Behaviour & Attitude in Christian Life
Please also see: ‘Conversation.’
‘Mind & Thought.’
Seek the Truth with all your heart.
Jesus is our model and perfect example of behaviour. He was (and still is) perfectly genuine, loving, and inoffensive in every way, and that is how every Christian person should be.
Every word spoken and every action, even if spontaneous, should be influenced by a continually and constantly developed awareness of being led by the Holy Spirit, with Jesus as our example and guide.
Real Christianity is a way of life; consisting of total surrender to GOD, accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour, Master, Lord of your life, and yielding yourself to Him; so that He may live His life within you, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus will live the same kind of life within you today that He lived 2,000 years ago.
Christians who love GOD and the beauty of His ways, principles, and character, cannot find comfort or pleasure in the ways of this world, which are degenerate.
Christians want and seek purity and righteousness. A kind, courteous, considerate Christian, is a powerful example of Christianity.
GOD’s preference is for you to depend on HIM continually, trusting HIM to guide you and strengthen you as needed; this is how you grow strong in your weakness. GOD never changes. HIS ways always remain the same. Perfection cannot be improved.
A committed Christian can easily live life with GOD consciousness = GOD-liness.
Doing whatever pleases GOD, is what pleases us most.
In life it is not important as to where you started, where you came from, what you were, what you have done, or what your beliefs, values, and behaviour were; it only matters as to what you become, how much you become changed, and in what ways. The Holy Spirit helps you to have new values; and for the past wrong things to shrivel up and die. The bad things you may have done along the way become replaced by your good behaviour as the result of a genuinely and completely changed you.
Look at the life of King David who became King of Israel. He did some terrible things, and later realized his extreme sin, which he confessed and sought forgiveness for. In the end GOD called him “A man after MY OWN heart.” This, in no way, condones wrong doing, GOD is not fooled.
Galatians 6:7-10 ‘Do not be deceived: GOD cannot be mocked. A person reaps what they sow. The one who sows to please their sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.’
The behaviour of a person who is in relationship with GOD includes:
Obedience to HIS principles. The way we approach HIM. How we pray. How we worship. How we behave. The music we listen to. The books we read for pleasure or education. How we contemplate and meditate on HIS Word, and all things pertaining to HIM, and life in general. GOD’s supernatural power can help you master your moods, thoughts, and desires.
Spend time cultivating relationships with friends who genuinely care about you; who want to see you succeed. Maintain all friendships, but spend your serious time with friends who believe in you and want you to achieve your GOD-given potential. Whatever you desire in your own life, you must first give to others. If you want true friends, you must become a true friend. If you want blessings in your own life, plant seeds of blessing in other people’s lives.
Always do good things, never cease from doing good. Always be on the lookout for ways to encourage, help, and even be generous to people; including those who have offended you, hurt you, cheated you, and have done whatever would normally attract un-forgiveness, vindictiveness, revenge, and even hate. Let them see that you have a big heart. Smile at them. Be forever ready to be a blessing to people. Be ready to make a difference.
Change how you see things, allow the Holy Spirit to change your life - think, see, speak, and act positively; even a negative situation can be handled in positive ways, not in accepting it, but in dealing with it.
When you do good deeds, and things which are beyond obligation and natural response, and you do them without anyone else even knowing; GOD sees and will reward you somehow, sometime.
Always realize that even one person can make a difference, and that includes every person. One smile can lift up a lonely person and anyone, break the gloom, and begin a friendship. One word can start a conversation, introduce wisdom, or change the subject. One voice can introduce new direction. One vote can change a nation. One action can influence for good. One can be a mighty power.
Anger is a challenge that many people must deal with in their own lives. A great deal of righteous indignation may conceal anger. Some people spend their whole lives fighting against something, which might be pollution, or the abuse of animals. The cause is fine, but their attitude of rage and anger should be replaced with an attitude based on love – come join us, support us, in this very worthwhile project, and do your bit when and where you can.
