God’s children are called to be wise,
To have prudent minds and eyes.
That they be on guard against deception,
And be aware against vain perception.
Be on guard from start to end,
Against each wicked and false friend.
Make no friends with any one untrue,
Lest trouble and heart break you accrue.
If friends already with an evil one,
Then from that union away you run.
Its better from a bad friendship to get off,
Before others use that as a chance to scoff.
- You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
- If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10)
- Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:10-11)
- [Jesus said:] “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. (St. John Chrysostom)
For those who are new to my blog I’d recommend that you read my earlier post Do not covet another one’s spouse for understanding why not to covet another person’s spouse.
Now to the main point. Say a firm no and I really mean a NO to any and every instinct and behavior that can get you into adultery. Those who commit adultery have landed into serious problems and have lost their fortunes and reputations which they built up over the years. I have noticed how the media is eager to destroy the careers of actors, politicians, sports persons etc if they are caught up into adultery. For them it’s just another breaking news that gets in the money and views. I wonder if they ever did anything to ease the hearts of the children who are caught in the cross fire between married couples due to adultery. Mind you they don’t spare up the average man or woman either in cases of adultery.
Do not at all let your name be defamed for a false relationship and false pleasure which is unholy. Crucify all the desires of the flesh and give no chance to the devil. There is no need at all for you to get emotional ‘shingles’ or even any venereal disease which may come from adultery. There is no need for you to risk everything for something that will land you into volley of troubles. Be holy, be safe!
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14)
There are times when a person needs counseling in life due to various problems, trials, decisions etc which come up in the course of life. It does help to be independent in the sense of having a rightful opinion of oneself and living a disciplined life. However, it’s even wiser to get wisdom and counsel from a person who truly walks the talk. I mean the walk with Christ. If one can expect a counselor to be so pristine in action and words then what if you were to be in a situation where you have to counsel someone? You too then need to be good enough.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)
Now in your life you won’t always be the one in need of counsel from others in the Christian faith. There may come an occasion in which you need to counsel others. Perhaps they might be children or someone facing trouble in life and you are the only person available at that point of time to help them. What would you do then? It would be unwise to shun people who willingly ask you for advice. Obviously its your responsibility to live a holy and prayerful life and give wise counsel in good faith to those in need of wisdom. The thing is you must be able to give full Christian counseling. In other words, please don’t give incomplete guidance to anyone. It won’t help them as much.
So let’s think of an example of full Christian counselling. Let me present to you the issue first. A typical issue is about disharmony between teenagers and their parents. So we have a teenager, let’s call him Adam and the rest of various counselors he meets, we shall name them as we go along. Here he visits various people one by one for counsel in the church premises during a seminar at church. (Though on a cautious note, I would always recommend anyone who needs counsel, to know if the people who are going to counsel you are really worthy and safe enough to give you counsel. You need genuine Christian counseling not foolish worldly counseling)
Adam: “My parents tend to get very angry all of a sudden with me. The arguments then go very long. I don’t say a word back but they keep yelling and asking me to get better in life. But they don’t say where to change. Please help, tell me what to do”
Now come a bunch of typical responses to Adam’s predicament:
- Harry: “Forgive them.”
- Tessa: “Everyone has to face challenges in life.”
- Jacob: “You must learn to be patient.”
- Gwen: “Pray about it.”
Each of these four responses are good but they still not complete. I will get to a more complete answer in a bit. But so that things get more clear, I shall mention two more responses before that.
Then we have a response, which is not actual counsel. At times you got to be honest that you don’t know the answer instead of wasting time. Here’s what would be the response:
John: “I don’t know to say but I want you and your family to be happy. Please, can you go to preacher (insert any name) at Camden? He should be able to help.”
Then we also have another response which does raises more questions rather than be a good answer. Here we go:
Gemma: “O dear, my child that’s really bad. I’d suggest that you study hard, get a job and move out of your home. Be independent, that should take care of it all”
Such an answer put’s undue pressure on Adam to get working and excludes any possibility that Adam’s parents are at fault. It would make him look solely responsible to set things right. This answer doesn’t talk about depending on God and neither about being in good standing with one’s parents. Besides, it does not address any depression that Adam could be facing.
Now here’s a more complete answer to Adam’s problem:
Barnaby: “Indeed Adam this is a tough situation you are facing. It could be that your parents have noticed something wrong but are not able to express themselves clearly and have obviously gone too rough with that. What I suggest that you be calm no matter what happens. Forgive them their faults and don’t get discouraged. Many others do face similar challenges but not everyone has a happy ending. You have a choice to be victorious in all this. With God at your side you aren’t alone. He understands your feelings so cast all your worries upon him as he cares for you. Read the Bible especially the Psalms and Proverbs to know the principles of progress and peace in life. This will give you guidance when you desire to do what is right to be a success in life. Knowing what is right will then be useful in keeping away from all silliness of life. I shall later pray for you but I ask this one of you; that you daily pray that your parents are at peace with you. Pray also that every evil power be it visible or invisible, I mean everything from the devil is removed out from the relationship between you and your parents. Remember this is more than being an achiever, this is about relationships. So conduct yourself with due honour to parents and also to God. Be of good courage Adam as the Lord God cares for you.”
