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359 – Animal Mode

There is a strange mindset people often get wrapped-up in. It is more of “mode of instinct” than any actual thinking. It is highly selfish and tends to latch itself onto people who amass power and influence over others.

Know it by this: It is prone to violate moral absolutes with heavy self-rationalizing.

No matter how good you are, no matter how ethical, this can happen to you! Recognize it when it does.

The types of wise principles this “animal mode” will tend to violate are often the most basic morals—communicate, do not accuse without a fair trial, wait for and keep marriage vows, don’t steal, do not do normal work on your sabbath no matter how much it feels like you should. Generally and for some reason, these often include the Ten Commands and instructions in the New Testament like Jesus’ teaching in Matthew, James’ “slow to speak, slow to anger, quick to listen”, rules about lust, temptation, immorality, and others. These are simple, objective moral guidelines. But, when we get into “animal mode”, we forget them all.

Clinging to moral principles keeps you out of animal mode. When you see yourself crossing those lines, you know you must stop yourself. If you don’t, it could be the beginning of the end for whatever your current life’s work may be.

These moral codes not only guide us, to keep ourselves on track. They also warn us about others.

When you see someone in “animal mode”, unwilling to knock it off, just zip your lip and step back. Be cordial but resolute, especially when he’s in the power seat. That person will self-destruct. The clock is already ticking. This was your alarm.

In truth, this “animal mode” could be a form of spiritual attack. Demons try to tempt and influence anyone. However much mind control demons and evil spirits can exercise, they show it in “animal mode”.

Whether “animal mode” has come for you or someone you know, morals are vital to guide and warn you. But, you also need a strong, ongoing fellowship with God or you don’t stand a chance. “Animal mode” destroys anyone without a daily life in prayer and Bible.

Matthew 17:18-21, Mark 9:28-29

358 – Why You Are Your Own Solution

Christianity does not contain a list of rules that its members hate people for breaking; Christianity clarifies good rules, forgiving whenever someone causes pain by breaking those good rules. Christianity is not an institutionalized religion with buildings of stone, steel, glass, and wood, with images and pontiffs through which Heaven dispenses its messages. The Bible is Heaven’s message, humans are the Image of their Creator God, and every human body is His Temple—God Himself will take up residence inside the “body-temple” of anyone who recognizes Jesus as God’s one and only Son.

Condemning people for breaking good rules, who thus hurt their own lives, is not Christian at all, but the teaching of demons who have found their way into every corner of society, even parts of Christian institutions. Reliance on buildings, images, and pontiffs to teach what the people supposedly can’t figure out by reading the Bible—that is not true Christianity, but a perversion of Christianity meant to exploit the people for money and power.

The anywhere-everywhere nature of Christianity empowers us for every circumstance. As a Christian—simply believing Jesus is the Son of God—no matter what you face, God is already living in your body. You already are God’s Image. When you err, God forgives you, empowering you to continue. So, you don’t need to visit a shrine to pray for help. Your body is already a prayer machine equipped with legs to go anywhere and hands to prepare a way where there is no way. Your heart can praise God and call down Heaven’s justice wherever you go.

Biblically, you already are the solution your circumstances are waiting for. Jesus saved you, thereby giving you the power to bring the rest of the solution.

Without Biblical Christianity, saying, “You are your own solution,” is no more than a feel-good lie. Being your own solution needs a basis—Jesus. Yet, many Christians, who have Jesus, don’t know how much of a help they can be to themselves because they depend too much on institutionalized systems that have nothing to do with Jesus.

Don’t think you are weaker than you are. Know the Truth and thereafter be your own help.

357 – Loving Others Means Caring for Others

Caring means sharing just as much as it means closing our mouths and silently growing as individuals from the inside out.

God puts people in our lives that require us to love other people in ways that are not so easy for us to demonstrate and express our love. Love isn’t love if it is easy. In this, everyone will always have room for improvement—even throughout all Eternity, every one of us will have an ongoing need to increase our own capacities to love.

