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On Friday, June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court made a decision of unprecedented, historic proportions, legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states. The Court’s decision impacts every individual, every family, every church, every institution and every aspect of life – not only in America, but also the world. We are a nation under water. Many people are asking “What does this mean? What do we do? Where will this lead?”
Our prayer is that you are encouraged, and that you, your family and your church respond to what’s happened and is happening, with humble courage. Now is the time for you, your family and your church to be educated, to be led by the Holy Spirit and to take humble, courageous steps that will honor God so you stand firm and walk in the light of His presence (Psalm 89:15).
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There are three words you should get into your vocabulary that will revolutionize your life and the lives of everyone who hears them. You need to use them in your personal life, as a leader and in every relationship you have. They are rare words, nearly forgotten in the hectic, distracted pace of life. If you resurrect them you will get more out of life – and breathe life into every relationship you have. The three words I’m speaking of are “I am sorry.” You may be tempted to use the contraction “I’m,” reducing the phrase to “I’m sorry,” but resist doing so. So many things are abbreviated these days – but the one thing you shouldn’t speed through, which you should never abbreviate, is communicating when you are sorry for hurting someone. Apologies are a forgotten kindness these days – but they mustn’t be in your journey toward success.
The most common ways we offend someone, and need to apologize, are numerous:
While there are many ways we can offend others, there is one sure way to offer healing, restoration and kindness. It’s done with a sincere apology by using these three, simple words, “I am sorry.”
Who have you hurt? And if it was unintentional, it doesn’t mean the hurt was insignificant. Some of the most significant hurts are those we inflict without intention. Get into the practice of saying “I am sorry,” and mean it. Own up for you failure and you will be back on the road to success. Simply saying the words won’t have the maximum impact they otherwise will if you look the person/people in the eye and say it slowly, deliberately, “I am sorry.”
Get “I am sorry” into your vocabulary, mean them from the heart, and use them often. You will be amazed at the incredible power they have to transform any relationship, making it better. You may wonder “How can I do that when it feels so awkward?” You do it by – doing it. Don’t wait for the other person. Reach out, right now, and say “I am sorry.”
Once you let those three words rise up from your heart and roll off your tongue, the response is up to the person or people to whom they are offered. But ultimately, it’s up to God. Leave the consequences up to Him. Don’t let speculation about the possible outcome paralyze you and keep you from doing your part by apologizing. In the meantime, just do your part. In doing so, you will be fulfilling the greatest of all commandments, as clarified by Jesus Himself: love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul (Mark 12:28-34).
To whom do you need to apologize? You have three powerful words in your vocabulary. Use them, and let love take root. Let the healing begin.
I tweet fairly often these days. I find it amusing. Twitter attracts folks who like to argue. Some are good at it, demonstrating good thinking, while many others, well, they simply like to argue. About anything.
What’s driving pop culture is the unwise telling the rest of us what “wisdom” is – and how to live. The unwise are now embraced as wise. The train, however, is off the tracks. A train off the tracks is a dangerous spectacle. There is no way to get it back on track without outside assistance. Welcome to the new world disorder.
We live in a bizarre, frightening and opportune time in human history. The self-enamored unwise act as if their wisdom, expressed by tweets, have supernatural power to drop jaws and stop the world from rotating. Take for instance, this tweet, which at first seems wonderfully wise:
“Claiming that someone else’s marriage is against your religion is like being angry at someone for eating a donut because you’re on a diet.”
Hmmmmmmm. Sounds invincible at first glance, doesn’t it? The problem is the flawed thinking behind it. Here’s how I responded:
“Unless he keeps trying to shove it in my child’s face while I am trying to teach about eating veggies.”
INTOLERANCE: THE NEW TOLERANCE
If you aren’t for “anything goes,” you are considered to be the idiot, an outcast from the “wise” majority, a narrow-minded, bigoted, old-fashioned, out-of-touch, up-tight, judgmental extremist. But such thinking is fundamentally flawed because the exact opposite is true. As I tweeted yesterday, I say again, here:
“The very idea that there is such a thing as sin is discriminatory, and the Bible says a lot about it.”
What we’re witnessing is the world in a free-fall as we have rejected the idea that there are moral absolutes, universal for all people everywhere. The same bizarre reasoning behind the transgender movement has nowhere but down to go, birthing the idea of being trans-racial (thanks to Rachel Dolezal). But that’s not far enough if you embrace this brand of unthinking thinking. Trans-species, by the same reasoning, must follow. Trans-anything is the new standard. We are now living in a world of anti-standards.
RECOMMENDED READING FOR YOUR JOURNEY
In 1968, Francis A. Schaeffer wrote a predictive masterpiece called The God Who Is There. Fascinating read. And alarming. What we are witnessing now is society with its pedal to the metal in rejecting the idea of man being created in the image of God, with dignity, purpose and reason. Schaeffer hit the nail right on the head – decades ago. How did he do this? Because there really is such a thing as moral absolutes. Absolute truth is not a concept. It’s a reality. People cannot live for long apart from their created design. Life apart from truth is chaos, hardship and confusion.
This doesn’t end well, friends. So, how does one ride out this storm while the ship is sinking? Proverbs 22:3 is an outstanding verse to help you navigate through these troubled waters in which we row:
“The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”
RECOMMENDED ACTION FOR THE STORM
Stop concerning yourself with what the unwise are presenting as wise. Exchange your cowardice for courage. Remember, you can dress up a pig any way you wish, but in the end it’s still a pig. The same is true for what is being presented as “wisdom.” It’s foolish nonsense no matter how well it’s packaged.
It’s time to strengthen your walk with God. How’s your prayer life on a daily basis? Are you walking with God? How is your Bible reading and application of what God is saying to you through it? A compass is an essential instrument when everyone around you is lost. The Bible is your compass. Dust it off and look up like never before.
While others are spiraling downward, away from God at break-back speed, you can be soaring upward, drawing near to God and experiencing true wisdom and the joy that comes with it. Doing this sooner than later, will prove to be one of the most strategically wise things you can do in a day where the common man’s “wisdom” is just plain stupid . . .
What to read next: How to Totally Change Your Life in 7 Days
What to do next: Share your comments, because I’d love to hear your thoughts.