The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

My Answer

 

June 20, 2018



Q: My friend is the kindest and most thoughtful person I know, and yet she has no interest in God or religion. Frankly, she’s better than most of the Christians I know. How do you account for this?

A: I’m sorry your friend has no interest in God—but I’m still thankful for her thoughtfulness and kindness. The world certainly would be a better place if there were more people like her! The Bible says, “A kindhearted woman gains honor” (Proverbs 11:16).

Although she doesn’t realize it, her personality didn’t happen by accident or chance; instead, in His grace and mercy God gave it to her. The same is true for every one of us; we’re all different, and ultimately God shaped us and made us what we are. This doesn’t mean God is to blame for our selfishness or failures; we alone are responsible for our sins. But in ways we’ll never fully understand, God created each of us and made us unique. The Bible says, “For you created my inmost being” (Psalm 139:13).

Does this mean your friend doesn’t need God? No, not at all. Only God can rescue her from pride, and only God can make her an even better person. Most of all, only God can give her hope—hope for her life right now, and most of all, hope for eternity. Pray for her, that God will convict her of her need for Christ’s forgiveness and salvation.

In addition, let her life be a challenge to you. Christ came not only to open the door to Heaven for us, but to transform our lives right now. Is this happening in your life? Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Q: I’d probably enjoy my work more if it weren’t for my boss. He never compliments me or says anything good about my work, and this really gets me down. I need a job, but how can I keep from getting discouraged in the face of his constant criticisms? — Mrs. D.B.

A: Have you noticed how your boss treats others in your workplace? If he’s only singling you out for criticism, then it’s understandable why you’d get discouraged.

But I suspect you aren’t alone; he probably acts like this toward everyone. Unfortunately, some bosses believe that the best way to get people to do their jobs is to criticize them. Apparently, they’re afraid that if they praise them, the workers might grow lazy. When King Solomon died, his son foolishly refused the advice of those who urged him to reward the people for their hard work — and as a result, the nation split into two warring kingdoms (see 1 Kings 12).

We all need encouragement, and if someone does a good job (whether it’s at work, or in a family, or anywhere else), they deserve our encouragement and appreciation. The Bible says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11, NKJV).

Your boss, however, probably won’t change — so don’t let his personality get you down. Accept his comments without arguing, and ask God to help you be the best worker you can possibly be. Pray for him also; his attitude may come from his own unhappiness or fear of failure. And if his criticisms never seem fair, it may be time for you to seek another job, as God leads you. Remember the Bible’s words: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. … It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Q: I think we need to stop focusing on our failures and shortcomings. We need to learn to be proud of what we are, and quit feeling guilty because we aren’t perfect. We’ll never be perfect anyway, no matter how hard we try. — K.McN.

A: You’re right on one point; we’ll never be perfect in this life. But does that mean we ought to sit back and do nothing about our bad habits, or other things we do wrong? No, of course not.

One reason we need to be concerned about what you call our “failures and shortcomings” is because of the impact they have on others. If I am selfish and unconcerned about the needs of others, they will be hurt. If I habitually lie and cheat, others will be hurt. If I ignore my social responsibilities or act immorally, others will be hurt. As the Bible says, “For none of us lives for ourselves alone” (Romans 14:7).

But we also end up hurting ourselves. Bad habits always have bad consequences for us — always. It may not be obvious at first; in fact, we may deceive ourselves into thinking we’re on the right road. But we aren’t. The Bible is clear: “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction” (Galatians 6:8).

We must never be proud of our sin, nor should we merely accept ourselves just as we are. But listen: God does accept us just as we are! He knows all about us, including our sins and our failures — and yet He still loves us, and He wants to come into our lives to forgive us and change us. And this can happen to you, as you turn to Jesus Christ and invite Him into your life. I urge you to make your decision for Christ today.

 
 

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