10 Godly Reasons to Break the Chain Post You Just Received

Another chain email comes around saying something like, “This is a test.  God is love.  Send this to 10 people if you love God, and something good will happen to you tomorrow.  Don’t break the chain, or else you’re denying God.  Share to make sure you get a blessing tomorrow!”  These deceitful chain posts cleverly take a truth and wrap it in lies.  Below, are ten godly reasons to break the chain post you just received:
1. Chain letters are a burden, requiring immediate action.  These lies burden us.  “Share if you care!”  This saying subtly insinuates that you don’t care if you ignore the post. Unfortunately, many good people believe they must participate in these chains, which are “innocent” sayings in disguise.  Chain posts form spiritual chains of anxiety, guilt, fear, and self-condemnation.  How do we handle these?  There’s good news; we don’t have to do anything at all.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28 New International Version).
2. Chain posts twist the truth, which includes distorting scripture. One particular chain post claims that people who break it are denying God. “But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in Heaven (Matt. 10:33 New Living Translation). We are NOT denying God by ignoring a chain post; sending it won’t save us. Being a child of God is a commitment of the heart. “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NIV). No one can take our salvation from us. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28 English Standard Version).
3. Chain posts manipulate the reader by inviting guilt, fear, anxiety, self-condemnation, and rejection.  These are all evil spirits.  Guilt may visit when one doesn’t copy, paste, and send the “sweet” chain message.  The pressure’s on when the message says, “If I’m one of your best friends, I hope this comes back to me!”  Fear of rejection can creep in for refusing to join a game that supports a cause being promoted.  Selecting ten “greatest moms” may cause anxiety. Who will be left out?  Do we even want to be in a position to judge?  Some people may feel jealous about the titles given to others.  Flattery, pride, and jealousy are evil spirits.  They build upon each other, forming anger and bitterness. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice” (Jas. 3:16 NIV).
4. Chain posts plague us with negative emotions, but God gently convicts with the Holy Spirit.  If you are a child of God, you have the power of the Holy Spirit.  You can renounce guilt, fear, anxiety, and more, in the name of Jesus.  You can rejoice in the fact that these negative emotions do not come from God!  God doesn’t make us feel bad to get us to do a job for Him. If you feel bad about not sharing a chain post, it’s not from God. The devil is the one who harasses us.  If God wants our involvement in advancing His kingdom, He will place the desire in our hearts.  If we make a mistake, and miss an opportunity, he will gently convict us, and lead us on the right path.  “He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Ps. 23:3 ESV).    
5. Chain posts create a false sense of friendship. Our real friends are not trying to hurt us.  They have good intentions, and most likely just want to brighten our day.  But because chain posts are based on lies, they add no value to our friendships. The messages are targeted toward a large audience, with the expectation to act quickly. Real friends are there for each other during hard times.  Chains posts have nothing to do with friendship. Real friendships consider your unique individuality, and they take time to cultivate. There is conversation and interaction with each other, with heartfelt notes, phone calls, and time out for coffee. Chain posts distract us from the true friendships that God provides for us. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born to help in time of need” (Prov. 17:17 NLT).
6. Chain posts require you to “prove” something. If you love Jesus, and if you’re not afraid, you will pass it on.” Even if this is all the chain post says, it subtly insinuates that you feel the opposite, if you ignore it. Some people feel frustrated at having “something else to do,” but share the posts to relieve guilt and anxiety. Self-condemnation may nag in their ears, telling them they are weak for not being a voice for Jesus.  Fear tells people their prayers won’t be answered.  It is fear that makes people believe they will be punished for not sharing a chain post to prove their love for God.  Lies are the devil’s hired hands. Jesus sets us free from man-made rules requiring us to prove love, friendship, and loyalty.  “But Peter and the other apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than human beings’ ” (Acts 5:29 NIV)!
7. Chain letters are rooted in sin, and they shackle the participants in lies.
A chain post is an empty promise filled with false hope that something good will happen, if the “good luck rose” is shared. We can’t control our destiny with “luck.”  When we need help in our lives, we need to pray.  Only God can change our circumstances, and He is the giver of all good gifts.  Chains predicting “bad luck” are even worse.  The lies sprout seeds of fear, and lead people further from truth.  In Deuteronomy, chapter 18, God tells Moses not to let his people practice fortune telling, which He says is detestable.  It is in the same category as witchcraft and interpreting omens. Chain mails are a form of fortune telling. They predict the future. “I will put an end to all witchcraft, and there will be no more fortunetellers” (Micah 5:12 NLT).  People naively share chain posts, without realizing that God hates fortune telling.  In addition, chains are usually shared without recognizing the source from which they originate.  Spiritual messages can be connected to sites, which lead people away from the truth of Christianity.
8. Breaking chains brings us relief from fear. The most evil chains threaten harm, if the chain is broken. They contain words about God’s love, and then suggest people are siding with the devil if they ignore the chain. This is a lie meant to cause fear, but we are safe as God’s children.  “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’ ” (Rom. 8:15 NIV).  God will not abandon us for ignoring a chain post.  “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fear for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below– indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39 NLT) 
9. Chain letters steal our time.  Our time is better spent praying for others, reading the bible, and fellowshipping with friends and family.  We should feel free to share wisdom, truth, scripture, and prayer requests.  Be wary of manipulative posts that require you to act, in order to avoid a consequence or to prove a point:  “90% of people don’t care enough to send this on.  Let’s find out who really does!”  Guilt just hitched a ride!  Manipulation knows you want to be considered a caring person.  Guilt knows you will feel like a jerk, if you’re one of the 10% that “don’t care.” We don’t have to participate in chains and challenges to prove that we care about a cause.  God doesn’t care about “likes” and “shares.”  He cares about our hearts. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Ps. 139:23 NIV).
10. Breaking chains is the only way to freedom. The jailer can open the door, and tell us we can go, but if we are still in chains, we aren’t going anywhere. When storm clouds bring chains that try to bind us, there is a silver lining. With Jesus, we can break free, by standing in God’s truth. It is such a relief to be free from emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental chains that bind us.  How sweet to know we can show our love for Jesus, without being required to do things that man demands of us.  Jesus died for our sins.  He came to bring forgiveness and release us from our burdens and chains. “For God will break the chains that bind his people” (Isa. 9:4. NLT)…
In order to be forgiven and receive eternal life, God only requires that we accept His son, Jesus Christ, who was sacrificed on the cross for our sins.  Nothing else can save us or change the course of our lives. We need to acknowledge that we are sinners, and ask God to forgive us. Then we walk on God’s path. We no longer walk in chains.  We walk in freedom, and we grow closer to Him! 

