“I’m learning to say and do what I mean, without hiding behind mean, jolly jokes, mysterious motives, and mindless murmurings, intentionally hurting the feelings of others.” ~ Jon Barnes
Most of my jokes are directed at myself, to make me laugh and become reminded of how far I’ve traveled in learning about personal growth, self-reflection, and observation. I notice how other people handle their problems, provide feedback, and draw their own conclusions. As a result, I map out how I would handle that problem, which helps me to prepare for similar situations, should this problem occur in the future. The joke is on me so that I develop better building material to withstand the bombs people can throw onto personal bridges. Preparation makes sense.
Say what you mean and mean what you say, while being kind, gentle, and humble. I don’t have all of the answers, and I can only share my experiences as a tool of reference. Your vantage point is to have enough good information and resources to combat the issues you will face and decisions you must make. My job is not to live for you, but to encourage and support your Good Lifestyle and choices. Staying connected to God and His Commandments will be the voice of your opinion, from your actions, before you can say a word. The pen is mightier than the sword.
Say what you mean without being mean, malicious, vindictive, or harsh. Emotions tend to drive people and their destiny, leaving their mind, body, spirit, and God out of the process. The devil then takes your meaning and twists it all around to stop real communication, love, and respect for the Good Life. In confusion, you kill yourself in the battle of smoke and mirrors, created by your own evil, thinking that you are doing Good. The joke is on you, as you watch your bridge blow up, right in front of you, with your own, self-inflicted TNT or the atomic bomb! Close your mouth and save your bridge, is my new motto.
Since you are so smart and quick to speak, did your mouth disqualify you from winning your race and Good Standing with God?
Enjoy Today’s Reading.
1 Corinthians 9
Paul’s Rights as an Apostle
9 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? 2 Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. 4 Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5 Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas[a]? 6 Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?
7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? 8 Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”[b] Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?
But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge,and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.
Paul’s Use of His Freedom
19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law),so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
The Need for Self-Discipline
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Runin such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.