IN his album Follow My Mind of 1976, reggae singer Jimmy Cliff cried: ‘Remake the World’, followed in 1987 by Michael Jackson’s similar call in Man in the Mirror. Both singers lamented the state of the world in which too few people have everything and too many have nothing. Jimmy said “put your conscience to the test,” and Michael said he was asking the man in the mirror to change his ways.
Good ideas. The trouble is that character self-change is an impossibility, no matter how possible motivational talk often makes it appear.
Humankind has ignored what the Bible has offered us for total personal transformation, but the cost has come in the form of plastic surgery to change facial appearance; surgical gender change to transform sexuality; and transvestism (linked to homosexuality) where men prefer to become wives and women become husbands. All that transgender talk is about character self-change.
Dr Sander Breiner, member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) based in the US, has observed the following about people who seek body change in an article Transsexuality Explained:
“However, when an adult who is normal in appearance and functioning believes there is something ugly or defective in their appearance that needs to be changed, it is clear that there is a psychological problem of some significance. The more pervasive and extensive is this misperception of oneself, the more significant is the psychological problem.”
Is there hope for a better you? The Bible does not talk about a better you, but a new you! Even if in today’s thinking it is not cool to submit to Jesus Christ and it has become politically incorrect in the developed north, this is the only thing that works.
First of all, 2 Corinthians 5:17 (King James Version) states,“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” If anyone submits to Jesus the sinful, defective life just as it is, repents of sins present and in the past, God will forgive and fill that person with the Holy Spirit.
This is how many on all continents have become believers through the ages. Since sin is congenital, in the sense that we are born with it, we cannot uproot it from our nature by our own effort. What does the Holy Spirit of Jesus do once a person receives Him in the heart? Galatians 5:22 and 23 puts it like this: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”In short, if you give your life to Jesus Christ now, you will be filled with all those virtues of excellence.
An old song says “there is not enough love in the world.” This speaks to the aloneness that arrests individuals across the globe who, for all their academic and professional achievement, for all their business success, stand alone and unloved in life.
Some even know that society sees them as unlovable, and they live their lives, work through their careers aware that they are undesired and undesirable.
Some people even suffer panic disorder or panic attacks, which is a repeated fear of being harmed that stays for a while. That fear which has no tangible cause. A type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is used to treat this disorder, but there is a more meaningful solution. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love,” 1 John 4:18 tells us.
“But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8 says.
The Holy Spirit, at the time you commit your life to Jesus the Son of God, will fill your heart with God’s unconditional love.
Drug and alcohol abuse are about inducing joy in the human soul. One illicit drug is ‘rightly’ called ecstasy, and another angel dust, and yet an older one Lucy in the sky with diamonds (LSD). Top world musicians have been praising these drugs for their ability to ‘make it better’ as the Beatles sang in their song Hey Jude.
In the presence and prevalence of sin there is no joy. Cheap house parties or glitzy dinner parties for the rich offer the appearance of joy but the reality is that someone always comes out let down; used, abused and misused.
Money too chews and then spits people out of its cavernous mouth. Money is not neutral, because of its insidious power to draw people into erratic states of mind. There are people who worship money because of what they can do with it, who they can buy with it, who they can rule over with it, and who they can fool with it.
But even money offers no joy. In biblical terms, joy is that underlying assurance of the abiding love and presence of God in the believer’s life even in times of tragedy, loss or suffering. Joy is not dependent on the immediate circumstances, but on Jesus whom the soul has delighted in.Joy is to have the sense of being truly blessed, and the one who is truly blessed is the person whose delight is in the word of God on which one meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1-3).
Peace is about rest. We tend to think we are at rest when there are no flying bullets or mortar bombs, no landmines blowing limbs to shreds,and no guerilla attacks. But even in countries known to have no crime,like Switzerland and Singapore for instance, peace of mind is scarce. The suicide rate in Scandinavian countries, the wealthiest nations in the world, is extremely high all because people have no peace with themselves and with life. They have more than they need, but their souls are empty.
If you look at life at its most basic, people are serving life imprisonment with hard labour. One ancient king, the immensely wealthy King Solomon of Israel, took a hard look at all levels and dimensions of life and concluded that all is vanity (Ecclesiastes 2:21-23).
“When there is a man who has laboured with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his legacy to one who has not laboured. This too is vanity and a great evil. For what does a man get in all his labour and in his striving with which he labours under the sun? Because all his days his task is painful and grievous, even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.”
We speak of education as being the key to heaven on earth. But the higher you go on this ladder, the less peace you have. “Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and in increasing knowledge results in increasing pain” the preacher-philosopher concluded in Ecclesiastes 1:18. Try to read the whole book if you can.In the absence of peace, worry and anxiety rule and torment the mind.Jesus asks in Matthew 6:27, “And who of you by being worried can add a
single hour to his life?” Worry goes to extremes. Borderline personality disorder (BDP) is acondition where a person is so unsettled about self-identity and self-image. The individual does not know who he is, to the extent of viewing himself as evil or as not even existing. Apparently this unstable self-image causes frequent changes in jobs, goals, values and even gender identity. The condition causes confused relationships with others.
