Tag Archives: condemnation

Queen Bee Gossip: Sweet as Honey or a Toxic Sting? (Series: Toxic People and Situations)

What can be done when annoying bees buzz gossip into our ears, casting doubt about a friend or loved one’s character? How do you handle it?  Do you accept the information as valid and true, or do you go directly to your friend for his or her side of the story? Have you let a good relationship go to waste, simply because you accepted a story that caused you to side with the gossip, or did you consider something may be wrong if you only heard from one party?

When we think about the times we have found ourselves in these situations, do we discover that we’ve taken sides with the gossip, without knowing all the facts; or have we given our loved ones the benefit of the doubt?  Did we ever allow the person being gossiped about, to come to his or her defense? Did the person even know about it? Did the person give up? Why or why not? Was the person being gossiped about… you?

At one time or another, we’ve all found ourselves in a sticky situation when someone suddenly starts talking about someone else. In that moment, we have a choice to participate, or not participate. It can be uncomfortable to speak up about it, but the person who should really be feeling uncomfortable is the gossip herself. If we choose to participate, we will find ourselves stuck in a hive, wondering how to escape a sticky situation. Those who engage in gossip are often afraid to fly away from the queen bee, because they’re usually fearful of getting stung themselves!  And they will… get stung… because if a gossip is sharing info with you, the gossip will share info about you. To think this is false, is to live in denial about the spirit of gossip and how it works.

A gossip’s tasty little bits of information may initially seem to be sweet as honey, but there’s something to be said about food that is sickeningly sweet. When a gossip shares her irresistible story, people willingly eat it up. This is because the gossip falsely makes you feel special; as if it’s an honor to have been chosen to be trusted with her private little story. But it’s kind of like having a chocolate chip… you can’t eat just one. Each tasty morsel gives you a desire for another, and a little bit isn’t enough to satisfy. Eventually the listener wants a whole cookie, something to fill the belly:

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts” (Prov. 18:8 New International Version).


If the gossip is really experienced, she or he will work hard to turn you away from her enemies, from the very people God intended for you to have in your life… truthful, compassionate, loving people. Why would a gossip do this? Because the gossip has an agenda: It’s an agenda to get attention from you, no matter what the cost is to anyone else. If the gossip is successful at getting you to stop talking to your friends and loves ones, and you don’t even really know how it happened, you may want to consider the fact that this busy bee body is downright toxic.

By definition, toxic means poisonous! Who wants to be near poison? Wouldn’t we want to separate ourselves from it? Of course! The gossip knows this, so the gossip creates the division first, to distract you from the real problem… the gossip herself! However, instead of you being separated from the gossip, you are instead craftily separated from the friends and loved ones who are a positive influence in your life. A gossip separates friends out of spite, jealousy, low self-esteem, selfishness and self-centeredness.

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends” (Prov. 16:28).


The Bible condemns gossips; even grouping them into the same category as liars, slanderers, and God-haters!  God is not referring to this group with favor. A gossip is always a liar too. Why? Because the juicier the story, the larger the gossip’s audience will be, and embellishment means that more attention will be bestowed upon the gossip.

“They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. (Rom.8:29-31).

Try this experiment: Watch a gossip in action. Observe how people engage with her. They move in closer to her, and shut out those who are their targets. The gossip whispers for dramatic effect. People “oooh” and “ahhh” over her phrases. The news is always negative, and it is usually shocking. Bits of truth are thrown in to make the story seem true, and to make the gossip seem like a credible witness. The audience reacts by mimicking the gossip’s emotions. If she’s angry, they are “righteously” angry for her. If she’s having a pity party, her audience gladly pats her on the back and agrees that the person being gossiped about is truly thoughtless, unforgiving, and unChristianlike.

The gossip is the center of attention and the gossip wants to keep it that way. The focus will be on her and how much better she is than someone else, how she’s been mistreated by someone else, and how she is concerned about someone else. In essence, the gossip is an expert know-it-all about the person who is not even there to defend himself.  A genuine Christian should use discretion when concerned about a loved one;  and should seek to keep quiet about things that could hurt someone else or damage relationships among friends and loved ones:

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs” (Prov. 10:12).

