BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for July, 2004

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

SELF CONTROL

"Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city."

(Prov. 16:32)

Only hours after roughing out this material, I found myself irritated with an individual over a petty infraction of my "rights." So I am unqualified to write on the subject!

In our sophisticated society, patience is often mistaken for indecision or weakness, while power and action are given respect.

God, however is not impressed with our power, but holds patience in high regard patience being the product of humility.

If you (like me) tend to be the impatient type, (I have an excuse: Im an ex-Marine) here are seven guidelines from Scripture that may prove helpful (except of course in the case cited above):

1. Make a concerted effort to overlook others shortcomings

: "A man’s wisdom gives him

patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense."

(Prov. 19:11) (See Prov. 10:12;17:9)

2. Practice self-control:

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (Jms. 1:19b, 20) (See Prov. 12:16; 17:27, 28; 18:13; 29:22; I Cor. 9:25; Titus 1:8;2:2)

3. Speak less: "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."

(Prov. 10:19) (See Ecc. 5:3; 10:13,14; Jms. 3:2; Psa. 39:1; 141:3)

4. Avoid situations with the potential for strife:

"Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out." (Prov. 17:14) (See Prov. 26:17, 21)

5. Avoid contentious people:

"Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered." (Prov. 22:24) (See Prov. 14:16; 17:14; 20:3; 29:22)

6. Practice humility: "Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice."

(Prov. 13:10) (See Psa.147:6; Prov.16:18; Isa. 57:15; 66:2; Rom. 12:3; 1Pet. 3:4;5:5)

7. Forgive offenses: "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs."

(Prov. 10:12) (See Prov. 17:9; 24:29; Matt. 5:43-48; 6:14, 15; 18:21-35; Eph. 4:32)

Is there any greater evidence of true godliness than self control

? Because it is a fruit of the Spirit, self control is achievable only as we surrender to the Spirit who is already at work within us. (Gal. 5:22,23) (See 1 Cor. 9:25; Titus 1:8; 2:2; Phil.2:13)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

“IF ANYONE WANTS TO FOLLOW IN MY FOOTSTEPS, HE MUST GIVE UP ALL RIGHTS TO HIMSELF”

Such as:

The right to revenge: "You have heard that it was said, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matt. 5:38, 39)

The right to dignity: "Do not resist an evil person, If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him also." (Matt. 5:39b)

The right to justice: "If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well." (Matt. 5:40b)

The right to freedom: "If someone forces you to go a mile, go with him two miles." (Matt. 5:41)

The right to control my resources: "Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from youDo not store up for yourselves treasures on earthBut store up for yourselves treasures in heavenFor where you treasure is there your heart will be also." (Matt. 5:42; 6:19a., 20a, 21)

The right t hate my enemies: "You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:43-44a)

The right to recognition: "Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. (Matt.6:1)

The right to bear a grudge: "If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matt. 6:14b, 15)

The right to judge others: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matt. 7:1,2)

The right to anything: "Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." (Lk. 14:33b)

Because,

"The man who wants to save his life will lose it, but the man who looses it for my sake will save it." (Lk. 9:24, Philips Translation)

+Adapted from "Twelve Terms of Surrender" http://www.scruples.org/web/seminars/pssb/chapter

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

THE “BOOMERANG EFFECT”

In our distant past, Ruth and I were harshly and unreasonably manhandled

by an autocratic supervisor. By the grace of God we overcame the ordeal, and were able to get on with our lives.

Several months after our traumatic experience, we ran into our former supervisor and were taken back by his tart rudeness. It seems that such demeanor had become routine with those whom he deemed his inferiors. In the ensuing years he and his wife divorced, leaving her destitute. The emotional devastation on his children has become increasingly apparent as the years have passed.

Yesterday I learned he had recently been jailed (for up to six years) for a most heinous crime.

I am reminded of another supervisor I had around that same period of time

. I had mishandled a situation and was called into his office to account for my actions. His correction of my behavior however was one of gentle compassion.

Today he is in his late 80s and a delight to behold. Physically strong as an ox, with a twinkle in his eye, he ministers across the country to young adults.

Observing what both of these men are now experiencing in their latter years demonstrates the "boomerang effect:" The unalterable reality that ultimately we will reap what we sow

:

"Those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it…"

(Job 4:8b)

"He who leads the upright along an evil path will fall into his own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance…"

(Prov. 28:10)

"He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment. He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head."

(Psa. 7:14-16)

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Lk. 6:38 KJV) (See Psa. 57:6; Prov. 22:8,9;26:27; Ecc. 10:8; Hos 10:12,13; Lk. 18:29, 30; Gal. 6:7,8)

I wonder if most of us think that somehow we can beat the odds and bypass the "boomerang effect."

Over the years, I have yet to observe anyone who has pulled it off.

QUESTION

: What do you think your (or my) chances are of beating the odds?

+ For further study: Absalom: 2 Sam.18:1-18; Abimelech: Judges 9; Ahithophel: 2 Sam. 16:15-23)

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

REMEMBER THE NEWS GUY IN A MOVIE A FEW YEARS AGO WHO STOOD UP AND SHOUTED,

"Im mad as H—, and Im not going to take it anymore"?

Well, I got mad last Saturday after coming across filth on the tube (I was looking for a golf tournament!). So, I sat down and wrote this letter to the cable people:

Cox Communications

P. O. Box 659004

San Diego, CA 92165-9004

USA

Sir, Madam,

I am furious at what was depicted

at 7:50 a.m. last Saturday. Prime time for child viewing:

On channel 40 homosexual kissing and transvestite-type cross dressing. Vulgar. Degrading.

You must draw the line

. I have impressionable grandchildren who innocently watch cartoons on Saturday morning. They must not be allowed to see this filth. Unaware, they can click to this channel.

I am asking you to respond to me

, assuring me that you will monitor the material you air, and not allow this kind of trash to be exposed to young minds.

If not, I will cancel my subscription to cable, and I will contact all my friends (of which I have many) to do the same.

I am appealing to your sense of common decency

. You, the media will seriously contribute to the bringing down of this great Nation if you do not exercise self-discipline. The same holds true for me.

Cox Communications, you are better than this kind of trash.

I want to hear from you.

Please.

R. Dwight Hill

Edmund Burke reminded us that "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

I hope we all are doing our part to keep the barbarians on the other side of the gate.

"In your anger do not sin" (Eph. 4:26a)

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any peopleWhen the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Pro. 14:34; Psa. 11:3)