Thursday, January 24, 2019

If At First You Don't Succeed...

You have heard the old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again!"  Well this rings true when you are above ground.  You have many opportunities in your life to "get things right, do the right thing" so elders have encouraged us in the past.  However, there are some things that happen in this life that you can't undo, fix, or turn around especially when those "issues" impact other people.  Not everyone is going to be forgiving, nice, respectful, or give you a chance for whatever reason or not.  Yet, we have those individuals who grew up in environments or who have been influenced by people who assume that people will give them a chance just because.

When one is determined to be a success, you don't worry over doing what is right, you just do it!  You don't immerse yourself in thoughts of "...will this person/group give me a chance."  If they do, great, but if they don't, you keep moving past the pain, rejection and anxieties.  Here's how to move on:

1)  Don't keep thinking about the failure every moment of every day.  Once you have analyzed it, acknowledged the emotions connected to it, and have discussed it with helpful advisors, you stop the thoughts about it.  "I will not keep thinking about this.  I have work to do!"  Then you proceed with the tasks that need to be completed.

2)  You find good people, places and things to spend your time other than going home and allowing yourself idle time to think about the incident(s).

3)  When in your power, you do something about those offenses you feel so moved to address.  You do this tactfully, respectfully, and quickly, so that you are not dwelling on the situation.

4)  You find healthy ways to express your anger, if you feel like you are powerless or very upset with yourself or others.  A trip to the gym, visualizing the errors just disappearing or burning up in a bonfire, or planning a vacation that takes you away from the environment, these are all things that does the mind and body good!

5)  Try a different way to approach what it is that you desire so much to be a success at.  Sometimes strategies and plans are outdated, no longer supported, or simply don't work to accomplish your specific goals.

So if at first you don't succeed in this lifetime, maybe God has something better or you just might need to make sometime to read his love letter (the Bible).  There is much wisdom in the good book that has inspired many movers and shakers in our society.  Whatever you can't fix, remember you are responsible for what you can, life goes on.  Do the best you can while you're still above ground!

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Laboring to Love Myself, When Mothers Cry, Know Your Enemy The Christian's Critic and many other books.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

When the Church is used as a Match-making Service

It isn’t any wonder that some relationships don’t last between Christians.  If a single man or woman has visited churches over the years with the intent to meet someone new, when the new relationship grows old, he or she just might be out on the prowl again.  These men and women, who look to find their next wife or husband in the church, often find nothing more than disappointment and frustration.  They also will notice that they are creating all sorts of division within the body of Christ as well.  Committed couples view the Christian player as a threat.  Others look at him or her as immature, foolish and someone that would be better off out in the world. 

Using the church as a match-making service is risky and doesn’t always connect like-minded believers.  Instead, some find themselves pressured to get married because the church says so.  Others may not find a partner attractive, but money, material wealth and connections might be a lure for wanting to be in a relationship.

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash
Meeting a lover in church and eventually having sex with this person, outside of marriage, will cause conflict between new believers. Those who are not that spiritually strong will look at such a connection and may feel it is okay to mimic the behavior.  Others will compromise their personal beliefs or possibly existing relationships for a little fun. 

Unfortunately, many back-sliding Christian men and women have spent much time observing potential dates in the pews while supposedly listening to the word of God.  They realize their actions were not good, that they are still spiritually immature, and that their misdeeds have caused a separation between them and their Creator.

It can be quite challenging to focus on the word of God when one is more concerned about getting fleshly needs met.  Using the people of God when one is not a sincere believer is unwise, dangerous and will anger a righteous God.  There is no excuse for such behavior especially when God’s will has not been made clear.  Sometimes a partner or significant other is not found in the church setting, but at other church related events.  Other times a connection is made elsewhere between two like-minded individuals.  

The church is like a hospital, a place where the spiritually ill go to be made well again.  However, it is typically not a place where one should consider dating someone unless there is a specific ministry for singles to connect.  Some churches will set up days and times for singles to study the word together, attend special events, and counseling sessions.

If more people would go to church to focus on the things of the Lord and what his word has to offer, there would be less conflict between the members of the body of Christ.  Singles as well as married couples would be able to attend church without feeling like someone is trying to “hook up” with them.