Gossip is like having a  judge rule over a court case without allowing the defendant to speak. It’s like a football game when the offense runs forward to make a touchdown, but the defending team isn’t even there to try and intercept the ball.  If you challenge the gossip with questions to  verify how she got her information, her feathers will get ruffled, and she will become offended. She will become uncomfortable, and only then will she make an effort to change the subject.

In the worst case scenario, the gossip has no empathy, yet displays fake empathy by manipulating her captive audience into believing that she is concerned about the person being discussed. She is now in control of the situation, by having played on people’s emotions. Meanwhile the person being gossiped about is living a normal, healthy productive life, and usually has no clue about how much damage the gossip is causing behind his back. Yet slowly, bit by bit, people drop out of his life, all because of the gossip’s made up stories! Rarely will a good and fair man or woman come forward and say, “I heard this about you… is it true?” But why shouldn’t we do this? Why would we accept a one-sided conversation as truth? The Bible itself tells us this is a very naive thing to do:

“The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps” (Prov. 14:15 New American Standard Bible).

Most people can’t imagine how someone would play with real human lives in such a manner. But the truth is, it does happen, and it’s more often than we’d like to think. It happens when a gossip is at her very worst; and becomes a completely self-absorbed, self-centered, narcissistic person: Everything will be about her… everything. Not all gossips are narcissists; but ALL narcissists are gossips!  Beware the self-centered sting of narcissism!

If you’ve been caught up in the sin of gossip, the silver lining is that gossip is forgivable and escapable!  Repent of participating in gossip, and ask God whether He wants you to apologize to those who have been hurt by your participation in it. God makes good out of all things, when we come to Him with a repentant heart. Though it may take a while, God can heal broken relationships, and He can repair broken hearts. One small act of repentance can bring about a lifetime of beautiful gifts. God is a God of restoration. He can even replace many years which were lost due to the sin of gossip, and heal all the hearts involved. Ask God to remove gossip from your life today!

” ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten– the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed” (Joel 2:25-27 New International Version).


If you’re the one being gossiped about, remember that God is your protector. The Holy Spirit is at work, convicting the hearts of those who accuse you. You’re not alone. Jesus knows exactly how you feel. He chose not to defend himself, even though He was, and is, God’s beloved Son. He knew God had a better plan, and he trusted His Father. When we are unjustly slandered, by those who gossip about us, we can rejoice in the fact that we are taking part in the suffering of Jesus for his namesake. Not only do we take part in the suffering, but we will also take part in the great joy of God’s Kingdom! God will judge all of it, and make it right. Don’t waste your time with a queen bee, when you belong to the KING!

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:17-18).


Stay tuned for these upcoming June posts from the Series: Toxic People, Toxic Situations… 
Is She a Gossip? … 10 Red Flags

10 Ways to Escape Gossip

The Self-Centered Sting of Narcissism

The Jezebel Spirit

Flying Monkeys… What are They?

Jezebel’s Chess Game… Win or Lose?

She’s a Little Runaway: A Journey from Rejection to Acceptance 

As a teen, I lived in Alaska, in two different houses, over a five year period. I snuck out several times from both, and ran away from each one. Some of these times were known to others, and some were not. But of the two times I felt the most desperate need bolt, the most desperate run away attempt was the least successful. Maybe it was because I seemed to run backwards. Perhaps it was a mix of fear, false security, guilt, and concern over leaving a loved one left behind, along with worrying what my friends would think; but running away became a more desperate desire, yet I seemed to fall further and further from my goal of making it happen. 

In any regard, not making that final run, was definitely not because I had suddenly decided home was a safe place to stay. It was more like the jail door was open, but a tornado was whirling at the front door. Which option was best for me? Years later, I now know which option was best…the tornado by far. It might have landed me some place safe, like the baby you read about in the news, who is scooped up into a tornado’s belly, and vomited safely into a dresser drawer two towns over; safely sleeping. After all, Dorothy survived a tornado, and while on her journey, was kept safe from lions, tigers, and bears; and also from the witches and the flying monkeys sent out to destroy her. But unlike Dorothy, the phrase, “There’s no place like home,” meant something entirely different to me.