“He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.” (Psalm 107:14 NIV)

   © 2015 Nicholas Pelleman

"Sit on a Tack"

I’ve learned that whenever I try to
post for “The Silver Lining,” that something bad seems to happen to try and discourage me…just like it did tonight. Honestly, it makes me want to see red!

"Sit on a Tack"

I realize that it’s because the devil hates what I am doing to share God’s truth, and help people find freedom in Christ. I see that he wants me to become discouraged and give up. It would be easy to take this road…quit so the devil wouldn’t harass me and my family…but my heart won’t let me. God has given me the gift of knowing and applying scripture to daily life. The devil doesn’t seem to get the fact, that I’m going to lean on it to get out of the messes he creates. He may stir up trouble, but God can turn it around to bring healing to our lives and others’. We might start to tear our hair out, but then God gives us a nice scalp massage and styles our hair into a nice French twist. Then He sends us off, refreshed and ready to do His work. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). So…”If the devil doesn’t like it, he can sit on a tack!”

I’m still gonna post my article about chain posts and tell everybody the truth about him!

(Song lyrics “I’ve Got the Joy,” by author, George Willis Cooke, 1848-1923, copyright unknown)

Stop Worrying

My daughter and I have a deep connection. We are both able to calm each other, when either is upset. This week, I was feeling stressed, because I couldn’t find one of her school books. She was doing her schoolwork, and in a matter-of-fact tone said, “Mommy, you are just worrying about something you don’t need to be worrying about right now.” She was right. I was amazed at her five-year-old wisdom. She has expressed before, that God has spoken to her about me. God often speaks to me through my children, and I know when it happens, because it’s biblically based: “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs” (Matt. 6: 31-32 NLT).