Some employers and supervisors think it necessary to be aggressive, and to have to keep pushing people to get anything done. It is usually their own internal anger, or insecurity, or feeling of inadequacy, and their need to get it out in some way, that drives them to keep pushing themselves, and pushing others around. Anything based on anger is destructive, it needs to be replaced by healthy, loving zeal.
You can never do or accomplish enough to quench anger, or get even with past bad experiences, there is always more anger left over.
The only remedy is to forgive and to replace anger with love. Unless you forgive, you remain a prisoner of anger, hate, and bitterness. Love is the answer. Be zealous for what you are passionate about, but do it with the love of Jesus.
Slave-driving tactics only create bad relationships – reluctance – a horrible atmosphere – and probably high staff turnover.
Whatever you want or need to change about your habits or behaviour, just think of it as replacement therapy, which means to not fight to suppress or stop the behaviour, but to choose good replacement behaviour, and concentrate on that.
There is nothing more rewarding, satisfying, and encouraging, as loving others through your words and actions. Helping other people, and making a difference in their lives is very therapeutic to both parties.
Every person should do whatever they are able to do with whatever ability they have, in whatever position - situation - circumstance - or need that exists.
Freely we have received, so freely we must give.
When you know you’ve done what GOD has told or led you to do, and you have done all you can do, trust HIM to do the rest. Just have faith and believe.
The LORD has personally given a special and unique work to each one of GOD’s children, communicated to each through HIS Spirit – The Holy Spirit.
We all need purposeful involvement every day, otherwise one feels sidelined, and that life is passing one by, which can cause feelings of unworthiness and emptiness. This can all be remedied by GOD-ly involvement in voluntary work for charities or other worthwhile organisations.
In these times we must remain close to GOD and live in a way that honours HIM. We should take encouragement from the legacy of Christians in other times, whose transformed lives slowly transformed their society. We, and our lives, must be a kind of light which shines decency into society. Recognise the link between strong families and strong communities; and be supportive of Christians working within social issues, and be ready to help in whatever ways.
Pray for those who shape public issues in politics, and media.
There are so many things in life, which, of themselves, are neither good nor bad; such as money, sex, influence, authority, possessions, physical strength, and others. However what can make them good or bad - a blessing or sinful - is one’s attitude towards them, the values one places on them, what one will do to acquire them, and how one applies them. What values do they hold in your life? Misuse of blessings kills their purpose.
Anything that contradicts GOD’s laws, principles, priorities, and standards is sinful = evil - wicked - bad - and plainly wrong.
Leviticus 19:32 ‘Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your GOD, I am the LORD.’
Joshua 1:7-9 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law MY servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you.? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 25:4-5 ‘Show me YOUR ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in YOUR truth and teach me, for YOU are my GOD and Saviour, and my hope is in YOU all day long.’
Psalm 32:8 ‘I (GOD) will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.’
Psalm 105:4 ‘Look to the LORD and HIS strength; seek HIS face always.’
Psalm 133:1 ‘How good and pleasant it is when GOD’s people live together in unity.’
Psalms 139:23-24 ‘Search me O GOD, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’
Proverbs 3:5 ‘Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the LORD with all your heart and mind, and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.’
Proverbs 4:20-27 A summary of how a Christian should live:
‘My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to MY words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.’
Proverbs 11:17 ‘Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on
Proverbs 12:15 ‘The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.’
Proverbs 16:9 ‘In their hearts people plan their course, but the LORD determines their steps.’
Proverbs 17:1 ‘Better a dry crust with peace and quiet, than a house full of feasting, with strife.’
Proverbs 19:20-21 ‘Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.’
Proverbs 20:24 ‘A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way.’
Proverbs 21:2-3 ‘A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.’
Proverbs 27:5 ‘Better is open rebuke than hidden love.’
Proverbs 29:9 ‘if a wise person goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.’
Friendships and relationships in which there is trust and honesty allow each person to make frank and honest observations and suggestions without being hurtful or offended. A true friend sticks with you through good and bad times.
