69 – Might Is Right in the Long Run

Winning a fight proves diligent practice and foresight of one’s own limits. But, also consider the long game.

Might is, in fact, right because God is Almighty. He has all the power and is the strongest anywhere that is somewhere. Believing, “Might is right,” only becomes unethical through twisted perspectives of “right” and “might”.

When one loses perspective of God being in control, sin wants to freak out and break rules. Someone overpowers us, then we start to play “dirty pool”, cut corners, tell white lies, hit below the belt… gossip. Godly people don’t allow themselves to do those things.

Without getting God’s permission first, the Accuser couldn’t have harmed Job. Job knew the very easy way to know whether God wanted a thing to happen: It happened.

God does not “win” all at once because He is waiting while we choose sides. Maybe you should have acted, but you didn’t, so God did something else instead—just as He allowed you to not act.

For too many people, “might is right” only applies to “might in the moment”, thus twisting “might is right” into meaning “whoever can get away with whatever he wants in this small time and place is thus morally right”. Such is errant reasoning, reject it.

Never do something merely because you can get away with it in the moment. You may find that there is one stronger who will come along and exact retribution—and be able to get away with it because it is right.

God brought justice to Israel through Samson merely because Samson was strong and did whatever he wanted. The Philistines hated Samson because every time they tried to play dirty games—usually involving killing people—Samson killed them instead. They didn’t hate Samson because he was unfair, but because his brute strength didn’t allow them to be unfair. So, they accused him of wanting to be unfair as they actually wanted.

Might can be meek, but never weak; and it always shows itself eventually. Strength in weakness is also strength. God is mighty and He is not unvirtuous for it.

Mightiness is a virtue. If you want to do rightly, then you must be mighty.

Judges 13-16, Job 1:1-2:10; 9:4; 26:14

71 – Dear Kid Part 1

Lessons to kids, perhaps yours, perhaps you, or perhaps the younger you whom you wish to tutor…

How to use an alarm: Get out of bed when it goes off.
How to use prayer: Do it.
How to use Bible: Same as prayer.
How to use a computer: Plug it in, same with appliances.
How to use a battery: Only if you must.
How to use money: Buy anything but happiness. Buying happiness will put you in debt.
How to get paid: Require it; for yourself to work and from others to pay you.
How to make friends: Be a friend.
How to be a friend: Do a good job.
How to do a good job: Do your own job.

Don’t “learn forever” from a single event in the past. Crazy stuff happens. Don’t “always be safe” from one freak accident that defied laws of physics. Don’t “never do that again” because a bad person got angry when you did something good. Don’t “never love again” when someone betrays your trust. Crazy things just happen at times. Only “learn forever” from things that indicate the normal flow of the universe. And, from the freak accidents, “learn forever” that freak accidents happen without explanation and we need to just keep going.

Don’t explain everything in too much detail. Say the general idea. Recognize the general idea when other’s say it. That’s enough for mature people. If it’s not enough for you, then get mature.

Always be closing. When you ask someone for something—a parent, customer, boss, employee, coworker, classmate, child, spouse, friend, enemy—and the person says, “Yes,” shut your mouth, take, “Yes,” for an answer, and start moving forward with what you asked for.

Don’t argue your point until people agree with you. Start with your conclusion, tip your hat to what your arguments might be, mature people will get it from there. If someone doesn’t understand that much, then they need a teacher, not a debate. Don’t fall into the trap of talking until everyone agrees with you. State your point, give reasons if asked, figure out who agrees and disagrees where, then act like an adult and move on while keeping friendships.

79 – All Ends Judge Their Means

It is said that the ends justify the means; in fact they do, but only ultimately. Many short-term, narrowly-focused, greedy people exploit the wisdom of the end standing in judgment over the path that led to it. They also exploit the need to break eggs for the greater work of the omelet. When used wrongly, the principles still hold, but the application to their circumstance has been counterfeited. Like any counterfeit, the good concept is usurped for a false notion upon a dark purpose. Short term ends do not justify corners cut for fleeting results. But, in the End of All Things we look back and see that whatever road guided us to Life was worth its passage.

The destination of every journey will look back on whatever effort arrived at its result and there decide whether it was good or evil.

