This week’s news plus a look at what to do when we we are offended by the actions or words of others
IT’S NEWS TO ME
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
Maintaining a Pure Heart
With so much help needed to rebuild Puerto Rico, much of Florida and southeast Texas, it’s amazing how easy it is for some people to be content to criticize the Trump administration for not doing enough. If these people really cared for the hurricane victims, why aren’t they doing something to help these poor people? The same goes for the critics in the horrendous scene in Las Vegas. The same complainers are taking advantage of an unimaginable tragedy to promote a political agenda. For those intent on disarming Americans, this horrible incident provided the perfect platform to reinvigorate their gun control agenda since in their eyes, guns are evil and must be eliminated.
Lately, Muslims in Europe have taken to running down pedestrians with their cars. Should we start a program of car control? Some prefer knives, while others chose to use anything they can find that will do the job. Any rational person knows that banning the weapons used in crimes misses the whole point. People with evil intentions will always find a weapon.
The problem lies with the evil in the hearts of the perpetrators, and only God can overcome the evil that is tearing our nation apart. Since we have already told God that He is not welcome in our public life, we’ve got a real problem on our hands-a problem solved only by intense, fasting, prayer, and a great national awakening. For the moment, I’d like to focus on the attitude of the complainers and accusers.
Recently, a verse that has perplexed me for years became clear, and it speaks to the issue at hand:
To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled (Titus 1:15)
The point is that the condition of our own hearts will be revealed in our words and our actions. In other words, what’s down in the well comes up in the bucket. If we are harboring sin in our hearts, we will have a distorted view of everything we see. If our hearts are pure, we will see the best in people, not questioning the motives of those around us. If our hearts are pure, we won’t be constantly critical of others, looking for every little fault. Only with a pure heart will we be able to see others the way God sees them.
If our hearts are defiled by something we are harboring, everything we interact with seems corrupt. We assume everyone “out there” has an evil motive because we know what we would do under the same circumstances. We will be cynical about nearly everything we hear because our own words are deceitful. Consequently, we will be drawn to evil things and evil people.
It’s easy to apply this to those we don’t care for. It gives us even more reason to despise them as they complain and accuse without ever offering any help or solutions. When this happens, however, it reveals how wicked our own hearts are. We should take a good look at what lies within our own hearts that prevents us from seeing these people as God sees them. What’s down in our own well that is coming up in our bucket? When we see duplicity in others, are we willing to examine the duplicitous hearts? Read over the verse from Titus again and ask God to do whatever is necessary to purify our own hearts instead of dwelling on the sorry state of those around us.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
MURDER AT COSTCO
Tired of constantly being broke and stuck in an unhappy marriage, a young husband decided to solve both problems by taking out a large insurance policy on his wife with himself as the beneficiary and then arranging to have her killed.
A ‘friend of a friend’ put him in touch with a nefarious dark-side underworld figure who went by the name of ‘Artie.’ Artie explained to the husband that his going price for snuffing out a spouse was $10,000.
The Husband said he was willing to pay that amount but that he wouldn’t have any cash on hand until he could collect his wife’s insurance money. Artie insisted on being paid at least something up front, so the man opened his wallet, displaying the single dollar coin that rested inside. Artie sighed, rolled his eyes and reluctantly agreed to accept the dollar as down payment for the dirty deed.
A few days later, Artie followed the man’s wife to the local Costco Supermarket. There, he surprised her in the produce department and proceeded to strangle her with his gloved hands. As the poor unsuspecting woman drew her last breath and slumped to the floor, the manager of the produce department stumbled unexpectedly onto the murder scene. Unwilling to leave any living witnesses behind, ol’ Artie had no choice but to strangle the produce manager as well.
However, unknown to Artie, the entire proceedings were captured by the hidden security cameras and observed by the shop’s security guard, who immediately called the police. Artie was caught and arrested before he could even leave the premises.
Under intense questioning at the police station, Artie revealed the whole sordid plan, including his unusual financial arrangements with the hapless husband who was also quickly arrested.
The next day in the newspaper, the headline declared…
Artie Chokes 2 for $1.00 at Costco
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