The Company You Keep

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.

Beware of the company you keep. If iron sharpens iron, then what does a dull tool do? It either doesn’t perform its task or makes it harder to complete the task. It’s the same with the people we surround ourselves with.

People are either making you better or worse, and you have to choose if you want to let them bring you up or down. You have to ask yourself if you bring someone up or down too. Bad company corrupts good character.

I love that verse in 1 Corinthians. When I finally realized what that verse meant, it was like a light bulb.  While we should hope to have a positive influence on someone, it doesn’t mean that they won’t have an influence on us. We have to be wise enough to know who God is calling us to, and who He is calling us from. We may want to help everybody, but we may not be called to help everybody.

After all is said and done, the big question is who are you? What type of company category do you fall under? My big point is that I want to make sure I’m not the bad company and that I’m not the dull tool. How about you?

Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

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Get the Candy

Get the candy. That’s my advice to you today. Just get the candy.

My dad wanted candy so bad. He was a candy guy. Hiding candy in the living room or in his nightstand. He was that kind of candy guy. He could give Willy Wonka a run for his money.

And when he went into the hospital he really wanted me to bring him some candy. For whatever reason, Sweet Tarts were what he was craving. Eventually, I got the candy, and although my mom was the one that took it, I’m glad I got it.

It was so annoying at the time. Why does my dad want me to drive 30 minutes to just bring him some candy? I just couldn’t fathom why he was so adamant about it. I’m so glad I got the candy. That was the last thing I gave him. And had I knew then what I know now, I would’ve brought him all the candy I could every day that I could.

I look back on my attitude about it, it definitely could’ve been better for sure. But I also look back on that moment and just ask myself, for how many people should I just get the candy? How many people just need 30 minutes? How many people just need some flowers? How many people are at the end of life, and waiting on someone to sweeten the ending?

Today, who should you get the candy for? Before you say no, before you get annoyed about it, just ask yourself, what would it mean if I did this? If all my dad wanted from me before he passed was some candy, then the least I could do was get it.

Don’t wait to do good. The wait may be too late.

Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Galatians 6:10 NLT

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The Comparison Trap – Job 21

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No Coincidence

How often are we praying for what God is already answering? Don’t you just love that question? Shouldn’t it fill us with joy? We serve a God that already has the answer to our request! See below:

This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.” Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah.
Genesis 24:14‭-‬15 NLT

Abraham’s servant was sent to find Isaac a wife. He prayed to God, and as he was finishing his prayer, Rebekah was on the way. As he was finishing his request, the answer was arriving. That means that while he was praying, God was already doing.

So a couple of things here:

1) God is faithful. Abraham was God’s, and he knew God would be faithful in His promise to bless him. Rebekah was already a part of God’s plan to show His own faithfulness.
2) Sometimes God is waiting on us to ask. Sometimes God is waiting on us to acknowledge the need that we have that only He can meet.
3) Be specific. I had a professor that used to say “God is in the details.” I don’t know whether or not he was a Christian, but his statement couldn’t have been more true. Abraham’s servant had a specific request, and God answered specifically.

It is nothing short of amazing that Abraham’s servant is able to find Rebekah. God is faithful and will make sure that the details work in relationship with His faithfulness. As I’ve said, there is no such thing as coincidence when we’re dealing with divine providence.

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More or Less

I want to make it a point to not disqualify compliments. I’ve noticed that about myself and about others too. If someone compliments or congratulates me for something, it’s not my job to disqualify it by demeaning the work or effort.

My advice is, just take the compliment. If someone says you did good on something, don’t find something negative about yourself to counter it. That’s neither humbling or honoring. It’s really the opposite.

False piety isn’t pretty. It’s fake, and that’s the issue. There is nothing wrong with thanking someone for acknowledging your work. Even better, as long as you acknowledge it is by God’s grace that you’re able to do anything, you should certainly be happy that people notice it. That’s a great opportunity to glorify God for your gifts.

Take the compliment and glorify God when you do. It’s that simple.

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Genuine Religion

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27 NLT

Honestly, I read that verse and what my mind and heart processed was, don’t say you’re a Christian and you don’t care about people. Genuine religion, real religion, in the sight of God means you care for the orphan and widow. Real religion in the sight of God looks like relationship.

To care for someone’s distress means you look at them and want to help. You want to help and change their situation. That doesn’t mean you just throw money at the issue, but maybe that you give your time and other resources that aren’t monetary, like your attention. You give your attention to their situation.

Lastly, the verse reads refusing to let the world corrupt you. I thought this was an interesting end to the verse. It’s like we’re talking about charity and then ending with corruption. I’m no Bible scholar so I can’t pretend to know exactly what James was referring to in his time at that moment. But from what I see around me, I think it’s easy for us to be convinced not to give. It’s even easier for us to want to keep our money to ourselves or fill our schedules so that we don’t have time for charity.

For me, I think this verse serves as a warning signal. Corruptness  isn’t born overnight, I think it’s something that slowly begins to infiltrate in hearts. It’s one unjust act. And then it’s one more unjust act that’s been committed. Before you know it, it’s a series of unjust acts and a person is corrupt.

I think the message is, don’t lose sight of the plight. The world has become corrupt, so don’t let it convince your life. Don’t let the world be your influencer.

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The Better Cook?

Who is the better cook? The polls are in and our followers say Chanel. But who do we agree is the better cook? Be sure to listen as we share a very funny cooking fail that happened a couple of years ago as well.

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Three Day Sacrifice

Hold up! I know I’ve read this before. And along with many other things, God is showing me where I’ve become too familiar with His Word. Not in the sense of memorizing it, but in a sense of lacking more reverence and observance of it. Great example here:

On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
Genesis 22:4 NLT

I know I’ve read this, because I know this foreshadows Jesus’s life as He is buried for three days and so much more. But let’s just pause on this three-day journey for Abraham.

Abraham is told to sacrifice his son. And for a three-day journey he knows that he’s traveling to sacrifice his son. Three whole days. Talk about an elephant in the room. Can you imagine how awkward and awful this probably was for him?

Being honest, obeying God is simple. But in our human nature, that doesn’t make it easy. Because when God tells us to give up something we love or even just like, we struggle. We struggle to let go and let God.

I can’t imagine how difficult this was for Abraham. I can’t imagine what was going on in Isaac or Abraham’s servants’ minds. I can’t imagine the relief that Abraham felt when God told him not to sacrifice Isaac.

But what I one day hope to be able to imagine and comprehend, is the joy that it brought God to see His child withhold nothing from Him. And while I do believe that God is not going to ask me or anyone else to sacrifice another person, I also believe He will ask me to make sacrifices in order to stay focused on Him.

I believe that sometimes we are more ready to sacrifice in the moment than we are ready to sacrifice in the future. It’s easier for me to sacrifice what I want to right now than it would be later when I’m accustomed to it. Sometimes part of the sacrifice is the timing of it.

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Hope Deferred, Health Deferred

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12 NLT

I love this verse because it always reminds me of how important it is to hope. It reminds me of how important it is to look forward to something with joyful expectation.

The perspective I get is this: where we defer our hope, where we put our hope on pause, where we cease to hope, we cease to be emotionally healthy.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. To me, this isn’t simply a physical ailment, this is emotional. I would almost say, where one can’t hope, one can’t hope to heal.

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Steady and Ready

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
Psalms 40:1‭-‬2 NLT

I think I’ve written about these verses before. They’re just so beautiful. They were yesterday’s verses of the day on the Bible app, so they served as a great reminder for me. A few things stand out:

1) The writer says he waited patiently for the Lord to help him. He didn’t wait for his friend or spouse, not the government, not some thing, he waited for the Lord to help. The Lord turned and heard his cry. Patiently was the wait. Oftentimes we may wait, but certainly not patiently. I know I struggle with the patient part.

2) After waiting for patiently, God lifted him out of the pit of despair. God lifted him out of the mess AND set him on solid, safe ground. To my shame, I’ve glossed over that last part of this verse.

3) God steadied him as he walked along. Now, it’s one thing to cry out to God and have Him hear you. It’s another thing to have Him lift you from a dark place. But in addition to all that, he steadied him along the way. He didn’t save him and leave him. He saved him and stayed to support him.

That’s why it’s important to wait patiently on God. Anything else will be a temporary solution, the wait or the help will leave us wanting. But when we wait patiently for God, the One who hears, helps, lifts, and supports, we are steadied and ready for what’s next.

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