The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Responding to Hate/Grudges

Why You Shouldn’t Ask God to Change People: Improving Your Response to Grudges, Rebellion & Grief

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Your girlfriend is planning to abort your baby. Your husband is heading towards an affair with his secretary. Your wife has announced she wants a divorce. Your son just bought a gun and now he’s talking to one of his shady friends about some kind of heist. Your daughter is dating a sleaze and she’s threatening to move in with him. Your dying father refuses to listen when you talk about Jesus. When we see the people we love hurtling towards some disastrous decision which is only going to bring pain crashing down on their heads and ours, our natural instinct is to start praying for God to override the wills of other people. Read more of this post

Confessing Your Sins to People

Confessing Your Sins to People

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Your relationship with God is like a marriage. Should a wife go announce it to the world every time she and her husband have a disagreement? Should she go posting their private conversations on the internet? No, she shouldn’t. As a human being, you have a lot of dark and sordid desires lurking within you. Maybe you’re jealous of the pastor’s wife because she always seems to have it together. Maybe you made some mean joke about her to your friends the other day and the Holy Spirit convicted you about it. What does God want you to do when He convicts you? He wants you to respond directly to the One who is talking to you. When God convicts us of our sins and then we run around telling everyone else about it, we are often going to end up creating a bigger mess. The pastor’s wife doesn’t want to hear about the cheap crack you made about her. She isn’t going to be edified by you burdening her with your personal insecurities and all the ugly ways that they express themselves. When the Holy Spirit convicts you about your language, you need to agree with Him that you did wrong, thank Him for the forgiveness you have already received through Christ, then leave the past behind you and move on. Should your friends later bring up what you said, that’s the time when you should say, “I shouldn’t have said what I did. It was wrong.” But this is only if they bring it up. Because they are as self-focused as you are, they will probably forget what you said and go on. There’s no value in you constantly raking up the past and getting everyone to refocus on your ugly mistakes. Read more of this post

What To Do When You’ve Been Excommunicated

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

What happens to your relationship with God after you’ve been excommunicated? To answer this question, we must first understand what excommunication is from His point of view. It doesn’t matter how man defines excommunication, because God doesn’t operate according to man’s definitions. A man might define himself as perfect, but God will say he’s a sinner and throw him into Hell unless he submits to Jesus. A man might define Hell as a mythical place that doesn’t really exist—that won’t make his experience there any less real. We humans do not define reality, God does. We can make up any beliefs we want, but unless our beliefs align with God’s truth, we will only be leading ourselves astray.

So what is God’s view of excommunication? What did He see when the authorities of the Church announced that they had excommunicated you? Well, God saw some people tell you that you couldn’t come hang out with them any more at their social club. He wasn’t all that impressed. Read more of this post

What To Do When People Won’t Forgive You

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

We’ve all done serious damage to other people in this world. We’ve said cutting words, shut people down, and done nasty things that left painful memories burning for years. Sometimes we hurt people on purpose, other times we crush them without even trying. Because we do not see each other’s hearts, none of us understand how much impact we have on virtual strangers. What we meant as an innocent joke might have hit some sensitive spot and ended up stinging like a vicious insult. We didn’t mean to do damage, but the damage is still done. Read more of this post