Cancel culture

I’ve heard it called cancel culture. This idea we shouldn’t have to put up with other people. We can either leave when someone hurts us, annoys us, disagrees with us or doesn’t like us, or make them leave. Today’s society has made it exceptionally easy and justified to just walk away from people. 
Kids walk away from parents, parents walk away from kids, husbands walk away from wives, wives walk away from husbands, friends walk away from friends, sisters from sisters, brothers from brothers, etc. Every kind of relationship in life has been affected it seems by this cancel culture. If we don’t get what we want from someone, if they are no longer a value to us, they no longer make us feel good, we just cancel them from our lives. Easy as that. 
In today’s society we cancel anyone who doesn’t feel good and  hold onto those who do. We are always talking of what’s fair, what we do and don’t deserve, whether or not it’s worth our time, etc. Etc.
We are in charge of our lives and our own happiness, we are kings and queens of our own domains. It’s our “God given right to be happy and emotionally sound and we will make sure we exercise our rights. 
You know what the problem is with this? 
We never learn and we never grow. When we get to be kings and queens or else, we never learn what true selflessness is. We never learn to share even when it hurts, we never learn the value of those who don’t think like us, act like us, smell like us, eat like us, work like us, cry like us, laugh like us. Because we get to decide and we have the option to leave, because there’s always a back door.
We learn to migrate toward like-minded people and quite comfortably go through only surface changes. We never allow ourselves to be refined by the fire because the first sign of sweat we run to the air conditioner. 
All of life is for the most part,  to our standards.  What we think, every single situation is judged by our standard beliefs. Right wrong, clean dirty, good bad, all set according to us. If we don’t like, we leave if they won’t, then they can get out. 
We never have to go through the uncomfortable, embarrassing, unjust, lessons meant to break down our self-righteous, worldly attitudes that in no way resemble Jesus no matter what disguise we present them with. We may struggle all types of hurt, heart ache, pain, but not fire. 
We’re not teachable because we are the teacher, we already mastered how we like things to go in our life, now all that’s left is making sure others fall in line. If they choose to go at things different, than they are choosing to go at them alone.
There is nothing for us to learn really, as we are already us. When given spiritual lessons through reading His word or hearing it preached, our mind swiftly recalls those in our life who would benefit from hearing this message. We get so busy helping others who we know need the teaching we never have time to reflect on ourselves and where we might be in need of the lesson. 
When we give, its with a price tag because if anyone we are giving to steps out of line according to our standard of measure, then they get cut off, left out, excused from receiving from us until they decide to conform or until they can convince us of their reasoning or worthiness. 
We don’t always notice that we are actually taking part in this worldly “cancel culture.”
Luke 6:32-36 NLT — “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
Jesus didn’t mandate for us to love the lovely, He didn’t say to love those we get along with, those we call family and friends, no He said to love those who are unlovable. We are to love those who are ugly to us. Those who put us in prison, that talk bad about us, tell lies about us, who steal from us, curse us, etc etc. Jesus said love not cancel. Not stay away from, ignore, leave, reject, gossip about, abandon etc. 
The word tells us
Matthew 18:15-17 NLT — “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
Notice hear what it actually tells us,
1. Try privately to go and work it out. Why is this do you suppose? Could it be we might be wrong also? Maybe to save us the embarrassment of finding out our perception was wrong and therefore because we sought out an end to the division privately, we now can still hold our head up. We are not found to be wrong in front of others.
2. We are told bring two or three with us to seek an end to the problem. What for? Well it continues and says so we have witnesses to back up what our intentions were and theirs. So if both sides think that they’re correct, we bring witnesses in to hear both sides and they can help us determine if either side is correct and help both sides see where we might be wrong or right.
3. Now if none of that works to bring reconciliation between the two of us, as we are both pieces of the body of Christ, then that’s when you take it to the church.  Our witnesses then are also question by the church, those ones that try to help us reconcile already. Then the church decides, and what the church decides is final.  If either of us don’t like the decision, we have the option of leaving. But see at this point if we leave, we are leaving wrong.  We are leaving prideful, self-righteous, arrogant, unapproachable.  So we leave of our own free will because we will not listen to any reasoning at all. Because we would not see reason, because we would not put aside our pride, our anger, and hurt to stay apart of the whole, we lose the whole thing, the entire church. 
See in all three steps one thing it does not say is that we have a right to excommunicate anybody without going through these three steps first. Here in today’s society we cancel people left and right.  So much hurt around the world from abandonment.   Abandoned by Christians.  Nice twist of the devil don’t you think. 
The Body of Christ has many parts, each unique in it’s own purpose and place. Each part needs all the other parts in order to function ultimately. When we want things our own way, when we act self-righteous, in self-pity, in charge, in judgment, we are trying to change someone from what God made to our ideal of who they should be.  We often use scripture to justify our actions yet scripture tells us (love)
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 NLT — If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
To forgive but don’t forget, is keeping record of wrongs. You know what that bitterness toward the one we won’t forget their wrongs causes? Deep wounds! Deep deep wounds in us and the one we kept record against. It also causes stagnation in spiritual growth, slow changes, lack of faith, makes people question their value, their worth. Any changes God may be making in the person we have kept record on, won’t be noticed or believed. Because we won’t let go of the past, we miss the blessing our prayers may be producing. We may be productive in our praying for them but not in watering the sprout God started from the seeds due to our prayers. Our bitterness can stunt their growth as well as our own.
Jesus never said love if they don’t make you mad, if they are respectful, if they are a brown-noser, if they never steal from you, if they follow your rules, if you have compatible personalities, if they can give you what you want, if they call you and make you feel wanted, if they act according to what society tells us isn’t crazy, no…. He leaves no room for argument on this very subject as He foreknew what was coming and all the excuses we might come up with to justify our actions against His love mandate. Excuses for our wrong, hidden beneath the, they did to me so I couldn’t help it. 
Wake up humans!!! We do not fight against flesh and blood …
Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT — A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Make sure who’s side your on! The end is inevitable and coming quick. God is about love in the midst of the worst storms, the enemy is about hurt feelings and bitterness from unforgiving hearts causing division and isolation. This is not a no big deal, not my problem kind of war. No, it sure is your problem because if you don’t pick a side and give it all you got, the enemy will take you over and use you as his weapon against God’s true people.
We need to get far far away from this cancel culture and look inside ourselves, at what needs to change within us, to bring about unity not division.
The people that are hard for us to get along with, are not meant to cancel out of our lives. They are there to help mold and shape us into our true selves. They give our faith a workout, to strengthen us for battles yet to come. We do ourselves a huge disservice when we decide to cancel them, abandon them, ignore them, etc. We are telling God, He made a mistake so we have to protect ourselves. God knows exactly what He is doing and the answer to our prayers may be in the person we chose to reject and in so doing decided against having faith in God’s ability to work in our lives. 
Don’t cancel anyone friends, it’s a trick of the enemy and isn’t a good trap to get stuck in. When you forgive, yes forget, unless you would rather that Father God remember your sins against Him. Choose Love always, no matter what’s done to you, for your sacrifice is where true courage and strength are found, and what All of Heaven is cheering for. 
Until next time may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart. 



