walk the face of the earth did not have access to this letter.  Subsequently, he often toyed with people, including his wife Delilah.  Caught in a moment of weakness, Samson was worn down by the persistence of his wife.  Trusting in his own strength, Samson’s mind gave in, revealing the secret of his power.

With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it, Judges 16:16.

Today, gifted and talented continue to forgo trusting in the Lord.  Instead, most are self-reliant, experiencing more success than failure.  Thus, a whisper within urges many to believe “I can handle this.”  Despite this sense of security, don’t allow over confidence blind your perspective.  Instead, follow in the footsteps of Solomon by leaning on God’s understanding whatever the circumstance that you face.

by Jay Mankus

Prosthesis

The Greek language has a special way of revealing God’s promises for the future.  The term prosthesis comes from the Greek word prothesis meaning purpose.  In English, a prosthesis is an artificial body part intended to restore lost usefulness.  In life, whether you lose a limb, friend or talent, behind the scenes God is at work to replace that which was lost.

For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost, Luke 19:10.

The apostle Paul refers to the Lord as the poiema.  Although the English translation is workmanship, the Greek actually means end product.  While individuals endure, face and suffer many loses in life, this is not the end of the story.  God is not done with you yet, using these setbacks as an opportunity to display His power in times of weakness.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them, Ephesians 2:10.

Essentially, God is the author of life, we are the characters used in this play.  The word poet is derived from poiema.  Thus, God is the poet and we are the poems that are being written.  Unfortunately, Satan plays the part of critics, trying to convince individuals that they are worthless, no good and should not waste their time waiting for God to complete his work in you.  Therefore, many go through life, falling apart physically, mentality or spiritually.  In these days of despair, may we lean on the great prosthesis to hold us together until the end.

by Jay Mankus

Form Without Faith

As a former athlete, there was nothing like game day, warming up in front of your opponents.  Depending upon the sport, there were certain matches that over before they began.  The team with the best form, technique and talent usually won.  Yet, form without faith is a losing recipe, costing several franchises in the past a championship.

Having a form of godliness but denying its power, 2 Timothy 3:5a.

There is a saying in profession sports that says the tape never lies.  This refers to players who have a tendency to take plays off, not giving 100 percent.  As a former coach, this wasn’t as easy to see.  Some players talk a good game, but crumbled under the pressure.  Meanwhile, some slacked off during practice, yet like Allen Iverson, when the lights came on, they rose to the challenge.  However, to endure for the long haul, form and faith must go hand and hand.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead, James 2:26.

As an adult, I can’t escape imperfection.  No mater how hard I try, some days my form is good, but my faith sucks.  Or in times of weakness, my faith is strong, but energy is lacking.  However, everyone must be careful of fulfilling 2 Timothy 3:5.  Godliness does not come from human effort, but in the spiritual transformation of a human heart.  Thus, when Christians begin to go through the motions of religion, they deny God’s power.  In view of this, don’t pretend everything is fine.  Rather, in humility, let the grace and mercy of God build you up so that your faith takes the form of spiritual fruit.

by Jay Mankus

The Tug of War between Self-Esteem and Pride

On a level playing field, there isn’t much between winning and losing.  Whoever possesses confidence often comes out on top.  While talent does make a difference, self-esteem either strengthens or weakens individuals.  Too much success can go to your head, creating a false sense of security.  Thus, the tug of war between self-esteem and pride commences.

I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses, 2 Corinthians 12:5.

The psyche craves encouragement, wanting to receive positive feedback.  Although constructive criticism can be beneficial, compliments boast one’s self-esteem like a pat on the back.  Yet, balance must be achieved by surrounding yourself with people who are  honest, realistic and truthful.  Maintaining this atmosphere is crucial to keeping you from going back and forth between self-esteem and pride.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me, 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Unfortunately, wounds to the soul leave most wallowing in self pity.  In a cruel world that can be unforgiving, recovering from any defeat is tough.  Perhaps, the words of apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians was meant to console and educate those with lost confidence.  Whenever you feel like you can’t go on, reach out to Jesus in prayer and God will provide the strength to carry on.  Subsequently, as the momentum turns in your favor don’t forget to thank the good Lord above so that pride doesn’t invade your soul.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Compass of Prayer

In the first season of Survivor Borneo contestants could bring one personal item to keep on their Island.  Depending upon the personality, individuals chose from a wide variety of possessions based upon wants and needs.  Dirk Been, the first person to ever be voted off the show during a tribal council brought his Bible.  Since editors have a way of slicing film to create stars, villains and proverbial losers, his decision to bring the Word of God wasn’t applauded.  Yet, for Dirk this book was like a compass for life.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you,  John 15:7.

The earliest accounts of Jesus highlight a morning routine, Mark 1:35-39.  While his disciples were sleeping, Jesus would arise early before sunset to a quiet location.  This solitary location provided ideal condition for the compass of prayer.  Meditating, Jesus began to listen to His heavenly Father, providing a road map for the next day.  Although the disciples had their own agendas and plans, the Holy Spirit lead Jesus to people of need, fulfilling God’s will daily.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words, Romans 8:26.

Today, obstacles to achieving a clear and open communication with God continue to increase.  Doubt, unanswered prayers and worry cause individuals to try to find their way alone.  Unlocking this veil begins and ends with the Bible.  Hearts, minds and soul touched, nurtured and inspired by words of truth are like an introduction to orienteering.  Comprehending the whole process takes time.  However, through trial and error, the compass of prayer will lead you to the light.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

A Real Life Superhero

Whether you are referring to one of Marvel Comics fictional characters, watching a Super Friends episode or analyzing films like Unbreakable, superheros often have 3 things in common.  First, each possess some sort of super human power which defies the laws of physics and gravity.  Second,  individuals keep a low profile, developing an alias to keep their true identity a secret.  Finally, most have an arch enemy who seeks to ascertain a weakness, trying to uncover their krytonite.

While reading the gospel of Mark, I stumbled upon an interesting thought, Jesus was a real life superhero.  Like Superman, Jesus came from another world, Colossians 1:15-17.  Before the day came to reveal his special powers, Jesus lived in obscurity as a carpenter in the lowly town of Nazareth.  Jesus flew under the radar for thirty years until John the Baptist was imprisoned, then killed.  However, before his three years of public service began, a real Devil threatened to destroy Jesus’ ministry before it began.

Following the calling of his first four disciples, Mark 1:16-20, Jesus introduced himself to the Jewish community.  Meanwhile, a demonic spirit tried to spoil his coming out party, Mark 1:23-26.  Foiling his enemies first plot, the legend of Jesus began to spread.  Similar to modern superheros, Jesus remained humble.  Rather than proclaiming, “look what I’ve done,” Jesus gave his heavenly Father the credit.  Nearly 2,000 years following his resurrection and ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit has been left behind so that those who believe, Romans 10:9-10, may experience an extraordinary life, John 10:10.

by Jay Mankus

 

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