William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) English dramatist, playwright, and poet; said:
“This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Always be yourself, don’t spend time and effort trying to be like someone else. By all means learn from good examples; but make the most of who you are. Each person is unique.
Whatever GOD shows you, confess it immediately, and by faith receive HIS forgiveness and cleansing. Then you will be able to stand victorious over your problems, and before your enemies.
Think about what you may be doing in your life to cover-up, compensate, or replace a hurt, disappointment, lack, emptiness, or absence of someone, or something which you would love to have. Ask GOD to fill any and all such lack, or compromising behaviour.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 ‘Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.’
Isaiah 5:20-21 ‘Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.’
Isaiah 48:17 ‘This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer, the HOLY ONE of Israel; “I am the LORD your GOD, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
Isaiah 56:1-2 & 6-7 ‘This is what the LORD says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for MY salvation is close at hand and MY righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the one who does this – the person who holds fast; who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.
And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to HIM, to love the NAME of the LORD, to be HIS servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it, and who hold fast to MY covenant – these I will bring to MY holy mountain and give them joy in MY house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on MY altar, for MY house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon ME, and I will listen to you. You will seek ME and find ME when you seek ME with all your heart.”
Micah 6:8 ‘He has showed you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you.? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your GOD.’ Luke 1:37 ‘For nothing is impossible with GOD.’
Zechariah 7:9-10 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again.? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by people.”
Matthew 5:48 ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly FATHER is perfect.’
This is what we must aim for, even though we know that we cannot realistically be perfect, it must be our target, therefore we must not justify our failures and sins as being acceptable. GOD clearly sees the difference between a genuine stumble – a mistake, and a wilful sinful decision – intentional wrong.
Matthew 6:33-34 ‘But seek first HIS (GOD’s) kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’
Matthew 7:12 ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.’
Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 10:16 “I (Jesus) am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
Matthew 22:37-40 ‘Jesus said: “love the Lord your GOD with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Strive and look forward to being eligible to hear GOD say:
Matthew 25:21 & 23 + Luke 19:17 “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness.”
Matthew 25:35 - 40 ‘For I (Jesus) was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.”
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and gave You something to drink.? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You.? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You.?”
The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.”
The summary of these scriptures is that by giving to, and caring for and about, anyone in need, you are actually giving (in love) to GOD and Jesus. Giving to certain charities and ministries who look after poor and homeless people, is a way of caring for poor and needy people.
Mark 8:34-38 ‘Then Jesus called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: “If anyone would come after Me, they must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul.? Or what can a person give in exchange for their soul.? If anyone is ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when they come in His FATHER’S glory with the holy angels.”
Mark 10:43-45 ‘Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. Foe even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.’
(‘Slave’ and ‘servant’ mean to always be ready to help others.)
Mark 16:15 ‘Jesus said to them, ”Go into all the world and preach the good news to all
Luke 8:17-18 ‘For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more, whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.’
Luke 9:62 ‘Jesus replied, “No one who puts their hand to the plough and looks back, is fit for service in the kingdom of GOD.”
This was Jesus’ answer to each person who was wanting and willing to follow Him, but wanted to attend to another matter first, including one who wanted to attend to first burying his father who had died.
So being involved in the kingdom of GOD must take precedence over everything else. Nothing is to get in the way. Leave everything else behind. Don’t let depression, feeling unworthy, the pull of the past, guilt, fear, shame, betrayal, loss, abuse, rejection, resentment, and un-forgiveness, hold you back in any way. Leave it all behind, you are now involved in a far higher purpose.
Luke 12:48b ‘From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.’
John 12:25 ‘The man who loves his life (as first priority above all else) will lose it, while the man who hates his life (puts it second to GOD) in this world will keep it for eternal life.’
John 15:5 “I (Jesus) am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:14 ‘Jesus said “You are My friends if you do what I command.”
John 15:19-20 ‘Do you (committed Holy Spirit - filled Christians) not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from GOD.? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour GOD with your body.’
Acts 2:42-44 ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.’