The first attempt at running away came out of sheer desperation to leave the role of scapegoat I had been assigned by my family. I couldn’t take it anymore, being blamed for everyone else’s problems. As the scapegoat in a family reeking with dysfunction, I was tired of being the excuse for everyone else’s issues, problems, and bad behavior. Sure I was an imperfect teenager, fully capable of mouthing off and being selfish, but not to any extreme some would be led to believe. I was a good kid; compassionate, intelligent, and funny. Why wasn’t I loved? It was never enough, so I kept trying harder to prove myself, and I was about to break. Being labeled a “problem child” subtly causes a shifting focus, which is exactly the intent; for the idea is to blind others to the truth of the real chaos lying underneath, and to distract them, so denial can go on and lives of sin can continue without inspection. 

I’d given up on getting attention or love, but I still hoped to remain under the radar, undetected, left alone to live my own life in peace. But that wasn’t about to happen, so I became angry. I began to rebel, because I knew it couldn’t be all my fault. I knew the truth and began to fight for myself, because I realized no one else was going to. “A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel” (Prov. 18:19 New International Version).

However, it was getting harder and harder to see the truth, when the fiery darts kept coming. Though I was saved, I didn’t yet understand how to defend myself with prayer. The phrases were aimed at me, over and over: “Why can’t you do anything right… Why can’t you be more like (someone else)… What is wrong with you… Why do you have to ruin everything?????”  These were the lies which years later, I would learn to renounce in the name of Jesus. I still have to pray against them today, but they come less often. “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16).

How could it be only my fault when my thumb was smashed black and blue after being slammed in the doorframe, and then my face slapped afterwards for cussing from the pain of the “accident.” And even worse, was when that cold hand forcefully slammed down flat dead center on top of my head; HARD. There was actually a witness then, but when everyone is trained not to tell, even adults remain silent. Reporting it doesn’t even cross your mind; it would likely be futile. Who would believe it? For, those things just don’t happen in families that go to church on Sundays, where girls wear pretty dresses, and invite their friends to come with them, because the family is a positive influence and a good example. 

Like any hurting teen, I believed if I didn’t protect myself, they would break me. I refused to be broken, not realizing I was already constantly gluing the precious broken pieces of myself back together. And that’s what l was doing… holding on to all my broken pieces, the night I was done being blamed. Of course no comfort; only condemnation, was offered that dark night when I shouted, “Then I’ll leave!” There was no reassurance of love, or a reminder that I was wanted, a gentle plea to stay and talk and pray about it. Instead, I was told that if I was going to go, I would have leave my coat behind, since I hadn’t bought it with my own money.

On Elmendorf Air Force Base, it was less than 30 degrees that evening, and pitch black outside. I had nowhere to go. But it took me less than a second to make my decision: I shoved off my new white downy coat with sporty blue stripes, threw it to the floor, and ran. I ran out into the black night, looking to the left and looking to the right. The icy clean air took my breath away. I ran towards my best friend’s house, but knew that would be the first place I’d be expected to be found. Her home life wasn’t stable either. It wasn’t an option. So I wandered. I wandered far past anywhere my friends and I ever wandered, even by our independent standards of doing whatever we wanted and going wherever we felt like going. I ran to warm up, but I slowed as the wheezing started. I was an asthmatic; just another way I’d caused problems for everyone else. I blew on my frigid fingers, and I scratched at the welts raising up under my jeans. I would get them when I got cold, due to a protein in my blood which reacts starkly to frigid temperatures. I didn’t realize then, that I actually suffered constantly from cold urticaria, which can in severe instances; cause low blood pressure, anaphylactic shock, and death. 

