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Archive for the ‘folly’ Category

 

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

Exceed expectations. Are you getting any closer to excellence?  Merely meeting expectations is a minimum.  When you exceed those same expectations, you start to enter into excellence.  We are to offer God our best every step of the way.  Excuses do not excuse us from the expectations of our Eternal Father.

We have to go further than we have ever gone before.  We have to take actions that will lead to exploring new territory.  Excuses are just excuses.  They do not excuse us from His expectations.  They can hinder us from doing His will or walking by faith.  They can harm progress in our spiritual maturity.  They may not even help us at all.  We have to see what excuses really do for us.  They offer nothing but trouble because they lead to procrastination, problems and poor performance or pitiful productivity.  That’s what comes forth out of excuses.

Let excellence serve as your trademark.  Lead by example.  Let excuses go.  Let others see the distinct qualities that set you apart from the crowd.  Demonstrate that you are not simply going with the flow.  In fact, if you live for Him, it may even cause you to go against the grain at times.  You begin to discover that God has put more in you than you think, but you won’t discover it until you have been put to the test.  When the tests, trials and troubles come your way, it won’t be time for excuses.  That will be the time you set your heart on excelling beyond expectations.  At that point, you become David facing a giant called GoliathRight then, you become Moses standing before a raging Red SeaIn the midst of  it, you stand out like Paul, writing as a concerned parent to his dear children, addressing believers in Rome with an assurance that every Christian is more than a conqueror.  We overcome with overwhelming strength supplied by the Supreme God, God Almighty.

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Your Season

1There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

2a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

-Ecc. 3:1-8 (NIV)

… a time to every purpose under the heaven –Ecc. 3:1 (KJV)

Everything has its season.  In its season it flourishes and becomes fruitful.  God determines every season.  It’s not Mother Nature or Mother Earth.  God, the Creator, determines what is the purpose for each season.  He determines the timing of each season.  It is up to God, not up to us.

Solomon was the wisest man ever.  He prayed for wisdom to lead God’s people and God bestowed a blessing of wisdom upon him.  Ecclesiastes is a book of wisdom penned by Solomon after he observed the ways of  men and the way of life.  He wrote his observations and shared about wisdom and folly, even vanity.  He discovered that wisdom outweighs folly.  He shared God’s way as a way of life.

Stay the course with God.  He is way is perfect.  He will lead and guide you in the right direction.  In due season, it will be revealed.  God will speak through His Word.  He will provide us confirmation through His own special way.

We must recall that this fact is about everything.  Everything has a season.  For every activity under the sun, there is a God-given season.  For every purpose, God shares that there is a season.  It all must fit into God’s plan.  It all must serve God’s purpose.  It must fall into God’s perfect timing.  God controls it all.  Wait on the Lord for your season.

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The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.- Psalm 14:1 (NIV)

The words of  Psalm 14:1  are echoed in Psalm 53:1 verbatim.  I believe BibleTrack’s Bible commentary on the Psalms does an apt comparison of the psalms.  What David says to open each psalm speaks clearly about the fool and what the fool has to say.  Much like David, we have to learn to identify, discern and detect when we are in the presence of a fool.  For those who may not know, here is part of how the foolish deal with faith.

 

The foolish believe that you can have favor without faith.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.– Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

 

The foolish believe that you can have freedom without faith.

Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.-Galatians 3:25 (NIV)

The foolish believe that they have a right to offend others.
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.-Proverbs 29:11 (NIV)

The foolish are foolish for a reason.  The foolish live by foolish ways.  Others should see a fool and beware.  The fool can be a danger to himself as well as others.  His destructive ways can lead to his own destruction or the destruction of others.  Understand that fools don’t lead people to faithful living.  Fools lead people down a road of destruction and danger.   Don’t be surprised by what comes out of a fools mouth.  Be surprised at what a fool says about God, faith and other such matters.

 

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Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!
– Proverbs 6:6 (NLT)
Some people are full of ideas. Ideas just pop into their head all of the time. Inspiration and creativity spark inside their minds and they jot down something in a notebook or journal, even on their Blackberry or iPhone. They’re simply full of ideas.
I empathize with such people, for I am one of them. However, as I reviewed some notebooks from a few years back and got drawn in deeper and deeper into my own notes and ideas, I realized that I was full of ideas and need to convert more of my ideas into innovations. I would imagine that that’s the case with many others who share my flaw.
The Bible is full of verses that speak of productivity. Yes, I said productivity. Look at Psalm 1:3, John 15:8 and others that speak of fruitfulness, prosperity and service. Even as salt and light, we are called to produce something that leads to others glorifying the Father based upon what they see in us. Proverbs points out that the “lazybones” should look at the ant and take in the wisdom of such a creature who needs no supervisor or manager and is productive, being considered wise.
Here are some steps for converting your ideas into innovations:
  • Find Initiative: Get an idea about how to get started, but by all means get started and soon.
  • Focus Intensity: Keep your focus on doing and doing it right. Don’t get so intense that you get distracted or detoured doing other things. Keep your intensity focused on the right things.
  • Fortify Infrastructure: Build beyond a “one hit wonder.” Dream about other ways to enhance or expand your idea. Broaden the scope of your vision and build a structure that allows for it to grow and expand into a possible enterprise.
  • Formulate Innovations: Could your sermons become podcasts on iTunes or articles for online e-zines? Could you write a how-to article for your church or community newsletter on the topic? Could you blog or tweet regularly on related and relevant subjects centered around your idea? Think it out, and then plan it out. If you plan on going anywhere but where you currently are, you are going to need a map.

I pray that this is helpful to those who are full of ideas and inspired to convert those ideas into innovations.

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Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.- Proverbs 26:4 (NIV)
 
Yes, it is true that Jesus said that we are not to call our brother a fool. The caveat to that teaching is a study of context that speaks about the anger in which we use such words rather than simply inserting some euphemism that says what we meant in code. Jesus was teaching about judgment and anger in Matthew 5:22. However, the Proverbs are clear about identifying the foolish actions that separate the fool from the wise and prudent. Obviously, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, we see it as a duck. If it acts foolish and sounds foolish… It is what it is.
 
The words of Solomon teach us that fools act differently. In fact, Solomon teaches us through Proverbs that a fool is wise in his own eyes. Answering a fool according to his folly requires you to get on that fool’s level. In other words, what you are doing is addressing the fool by the same foolish ways that he uses. I picture it like this: a wise man and a fool get into a verbal argument, hurling insults at one another and calling each other fools. How do you identify the wise man from the fool? Exactly! The precise problem is what it projects to others, especially the fool himself. You just justified his argument to some degree by what you did in response to him. Such actions on our part kill the power of our witness.
 
With those who choose to go about things foolishly, I say simply show them another way by example. If they are foolish, they’ll keep doing what they’ve always done just for the sake of it. If they have any degree of common sense, they’ll see how you go about things differently and at least inquire of what makes you different. Keep in mind that you can win someone over by killing them with kindness, showering and smothering them with lovingkindness. Catch more flies with the sweet honey of your lips rather than poisoning them with the venomous vinegar.

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