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.

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’s teaching in Matthew, James’s “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

360 – Theology Humbles

Theology does not teach us that we know more, but that we know less. The more we know about God, the more we know how little we know. Martin Luther taught that the ultimate theological question is not about what we think about God, but what God thinks about us. Those who are with the Lord know far more about God—and what He thinks about us—than the greatest of all theologians because, for them, theology is no longer a belief or study, but sight.

God wants us to be humble, He delights in humility. Humility is the purpose of all theological study. It is the moral of the story, the lesson of every lesson on who God is. Just as the lesson from every scientific discovery is that science has not discovered everything, so does every lesson about God’s nature and His thoughts toward us—every single on—teach us how little we can ever know in this lifetime.

Those who become arrogant and overconfident after studying the Bible—who try to compare their own level of knowledge to the knowledge of others—have missed the whole point, proving that they may not have learned anything at all. If one truly believes that God is all powerful, then one won’t lord one’s position over others. If one truly believes that God is all knowing, then one won’t get a big head by learning so. Remembering the information while arriving at the wrong attitude indicates that the student wasn’t paying attention to any of the information, that the student’s understanding of the information is entirely tainted.

God’s love for us is immeasurably vast. Paul prayed for a supernatural experience for the Christians at Ephesus, just so they could understand God’s love. His love is that vast—we can’t understand it with any amount of research and diligence.

When we encounter real, unfathomable truth about God, that truth changes our hearts to a point where houses and careers and financial statements don’t matter to us anymore. God’s love drives us to continue to manage those things as responsible stewards and to love our neighbors, but only because we are humbled by His love for us.

Psalm 147:10-11, Proverbs 3:34, Ephesians 1:17-19, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5-6

361 – Grade & Gauge Correctly

Never let instruments and labels lie. If the bottle says “iodine”, don’t take the dabber and touch it directly to your skin so that the bottle contains “iodine and dead skin cells”.

This is basic science lab conduct.

When you’re still angry at your father for yelling at you five decades ago—or however you exaggerate numbers and cling to your past—don’t remember him as a bad, evil monster that eats trees, rubber, and even asphalt. Just remember that he was your father and that he yelled at you.

When we level the charge it makes complaints much easier to manage.

When the car is low on fuel the dashboard doesn’t display a “low oil” light just to get our attention. Yes, low fuel is a problem, but it needs a petrol station not a mechanic to rebuild the engine. As anyone should know, by the time the “low oil” or “low coolant” lights comes on, the engine is probably already damaged.

Only a bad teacher would dare to think, “Students only do 50% of what they are instructed, so I will tell them to do 200% so they end up doing 100%.” A teacher who does this will only attract “fifty percenters”. Students who are serious need accurate figures to calibrate their efforts. Under such a teacher, students will rightly harbor resentment, something no one wants from people who give 100% without needing to be asked.

As a parent or supervisor, do not over-punish and never ignore good work. If your “children” do a good job at their morning assignment, but fail their afternoon assignment, don’t score a “FAIL” for the whole day, only for the afternoon. If a bad afternoon means that the morning doesn’t matter to you either, then people will give you the effort of a “FAIL” for the whole day tomorrow.

Accurate reporting is part of justice. If people don’t seem to care or lack self-motivation, deceiving them with an artificial reality of false physics won’t do anyone any good. Report accurately to yourself. If the truth can’t help you help people, then you either need to learn the truth yourself or you need to find the right people.

Leviticus 19:35-36, Proverbs 10:9; 20:23, John 8:32, Colossians 3:9

362 – The Marvelous God of Science

Take a long look at the world around you. Consider science and exploration. Look at history and wonder. Don’t be biased—look at all science and medicine—traditional, Chinese, Western, homeopathic, pharmaceutical, herbal, spiritual… Everywhere you look, we find wonder and mystery and sensibility wrapped into one.

Never let anyone or anything convince you that our natural universe was not created by a benevolent and wonderful God.

Conclusions from observations must be properly ordered. The “Biblical” God is wondrous and immense and fascinating. How absurd of a claim that the universe is too immense, fascinating, and wondrous to have been made by the immense, fascinating, wondrous God of the Christian Bible! Such science is not scientific.

When God put His awesome splendor into creation, He was not merely giving us evidence that He exists and created all in Heaven and the universe; He was also expressing invisible parts of His Divine Nature—abstract nouns, if you will. The harmony and dance between simplicity, beauty, and functional fortitude throughout nature explain the character and ways of God. Being His Image, we can’t not find nature fascinating because nature also explains the original from Whom we came and reflect.