I still didn’t want to go back. At the same time, I’d seen the footage they show all the military families upon first arriving to The Last Frontier: “Scary Survival Videos.” At 14, I was old enough to know that hypothermia was a reality, and frostbite was serious business, where I could actually lose my fingers and toes. This time, I had no runaway friends to be my hypothermia partner so I could keep warm, and I was never going to do that “naked hugging sleeping bag survival skill” anyway; not unless I was left for dead on a mountaintop. I don’t remember if I prayed,  but I do know God was with me, protecting me and loving me.



I’d wandered for at least a couple hours, and I was far away from home. I knew I needed to get warm, or my body could be permanently damaged. I had on tennis shoes, instead of boots, and there was snow and ice on the ground. I didn’t much care about living right then, but always in my mind, was a loved one I had back at home, and being a teenager, I was also worried about my reputation, even among my friends. They would ask me why I ran away. I’d been trained not to tell family secrets. I’d been trained to pretend I came from a perfect “Christian” family. Who would believe me? It was too much anyway; a mountain of madness which no one would understand or believe or care about, and many don’t; even to this very day. Telling them would be impossible. Now I’ve gained enough wisdom to know that some things are only revealed by God in His perfect timing. 

That night I found myself at the chapel, and was mortified to find a friend of mine was there too. He sang with the adult choir, so he was often up at the church. I didn’t want him to see me, but it was too late. He was an intelligent, kind boy, and our mutual friends had mentioned he had a crush on me. Maybe he wouldn’t tell anyone. As far as I know, he never did. He asked me what I was doing there, and if I was ok. I shook my head, and took a deep breath, so I wouldn’t cry. He didn’t know how bad it was at home, but I think to this day, he knew about one of the secrets. His eyes said he knew. He wanted to ask more questions, but seemed to understand I couldn’t answer them. When I said I had to go, he put his hands on my shoulders and gently shook me. His dark eyes looked scared. He said the M.P.’s (military police) would come looking for me, and everyone would find out I had run away. He said I would freeze to death if I went back out in the cold. And finally, out of wanting to help, he convinced me to call home. 

When I made the call from the church, I did it on my terms. I’d learned a thing or two about manipulation and control tactics. I’d been taught well. My terms were that I’d tell where I was, but there would be no talking about it, and no punishment. If the terms were broken, I’d run away again, and I’d tell people why I was running. The terms were agreed upon, and the ride home was just as cold, if not more frozen, than the air outside. I was surviving. 

The next attempt at running away came out of a desperation that had turned to hopelessness, and the plan came down to no running away at all. I was found out before I even got a chance to get out of the house. I’d spent too long packing in the bathroom, and refused to open the door even when a hole was punched halfway through it. If there’d been a window, I would have exited. But with no escape in sight, I stuffed my school bag into the lower shelf of the bathroom closet, put some towels on top, and exited the bathroom. After hearing about how it was my fault that there was a hole punched in the door, I shrugged and announced that I was going to bed. I slid under the sheets in my clothes. I’d have to wait until about 1:30 or 2 a.m., because darkness in Alaska doesn’t come till then during its super short spring and summer months. 

My bag was packed with a few necessities, my tiny teddy bear, and about $100. The car keys were on my dresser, since I drove to school each day. The car wasn’t really mine, so I’d have to drive somewhere and leave it with a note, saying I was sorry and that it wasn’t stolen. I planned to drive from Eagle River to Anchorage, and then park and walk until I found a hotel. I KNEW there were some areas that were dangerous, like 4th Avenue, where everyone warned you never to go. But I was headed that way, because I thought it was the last place anyone would look. I never got there. I never got anywhere that night. 
The door to my bedroom flew open, and my escape bag was swinging back and forth before my eyes. I was shocked, and my heart sunk. I was completely deflated… hopeless. I must have raised suspicion by staying too long in the bathroom, packing up my things. My key set was whisked up from my dresser amidst angry shrieks. I’d be taking the bus next day to school, which I hated. I lay in bed that night with my tiny brown teddy bear, tears soaking his curly fur. I’d never get out. I don’t remember if I prayed, but I do know God was with me, protecting me and loving me.