Specks n Logs

Matthew 7:1-3 NLT — “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?


Where human eyes see greed in another, maybe Father God sees the precursors hopelessness and desperation that led to the greed we now judge. 
Where were we in the hopelessness? Where were we in the desperation? Did we take the time to notice to hear the cry for help? Were we too busy with our own troubles? Maybe so, yet now we justify standing in judgment of the greed we couldn’t be bothered to help prevent? 
Where is our justification?


We too walked in greed, as we concentrated on ourselves so much we couldn’t stop to notice, we could have set aside our worries, to care for someone on the brink of destruction. 
And now, we think we can justify our right to abandon them, now that greed has taken root in them and we shouldn’t have to be bothered by it? Which side of the fence do we truly stand on in such a situation? Selfishness or selflessness? 


Though we can surely make a defensive argument make sense to ourselves and others, we know the truth as it can be felt in our gut. We don’t want to be the person pictured here so we battle even the idea of it, as that’s not who we are. 
Perhaps it’s truly not who we are, yet avoiding the truth of the situation, to justify our behavior, turns one selfish act (the spec) into a self-righteous attitude (the log) that’s near impossible to escape once it takes root. 
What may have started as a “speck” in our eye, then becomes a “log” and now, we have become that person depicted because we refused to take responsibility for a mistake moment.


Romans 12:9-16 NLT — Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!


Only God knows the truth within each human life. We can be so blind by our own troubles, that we never see the pain and suffering others around us might be struggling to survive. We don’t know what hides under the attitudes and actions of those around us. 
God knows what hides beneath the surface. When His word tells us how to treat people, He didn’t give us these instructions meant to work for only those who lived in the bible times, no His Word is timeless as He is timeless. He knew then, just as He knows now, what hurting, misunderstood, barely surviving people would need from those of us willing to be obedient to Him and with a joyful heart serve others. 


I have heard it said that in heaven the highest, most honorable, second in greatness only to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, position is… servant. I repeat, in heaven they say the greatest position is servant. Everyone serves everyone.. No more being bogged down with the weight of selfishness, self pity and self righteousness.