Nicholl McGuire is an author and inspirational speaker.  She is the author of Face Your Foe on Confronting the Critics and the blog owner.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Prayer of a Righteous Man - Believers' God is Listening

What the Unsaved Know About God’s People & How They Benefit

Many of the unsaved know God’s people do stray; this is why some will disguise themselves as sheep. Yet, on the inside they are nothing more than wolves always prepared to prey on God’s children.  Wandering into temptation, lies, secrets, cover-ups and some of you know the rest, you did some things recently and those things seared your conscious, created relationship challenges, and sooner or later one is going to experience losses!
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash
The unsaved are good at deceiving believers.  They know how to twist Scripture to suit their needs, dabble in the occult to make people do what they want, and most of all, hide sins!   Many have deceptive, lying spirits that plague them daily, because they have chosen to live life without God.  Notice I said they have chosen not to have a relationship with God.  Our Creator is a shepherd that wants to protect and guide us, because he knows the future and he also knows where our enemies lurk and what their secret desires are.  Without God in the plan, we suffer! 

I would like to remind readers of my book, "Face Your Foe" is to help those of you who have been blindsided by ungodly men and women who claim to love, know, and appreciate your personal relationship with Christ.  The book wasn't written just to problem-solve with common foes with common issues with us.  Some enemies are strategic and want very much to see a believer suffer, because they are jealous, bitter, difficult, or have some kind of disorder that keeps them mentally bound.
Many of our critics couldn’t tell you when was the last time God, if ever, have spoken directly to them, and even worse they aren’t certain if they are sincerely saved or not!  Their focus shouldn’t be on you and how might you benefit them spiritually, financially, mentally, etc. but all attention should be placed on Jesus Christ!  Direct the naysayer, the worldly, and the confused to Jesus!

Some of you who are reading "Face Your Foe" or finished up with it, have bank accounts that are often in the negative, because you continue to support someone or a group’s ungodly lifestyle.  You know deep down inside you should have never participated in a holiday gift exchange especially with a child of darkness, but you did anyway.  You know God isn’t pleased.  
Other believers are enablers, helping those both young and old who battle with demons of self-destruction continue to harm self by buying alcohol, purchasing cigarettes, or telling them to take drugs.  The wicked are like parasites attached to a wayward believer’s skin feeding off of fleshly desires for more of whatever they like:  pornography, premarital sex, and violence.  Those believers that wonder why some critics have become enemies might want to consider what they are doing to keep backsliding critics happy one day and then angry the next with them.  Can we say, Hypocrite!  
Sometimes God will use a difficult person to challenge and remind a believer of his or her character traits in Christ and how he or she is beginning to weaken in his or her faith.  Acting pathetic and double-minded when it comes to dealing with our enemies is not on the list!  The unsaved benefit from one's weakness as follows:
1)  They obtain or maintain wealth, while one remains in debt.  They play on your generosity.
2)  They expect servants not friends.  After all, you are supposed to be like Jesus, right?
3)  They only listen to counsel that makes them feel good.  So you stay in their good graces when you don't speak anything unflattering.  Their esteem is built up while they tear yours down!
4)  They use you to do things that compromise your morals.  They will mention a title such as: "best friend, mother, father, brother..." they have in your life and all they have done for you in an effort to guilt you into doing what they want.
5)  You are sick from all you have gone through with them, while they are well.  They pity you and talk negatively about you to others to appear like they have it altogether.
Other things they will achieve as a result of your weaknesses include: breaking up marriages and sleeping with coveted partners, rob one of belongings, turn children against you, find ways to get one incarcerated or worse kill, and revel in one's failures while puffing themselves up. 

Our Lord is all-knowing—He sees you, me, the righteous and the unrighteous and what we do and don’t do when it comes to bringing glory to Him.  It’s during times of trial when we start asking questions like, “Why is this person (or people) treating me in this negative way?”  If we choose to trust in God, he will reveal a person’s true intent.  
Watch how people react or respond when you share the good news of Christ or any truth that causes them to open their eyes to ungodliness.  You will know in time who is friend and who is foe.  A friend will be glad you told them something useful and will try to attain more knowledge on the subject, but a foe will put up a protest whether publically or privately about you.
I leave you with this, no matter what you are going through, remember Romans 8:28 and brother Job's story.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Face Your Foe, Know Your Enemy The Christian's Critic and the owner of this blog.
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