Emotions are powerful. Our emotions, like compassion and empathy, often motivate us to do wonderful things like give to charity and help people in need. When we see an injustice, many times it will deeply affect us and move us to take positive action. And yet, strong negative emotions—jealousy, vindictiveness, resentment—can often overpower our better judgment and move us to neglect or hurt people.
The difficulties that we endure in this life are sometimes so painful that we feel stuck in unending sorrow. Many of us have been through tragedies that have left us with a crushing despair, which years later turns into a continuous dull ache that never leaves. We become despondent and therefore reluctant to believe that God could heal us.
Can you recall times in your life when you’ve lost control of your emotions? Perhaps it happens more often than you’d like to admit. We’ve all had heated moments where we’ve reacted out of anger or pain, often provoking others and dragging out arguments. What guidance do the Scriptures give us in these situations?
When the New Testament authors talk about Abraham, they always highlight his faith. Indeed, Abraham is most well known, both in Judaism and Christianity, for his great faith in the God of Israel. But Abraham also exhibited another important godly characteristic that is often overlooked: hospitality.
We are told in 1 John 4:1 and other passages to “test” the message of a teacher or prophet to see if what they say is truly from God. The reason is that “many false prophets have gone out into the world” and are leading believers astray. What are some of the identifying marks of a false teacher/prophet?
It's easy to get discouraged by the instability of our culture these days. There is a growing distrust towards our leaders, the Media, and each other—and for good reasons, in many cases! But we shouldn't feel hopeless. Instead we should consider this the perfect opportunity to be a light in the darkness by offering something different, something stable, something that people can hold on to.
One of the greatest temptations of mankind is to exalt ourselves. We want people to think we're the smartest, coolest, and most talented. We want to be seen and admired for our gifts and talents. It's natural to desire acceptance and affirmation from others, but there's a danger of idolatry when we make God's work about us instead of Him.
It is often said that believers ought not to judge. Indeed, “Judge not that you be not judged” is one of the most memorized Bible verses ever. Even people who have never read a Bible in their life will immediately quote that verse to silence anyone who might dare express disapproval toward them. But is it true that we are not to ever judge anyone?
Feelings are important and shouldn't be dismissed. But we must not be led by our feelings. We cannot assume that our feelings reflect the complete truth of any situation. Our feelings reflect only how we interpret the truth of the situation. New information or another perspective often leads to a different interpretation.