Though I managed to move out of my house quickly, because I was snapped up for a teaching position immediately after graduation, I never really got away until my husband and I moved from the state of Texas, out to Virginia where we didn’t know a soul. It was especially hard to leave a loved one back home, and I missed my friends. But being on my own was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I began to write my prayers in a prayer journal, participated in a bible study, and pursued Jesus in peace. All my life, I’d been bashed over the head with a bible and forced to go to church, with scripture used out of context to guilt and shame me. I was a victim of spiritual abuse, and was running from God, because I thought He was always watching me from the sky, waiting to condemn me and punish me, and tell me what I was doing wrong. I was afraid of Him, and angry with Him too. I was now discovering the joy of having a relationship with Him! My eyes began to open up to the truth for the first time in my life, and God’s teachings showed me that everything I’d been taught was completely upside-down… and completely wrong. I do remember that I prayed! 

God moved me more times with my husband. Then God moved me more times with my children. Many things happened during those moves, and I’ve had many homes, but instead of running away, during each of my moves I have learned to draw closer to Jesus. When I start to run away, he doesn’t let me out of the door, without first insisting that he loves me and doesn’t want me to go. 

Whenever the pain becomes too hard to bear for those who have been running and running all their lives looking for a little bit of love, there lies ahead the silver lining: One ends up desperately running straight into the arms of Jesus! And in that most desperate time, the running away will stop, before you even realize it. Why? It’s because Jesus has been waiting here for you the whole time, with his arms outstretched, already wrapping themselves around you! I discovered that Jesus had been holding me in his arms the whole time, crying tears when I cried tears. He was waiting for me run in his direction and cry out his name, so he could save me. He is doing the same for you. Though I was already God’s child, I hadn’t understood the power and authority I have in Christ Jesus. I didn’t realize that I was loved by God, unconditionally, without condemnation or judgment. 

We don’t need to run away from Jesus, for he does not reject us! He loves us in spite of our imperfections, and in spite of our sins. We can run into his everlasting loving arms, and he will greet us with acceptance and unconditional love each and every time. If we forget how much he loves us, and start to run away, we can always turn back, repent, and ask him to forgive us. He will help us to battle the negative lies we have been falsely led to believe, and heal us of our guilt, fear, and anger; which will then banish depression; leading us to freedom and joy! We will discover that God is not far away up in the sky, but right inside of our hearts, and He’s been loving us our whole entire lives! For there really is “no place like home” when your eternal home is in Heaven with Jesus Christ. 

“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:20).


My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3).

If you enjoyed this blog post and found it helpful, you may like PAST PATHS… AND OTHER THINGS TOO PAINFUL TO MENTION.

Write to the author, and find daily encouragement to give you hope, as you heal and find freedom and joy in Jesus Christ at The Silver Lining Facebook Page. 

Wisdom says Do Not Mock the Poor

When I was a child I was often made fun of for being too sensitive. When I was eight, I lived in Brindisi, Italy. There were breads and cheeses and fruits at the marketplace. There were beggars too, in extremely great need. I wanted money to give to the beggars, and was told we couldn’t help them all. Couldn’t we help just one? I wanted to put some lire in the cup held by the dirty woman propped up against the stone wall. I knew her life couldn’t be easy; for she had only one leg. She was a mama with a baby on her lap, and a toddler hovering nearby. From what I understood, we were not to look at them, or engage with them; we were to pretend that they were not there.

But I stole a look behind me anyway, wondering how her family would eat and drink, and how she would take care of her children if she couldn’t even walk! All I could offer to the beggars as a child, was a smile to their toothless smiles, and it was hard to do that when my heart felt like a damn about to burst from holding back all my tears.

The mocking of my sensitive soul continued as I got older. Even as an adult, I was again made fun of, for my concern over whether someone who had entered a restaurant in Washington DC, was hungry and in need of a meal. I was gauging the situation by watching a disheveled woman’s behavior, trying to discern whether my asking if she wanted a meal would be offensive to her, or accepted with relief. People who should have been guiding me all my life, laughed at me instead, joking by claiming that the woman actually worked in the restaurant; all while stuffing their faces with the overly expensive food. I was no longer hungry.

