Too often, we allow society to dictate our behaviour.
Societal norms are unwritten rules about how to behave in various social and cultural groups; it also determines what is good, right, fair and just.
It is time we ask ourselves,
Take a moment to consider whether you fall on the side of embracing societal norms or embracing the word of God and allowing the word to cultivate a spiritual faith within you.
This table shows some contrasting actions that society dictates and what God desires.
Society tells us a few things such as:
×Do what you want as long as it makes you happy
×If it feels good then do it.
Don't get me wrong, these are good statements they just need to be modified.
Are you ready for some harsh truth?
Bullying is a topic that has plagued our society for years. How does one face their bullies?
Bullying can be viewed as an on-going and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening.
Of course, as human beings, our new norm is to research it on Google. "Hey Google, how do we deal with bullies?"
The usual answers range from being confident, staying in groups, avoiding the bully, telling an adult or person with authority, standing up for yourself and ignoring the bully, amongst other strategies and techniques. While I mostly agree on these tactics, the best one, to me, is prayer.
Imagine seeing one of these at your doorstep when you wake up in the morning. The first thing you'd do is run as far away from it as possible. Lions are quite frightening, aren't they?
Now here’s a friendly face. Most Jamaicans, especially us females, shriek at the sight of a giant anole, more commonly known as the green lizard. I remember an incident where my cat brought one of these into my sister's room. She was scared.
There are many animals that people fear; the ferocious animals of the wild, the harmful and harmless insects and even some common pets. Why are we afraid of them, though? Is it because of the potential harm that they could cause us? Is it because they are ugly and scary looking? Or perhaps their size in comparison to ours?
We are now at the end of this series and, I would love to bring these stories to your attention…
The story of Samson and Delilah
Samson was a man born with the mission of delivering Israel out of the hands of Philistines. One man was meant to deliver his people out of the hands of an entire nation. Before he was even conceived, the Lord sent an angel to inform his mother of the greatness and abnormal strength the Lord had in store for him. He was a man intended to live prosperously in the Lord, but the influence of evil associates made him let go of his only protection. Samson’s seeking of worldly pleasures led to his demise.
He fell in love with a Philistine woman named Delilah.
His attachment to this vile individual cost him his life. Delilah was employed by the enemies of Samson to discover his weakness.
15Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won't confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven't told me the secret of your great strength.”
16With such nagging, she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.
17So he told her everything.
Upon reading the title, I can imagine the induced skepticism that one might experience. Let's be honest the topic of discussion might sound ludicrous, how can someone be in the “world” but not of it?
How to approach fitting into a secular world.
Often as Christian youths, we struggle with placing our faith out in the open among our non-Christian peers. We worry about their view of us. Views such as: “He/she is boring and does nothing of interest; all he/she talks and cares about is God." In a world lacking faith, we are faced with the dilemma of curbing our faith to be accepted or exalting God at the chance of losing acceptance. We, at times, focus so much on being accepted that we strangle our faith.
As Children of God, we've all been in that position where we find it really, really, really hard to forgive persons especially when they are our loved ones. Even if it's a simple case of eating the last slice of puddling, I've been guilty of that one😗, or a more traumatic case of... let's say father/mother committing adultery. Forgiveness is not a simple thing. However, let me remind you of two Bible verses that have helped me to personally become better at forgiving my loved ones.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says " Pray without ceasing."
Remember where you were when you started your spiritual journey with God and the person you are now and I'm sure you'll notice... you've grown, it's likely you've overcome several circumstances which have sought to bring you down and through this, you've grown. But how have you done this? And if you’re just starting, how are you going to do this? Well there's likely no one answer but I can guarantee that there was, and will be, a great deal of praying.
Remember your growth, is not due to your own strength but by the strength of God. You've gained knowledge and wisdom from his holy word, in addition to the teaching he's given you in your personal life. For those who've just started, you will do all these things by his grace and mercies. So remember that regardless of the problems you face, you can always depend on God for guidance. Do not hesitate to go to him in prayer and even in difficult times keep at it, don't stop praying.
When recalling this verse remember how great God's forgiveness is. When people, who mocked and crucified Jesus who had done nothing wrong, he forgave them, he died so that those among them, as well as those down the line (us) may live. However, remember the parable of the Unmerciful Servant, Matthew 18:21-35, where the servant who was granted mercy but the King failed to grant mercy to his own fellow servant and so was destroyed. In considering this, think, if we can't forgive one another, can we expect to receive God's forgiveness? That seems unfair right? If you want it ,strive to be able to give it to others, pray that God will clean and build your spirit that you may forgive those who hurt you and eventually you'll start to love them because you want them to receive the same salvation you received.
Fear is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm."
To fear God, however, is a completely different matter.
"Fearing God" refers to a specific sense of respect, awe and submission to God the Deity.
Let us look at who God is.
God is Omnipotent (all-powerful), Omnipresent (present everywhere), Omniscient (all-knowing), Immortal (can't die) and Eternal (existing forever).
Human is the opposite.
Focusing on Proverbs 25 vs. 28...
28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
Persons struggle with keeping their tempers in check for a number of reasons:
Happiness, a phenomenon that seems to elude the majority of the human race. You'd think we would have found the recipe for Happiness by now...
...since we have searched eons for it. Yet, here we are, still asking the question;
My name is Serena Richards and I, along with other helpful contributors, and of course the inspiration of God have written these posts as a source of help FOR YOU <3