It can feel like it takes a lot of faith to believe God will fight our battles, while we follow His instructions, and love on the very people we are battling, especially the people that seem to drive us  crazy. Oh but the reward that comes, once we allow Holy Spirit to love them through us!! We start to see the echo of Christ’s behavior within ourselves. Character of heaven shaping and molding us from the inside out.. 
As we grow in character through the utilization of God’s word and the fruit of His Spirit, we can start to see others as He sees them. What once we saw as someone just being greedy, can be seen with new compassionate eyes toward the painful struggle they’ve endured, causing the symptom of greed to manifest.  


Leaving judgement up to God we can then love them in their process of divine shaping and molding. 


Until next time, may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.  


My favorite things

For the last few years I believe Father God spoke to my spirit on various occasions about giving away something of mine to bless others. If I was to admit a small complaint, it would be that each time He asked me to give something away, it just happened to be one of my favorite things.

One such time I procrastinated for two weeks before I finally gave in and did what Father God was asking. My only copy of my favorite devotional was the item in question. That devotional meant so much to me because it got me through an extremely hard time in my life. I often told people that I highly recommend it as it saved my life. It took two weeks to open up and allow the Holy Spirit to convince me it truly was God requesting I give that devotional away.

The day I decided to finally be obedient, no sooner did I pull into the driveway, when the person to whom I was to give the book to, walked right by my car. I called out to her. As she approached my window I handed her the book and told her “ God wanted me to give this to you.” She looked at it and with a lit up face she smiled and said to me, “oh grandma just gave me this same book a few days ago.”

 As she handed the book back through my window, I knew in my spirit, grandma got my blessing. God first gave the job to me and not once did he push me or threaten me about it. No as a matter of fact he allowed me all the time I needed to settle my emotional ties to this worldly object. He was patient, understanding and gentle with me, but because the job needed done in the right timing, His timing, He asked Grandma whom happened to be mom to me, Mom then went obediently right out to do the job. As I sit in my car thinking about this, I couldn’t help but smile and tell the Lord okay I get it, I see what’s happened, I missed an opportunity to be blessed because of my emotional attachment to that book. I also chuckled with the realization that Father God worked it out so that I would see clearly that blessing was given to my mom because she acted immediately.

He was showing me that to be effective for Him it’s crucial to listen and act as quickly as I can as some jobs are time sensitive. He wouldn’t push me into obedience and He will always give me the space I need to heal or let go but at the same time the job needed done so He made sure it was. He didn’t rub it in my face, He didn’t tell me I failed, He never condemned me. He didn’t even seem slightly disappointed in me. Instead he got overjoyed along with me once the concept truly set in and I finally understood. Less than a week later someone else needed my book and that time I didn’t hesitate. That book led me closer to Father God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. During major hardship in my life I knew that book help me get to know God on a whole different level than ever before. I never thought God would want me to part with it. Oh sentimental soul that I am. The prize is the new level of relationship I gained with Father God not the book the book was just the tool God used to draw me into this new level. I unwittingly placed the value on the wrong thing.

The true value was never the book itself, but it was found in what the book brought into my life. A close, intimate, relationship with Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

The Lord is showing me how easily I can find reasons to become attached to things of this world. How  occasionally  I convince myself that my attachment is justifiable. Because of this He had been asking for my favorite things to be given to someone else.

I find the more I act in obedience giving away my favorite possessions, the easier it gets. I won’t pretend not to hesitate, or whine, or pull a Jonah kinda move hoping to avoid it all together, because I do.. I’m still a work in progress after all.

Matthew 6:19-21 NLT — “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

One of the things I have learned through all of this is, those things I have in this world that I try so hard to hold onto, once I’ve let them go, truly let them go joyfully and willingly, the weight that came off of me had been so heavy, I had no idea I carried such weight until it was lifted off me. I never noticed it until I was free of it.

This world has many treasures. It was after all designed by The Master Designer, whom  thought it, spoke it, and it was.. All for His good pleasure and as a blessing unto us. Sometimes we need a reminder that all things here are on loan, we cannot take them with us.

The enemy will help us find any and all possible reason to hold onto treasure here in order to stop us from longing for home. If he can cause us to become emotionally bound to our relationships and worldly possessions, it’s less likely for us to yearn for heaven when our hearts, everything we love, is here.

The enemy tricks us with treasures equivalent to less than a penny in comparison to the home Jesus has prepared for us once we are called home. Life doesn’t end here. This life isn’t even the dress rehearsal of eternity. It’s more like roll choosing.

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 NLT — Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

This life and what we do with it will determine our place in heavens society. This less than a millisecond of time is our schooling for life in the kingdom of Almighty God!

What we do with what Father God  gives us whether in abundance or small portion, including the time we are allotted here on Earth, determines what we will be in eternity.  

Friends, God does all the work for us and gives us the opportunity to be heroes for His glory. All we need to do is let go of this world and with all our heart seek Him, love Him and worship Him.

Until next time, may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.