BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women

Archive for March, 1995

Monday, March 27, 1995

SIMPLICITY AND PURITY

Good Morning!

One of the dilemmas you and I face is how to walk with God and keep the clutter and stuff around us from burying us alive.  As a society, our fixation on acquiring has reached psychotic levels.

John Wesley wrote, “…The essence of Christian holiness is simplicity and purity…”

Soren Kierkegaard captured the spirit of Christian simplicity: Purity of heart is to will one thing:” God.

Simplicity is freedom, bringing joy and balance.

Duplicity is bondage leading to anxiety and fear.”+

It’s difficult to keep life simple if I have multiple passions.

Count Zinzendorf stated, “I have but one passion, it is He alone.”

The test as to whether I am seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness is the lack of anxiety.  (Matt. 6:25)

Following are several of Richard Foster’s+ principles that may help us in evaluating whether we have captured the inner essence of simplicity:

First, buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.

Second, reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.

Third, develop a habit of giving things away.

Fourth, refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry.

Fifth, learn to enjoy things without owning them.

Sixth, look with a healthy skepticism at all ‘buy now, pay later” schemes.

Seventh, shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the kingdom of god.

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, March 20, 1995

THE LAW OF PHYSOLOGICAL ACCEPTANCE

Good Morning!

Perhaps you recall in “Gone With the Wind” (1940) when Rhett Butler told Sacrlet O’ Hair “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”  We all gasped in shocked disbelief, while today we yawn at four letter words and explicit bedroom scenes:

The Law of Psychological Acceptance:  “When, in our minds we habitually tolerate sin, our senses become dulled, thereby diminishing our ability to discern good from evil.  Consequently, when faced with choices between the two, we may well choose evil over good, without the slightest awareness of sin or tinge of conscience.”

 Because of our magnetic attraction toward that which is depraved, God calls us to nip sin in the bud before we have time to embrace it:

Abhor that which is evil; cling to what is good.”  (Rom. 12:9b)

Flee youthful lusts.”  (II Tim. 2:22a)

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.”  (Pro. 8:13a)

But we live in an “enlightened age” where tolerance is a mark of sophistication.  It seems so uncivilized…so dogmatic to “abhor” or “hate” anything

Are you mentally tolerating evil by:

  • Flowing with the crowd when questionable values are put forth as normative?
  • Accepting the notion that you have to bend the rules to survive in business?
  • Embracing the idea that it’s OK for a married person to develop an emotional  relationship with a friend of the opposite sex?

Remember the story of the camel, who on a cold night poked his nose under the tent and begged master to let him keep it warm?  “Surely allowing the camel to warm his nose isn’t so terrible,”  thought the Arab.  Before he relized it, he was sleeping outside and the camel was in the tent.  THE LAW OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ACCEPTANCE.

QUESTION:  Given the present TREND in your thinking of either toleration or abhorrence toward sin, what will you be doing a decade from now:  LIVING IN SIN OR CONFORMING TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST?

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, March 13, 1995

ON CARING ENOUGH TO CONFRONT:

Good Morning!

A few years ago my wife and I spent the evening in the home of friends who were highly respected in the Christian community.  While backing the car out of their driveway, I commented to her that I felt there was something amiss in the family.

Then I second guessed myself with, “Well, I could be wrong…it’s just an impression.  Besides, we shouldn’t meddle in other people’s lives.”  Soon we were home and the thought  dismissed.

Two years later the couple was divorced:  The culmination of years of deep seated but well hidden family problems.  The wife and children were left devastated and desolate.

The question I must ask myself when faced with friends who may be in trouble is, “Do I care enough to confront them?”

Or am I more worried about their rejection of me?  About being wrong?  Or about “getting too involved?”

Jesus cared enough to confront.  When challenged by Peter to not go to the cross He  retorted,

Get behind Me, Satan…you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”  (Matt. 16:23)

Pretty stiff confrontation, wouldn’t you say?  Yet Christ’s love for Peter is unquestioned.

James, the half brother of Jesus writes,

“…If anyone has slipped away from God and no longer trusts the Lord and someone helps him understand the Truth again, that person who brings him back to God will have saved a wandering soul from death, bringing about the forgiveness of his many sins.” (Jms. 5:19, 20 – Life Application Bible)

The opposite of love may not be hate but indifference.  Therefore, when I choose to not confront a brother who may be in trouble, it is possible that I simply do not care…at least enough to confront?

That kind of indifference is not evidence of Calvary love.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, March 6, 1995

THE CROSS, THE RESURRECTION…AND ETERNITY

Good Morning!

“…I saw…a Lamb standing, as if slain…”  (Rev. 5:6)

Thomas doubted.

Judas double-crossed.

Peter denied.

And the other nine ran away in fear.

Until the reality of the CROSS  and the RESURRECTION dawned upon them.

They (Judas excepted) then became men POSSESSED by Jesus…men OBSESSED with Christ:

“…The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world…who takes away the sin of the world”(Rev. 13:8; Jn. 1:29)

As you embark upon this week’s challenges, ask yourself:

“WHAT IS MY OBSESSION?”

“WHAT POSSESSES ME?”

The resurrected Lamb of God?

Or:

-Which rung of the corporate ladder you are on?

-How to bolster this quarter’s sales?

-Whether you should get the BMW or the Benz?

Unless and until we are obsessed and possessed by the CRUCIFIED and RESURRESTED Lamb of God, we will continue to live in the self-imposed prison of:

Doubt, denial, and fear…Like Thomas, Judas, Peter, and the other nine that ran away.

Let’s concentrate on making a living…but keep the effort in the perspective of the cross, the resurrection…and eternity.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!