Loving others doesn’t mean throwing enormous meals before them, even if food is your own love language. Loving others does not mean working for them or giving them money or giving frequent hugs or spending quality time with them, regardless of which of those are part of your own love language set.

It’s an old anecdote, where the man tells his wife, “I love you, I would die for you,” but she retorts, “Then take out the trash.” We all have baggage and the one thing that the people we love most need from us to know that we love them is likely the one piece of baggage that we don’t want to deal with. Loving others means confronting your own “skeletons in your closet” and “wrestling with your own demons”. If you’re not willing to deal with your own baggage then those closest to you will eventually tire and leave you, no matter how much love you feel for them.

To love others, we must take personal ownership and responsibility for where we are in life and where we will go from here. Love cannot exist without follow through and corresponding action—and it is no one’s responsibility to clean up our own lives and take necessary action but our own. Love means taking responsibility for our own faults—not making it our responsibility to repair other people’s faults nor to expect others to take responsibility to repair our faults. True love understands this.

When we love others, we can’t not take action to provide care. Everyone has basic needs—food, shelter, clothing, and, before those, other people need us to clean up our own mess on our own.

356 – Action Is…

Action is what separates Men, good from bad. God will judge each and every one of us—not by what we say or hope to do, but by our actions. Our actions yield results, showing us that our intentions behind those actions were wrought in God and His fairness. The fruits of our efforts slightly lag, but by following Biblical teaching, we can know what will result from which efforts with those things about which God is most concerned.

As for the actions that we do not understand, their results are also delayed from the actions that cause them, but we can learn slowly by reflecting on which actions we took that led to the results. If God’s Word had not made it so clear where our actions would lead, then God is much more concerned that we learn from all of our failures and become better at what we do. God will forgive when we repent, but we don’t want repentance and forgiveness to be the greatest action we took.

Run in the wide birth of God’s forgiveness so that you can focus your efforts on discerning the right kinds of action that will bring the maximum good results. God gives each of us small amounts of opportunity to train us and refine our abilities. As we learn, God gives us more to be responsible with. This is a principle God’s Word calls “stewardship”: responsible work lead to respectable results, thus God gives us larger fields in which to work.

If you haven’t seen your fields increase, don’t condemn yourself, but keep learning. You might be foolish and need to step in line or you may be doing everything wonderfully, so God wants you to spend extra time learning because He has some great future planned for you. Just keep working.

God created all of us as stewards in some capacity. God is our steward over us, tending to us, training us. Whenever we take action, we partner with God in a cascade of great work, rippling through creation, bringing beauty, plenty, and justice everywhere. It is in our working stewardship that we understand who God is by experiencing His reflection working within ourselves.

Genesis 2:15; 39:1-6, Psalm 11:7, Jeremiah 17:10-11, Matthew 6:1-4; 25:14-30, Luke 19:12-27, John 3:21, Romans 2:6-11, 1 Corinthians 3:9-15, Galatians 6:9-10, Hebrews 13:16, James 4:17, Revelation 2:23; 22:12

355 – This Is a Test

Everything difficult is a test of your character. Tests reveal our problems, but, more importantly, tests fix our problems. God drives us to a point of impatience in order to grow our ability to be patient. He puts us in circumstances with people where it is difficult to love in order to grow our ability to love. He does the same with forgiveness, joy, peace, charity, selflessness, friendliness, hardihood—all designed to stretch our ability to respond perfectly in every situation.

Don’t ever give up on growing your heart and rising to the challenge. If you do, your progress and growth in life will level-off. Money will start drying up or you’ll have so much money that it crushes your heart and you won’t know what to do—which is a real problem for many who live the shallow life of luxury without happiness. The heart levels off and stops growing once we stop rising to the challenge of difficult situations. Then, love grows cold and we spiral into becoming hateful, bitter people who are always angry, yet can never make the positive difference we so strongly year for.