Acts 2:46-47 ‘Every day they continued to meet in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising GOD and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’
Acts 20:24 ‘However I consider my life worth nothing to me, my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord has given me; the task of testifying to the gospel of GOD’s grace.’
Acts 20:35b ‘---- the Lord Jesus Himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Romans 5:3-5 ‘Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because GOD’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.’
Romans 8:28-30 ‘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. For those GOD foreknew HE also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of HIS Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those HE predestined, HE also called, those HE called, HE also justified; those HE justified, HE also glorified.’
Romans 12:9-21 ‘Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with GOD’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for GOD’s wrath, for it is written: “It is MINE to avenge, I will repay,” says the Lord.
On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on their head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’
(See the explanation of ‘heaping burning coals on their head,’ at the end of this subject.)
Romans 14:9-19 ‘For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister.? Or why do you treat them with contempt.? For we will all stand before GOD’s judgement seat. It is written:
“As surely as I live, ‘says the Lord, every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will acknowledge GOD.”
So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to GOD.
Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of GOD is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to GOD and receives human approval.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.’
Romans 15:1-2 ‘We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbour for our good, to build them up.’
John 12:43 ‘…. For they loved human praise more than praise from GOD.’
Romans 12:1-2 & 9-21 ‘You are urged, in view of GOD’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to GOD, this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what GOD’S will is; HIS good, pleasing and perfect will.’
‘Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for GOD’s wrath, for it is written: “It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
(The meaning of burning coals is explained at the end of this subject.)
Colossians 3:1-25 ‘Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of GOD. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in GOD. When Christ, Who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your Earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of GOD is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all in all.
‘Therefore, as GOD’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to GOD with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to GOD the FATHER through Him.’
Wives submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favour, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
Whatever you do, work at it with your heart, as working for the Lord, not for people, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favouritism.’
Just as Christ loves the church = the saints = GOD’s children, who are described as His bride to be, and He was prepared to die for all humanity to save us from the penalty of eternal death, from which we could never return. A husband must be prepared to die for his wife if necessary.
Christians should adopt all these attitudes.
1 Corinthians 6:1-8 ‘If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgement instead of before the Lord’s people.? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world.? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases.? Do you not know that we will judge angels.? How much more the things of this life. Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church.? I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers.? But instead, one brother or sister takes another to court; and this in front of unbelievers.’
1 Corinthians 6:19 ‘Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from GOD.? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour GOD with your bodies.’
1 Corinthians 10:12-17 ‘So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. No temptation has seized you except what is common to mankind.
And GOD is faithful HE will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, HE will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ.? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ.? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, we all share the one loaf.’
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 ‘So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of GOD. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks, or the church of GOD; even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.’
1 Corinthians 11:1 ‘Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.’
1 Corinthians 15:33 ‘Do not be mislead: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
2 Corinthians 3:2-6 ‘You yourselves (the true Christians) are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living GOD, not on tablets of stone (as the ten commandments are) but on tablets of human hearts. (Meaning we hold it in our heart.)
Such confidence we have through Christ before GOD. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from GOD. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter (of written law) but of the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.’
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.’
2 Corinthians 6:17 ‘Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ‘For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of GOD, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.’
2 Corinthians 13:12 ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice.! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the GOD of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.’
When you become filled with the Holy Spirit, your behaviour and way of life should embrace the following:
Galatians 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience (= long suffering), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (= temperance).
James 1:19-20 ‘My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick – ready - to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that GOD desires.’
James 4:4 & 6 ‘You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against GOD.? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of GOD.’
‘’But HE (GOD) gives us more grace. That is why scripture says: “GOD opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.”
1 John 2:15-17 ‘Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the FATHER is not in them. For everything in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, comes not from the FATHER but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of GOD lives forever.’
1 Peter 3:3-4 ‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyle and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in GOD’s sight.’
2 Peter 1:5-7 & 10-11 ‘For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self control; and to self control, perseverance; and to perseverance, GOD-liness; and to GOD-liness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.’