While BDP can be inherited, childhood abuse, neglect and separation from loved ones are often cited as causes. Brain abnormalities where serotonin (a chemical that helps regulate the mood) is not functioning properly also cause BDP. Jesus still says today, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28-30 goes further,
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Are these virtues, these graces, yours for the asking? Is it that simple? Yes! The Holy Spirit gives to the one who believes in Jesus Christ these fruits—and if we should think of fruits in the natural, fruits are among the most pleasant of foods.
Patience is the ability to wait. Without it, tragic mistakes have been made all because somebody could not wait.
Children out of wedlock have come because the parents failed to wait. She married the wrong man because she could not wait for the love of her life—then it became sad to belong to someone else when the right one eventually came along.
Many are in prison today because they could not wait. Motorists are killing people by overtaking at curves or up the slope, and at all the wrong places just because they cannot wait.Patience is restful; the work of faith in a God who is always in control. The calamity is that we want to be in control; and to show we are in control. But life is not like that.
Being good to those who do not deserve it, and to our inconvenience; that is the meaning of kindness. Good entrepreneurship depends on kindness. If a business shall be highly profitable, you and your employees have no choice but to wear and show kindness.
If medical care shall be effective and raise the patient from the hospital bed, kindness will do what paracetamol cannot do.
We talk about payday, or payback time. That language is not found in the Bible. Jesus says in Matthew 5:38 and 39, “You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you,
do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right check, turn the other to him also.”
What does that mean? Vengeance belongs to God (Deuteronomy 32:35).When we drink in the bile of bitterness and revenge, we merely poison our bones and internal organs, and condemn our souls to emotional disorders.
The fruit of kindness is given by the Holy Spirit, and it is sorely needed in our society today.
Jesus Christ is the only standard of life, for he lived the ideal sinless life, and he took all our blackest evil on himself and was nailed to the cross for our salvation.
“He (God) made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him” we learn in 2 Corinthians 5:21. Can you become righteous? Can you become sinless?
Yes!That is the goodness of God to sinners deserving of the sinners’ reward, which is eternal damnation in hellfire. David still calls tous in Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
God has been good to you, which is why you are able to even read thisarticle. His desire is to fill your heart with his good, merciful and gracious nature. Why not lay down the burden of bad and evil in your heart, receive his goodness and be set free from the darkness of sin and wrongdoing?
In the same place that the world craves faithfulness, today the same world despises faithfulness. It is now equated to foolishness. Only a foolish husband sticks to one wife without another ‘side plate.’ Only a foolish employee sticks to his monthly salary without using his office to divert some company resources to his account.
The Holy Spirit produces faithfulness in the spirit of the believer. He will enable you to be faithful to God in heaven, and He will enable you to be faithful and true to authority, family and above all, to you yourself.
Satan’s interest is to draw people into faithfulness to empty causes.For instance, homosexual marriage has no basis for faithfulness because there is no standard for that. By nature, ‘gay’ means ‘stone free,’ and enjoying multiple partners daily is the very definition of homosexuality.
When people join an esoteric religion and their curiosity draws them into the mysterious arcane, they feel satiated or satisfied that now life is becoming meaningful. In time they discover that behind that seemingly glorious façade is a malevolent demon whose true face holds them in bondage.
This is far from the gentle nature of the Saviour Jesus Christ who softly and tenderly calls to sinners to come home with him. Everything else will tire your soul and you will die weary and deceived.
This is the Saviour who forgives all sin and continues to forgive because he is full of mercy and grace. He is gentle and loving, and it is this same nature with which he fills the one who dares step forth and say “Lord, I believe!”
In the battle against the spread of HIV/AIDS, one sing-song has been that humans have no self-control. Therefore, condoms and birth control tools should be splashed across every school classroom and tavern alike.
Something is missed here. Sex addicts find an intense, intoxicating euphoria or “high” but devoid of any intimacy or love. Sex addicts find temporary escape by indulging in sex with chains of people. This is called hypersexual disorder, and it has no self-control or joy about it. It is known to cause shame and self-loathing afterwards — but needs to be repeated.
Self-control is a fruit, a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a gift viciously opposed, and in all the Billboard Top 200 songs you will come across beautifully packaged messages to indulge; just do it. And that is the way disorders multiply; the high intake of ‘just kill’, ‘just smooch’, ‘just rape’, ‘just hate’, ‘just enjoy’ usually drives many users berserk.
You need Jesus Christ. You need the Holy Spirit. All you need to do is to speak to this amazing Creator in faith, believing he will hear you. You shall be saved and the fruits of the Holy Spirit shall be yours. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.