Be Joyful

EVEN THOUGH I DON’T LIKE IT, I’m tempted to stand back, shrug, and agree with the wag who wrote: This is the age, Of the half-read page, And the quick hash, And the mad dash, The bright night, With the nerves tight, The plane hop, With the brief stop, The lamp tan, In a short span, The big shot, In a good spot, And the brain strain, And the heart pain, And the catnaps, Till the spring snaps, And the fun’s done.

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Find the Good Stuff

Far too many folks suffer from that most contagious of all diseases. I call it the “If Only” Syndrome. The germs of discontent can infect a single host and then overtake an entire community, affecting every aspect of life—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The following is a list of some statements said by those caught in the “If Only” Syndrome:

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A Positive Turn

Solomon said so much about the tongue it’s impossible to digest all that wisdom in one week. And because this slippery little fellow we call the tongue gives us so much trouble so often, it’s fitting that we return to the subject for a second look, this time from a more positive perspective. Last week we examined several reasons to bridle the tongue.

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Don’t Talk; Connect

An old aphorism states, “’Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt.” I can personally vouch for this straightforward advice. In fact, it has solid biblical support. The book of Proverbs warns against this overlooked verbal danger: verbosity. The wise of heart will receive commands, But a babbling fool will be ruined. (10:8)

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Three More Hearts

Solomon addressed no less than six kinds of troubled heart in his wisdom sayings. We addressed three [Saturday]: The deceitful heart—People pursue wrongdoing and cover their tracks by deceiving themselves and others. The heavy heart—Sometimes difficulties consume a person’s every thought and sap all his or her emotional strength.

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Integrity in Relationships

David’s Psalm 15 explores the characteristics of a person who enjoys fellowship with the Lord in this life. As you consider each facet of integrity, take note of the Lord’s emphasis on relationships. Who enjoys fellowship with God? 1. He who does not do evil to his neighbor. The Spirit-filled believer is loyal and consistent—not fickle, not erratic. He does not consciously bring difficulty upon others.

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For Generating a Gentle Spirit

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 5:25–6:2)

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Doing vs. Being

My high school graduating class had its thirtieth anniversary reunion a number of summers ago. I’m sure they had a ball. A blast would better describe it, knowing that crowd. You gotta understand the east side of Houston back in the 1950s to have some idea of that explosive student body . . . a couple of thousand strong and a lot of ’em mean as a junkyard dog with a nail in his paw.

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A Rare and Remarkable Virtue

Perhaps you’ve uttered the American’s Prayer at some anxious moment recently: Lord, give me patience . . . and I want it right now! This rare and remarkable virtue is within the and-so-forth section in Galatians chapter 5. You know how we quote that passage . . . “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, and-so-forth.” That lazy habit has caused a very important series of virtues to become forgotten.

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Rumors

Abraham Lincoln’s coffin was pried open twice. The first occasion was in 1887, twenty-two long years after his assassination. Why? You may be surprised to know it was not to determine if he had died of a bullet fired from John Wilkes Booth’s derringer. Then why? Because a rumor was sweeping the country that his coffin was empty.

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