Another time, I was greatly distressed to find that the homeless, in a city in North Carolina, were being forced to wear orange vests if they wanted to ask for money or work, while standing at medians in busy intersections. While understanding that the fluorescent orange color could protect them from getting hit by cars, I remarked on the cruelty of these people having to make themselves even more visible, as if was not already humiliating enough to beg for work, money, and food. I didn’t care if they had their own camp over yonder and had “chosen” this way of life. I was angry about their plight, and disgusted with the city of Durham for being willing to pay for orange vests, when that cash could instead be used towards sheltering cold homeless people, putting warm coats on cold bodies, or filling hungry bellies with delicious comfort food.

I was mocked and laughed at for speaking my caring thoughts aloud. Unkind words were said about the homeless. It hurt my ears. When, I objected, I was told it was all “just joking.” Then why wasn’t I laughing too? I sat sullenly in the back seat, not caring two cents about being the party pooper. Didn’t anyone else care about the poor? This wasn’t funny. At. All. And I knew by then how to think for myself. I had already been helping those less fortunate than me. I had a heart for helping the poor; it was a part of me, and I was glad. “Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished” (Proverbs 17:5 New International Version).

Several years later, I found myself joyfully fixing food and serving a community meal at a local church. The poor came, and the homeless. They were hungry; in need of clothing, toys, supplies, and most of all… Jesus. My favorite part was after the meal had been served, when I could take a seat across from, or next to these broken people and listen to their heartbreaking stories. I got to know their names, pray for them, and hug them. It got to the point where I would recognize them on the street if I passed through town. One even came to the library to read books one day while I was there with my children. I was able to introduce my daughter to Miss Carol, who seemed to find great comfort in reading children’s books, so we talked about our favorites.

If these kinds of people and situations were supposed to be ignored, dismissed, mocked, and joked about; why did my heart swell with such tenderness when I had the opportunity to meet these people’s needs? Why did I feel such joy at being allowed the privilege of giving a little part of myself to hopeless, hurting people? It wasn’t the kind of happiness that comes from a perfect day, like your birthday when you eat your favorite foods, with your favorite people, and go to your favorite places. It was Holy Spirit Love for others, which fills your heart with joy and peace, because you’re fulfilling God’s beautiful, divine purpose. For Jesus came to bring life to the lost, and hope to those in despair. He lives within me, and nothing compares to being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ, and loving others the way he does!

And who is to say that my life couldn’t have been like their lives? What if I was the one in their circumstances? How would my life turn out? Yet, I realize now that though I never lacked for food or clothing or shelter, I was truly poor in spirit, for I lacked the nurturing, care, encouragement, support, and unconditional love; that a child needs to become a whole, happy, healthy adult. The silver lining is God knows exactly what we need. He will provide it through other people, resources, the Holy Bible, churches, or if needed… a miracle. And best of all, is God’s promise, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:13).


God commands us to take care of the poor, minister to orphans and widows, and to uplift and encourage the broken-hearted. It’s because God values everyone as part of His Miraculous Creation. You can’t be a Christian without caring for those less fortunate, for the Bible says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (Jas. 1:27)

When we become part of the family of God, we become part of God’s greater plan. I can’t help but think that if everyone obeyed God and gave a part of themselves to those in need, that no one would be poor at all, and then we wouldn’t have all these problems in the first place! But we are dealing with the fall, and sin, and broken people. Nothing will be perfect ever until we reach Heaven. But in the meantime, can’t we give a little, or a lot, of our resources to help our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to help those who need to know Jesus to find him?

Someone’s greatest need may financial, physical, educational, or spiritual. A person may need food, shelter, Christian counsel, friendship, a bible to read, or a ride to church. We can use our gifts from God to minister to the poor. And if we don’t have much; we surely have our prayers to offer, which bring great results and rewards. Surely, we would not want others to make fun of us during our greatest time of need. We all want our basic and greater needs met. Isn’t God a good God to notice when we aren’t being treated right, when we are made fun of for being poor, or mocked for caring about poor people? It’s insulting and unacceptable to God!