Not everything ends well. Dishonesty, theft, opportunism, fake ingredients, faulty materials, and any disingenuous shortcuts fail to produce; they only steal from tomorrow’s profits. Life is indeed a “zero sum game” in a world without morals and standards of equal, two-way conduct. In the End, the zero sum of the zero sum game renders the verdict against itself, that the means lacked the synergism that results from the mutually respectful conduct of a life of morals.

Doing harm in order to achieve some “greater good” doesn’t actually lead to that greater good; it at least detours from it and at most leads to an even greater evil mislabeled.

Levying bribes and shorting quick change don’t lift people from poverty, it anchors them there. Honesty escapes the “zero sum game”. Morals spawn synergy, giving lift to wings. The happy ending vindicates the hard road we traveled. It does not excuse selfish injury of others, but it rewards self sacrifice and delayed gratification, even when circumstances and parents force the fruits of patience upon us.

Glad endings don’t miraculously justify wicked means, but whatever end will stand in judgment over the paths we choose. The end will have the last word. When you live your life in preparation for the end to which you will answer, you set your destination straight and calibrate your conscience.

83 – Growth from the Inside

All growth begins on the inside—viruses, health, psychology, emotions, temptation, intellect—the external appearance is only a symptom of whatever condition began quietly in the heart.

Look inward and ponder in your heart. Don’t leave your inner world in disrepair.

Temptation starts with simple thoughts which snowball into regret. Don’t even entertain dark ideas. Displace darkness with the light.

Secular entertainment may seem enticing and motivating at times, but it is not enough to nourish true growth. It is mere amusement with diluted images of a forgotten Heaven. If you want growth, you must set your mind on the actual, Eternal things of Heaven.

If you don’t think rightly about Heaven, you won’t think about Heaven. If you understand Heaven accurately, you will ponder Heaven, its wealth, its grandeur, its supreme power, and its immeasurable love for you—carrying Heaven in your heart as you go about surviving and thriving day to day. With Heaven in your heart, people who encounter you will bump you and a little Heaven will spill out onto them—and they will wonder whatever could possibly make you such an experience to encounter.

Perhaps someone inconveniences you, yet you respond with grace. A thief or hit-and-run might make flight, but you quickly catch enough of a description because you had the right mind to think on your toes. You might respond to a fool with wise words he deeply resents—but then those words stick in his mind for decades and eventually drive him to become a better person—and you’ll never find out in this life.

Heaven is not where we are going because Jesus is the resurrection. Rather, Heaven is our Eternal Citizenship and our source of love and power, but we come back to life and live on Earth. Anyone who simply believes in Christ Jesus has access to Heaven’s insight even in this lifetime. Heavenly thinking comes from conversational prayer and daily Bible exposure. Know and understand God’s relationship to you in all its fullness and you will begin to know yourself in the deepest ways available from the current mortal body. Bring Heaven to the world around you; it all starts in the heart.

Proverbs 4:23, Ezekiel 11:21; 16:30, Luke 6:45, Colossians 3:1-2, James 1:14-15

87 – Engage Opponents unto Friendship

Whenever someone gives you negativity and “slap back”—for any reason, misunderstanding, picking an old scab, et cetera—just keep being positive. Change the subject they aimed for by celebrating the positive with childlike enthusiasm. Let’s say you comment on someone’s car because it’s old and you like old cars. The guy takes it personally and vomits shame backtalk at you—but he admits his car is old in the process. Zero in on the fact that he did tell you the car was old or look for anything else positive in what he said.

Love fuels the power to overcome any challenge for greater friendship. If someone is mean to you, even for no reason at all, engage communication. Don’t cower and hide in that little emotional cocoon of anger and fear. That urge to avoid someone you have a conflict is a sure sign that God wants you to talk to them because the devil fears what will happen when you do—that’s the devil’s fear you feel, not your own; let him keep it.

Bring up little, small things like weather or the latest gossip of the office or the ongoing drama of the hotel. Maintain friendly gestures and stay on normal “talking” terms. Deliver messages and help as good chivalry and teamwork invite.