The Bible presumes that we can establish science and research on our own. As we look at the skies and whatever appears through a microscope, as we walk among the fields and even ponder the miracle of our hands themselves, the Bible offers additional explanation for all of it. We look and work in this world and make our own discoveries, while the Bible guides us to understand what we would never figure out on our own. These two work together.

Thomas Aquinas explained this, that “All truth is God’s truth.”

The one thing we always learn from science is that we can never learn everything. This is the same lesson we learn from theology—that knowledge about God is just as inexhaustible as knowledge of what He has created. Nature reflects His unseen character. Once a godless science or arrogant theology persuades our worldview, we also become so godless and our inner life force breaks down. A godly, thus thriving, life begins with a godly cosmology.

Joshua 3:5, Job 5:9; 9:10, Psalm 19; 86:10, Proverbs 11:2, Romans 1:20-21; 11:33-35, Ephesians 3:18-21

363 – Summers Work

Work over the summer is the reason for America’s tradition of a summer school break. Initially, most work was done on farms, but there are other parts of the economy that need seasonal labor during the summer months.

Strong, hard, manual labor helps familiarize oneself with the real world. This is especially important since most bad leadership stems from lack of connection with the real world—whether leadership in a company, government, or other organization. It’s difficult for an economist to understand the overall job market without ever having had an ordinary job. Unless you have had to deal with the normal conflict between management and the labor force, you may miscalculate whether a union strike will affect long-term stock value of which company.

One of the saddest arguments in the international discussion about immigration is the need for basic labor. It’s arrogant to think that car washing, housecleaning, harvesting, and manufacturing jobs are “beneath” citizens. Those jobs, especially for young adults, build necessary character for great leadership. Without that character, future organizations are doomed. No! It is not “beneath” citizens to have character-building jobs, in fact it is the dignity of all humans in every part of the world to take time for hard, hands-on work.

As for the problem of young people being too snooty to work on a farm or wash cars during the summer, all it takes is a little awareness in the hiring market. If HR interviewers understand that having worked on a farm makes for a lower turnover rate, suddenly the classroom theme will change from “go to school, get a good job” to “go to school, spend your break on a farm, keep an awesome job”. But, this is rather simplistic. People who do intense work over the summer won’t only keep a good job; they will better lead future companies and create more jobs.

One financial leader at a university, a friend of mine, always preferred to change the oil in his car himself. He said it was therapeutic. He helped that college enter the top 100 in the US, no doubt why.

Summers work well. Do it, teach it, hire for it, and hire from it.

Psalm 90:17, Proverbs 12:11, 24; 13:4; 14:23, 2 Thessalonians 3:10

364 – Repentance unto Hope

Saying, “Sorry,” is a good thing, but not everyone knows this—to say it or to hear it. Jesus taught in no uncertain terms: Forgive others, lest ye not be forgiven.

Repent, knowing that God wants to forgive. Come back to the light. Return from whence you fell. Repentance is a good thing; it is the basis is hope.

When someone makes a mistake, say so; it’s not an accusation. Accusing, pointing the finger of shame, calling a vote to throw someone overboard—all on account of error—is not any kind of teaching one would learn from the Bible or even tolerate. The purpose of calling out someone on a problem is to restore the person, granting the invitation to return to the simple, safe road that leads to Life.

The Bible’s view of repentance is that repentance leads to hope. An apology is not an admission of fault as legal testimony against oneself; it is a response to the summons issued by God Himself that we return to Him, even when we return to Him for the first time.

The first time a person walks the path of repentance that leads to hope, simply understanding at the heart-level that Jesus died at the Cross to cover the cost of our guilt, that person becomes a “Christian”. That’s all a Christian is—someone who repented to Jesus, accepting his hope in return. Becoming Christian is not about “church”, real estate, weekly schedules, or money given to the pastor. Becoming Christian is nothing more than the pure acknowledgment that Jesus is one’s personal, forgiving, hope-giving “Christ”—the Messiah who saves the whole world—thus, accordingly, believing the “Christ” already came to give hope to those who repent to him. “Christianity” is nothing more or less.

A non-Christian plainly does not believe that the “Christ” has already come, but still waits for some future hope other than Jesus.

Non-Christians are incapable of understanding the idea of repenting toward hope. Self-proclaimed “Christians” who shame others or can’t simply say, “Sorry,” without feeling overwhelming shame themselves might not be Christians since every Christian, by definition, has experienced Jesus’s gift of hope in exchange for us repenting to him.

Matthew 6:14-15