So, do not heed the lies, all you compassionate and brothers and sisters in Christ; keep on caring, giving, sharing, encouraging, and loving others! Be beautifully sensitive! These are gifts from God to share with others! For we are ALL made in His image! God will bless both the giver and receiver, and everything will be used for His glory!

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).



Pursue The Shepherd to Escape the Wolves!

Everyone is free to believe as they wish, but no one should fool themselves into believing he or she will ever understand the truth about anything in life without pursuing God’s One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. If God says there are wolves among us, pretending to be Christians, He means it. It’s true. We need to pay attention to God’s warning, as we walk with Jesus and begin to view the world with godly, spiritual eyes. As our eyes and ears become open to the truth, we come to a place where we are no longer willing to be blinded and deceived by fake Christians, pretenders, or wolves in sheep’s clothing. We can rely on Jesus, refusing to get reeled in by the lies of self-centered, narcissistic people who are only interested in themselves. Many people also proudly rely on self, instead of looking towards God for guidance. Sadly, they will remain unable to escape the sharp hook of deception, and will lose out on the freedom of exploring the vast ocean of joy God has waiting for them. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:33 New International Version).

To find truth, we must give our lives to Christ, and continuously pursue him. Christians follow Jesus in spite of their mistakes and imperfections. Christians are people who change, because they grow over time. Sometimes the changes come quickly, and others can take much more time. But the changes will be good changes, reflecting the character of Christ. If there are no positive changes and spiritual growth, one should ask God if He’s pleased with the spiritual journey He’s watching from up above. When a child of God is stuck in a rut, it’s likely that repentance, forgiveness, and prayer are all necessary to bring back a wandering heart. God is always waiting with open arms to receive His lost children!

True Christians are followers of Christ. They don’t just talk; they walk with Jesus. They humbly accept that they are not perfect, but seek to do unto others as Jesus would do. Christians forgive each other, and forgive in the name of Jesus when it’s too hard to do it on their own. Christians don’t demand forgiveness. Christians humbly seek forgiveness with a repentant heart. They want to know how they’ve offended a brother or sister in Christ, so they can fix what’s broken. The Bible tells us not to judge or condemn others. These sinful attitudes get in the way of forgiveness. Other strongholds which keep people seeing God clearly are: stubbornness, anger, bitterness, denial, and even rejection. As The Holy Spirit reveals these, it is our place to ask God to remove them in the name of Jesus. Healing, freedom, and joy take place. Forgiveness then comes easier, and more naturally, just as it does with Jesus.

Some people only pretend to give their lives to Christ. Others actually do receive their salvation, yet go on living the same lives they led before; lives that don’t include God. This isn’t God’s will for His children. God is our Creator. He wants a relationship with us. God is omniscient; He knows whether we’ve really given our lives to Him. He looks at our hearts: “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’ ” (1 Sam. 16:7 ). God also sees us bearing fruit, and planting seeds which lead to others growing in Christ.

When you are with a Christian, you should see and hear and feel Jesus reflected in the heart of that person. You should be able to see light in that person’s eyes, rather than darkness. You should hear words that uplift and encourage you, rather than words that leave you angry, bitter, and confused. You should feel hopeful, peaceful, and comforted after spending time with a Christian, rather than feeling anxious and depressed. Real Christians grow fruit; they leave the world a better place by leading others to Jesus. Their lives show evidence of joy, grace, and the mercy of God’s love.

We all have times of conflict with brothers and sisters in Christ, but these should not override the goodness seen within them; the goodness that comes from having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Many people daily refer to themselves as Christians just because they go to church or do good deeds, but they have not truly given their lives to Christ. Instead they choose to live life without any regard to God’s commandments and callings. Their walk does not reflect the character of Christ, so it causes others to have a warped, false, and negative view of the pure goodness of Christianity.