It never gets easy. Never let your guard down. Just when we start to love in difficult situations, a challenge will come along, sneak up on us, and irritate us to no end. It’s not that we aren’t growing in our ability to love; God just keeps give us more and more difficult challenges to keep us growing.

But, never blame others for your own inability to love. Someone else’s error is a completely different matter from your own level of self-control. Check yourself: One knows that oneself has become angry without just cause when one wants to blame someone else for ones own anger.

Strong rhetoric and outbursts do not necessarily equate to genuine inner anger, but they should be optional. If you can’t say your piece gently—without being sarcastic—then you aren’t justified in saying it angrily.

God can use our unjustly angry words to teach each other. Never discount wrongful wrath as valid instruction. It’s about your own ability to respond to anything in love—not tone or manners—actual, real, love.

354 – Good People Speak Their Minds

When you have something to say, say it. Whether in times of harassment, nuisance, abuse, or someone just being more friendly than feels comfortable, if you don’t like how things are going, you need to say something about it. Addressing your concerns is on one’s responsibility but your own.

God puts concerns in our hearts so that we can deal with them. You might be wrong about your concerns, but bringing up those wrong concerns for discussion will help others to understand how they are perceived and help you to learn what things to not worry about. Then again, your concern just might be legitimate. Either way, the concern God puts in your heart is a responsibility, a stewardship, a job, a duty, an essential task that only you can perform, and if you don’t, others will suffer because of your negligence.

Don’t be rude or abusive, just speak your mind clearly enough to be heard.

Like an task, speaking one’s mind is a skill that gets better with time. If you never learned the skill, you will do it wrong the first time. It’s like learning to ride a bike. The way to learn how to speak your mind is to speak it, even if you speak it the wrong way at first. The worst way to do any necessary thing is to not do it at all.

If you don’t speak your mind when you have a mind to speak, your problems will swell and mount and it will be no one’s fault but your darned own. This is also part of God’s design in nature, that whatever problems we ignore grow and grow until they overwhelm us into doing what should have been done from the start.

If someone else happens to say what you were thinking, an applause is sufficient. But, don’t ask someone else speak your mind. And, don’t ever tell someone who doesn’t have the courage to speak up that you can speak instead. Some things are matters of “order”, such as the right to make a motion before a committee, but even a sitting committee member can invite a guest to speak or at least give an introduction.

353 – Godly Life Balance

An effective life can feel like a juggling act. On the one hand, you need a strong work ethic; on the other you need to good old fashioned R&R. R&R is central to the military philosophy of the very real need for rest. But, that idea began with the Biblical Sabbath.

There is more to the balance. It’s not a “tension” of conflicting opposites, but the kind of “balance” of an ecosystem with an equilibrium. Like an aquarium, everything must be in harmony. It’s like a musician perfecting a musical scale to play is as effortlessly as a butterfly flapping its wings. Build the skill and the muscles, then relax and let the art flow. Building up the muscles can take decades, though.

In addition to work and rest, there is also love for friends, yet patience in absence. Love your friends and family, but when God-controlled circumstances (any and all circumstances) takes you from them, leave them in God’s hands and focus where you need to. Be present with those in the room and thankful, even when your mind may want to wander elsewhere.

Be thankful—for what you want more of to have more; for what you want less of to have less; and for what you want to keep to keep a little while longer. Enjoy the journey. Even the hard roads make for the best stories told in comfortable dining rooms decades later—enjoy those hard stories while they are happening because you can never go back to them.

When your work can’t get done fast enough, don’t squander your commute fretting about the world passing you its problems and your limited tool shop; enjoy the scenery, especially if it’s windy and rainy. Life happens now, as you go along. God is not as much interested in our final product as He is interested in the journey that makes us into His final product.

If you don’t have that drive to work, then you may need to pray for some. Taking extended time to pray is another part of life’s balance. Don’t just pray for deliverance; praise God right in the midst of any circumstances. Praising God makes the best equilibrium.