Why We Should Be Thankful When God Says No

Therefore God gave them upon the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:24-25)

We are efficient idol factories. We craft all sorts of things that distract us from our relationship with the Lord, and we pursue them to our detriment. Some of them are overtly dark, like porn and greed, while others are seemingly innocent, like a love of your children or a fun hobby.

What happens when we pursue idols is that we invite the enemy into our camp. 

In Greek mythology, there is a story that is told about the Trojan War. The Greeks were after the independent city of Troy and they came up with a sneaky scheme to infiltrate Troy. The Greeks built a giant wooden horse, and hid men inside. Then the Greek forces retreated, making it appear that they had left. The Trojans then pulled the horse into their city and thus helped the invaders.

This should sound familiar. 

Why We Must Understand Our Darkness

I was pretty sure he was coming for me, so I kept a loaded 20 gauge under my bed. I figured he'd come in through my window, and hopefully I'd get to it in time.

In high school I was scared of a serial killer called the Railcar Killer. He was a Mexican guy who traveled by train and killed people for no reason. That's what made him scary - as with all serial killers - an indiscriminate taste for violence. Cormac McCarthy has touched on this theme in his books as well, from Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men to The Judge in Blood Meridian. Senseless violence is evil personified, and we have much reason to fear it.

People fear all sorts of things in this category: snakes, the boogeyman, terrorists, etc. We fear the unknown outside us which can kill what's inside us.

It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It - And Why

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)

My Dad has a million sayings for a million situations, but "it's not what you say, it's how you say it" is among his favorites. Mine, too. 

Let's say you work for someone and your performance is lacking. Your boss is a middle manager, and she must answer to her bosses. Let's say you have been a bit slack in your work, showing up late and missing deadlines. Your boss must now have a conversation with you. Now let's consider two ways your boss might approach you: