Tag Archive: Christianity


  Demas had at one time been one of Paul’s “fellow workers” in the gospel ministry along with Mark, Luke, and others (Philemon 1:24). During Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, Demas was also in Rome (Colossians 4:14).

There is also biblical evidence that Demas was with Paul during Paul’s second imprisonment in Rome, at least for a while. Then something happened. Demas forsook Paul, abandoned the ministry, and left town. Paul wrote about the sad situation: “Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica” (2 Timothy 4:10).

The Greek verb used in the original implies that Demas had not merely left Paul but had left him “in the lurch”; that is, Demas had abandoned Paul in a time of need. The apostle was in prison, facing a death sentence, and that’s when Demas chose to set sail. Undoubtedly, Paul was deeply let down by Demas. It’s never easy to see a friend and associate in whom you’ve placed your trust forsake you in the midst of hardship.

The separation caused by Demas’ desertion of Paul was not merely spatial but spiritual. Demas left Rome because he fell in love with the world. In other words, Demas chose the corrupt value system of the unsaved world over what heaven values. As the NLT translates it, Demas “loves the things of this life” (2 Timothy 4:10). We don’t know the details of Demas’ situation, but it is evident that Demas decided that what Satan has to offer in this life is better than what God has to offer in the next.

Much can be said in support of the view that Demas, in love with the present world, was never a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. Paul makes a sharp contrast in 2 Timothy 4:8 and 10. In verse 8, Paul speaks of those who love the Lord: “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award . . . to all who have loved his appearing” (ESV). Demas, in contrast to those who love Jesus’ return, loved the present world (verse 10). First John 2:15 is clear about the spiritual state of those who love the world: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” Nowhere in the Bible do we read of the restoration of Demas.

The tragedy of Demas is still being lived out today by those who choose the temporary benefits of this world over the eternal riches of heaven. Today there are still those who seem to receive the Word but then “the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22). Past service is no guarantee of future faithfulness; we must depend on the Lord, our Strength (Psalm 28:8). We must be born again (John 3:3); otherwise, we have no foundation of faith. “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us” (1 John 2:19; cf. Matthew 7:22–23).

Conceit is excessive pride in oneself. Conceited people love to talk about themselves and their achievements, showing lesser regard for the accomplishments of others. Conceited people often take the credit for every good thing God has done in their lives and consider themselves intrinsically superior to most other people. The Bible has harsh words for the conceited because pride gets in the way of all God wants to do in and through us.

We need to note the difference between healthy self-worth and sinful conceit. Some believe that to be proud of any achievement is wrong, and they may go to the other extreme of belittling themselves. However, self-abasement is just pride on its back. It masquerades as humility but is, in fact, another way of gaining attention. Social media is a showcase for this kind of conceit. For example, a woman posts a seductive selfie with the comment “Feeling so ugly today.” What happens? Within moments, an avalanche of statements to the contrary flood her post. Conceit sometimes wears a mask, and conceited people usually know how to fish for compliments while appearing humble.

Saul is a biblical example of a conceited man. The Bible describes him as “the most handsome man in Israel” (1 Samuel 9:2). God chose Saul to be the first king of Israel, and he had a great future ahead, if he would obey the Lord. But Saul’s conceit grew with his popularity, and it did not take long for him to usurp God’s authority in his life and make decisions that put him in a good light with the people. Rather than obey God completely, Saul decided that he knew better. First Samuel 15 recounts Saul’s slide away from God’s favor. The man who could have had it all got too big for his britches, and the Lord removed him as king.

Humility is the opposite of conceit, and C. S. Lewis had a perfect definition: “Humility is not thinking less of myself. Humility is thinking of myself less.” The conceited think of themselves constantly. They may hide that self-obsession with self-deprecating remarks (“I don’t think I’ll ever do as well as I did last time”), but they can’t hide the fact that self is their primary interest. To overcome an attitude of conceit, we must be willing to see ourselves honestly, the way God sees us. We must come to terms with the fact that we are not the center of the universe; we must acknowledge the reality that no one is as obsessed with us as we are. We cure our conceit by shifting our gaze from the mirror to the face of Jesus. “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).

Conceit is one of the traits of wicked people in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1–5). Conceit is at the root of most sins because we choose to please ourselves instead of pleasing God or helping someone else. In contrast, Philippians 2:3 instructs us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” None of us can do this naturally. Our sin natures want to put ourselves first. But in the power of the Holy Spirit we can be intentional about humbling ourselves and agreeing with God about our worth (1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10). By faith we can develop a healthy self-image that blesses the Lord and those around us.

A passive-aggressive person is one who appears to comply with a request but actually resists in subtle ways. The resistance can range from pouting to delayed vindictiveness. We all exhibit passive-aggressive behaviors at some point, usually as children when it was not safe to openly rebel. However, as we mature, we should be learning healthier behaviors such as setting boundaries and expressing disagreements more openly. The Bible does not use the term passive-aggression, but it does give us character sketches of people who exhibited passive-aggressive traits and the results of that behavior.

King David’s son Absalom is an example of a passive-aggressive person (2 Samuel 14:28–33). After Absalom had murdered his brother Amnon (2 Samuel 13:20), David banished him from the kingdom. Even when he was allowed to return, David refused to have anything to do with him. But Absalom was full of pride and hated his father. He summoned Joab, the commander of David’s armies, to send a message to David. When Joab twice refused the summons, Absalom set fire to his crops in the field. He then began plotting to take the kingdom from his father, but he did so by feigning compassion and concern for the citizenry. He hinted that his father was not attending to the needs of the people, and that, if crowned king, he, Absalom, would see that their needs were met. Absalom’s plan was working, and “he stole the hearts of the people of Israel” (2 Samuel 15:6). Passive-aggressive people are possibly more dangerous than openly aggressive ones because we don’t see the attack coming.

King Ahab of Israel demonstrated passive-aggressive behavior when he coveted the vineyard of a neighbor and was denied its purchase (1 Kings 21:1–4). His response to being denied what he wanted was to sulk and pout and refuse to eat. His passive-aggressive actions prompted his wicked wife Jezebel to concoct a scheme to kill Naboth, the vineyard owner, and give her husband the land. She lied, forged her husband’s signature, and slandered the innocent Naboth, leading to his public execution. The Lord immediately sent Elijah the prophet to proclaim to Ahab that God had seen all that happened and that Ahab’s death would soon follow Naboth’s (1 Kings 21:17–22). It was Ahab’s passive-aggressive behavior that had begun the disastrous chain of events.

Passive-aggressive speech and behavior are cowardly ways of avoiding conflict. By pretending to be pleasant while inwardly seething with resentment, we fool ourselves into thinking we are peacemakers practicing self-control. In truth, we are communicating contempt and disapproval without having the courage to openly say so. An ancient Chinese proverb defines passive-aggression like this: “Behind the smile, a hidden knife!”

Social media has turned passive-aggression into an art form. We all know what it means when we are “unfriended,” “unfollowed,” or blocked. Some find it easier to vent their frustrations on social media than have a private conversation with someone who has offended them. However, what begins as passive-aggression can quickly mushroom into online bullying. The internet and the proliferation of smartphones have created dozens of ways for passive-aggressive people to exact revenge from behind the relative safety of a screen. Whether spoken, acted, or typed, passive-aggressive responses are harmful and dishonest. We are pretending to be unoffended while secretly planning ways to get even.

Leviticus 19:17 says, “Do not harbor hatred against your brother. Rebuke your neighbor directly, and you will not incur guilt because of him.” The Bible instructs us to confront sin in a loving and humble way, taking someone with us if the offender will not listen (Matthew 18:15–17). We are to be ready to forgive and restore when someone repents (Luke 17:3). Passive-aggression bypasses those critical steps in a relationship and goes directly to judgment (John 7:24). Rather than openly confront the wrong and offer an opportunity to clear the air, passive-aggressive people slide silently into the judge’s seat and devise subtle ways to get even.

Passive-aggressive traits are often so well-concealed that we are not even aware of them. We can identify behaviors that may suggest we are being passive-aggressive by asking ourselves a few questions:

1. Do I imply guilt when someone has something I can’t have? Example: “I love your dress. I wish I could afford something like that, but I have to take care of my mother.”

2. Do I give backhanded compliments to mask my jealousy? Example: “Oh, your new house is cute—for a starter home.”

3. Do I make a point to ignore or behave coldly toward someone with whom I’ve disagreed? Example: The person strikes up a conversation, but I keep checking my phone or glancing over the person’s shoulder.

4. Do I gossip about someone rather than address that person directly? Example: James was confused when he did not get the promotion he was promised. But rather than confronting the boss about it, he started rumors that the boss was dishonest.

5. Do I try to sabotage someone else’s success when he or she has offended me? Example: “Oh, I know you’re on a diet, but I couldn’t resist blowing my paycheck on this cake for you.”

6. Do I keep score and make certain that slights and snubs are kept even? Example: Sue did not invite me to her last dinner, so I send my party invitations to everyone in the office but her.

7. Do I hide behind vague comments on social media, geared toward embarrassing, shaming, or exposing someone whom I have not addressed face to face? Example: John posts on Facebook, “Some people need to learn that friendship is more than asking for bail money.”

Keeping Jesus’ Golden Rule would obliterate passive-aggression (Matthew 7:12). We are to treat others the way we want them to treat us, not the way they have already treated us. Regardless of how someone else acts, we are to respond with kindness, patience, and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:31–32). When we stand before God one day, He will not ask us how we were treated, but how we treated others (Romans 14:12). With His help, we can recognize our own passive-aggressive tendencies and replace them with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–25).

Our modern world defined God as a “religious complex” and laughed at the Ten Commandments as OLD FASHION.

Then through the laughter, came the shattering thunder of the World War. And now a blood-drenched, bitter world  – no longer laughing – cries for a way out.

There is but one way out. It existed before it was engraved upon tablets of stone. It will exist when stone has crumbled.

The Ten Commandments are not rules to obey as a personal favor to God. They are the Fundamental Principles without which mankind cannot live together.

They are not mere laws.

“They are the LAW.”

Four words with the power to change your life.

 

 

Common sense is sound judgment in practical matters. In Proverbs 8:5 some translations speak of the need to develop “common sense,” which other translations simply call “prudence” or “discretion.” Biblically, common sense can be thought of as a combination of wisdom and discretion (Proverbs 3:21; 8:12–14). Wisdom is knowing what to do; discretion is knowing when and where to do it.

Part of being a fool is having no common sense or being “void of understanding,” as the KJV puts it (Proverbs 7:7; 24:30). The book of Proverbs proclaims the benefits of gaining wisdom and also shows the folly of being a fool (Proverbs 13:16; 16:22; 26:11). Proverbs 3:13–14 says, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.” Wisdom allows us to see life the way God does. When we seek God’s perspective, we can make decisions based upon their eternal significance rather than selfish interest. When we choose to make decisions based on wisdom alone, we are exercising common sense.

The desire for instant gratification is the enemy of common sense. Many people have become ensnared in trouble and heartache because they rejected a wise path and sought instead immediate satisfaction. Common sense is often developed by learning from the consequences of such poor choices—the school of hard knocks educates many. Everyone makes bad decisions at some point. The difference between the wise and the foolish is that one learns from his mistakes and the other keeps repeating them. Some people seem born with a more level head, while others learn from experience. Either way, wisdom and common sense should be continually pursued in order to experience the best God has for us (Proverbs 2:1–8).

I’m on my way back !

For those who have been wondering where I escaped to – I’ve been recovering from a few ailment.

Several years ago I came down with a heart problem by the name of “super-ventricular tacycardia.  Forthose who are unfamilar to this ailment it also referred to a racing heart. The first time it hit me was several years back – I was doing nothing ad suddenly my heart rate went to 274 bps. That was followed by three other events; one a record 324 bps.

I took a while for the cardiologist to bring my heart rhytm to a stable rate. Shortly there after I broke two toes. Ad yes it hurt (lol). On top of this I have developed COPD. Followed in Januart of 2018 a stroke followed by a series of mini-strokes.  At this point i life I was being treated for depression and anxiety. It’s been a long 4 years but, as always, God has brought me through  it. Praise be to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That is my God and hopefully He’s your God as well.

I ask everyone to remember me in prayer and give to one another encouragement and Godly love. Keep everone in your prayers. There are blessings in doing so.

To all of my friends, brothers and sisters in Christ; may the peace of Christ go with you and may His face shine upon you and yours. May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bestow upon you all of His blessings.

Yours in Christ;

Michael

P/S: I will soon get on your comments and questions. Please be patient.

Thank you.