When Envy Tries to Visit, Tell Her to Pick up Her Toys, and Go Home!

“Make your daughter the envy of all her friends!”  As my computer screen displays the advertisements from furniture stores, I’m disgusted, instead of deceived.  The sellers want me to buy their bed, so my daughter’s friends will feel bad.  Why would I want to do that?  I just want a comfortable place for her to sleep.  When her friends come over, we want them to enjoy our home, and have fun.  I want my daughter to share her toys, and spend time being creative with her friends.  Wistful glances are not on our agenda.  

I love when my daughter comes home from a friend’s house, her eyes all lit up with excitement.  She might tell me about an activity they did together, or a new game that they played.  Maybe she fed a fish, or used a penny in a bubble gum machine.  I want my daughter to feel happy after a play date.  I don’t want her to come home feeling envious. We believe in spreading joy, not jealousy.

A friend may have a trampoline or a swimming pool.  A friend may have a wooden box, filled with shiny marbles, or an old suitcase filled with mom’s dress-up clothes. No friend has everything, and neither does my daughter.  It would actually be boring if everybody had the same things.  So, who wants to invite Envy along on the play date?  Not us!  She takes the fun out of everything. Sometimes we need do some spiritual warfare, in order to leave this green-eyed monster behind.

My daughter loves stuffed animals.  With twin siblings that have passed down the love, she already has an abundance of “pets.”  When she sees a cute stuffed animal at a friend’s house, she wants to show and tell me all about it.  It wasn’t always this way.  She used to cry, because she wanted the same stuffed animal that her friend had.  Loaning toys is sometimes fun, but my daughter began to ask me if she could borrow toys that hadn’t been offered.  Then there were tears when I said no. It was time to talk to Jesus!

We prayed to God, and we thanked Him for our friends.  We thanked him for the things He has provided, including our special toys.  We asked Him to help us be happy just having fun with our friends, and not to be sad about the things we don’t have. We thanked God for having friends who share, and we asked Him to help us be happy sharing too.   We prayed in the name of Jesus, and it worked. That’s because Jesus is stronger than Envy. Now my daughter knows she can look forward to the special things at her friends’ houses, without feeling envious.

As adults, we are not immune from the Spirit of Envy.  We also have needs, wants, and desires.  It can be difficult when we see friends who seem to “have it all.”  But we are not always aware of their personal struggles.  There may be illness, problems with children, marriage issues, or even financial difficulties.  We may not actually want what comes with the entire package.  But Envy is deceitful.  She covers up the difficulties.  She wraps it all up in a pretty package, and tells us lies.  She goes as far as trying to convince us to buy that gift in order to make our friends jealous.

Envy, coveting, and jealousy are evil spirits.  They invite hate.  The good news is that they can be renounced in the name of Jesus!   There is nothing wrong with our children when they are struggling with these things…or with us.  We are fighting a spiritual battle. Though there is a battle, there is a silver lining…God always wins!  God also shows us how to win that battle all throughout the bible, such as commanding His children to have thankful hearts.  When we thank God for His good gifts, it keeps the devil from stealing our joy.

So…no, thank you, worldly stores.  I do not want my daughter to be the envy of her friends.  I want her to be a blessing.  I hope that as she grows in Christ, she will let her friends know that sometimes she has felt envious too.  I pray that she will tell them she is learning to be thankful for what she has.  I pray that she will let her friends know that God gives us good gifts according to what He feels is best, in His perfect timing.  Most of all, I pray that she will point her friends towards God’s son, Jesus, who is the most precious gift of all.  There’s no room for envy, when God freely offers salvation to everyone.  When we invite Jesus into our hearts, we receive eternal life, along with eternal treasures, in Heaven.

 “Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
(1 Corinthians 13:4 New International Version)