‘Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’
(Calling and election = choosing Jesus as Lord, and GOD, and being saved.)
In seeking all the qualities in the above scriptures one could add wisdom.
Galatians 6:1-10 ‘Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
Do not be deceived: GOD cannot be mocked. A person reaps what they sow. The one who sows to please their sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.’
Ephesians 4:1-6 ‘As a prisoner (meaning devoted to) of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one GOD and FATHER of all, WHO is over all and through all and in all.’
Ephesians 4:17-32 ‘So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles (those who do not know the ONE TRUE GOD) do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of GOD because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like GOD in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Whoever has been stealing must no longer steal, but must work, doing something useful with your own hands, that you may have something to share with those in need.
‘Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of GOD, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, GOD forgave you.’
Ephesians 5:1-5 ‘Follow GOD’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to GOD.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for GOD’S holy people. Nor shall there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person, such as an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of GOD.’
Ephesians 5:15-21 ‘Be very careful, then, how you live; not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to GOD the FATHER for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.’
Ephesians 6:7-8 ‘Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free (= bonded or independent.)
Ephesians 4:22-27 ‘You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like GOD in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.’
Philippians 2:1-5 ‘Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.’
Philippians 2:13-16 ‘For it is GOD who works in you to will and to act according to HIS good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of GOD without fault in a crooked and depraved generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour in vain.’
Philippians 4:4 ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice.’
Philippians 4:6-9 ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication (petition), with thanksgiving, present your requests to GOD. And the peace of GOD, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent, or praiseworthy, think about such things. Whatever things you have learned or received or heard, or seen, from Apostle Paul, put it into practice. And the GOD of peace will be with you.’
Colossians 3:23-25 ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Jesus Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favouritism.’
1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 ‘Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, hep the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is GOD’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.’
May GOD HIMSELF, the GOD of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The ONE WHO calls you is faithful, and HE will do it.’
Avoid every appearance of evil, even in subtle ways; so that no-one gets a wrong impression.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 ‘But we ought always to thank GOD for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because GOD chose you as first-fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. HE called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and GOD our FATHER, WHO loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.’
1 Timothy 4:8 ‘For physical training is of some value, but Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for the present life and the life to come.’
1 Timothy 4:12 ‘Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.’
2 Timothy 3:12-13 ‘In fact, everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men (people) and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.’
2 Timothy 4:7-8 ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness; which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.’
Titus 2:1-3 & 11-16 ‘You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.’
For the grace of GOD has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and GOD-ly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope; the appearing of the glory of our great GOD and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.’
Hebrews 10:23-27 ‘Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for HE WHO promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day (of Jesus’ return) approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgement and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of GOD.’
Hebrews 12:1-11 ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and protector of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of GOD. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son.? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.?”
Endure hardship as discipline; GOD is treating you as HIS children. For what children are not disciplined by their father.? If you are not disciplined, and everyone undergoes discipline, then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the FATHER of spirits and live. They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but GOD disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in HIS holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.’
James 1:2-4, 12, 19-21 ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’
‘Blessed is the person who perseveres under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that GOD has promised to those who love HIM.’
‘My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that GOD desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.’
James 4:13-17 ‘Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life.? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say “If it is the LORD’S will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.’
1 Peter 1:13-16 ‘Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 2:1-3 ‘Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.’
1 Peter 2:9 ‘Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.’
1 Peter 2:21 ‘To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to HIM WHO judges justly. “He Himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.’
1 Peter 3:8-9 ‘Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers and sisters, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.’
1Peter 3:11-12 ‘They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’
1 Peter 4:9-11 ‘Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift they have received to serve others, faithfully administering GOD’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do it as one speaking the very words of GOD. If anyone serves, they should do it with the strength GOD provides, so that in all things GOD may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever, Amen.’
1 Peter 5:5-9 ‘Young men be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “GOD opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under GOD’s mighty hand, that HE may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on HIM because HE cares for you. Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that others throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.’