The bible tells us evil will masquerade as light. We need to pursue Jesus, asking for wisdom to discern fake Christians (wolves) from genuine Christians (sheep). Wolves are jealous and vengeful. They gossip, lie, and stir up strife on a regular basis. Because of their vicious nature, they can get in the way of the amazing plans God has for you! Therefore, be diligent, and heed God’s warning: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matt.7:15). Ask God to help you identify deceit. Ask God to show you who the wolves are, and to remove them from your life, in Jesus’ name. God is your refuge and shelter; He is your greatest source of protection.

No matter what it looks like, what lies are being told, who has turned against you; look for the silver lining: NOTHING is more powerful than the power and authority of JESUS CHRIST in your life! God knows your worth; His Truth is all that matters! If you have a relationship with Jesus, then GOD HIMSELF has your back! Trust Him each and every day! Pursue Jesus, and the scales will fall from your eyes, as the real world of truth appears before you in ways you’ve never imagined! You will be amazed at what you can see through your brand new spiritual eyes! It’s about love and forgiveness. It really is…all about…pursuing JESUS!

” ‘I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know. ‘So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock–his church, purchased with his own blood–over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you–my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you. ‘And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.’ ”
( Acts 20:26-32 New Living Translation)

You can read more about how to identify wolves in sheep’s clothing in my article: Sheepish Character? False Christians cause Division (Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing).

My mission is to help others find hope leading to healing, joy, and freedom in the truth of Jesus Christ. On The Silver Lining homepage, you can click on specific topics related to this blog post, such as: narcissism, judging, deception, freedom, and more. You can also search your own keywords; examples are: “self-centeredness” “wolves” “jealousy” “character” “fruit” “light” and many others. Join The Silver Lining Facebook page, and share the silver lining experiences God has given to you, by submitting them to be shared with other readers! God bless you, in Jesus name! 

Stolen Candy Bar…Conviction or Condemnation?

Have you ever stolen a candy bar? Have you ever sinned by doing something you weren’t proud of, and struggled afterwards with guilt, anxiety, shame, fear, and self-condemnation? Even Christians, who know they are forgiven in Christ, will struggle with negative emotions, when they’ve sinned. That’s because the enemy is hell-bent on destroying us.

Condemnation comes from the devil. This voice is nagging and annoying, and you’ll try to run away from it. This voice screams, and beats you down, while trying to break your spirit. This voice says things like: “
What a loser…you stole a candy bar…you really did it this time…what a good-for-nothing worthless thief you are…why can’t you be more like your brother…you’re such an idiot…you should feel guilty…you’ll never amount to anything!”

Conviction comes from The Lord, God. This voice has great power and authority, and you won’t want to ignore it. This voice gently restores, and builds you up, while encouraging you to be more like Jesus. This voice says words like: “You have broken one of my ten commandments by stealing a candy bar…you’re my child, and stealing hurts others and yourself…you need to pay for the candy bar…ask the store owner for forgiveness…he will see Jesus in you…I can use you, even in this situation, to bring others to Jesus…I’m not giving up on you…I forgive you…I love you.”

What a vast difference! Scripture says that through Christ Jesus, we are forgiven for ALL of our sins: past, present, and future. However, this isn’t a license to sin, or to steal candy bars! When we repent, God’s forgiveness reminds us that He is a loving God. It gives us an opportunity to grow closer to Him, while building upon our relationship with Jesus Christ.

We can make things right on the surface, sometimes, by going back to the store, and paying for the candy bar. But that’s not always possible or necessary, and in some cases, it’s not even wise. If you renounce the devil’s condemnation, in the name of Jesus, you can focus on God’s conviction, and on what He wants you to do about the situation. In doing so, God can help set you free from sin and bondage. Learning how to forgive yourself and others, leads to freedom and victory through Jesus Christ!

We also have authority, in Christ, to renounce those very same lies that insist on trying to hover around, even after we’ve confessed, and received forgiveness. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 New International Version).

“ ‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool’ ” (Isa. 1:18 New Living Translation). Forgiveness makes the devil cringe. He will try to lie to you, so hold fast to the truth of scripture: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Now, that, brothers and sisters in Christ, is freedom!

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If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9