Love or Paranoia? You Decide

Confession is good for the soul however avoiding the idea is not. Afterall we can not hide anything from God. So what kind of relationship do you have with the Creator? Is it one of love? Or paranoia? You get to make the decision, it’s up to you to choose wisely?

On this edition of “Becoming Today”, we’ll explore more advice on how to make better more enlightened decisions. 

I

really do want to thank each and everyone of you for joining us here. Whether you have been following this series for the past nearly four weeks or if you have just found us. 

We are involved in a 31-day study of wisdom as taught in the Book of Proverbs. If you’d like to know more about The Passion Translation and why we are using it for this undertaking, you can find a recap near the end of today’s conversation.

We are continuing forward as we have now arrived at day 28 ,heading into the final days of our extended odyssey; our  search and rescue mission for wisdom. 

Understanding that enlightenment is within our reach we shall seek and find the knowledge and inspiration necessary to uplift, support and enhance our collective journeys as well as our own personal paths. 

Yesterday our discussion was called, “Heed The Signs”.

We discussed how it is  important to not only read, but also pay attention and obey the signs. Just like some you may encounter along the road, not doing so can affect our travels..

A few examples include, “Rocks Falling”, “Deer Crossing”, “Slippery When Wet” or even “It’ll Do Road”. 

While not a discussion of traffic regulations, in a sense we are undertaking a study of some of the rules of the road. At least the ones that govern our shared path here on “Becoming Today”. 

Among the verses we discussed in Proverbs 27 was number 12.

“A wise, shrewd person discerns the danger ahead and prepares himself, but the naïve simpleton never looks ahead and suffers the consequences.”

The level of our commitments is important. Being vigilant to empowering ourselves and beliefs produces momentum that should always be forward and upward. 

I take my commitments very seriously and even more so when it’s elevated to the level of a covenant. I’ll explain the differences in a moment, but first let’s talk about why commitments are so important to our shared path of Always Being Becoming.

Extensive and thorough goal setting, as I’ve previously shared, has been an important step for our household. Holding ourselves to some strict Standards and Practices, we in my household have set regular dates for goal review.

We committed to doing so because we wanted to be among the exceptions. Striving some might say to be part of a minority. When we examine the research into goal setting and New Year’s Resolutions, we learn that only half of all adults in the U.S. actively resolve to make the considerations. Of that half, only 10% will see it to fruition and 80% of those who do not, deem themselves a failure by just the second week in February.

That is why we have incorporated strict accountability measures into our plans for “Becoming”. 

You can not initiate a change  in your circumstances or affect yourself positively without remaining strongly committed to the ideas and whys. What you want or need to improve and why it is not only necessary, but makes you feel so “Becoming” about it.

Next we’ll press ahead to Proverbs 28.

Today’s chapter begins with the heading:

Lovers of God

Guilty criminals experience paranoia

    even though no one threatens them.

    But the innocent lovers of God,

    because of righteousness,

    will have the boldness[a] of a young, ferocious lion!

A rebellious nation is thrown into chaos,[b]

    but leaders anointed with wisdom will restore law and order.

When a pauper[c] oppresses the destitute,

    it’s like a flash flood that sweeps away their last hope.

Those who turn their backs on what they know is right[d]

    will no longer be able to tell right from wrong.

    But those who love the truth strengthen their souls.[e]

Justice never makes sense to men devoted to darkness,

    but those tenderly devoted to the Lord

    can understand justice perfectly.

It’s more respectable to be poor and pure than rich and perverse.

To be obedient to what you’ve been taught[f]

    proves you’re an honorable child,

    but to socialize with the lawless brings shame to your parents.

Go ahead and get rich on the backs of the poor,

    but all the wealth you gather will one day be given

    to those who are kind to the needy.

If you close your heart and refuse to listen to God’s instruction,[g]

    even your prayer will be despised.

10 

Those who tempt the lovers of God with an evil scheme

    will fall into their own traps.

    But the innocent who resist temptation will experience reward.

11 

The wealthy in their conceit presume to be wise,

    but a poor person with discernment can see right through them.

12 

The triumphant joy of God’s lovers releases great glory.[h]

    But when the wicked rise to power, everyone goes into hiding.[i]

13 

If you cover up your sin you’ll never do well.

    But if you confess your sins and forsake them,

    you will be kissed by mercy.

14 

Overjoyed is the one who with tender heart trembles before God,

    but the stubborn, unyielding heart will experience even greater evil.

15 

Ruthless rulers can only be compared

    to raging lions and roaming bears.[j]

16 

Abusive leaders fail to employ wisdom,

    but leaders who despise corruption[k]

    will enjoy a long and full life.[l]

17 

A murderer’s conscience will torment him—

    a fugitive haunted by guilt all the way to the grave

    with no one to support him.