2 Peter 3:18a ‘Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’
1 John 2:3-6 ‘We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The person who says “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in them. But if anyone obeys His word, GOD’s love is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him. Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.’
1 John 2:15-17 ‘Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the FATHER is not in them. For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the FATHER but from the world. The word and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of GOD lives forever.’
Our destiny is to fulfill GOD’s call in our lives, using the talents, skills, passions and giftings GOD has given us. We need to go out and build His kingdom, and ultimately to inherit eternal life and the heavenly mansion He has prepared for us. The path and destiny that GOD has given us the talents to fulfill, can be the most exciting and fulfilling part of life.
However small your talent, GOD has a purpose for it. Faithfulness in little things is precious, and links us by a golden cord to the higher world.
Always be respectful of scripture and never be trifling about it. Let your conduct leave the impression with every person that a pure and holy atmosphere surrounds you.
Heavenly investment is eventually infinitely superior to earthly investment.
By revealing the character of Christ in our lives we are in co-operation with Him. When every act shows that we love GOD supremely, and that we love other people, GOD is glorified and the world sees a good example.
Francis of Assisi expressed in his famous prayer: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, sow pardon; where there is doubt, sow faith; where there is despair, sow hope; where there is darkness, sow light; and where there is sadness, sow joy. Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying (to your Earthly nature and spirit) that we are born to eternal life.”
The intellectual and spiritual nature become changed by what you look at and think about. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects which it is allowed to dwell on and absorb.
You will never rise higher than your standard of purity, goodness, truth, and thinking.
If a person’s own self interests are their loftiest ideal, they will never attain to anything more exalted than that level, which will usually proceed to sink lower. GOD’s grace alone has the power to exalt a person.
1 John 3:18 ‘Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.’
3 John 2 ‘I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.’
A noble application is to apply your talents and passions to wherever there is a need, which could be right where you live, or anywhere in the world.
Do not be ashamed to serve others for the love of Jesus Christ, and to appear to be poor in this world. Do not be driven to be self-sufficient, but place your trust in GOD. Do what lies in your power to do, and GOD will aid your good-will. Do not trust in your own learning, nor in the cunning of any man, but rather in the grace of GOD who helps the humble, and humbles those who are proud.
If you have wealth, do not glory in it, nor in friends because they are powerful, but in GOD WHO gives all things and WHO desires above all to give HIMSELF. Do not boast of personal stature or of physical beauty, qualities which are marred and destroyed so easily. Do not take pride in your talent or ability, lest you displease GOD to WHOM belongs all the natural gifts that you have. Do not think yourself better than others, lest, perhaps, you be accounted worse before GOD Who knows what is in you and in all mankind. Do not take pride in your good deeds, for GOD’s judgments differ from those of men, and what pleases them often displeases HIM. If there is good in you, see more good in others, so that you may remain humble. It does no harm to esteem yourself less than anyone else, but it is very harmful to think yourself better than even one other person; that would be judging them, and they might have talents and abilities you do not know of. The humble live in continuous peace, while in the hearts of the proud is envy, ego, and often anger.
Avoid a spirit of contradiction, petty criticism, teasing, and facetious and negative ‘putting down’ type of so called humour. Build each other up, encourage each other. Only ever say what you would be happy to say in GOD’s company, and what you would like to hear said about you. GOD hears and sees everything anyway.
Self-control is best; and together with a meek and quiet spirit which is like balm, no one is hurt or offended, and there are no wounds to be healed from hastily spoken reactive words.
Be a good, understanding, and patient listener.
Let GOD’s divine order control your life, and you will be more effective, productive, and powerful, to the glory of GOD.
Always appreciate friends that matter to you, do not forget them, they are too valuable and precious, and are the very fibre of happiness.
A Christian should, ideally, not take another Christian – brother or sister – to court. Try everything to settle the matter yourselves.
Encourage and educate people to:
1. To focus and act on what is right; NOT on what our rights may be. What we have a right
to do is not necessarily the right thing to do.