So often, things that “offend” us are a mere misunderstanding in tone—especially in written correspondence. You can’t solve a conflict through the mail, whether snail mail, email, or messaging. To solve a problem you need a sit-down with a face-to-face. So, don’t even try to “resolve conflict” through text-only means. In the world of text-only, presume the best and stay positive. That will strengthen your skills for real life’s social turbulence. Assume the best there also.

Many friendships begin with a good, solid rumble. A few spilled drinks, some misunderstandings, even a fist or two—keep on with the love. Think “lemonade”. A bumpy first impression is a great recipe for a long term friendship; never undermine, overlook, belittle, or forgive the guy who offends you off the cuff. You should praise God for being part of the path on which some of the best friendships begin.

91 – Eventual Justice

God seems slow to humble our opponents so that they remember.

Every person with worthy leadership potential will have opposition. On the one hand, it makes each of us stronger. On the other hand, it teaches those opponents. Notice the ironic reversal in life: Often times, unworthy leaders end up with power, which they then lord over others like children trying to parent younger siblings. They do that because they lack an attention span for identifying folly, especially in themselves. God puts them there almost as an educational mockery.

Don’t be bothered by anything they do or say, especially what they do or say to you. It’s all part of God’s process to give them years of going on record, being wrong about not just you, but many others you’ve never encountered. They are even capable of being in those positions of supervisory authority because they are so blind to their own glaring faults. It’s almost embarrassing just to watch. Only by giving them such a gross, public embarrassment will they ever learn whatever it is they are too thick-headed to learn.

At this point in reading, if you can’t identify with the problem of unfair opponents or you think this is an overrated dilemma or an imagined problem, YOU are probably that foolish leader and you need to pray for God to expose some stuff to you quickly. This is not to shame you, but to give you help you’ve not yet received. The saying often went to pilots in Vietnam’s War with America: If you’re not taking flack, you’re not over the target. Get over the target, pronto.

The ground flack you take serves valuable purposes. In part, the enemy gives away his position by attacking. But, for your own peace of mind and happiness of heart, you need to get this seated in your soul’s understanding: God is already giving you victory over whomever you contend with. Every step along the way already is a victory for you, God’s just drawing it out to overcome their learning disability; it’s not that God’s slow, they are. Pray for them because they’ll need comfort when sprout the weed seeds God allows them to sow.

95 – Growth vs Ascension

Don’t seek to “ascend”, but grow—not through favors or hazing, but “be ye transformed”.

We are God’s workmanship. We ourselves will be the greatest architecture in Heaven, not made in glory as the angels, but crafted, mastered, and worked into who we will have become in that day.

It’s not about “ascending” into a new location, but about growing to become. The Book of Enoch says that Remiel is over “those who rise”, and when they rise, they become stars and never fall from their places. This kind of “rising” is about much more than simply climbing a ladder or scaling a mountain; it’s about transformation from the inside out.

In the Biblical perspective, transformation from the inside comes from persistence against pressures from the outside. God must breathe on it, of course, or there won’t be any transformation at all. But, God uses difficulties, challenges, even tests that we pass or fail—either way—to mold and transform us. It works if we keep reading the Bible to download and install God’s thinking into our hearts and praying to keep our inner lives in good condition.

When Israel cried out to God in Judges about, His answer was to promise the birth of Samson. Samson would need to be born and grow up before he could help save Israel from the Philistine oppression and pagan [human] sacrifices during that occupancy. When God answers a prayer, His answer is to plant a seed that needs time to grow.

It’s wiser to pray for strength and growth before you need it, not waiting until you are hungry to plant a garden.

Likewise, growth into glory takes time. To grow into all God wants us to be, simple, inner, transformational growth must be our most frequent prayer request. Those Christians who are wise and patient and kind have prayed for wisdom, patience, and kindness in most of their prayer time. They didn’t start this morning, but they have prayed for those things for decades.

Mature status is not about being picked up or climbing up onto the top of a shelf to be displayed. It’s about being mature—growing into being—transforming through metamorphosis into glory.

Judges 13:1-7, 1 Kings 3:9-10Luke 22:40-46, 2 Corinthians 3:18, 5:17, Colossians 1:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, 2 Thessalonians 3:16