18 

The pure will be rescued from failure,

    but the perverse will suddenly fall into ruin.

19 

Work hard and you’ll have all you desire,

    but chase a fantasy[m] and you could end up with nothing.

20 

Life’s blessings drench the honest and faithful person,

    but punishment rains down upon the greedy and dishonest.

21 

Giving favoritism to the rich and powerful is disgusting,

    and this is done by the type of judge who would betray a man for a bribe.[n]

22 

A greedy man[o] is in a race to get rich,

    but he forgets that he could lose what’s most important

    and end up with nothing.[p]

23 

If you correct someone with constructive criticism,

    in the end he will appreciate it more than flattery.

24 

A person who would reject his own parents[q] and say,

    “What’s wrong with that?” is as bad as a murderer.

25 

To make rash, hasty decisions

    shows that you are not trusting the Lord.

    But when you rely totally on God,

    you will still act carefully and prudently.[r]

26 

Self-confident know-it-alls[s] will prove to be fools.

    But when you lean on the wisdom from above,

    you will have a way to escape the troubles of your own making.

27 

You will never go without if you give to the poor.

    But if you’re heartless, stingy, and selfish,[t]

    you invite curses upon yourself.

28 

When wicked leaders rise to power,

    good people go into hiding.

    But when they fall from power,

    the godly take their place.

Take a moment to reflect and then we’ll continue our conversation about some of these wise insights and suggestions.

As I suggested in today’s headline you have a decision to make. A meaningful one. I’m not just trying to add to the estimated 235,000 decisions researchers claim the average person makes everyday.

This choice involves the direction of your life. 

As today’s reading discusses, there are those who are at peace and those who live in fear, doubt, anxiety and paranoia. I’m hoping most of you- if not all of you, are desirous of the first choice. 

God wants each of us to have a direct meaningful relationship with Him. The basis for any relationship must be truthfulness. If we are not honest with one another, then any connection perceived is not real. Itg’s just an illusion, that can shatter at any moment when reality sets in.

This is especially true in our relationship with the Lord. For we cannot hide anything from Him, yet many try to do just that. Try I said, you can not succeed, you’re only lying to yourself if you believe otherwise.tuante or challenging circumstances. 

As we read in verse 13, “If you cover up your sin you’ll never do well. But if you confess your sins and forsake them, you will be kissed by mercy.” The choice is up to you. 

You can also read in the Book of James Chapter five verse 16, we are instructed not to conceal our sins and doing so can quite literally make us sick. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed….”. 

The line then continues that when we accept our responsibilities and make the choice to live a right and proper life that we will see, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”.

These lessons in wisdom are not designed to stifle us, but rather to cause us to thrive. It’s when we fail to heed the lessons that we stumble, encounter obstacles and are surrounded by unfortunate circumstances.

This is referred to in verse nine, “If you close your heart and refuse to listen to God’s instruction, even your prayer will be despised”.

Now there is something that could make a person paranoid. So why not choose love and it’s rewards instead?

Verse four also notes, “Those who turn their backs on what they know is right will no longer be able to tell right from wrong. But those who love the truth strengthen their souls”. 

That’s the choice for me. To live each day to my fullest potential, experiencing and sharing in the glory of a loving Creator. 

Afterall Love is perhaps the greatest of these

More than likely not only a bold word, Love is the strongest of all positive emotions. That’s why this  edition is an exploration of why love being directed towards yourself, another individual, a group of people, or even all humanity is of utmost importance.

Much of “Becoming” involves embracing the need for change, it is the only way in which we can truly grow, develop and realize our potential.  Life is a process. A repetitive one. We learn, grow, become then question, learn, grow and continue “Becoming”.

Accepting our strengths rather than empowering our perceived weaknesses, accepting our unlimited potential rather than self imposing limitations.

Our reality is one of always “Becoming”…. Restating our shared definition from Day One of this project:  ‘’the process of coming to be something or of passing into a state”. Coming to be always, “Becoming”. Growing, developing and shifting into an attitude and daily practice of always, “Becoming”.

That is quite simply the essence behind, “Becoming Today”.  Now getting there requires planning, action and growth.

Accepting yourself and believing that you are worthy is an integral part of growth. Improving your self esteem is about far more than just feeling good at the present moment.

Love is so powerful because it transforms and evolves throughout the course of our experiences and lifetimes. What I’m talking about includes, not only being loving towards ourselves, but also accepting the love of others and sharing love with others, plus through loving God.