2. To focus on what our obligations and duties are; NOT on what are our allowable and
legal rights. Application of one's rights can often indicate selfish greed and lack of
consideration and compassion.
3. To focus on the decent thing to do; NOT on what mankind's 'laws' say we are allowed
to do. Fairness and decent principles sit as the determining factors.
4. To think constructively; NOT destructively.
5. To lift people up; NOT put them down.
6. To encourage people; NOT to judge them.
7. To help people; NOT criticize them.
8. To be a giver; NOT a taker.
9. To be supportive; NOT evasive.
10. To love everyone; NOT hate anyone.
11. To be tolerant; NOT intolerant.
12. To be patient,; NOT impatient.
13. To be understanding; NOT rejecting.
14. To be forgiving; NOT unforgiving, which only eats YOU up.
15. To act with compassion; NOT with callousness.
16. What is ‘legal’ is man-made statute law. What is ‘lawful’ is of natural / common law,
which originates from GOD and HIS Creation.
Balance is required for a Christian to navigate through this world; which means to not be so earthly minded as to not be any heavenly good, nor to be so heavenly minded as to not be any earthly good; but this does not mean to compromise Christian values in any way.
Jewish people in Israel prepare themselves, at a particular time of the year, for how to be a better person. Each week of seven weeks they dedicate themselves to aspiring to spiritual qualities in greater measure. (In Hebrew names:)
Chesed ― Loving-kindness.
Gevurah ― Strength, discipline, and justice.
Tiferet ― Harmony and compassion.
Netzach ― Endurance.
Hod ― Humility.
Yesod ― Bonding.
Malchut ― Sovereignty and leadership.
The following scriptures refer to people who are Abrupt and Impatient.
Psalms 19:14 ‘May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in YOUR sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.’
Psalms 141:3 ‘Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.’
Proverbs 14:29 ‘Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick tempered displays folly.’
Proverbs 15:1-3 & 18 ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.’
‘The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.’
‘The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.’
‘A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.’
Proverbs 16:24-25 ‘Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.’
‘There is way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.’
Proverbs 18:13 ‘To answer before listening – that is folly and shame.’
Proverbs 21:23 ‘Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.’
Proverbs 29:11 ‘Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.’
Ecclesiastes 7:9 ‘Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.’
Ecclesiastes 10:12 ‘Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.’
Ephesians 4:26-27 ‘In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.’
Colossians 3:12 ‘Therefore, as GOD’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’
Colossians 4:6 ‘Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.’
James 1:19-20 & 26 ‘My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that GOD desires.’ ‘Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.’
Proverbs 25:21-22 ‘If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.’ To heap ‘burning coals’ on your enemies, in Christian terms, means to do them a favour.
Coal was usually carried like this. (Ref: ‘Strange Scriptures that Perplex the Western Mind,’ by B. M. Bowen, p.29)
The exegetical meaning = original context - of ‘heaping burning coals on their head,’ actually meant to be ‘doing them a favour;’ because when the weather was very cold and your neighbour – anyone nearby – ran out of coal to keep warm by – you would put some burning coals from your fire-place into a bucket, and carry it on their head to their home so that they had instant warmth, and maybe heat for cooking. The hermeneutical meaning = today’s context - is to bless them with a favour.
In the ancient Middle East, coal was placed in a fire pan or brazier to keep the home warm, and to cook simple foods.
Maintaining fire for the home required diligent attention, day and night. If the fire went out during the winter in Israel’s north or on the hills of Jerusalem, when it snowed, it could result in death.
When the coal supply was depleted, the woman or man of the house might ask a neighbour for a refill. A friendly neighbour was most likely to meet their need; and maybe also offer freshly baked bread and some pomegranate juice.
To feed an enemy and give them a drink, was a kindness similar to heaping the empty brazier with live coals, which meant food, warmth and almost life itself, and was a symbol of generosity.
Heaping coals on an enemy's head is, therefore, a metaphor for providing their basic survival needs.
Treat enemies with consideration and even love, this confounds them. Seeking revenge does not achieve anything worthwhile.