A lot has changed about how I read my bible. I used to see it as a book of rules that governed the way I lived my life, but now I see it as a Father’s advice to his son.
As a parent, I understand that my son doesn’t always listen to my advice. Many times our intended advice, simply seems like a scolding, rather than advice. And God forbid I ever got the “because I said so” answer. That immediately meant, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you”.
Unfortunately for me… My not following my parent’s advice never hurt them… only me.
A Father’s Advice
So what great advice is your father trying to tell you, that you have completely missed? Glad you asked!
The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get. (NLT)
Smart people are prepared…. stupid people aren’t (DTV-Drew Tolbert Version)
Ok, so that isn’t EXACTLY what it says, but it kind of does. This advice is given by an extremely rich man. He is saying to save your treasures (such as oils), only fools use them up.
If you recall my disaster preparedness article… first thing on the list was money. If you take all the disasters in the world, the financial one is the one that happens most.
Some translate this to food, and oil (both signs of wealth). When bad things happened, you needed stored-food back in biblical times, Walmart, and the food banks weren’t available. (Food and Fire/Light are also both on my list as well)
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. (NIV)
Again, we are talking about money here. If you borrow money, you are a slave. The plight of slavery seems almost foreign to us at this juncture in our society. However, we freed all the slaves across the world… and got into debt, to all become slaves.
Slavery is a 4 letter word in the United States (as it should be). You should see your debt to a lender in that way. People died to become free, yet we still put a stranglehold on our finances.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (ESV)
Why would Jesus himself say to ask, seek, and knock? Because personal belief is what shapes every person in existence.
Here is a good example, if you wake up every morning and look yourself over in the mirror and say you are an idiot… what would eventually happen? You would avoid getting out of bed because you didn’t want to look at the idiot in the mirror.
Jim Rohn, Dave Ramsey, Donald Trump… all have something in common, outside of being rich by a normal person’s standards, they have all filed for bankruptcy in some way shape or form. None of these people would be considered failures. But they succeeded, failed, then succeeded again.
The reason was 100% psychological. That is why this is part of my daily mantra.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)
When I was younger I was told I couldn’t curse, and this was why. Well, that isn’t the point of this. If YOU think that is the point of this you are also missing the bigger point.
Any time a sentence has the word but in it, read the part after the but by itself, for the true meaning of the sentence. This particular passage says to ONLY say what is helpful for building other up according to their needs.
I will give 2 real world examples. One is for the Christians who should be most familiar with this book. The other example is for EVERYONE (including Christians)
Standing outside of a business with a sign explaining who God may or may not hate, is not wholesome, and it IS abusive, foul, filthy, hateful, and/or corrupt. Passive aggressive Christianity has to stop NOW! We live in a bumper sticker culture where we believe we can witness via the anecdote. It doesn’t work… so STOP IT! Jesus said to love your neighbor, and Paul said to build them up with positive words.
I apologize that I had to preach to my fellow believers for a second. Let’s talk about a real world example of this… you remember how if you got up in the morning and looked in the mirror and called yourself an idiot, you slowly became worthless? Well, guess what? If you do the opposite, the opposite happens!
Don’t believe me?
Try these resources:
Thanks for Reading