The response by Barnaby is one which full in wisdom and counsel. No bits and pieces here but rather he tried to cover everything the best he could. He didn’t go by impulses when speaking to Adam. He was realistic about the problems and about the parents. Such a response would help Adam to have better chances of being at peace with his parents.
By this example you’d notice that it does take some level of maturity and understanding to counsel others. Showing empathy is vital to show your solidarity with the afflicted person you are counselling. Having a sound knowledge of the principles of the Bible will help you to this effect. Above all, pray to Christ our Lord that he strengthen you by the Holy Spirit so that you can give hope that is consistent with the Bible to anyone that comes your way.
Christ be with you!
Generally the words ‘Double tap’ are used with regards to shooting a target twice to ensure that it gets hit. This reduces the chances of the target not getting hit, such as in the sport of clay shooting. This principle can be applied verbally as well. Here the purpose is NOT to harm anyone. It’s just to make sure that you get your point through and the other person has no ambiguity about what you said.
In terms of travel by air, the pilots do this all the time. They will repeat themselves two or three times saying ‘Requesting permission to land. Acknowledge. I repeat. Requesting permission to land. Acknowledge’. Only when they get the permission from the airport do they then go the next steps related to the actual landing of the aircraft. Due to the critical nature of landing a place the pilot doesn’t assume that the air traffic controller is too wise to filter through dozens of other similar requests coming in from other aircraft pilots.
There are times people can understand you directly. However, some people don’t get the point right away. And then you get misunderstandings and what you intended to convey never goes through. This is where you use the double tap. A parent often uses this with the kids. Such as telling them twice to brush their teeth before sleeping or in a more contemporary sense telling them to get off social media after a fixed amount of time. Thought the parent might not even know what a double tap is, he/she is doing it already.
One can use the double tap in terms of relationships as well. For instance, a husband can tell his wife not to buy a certain perfume for herself if he is allergic to it. He can repeat himself and try to get to her to reply. Sometimes the wife may have either not heard or is not interested in his opinion. Yet, if he verbally double taps her chances are that she won’t buy the wrong perfume. This would save them both a lot of time which would otherwise be waste in arguing with each other and even grumbling about each other to people at work and church.
A wife too could do something similar. If she feels uncomfortable about her husband forgetting their wedding anniversary, she can just a few days before their anniversary speak to him about it. There she can say that so and so day is their wedding anniversary. That way the husband can reply back and acknowledge this. This would save them the huge fights that happen when the husband ‘forgets’ the wedding anniversary.
Now this double tapping is never meant to be a one way street. You too need to pay attention is someone is repeatedly trying to tell you something. Hear it and then act wisely. You don’t always have to agree in terms of human relationships but you can do act in wisdom always.
Someone might wonder, is this sort of ‘verbal double tapping’ consistent with the Bible. I’d say God himself has used this concept, though the Bible for the record doesn’t use the words double tap, it does use repetition (hope I got this grammatically right). Though the Lord God doesn’t double tap every time there are certain when times he repeat himself. This is to ensure that a person gets to the seriousness of the point the Lord is making. At many instances in Genesis, God kept reminding Abraham that his descendants would be numerous as the stars. Abraham was childless for most of his life, yet God kept speaking about his offspring so that it would inspire faith in Abraham. Also God spoke in favor of Sarah the wife of Abraham that she would be a child and he confirmed this many times. And yes, Abraham and Sarah were indeed blessed with their little son Isaac who later became the human ancestor of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you read the Bible very diligently, you will notice a lot of repetition of prophecy and commands to God’s people. One thing that has been repeated at various times and even in the New Testament is that God’s people do not harden their hearts towards God. You can refer to Psalm 95:8 and Hebrews 3:7-15 for your personal reflection. (I might do a detailed post on the specifics of those verses in the future)
So now what I’d like, is that you is that you use your ability to speak the same thing again wisely, so that you get your point through. Not everyone needs to be told twice, some get it right the first time itself (gladly enough). There certain people and certain things that need a double tap to ensure that things are conveyed in the right way and accepted accordingly. Do not limit yourself to only saying twice, say as many times as you need. Also pay attention to what God repeatedly tries to tell you. It will just save you a lot of time and effort, if you pay attention to what God tells you again and again.
Christ be with you!