The love of God purifies our heart, fueling transformation and teaching us self-sacrifice. The nature of all religions is opening ourselves to the Love of God, and is the foundation of all the sacred teachings.

As it is recorded in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (E S V), “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love”.

Don’t make excuses. As much of today’s reading pointed out, when you are honest with yourself you will find it easier to accept and embrace what is before you but will also improve your chances of receiving the love you need. If you’re not being honest with others, then there is no foundation for love to be built upon.

Important for all, as Love is perhaps the greatest of all emotions, feelings, expressions, states, attitudes and basis for our personal development and our shared path of “Becoming Today”.

Truth, understanding, enlightenment and wisdom are all very “Becoming” traits. They empower us to grow and learn to be who we truly were intended to be. Which in turn enables us to continue moving on, with our momentum fully powered forward and upward.

I hope you have enjoyed the first three weeks, yes 28 days already of this odyssey. Plus in the final three days, there is still much more to come.

As always I encourage you to actively participate. Please post your comments, questions, suggestions or concerns below. This is a safe space to share and there are protections in place to keep spammers out. I will respond to all who choose to participate. 

If you do not feel comfortable sharing below, remember you can always reach out privately through the easy to use form on our Contact page.

I pray each and every one of you enjoys a safe and blessed day. Then join us tomorrow as we continue our proverbial search here along this shared  journey we call “Becoming Today”. 

For those that have been here for a while I hope some of the repetitive nature of these posts is not too distracting. Not only are some of these points to remind us of our focus this month, it is also designed to also be welcoming.

We never know when a fellow traveler may walk along with us, or need to take a diversion. 

This is especially true since I have no idea what algorithm directed you, what search method may have pointed in our direction or how many of you find us on any given day. Therefore it’s necessary to recap some of the outline for our combined purposes. 

I appreciate your patience and understanding, so I’ll now mention we’ve come to that point in this conversation and if you’ve already heard this, then you can skip the next few paragraphs and pick up with the next image.

Now for those of you listening to the podcast I know that makes no sense, since you can’t hear any of the beautiful graphics we create each day, so you’ll just have to listen along; again… (insert audible giggle here) understanding that I’m laughing with you not at you.

As I am apt to do, even if you have studied Proverbs before, our undertaking may be a bit different, as we’ll be adding some passion to it. 

I am being called to focus this teaching around the The Passion Translation® book of Isaiah and New Testament with Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs translated from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts.

Done so by  Dr. Brian Simmons who believes the”message of God’s story is timeless; the Word of God doesn’t change. But the methods by which that story is communicated should be timely; the vessels that steward God’s Word can and should change. 

Thank you again for joining us on this edition of “Becoming Today”.

Also I’ll remind you that the footnotes referred to above are available here and include underlined study links:

Footnotes

a. 28:1 Or “confidence.”

b. 28:2 Or “A rebellious nation will have one leader after another.”

c. 28:3 This pauper can also be one who is spiritually poor. Some Jewish expositors believe it refers to corrupt judges.

d. 28:4 The Hebrew word is “the Torah.” See vv. 7, 9.

e. 28:4 As translated from the Aramaic. The Septuagint is “build a wall to protect themselves.”

f. 28:7 Or “the Torah.

g. 28:9 Or “the Torah.”

h. 28:12 As translated from the Aramaic.

i. 28:12 Or “people become victims.”

j. 28:15 David, before he killed Goliath, went after the lion and the bear. See 1 Sam. 17:34–37. These beasts represented demonic forces of evil over the land. Daniel also mentions the world’s ruthless leaders as lions and bears. See Dan. 7:1–8.

k. 28:16 Or “injustice.”

l. 28:16 Or “enjoy a long reign.”

m. 28:19 Or “an empty dream.” The Septuagint is “the one who pursues leisure.”

n. 28:21 As translated from the Aramaic.

o. 28:22 Both the Aramaic and Hebrew have “The man with an evil eye.” This is a figure of speech for a stingy or greedy man. A person who shuts his heart to the poor is said to have an evil eye. A person with a good eye is someone who looks on the poor with generosity.

p. 28:22 As translated from the Aramaic. The Aramaic text sounds very similar to what Jesus says about gaining the world but losing our souls. See Mark 8:36.

q. 28:24 As translated from the Septuagint. The Hebrew is “the one who steals from his own parents.”

r. 28:25 As translated from the Septuagint. The Hebrew is “The greedy person stirs up trouble, but the one who trusts in the Lord will prosper.”

s. 28:26 Or “those who trust their instincts.”

t. 28:27 Or “if you hide your eyes from the poor.”

The Passion Translation®. 

Copyright © 2017, 2018, 2020 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc

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