Friday, October 9, 2020

The Daily Bible Readings for FRIDAY, October 9, 2020

The Daily Readings
FRIDAY, October 9, 2020
Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23; Exodus 24:9-11; James 4:4-10
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
The Israelites were called to be unique in the world, to represent the God of all creation among polytheistic nations. This placed them in tension with idolatrous religions. In this section of Scripture, Moses called the Israelites to stand firm in their faith and to abhor the enticing teachings of false prophets (V. 5).

Are there people in your life who pull you away from God? Ask God to help you influence their lives for Christ and keep them from negatively influencing your life and faith. Jesus said His sheep would recognize His voice and follow Him (John 10:27). Pray that you would hear Jesus’ voice and follow only Him.

Today’s Readings:
God’s favor for the people
1 Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise?

3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.

4 Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;

5 That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.

6 We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.

19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.

20 Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.

21 They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;

22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.

23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.
None of our sins or sufferings should prevent our ascribing glory and praise to the Lord. The more unworthy we are, the more is his kindness to be admired. And those who depend on the Redeemer's righteousness will endeavor to copy his example, and by word and deed to show forth his praise. God's people have reason to be cheerful people and need not envy the children of men their pleasure or pride. Here begins a confession of sin; for we must acknowledge that the Lord has done right, and we have done wickedly. Often have we set up idols in our hearts, cleaved to some forbidden object; so that if a greater than Moses had not stood to turn away the anger of the Lord, we should have been destroyed.

Feasting with God
24:9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:

10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.
The elders saw the God of Israel; they had some glimpse of his glory, though whatever they saw, it was something of which no image or picture could be made, yet enough to satisfy them that God was with them of a truth. Nothing is described but what was under his feet. The sapphires are the pavement under his feet; let us put all the wealth of this world under our feet, and not in our hearts. Thus the believer sees in the face of Jesus Christ, far clearer discoveries of the glorious justice and holiness of God, than ever he saw under terrifying convictions; and through the Saviour, holds communion with a holy God.

Humble yourselves before God
4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Since all wars and fightings come from the corruptions of our own hearts, it is right to mortify those lusts that war in the members. Wordly and fleshly lusts are distempers, which will not allow content or satisfaction. Sinful desires and affections stop prayer and the working of our desires toward God. And let us beware that we do not abuse or misuse the mercies received, by the disposition of the heart when prayers are granted When men ask of God prosperity, they often ask with wrong aims and intentions. If we thus seek the things of this world, it is just in God to deny them. Unbelieving and cold desires beg denials; and we may be sure that when prayers are rather the language of lusts than of graces, they will return empty. Here is a decided warning to avoid all criminal friendships with this world. Worldly-mindedness is enmity to God. An enemy may be reconciled, but “enmity” never can be reconciled. A man may have a large portion in things of this life, and yet be kept in the love of God; but he who sets his heart upon the world, who will conform to it rather than lose its friendship, is an enemy to God. So that anyone who resolves at all events to be upon friendly terms with the world, must be the enemy of God. Did then the Jews, or the loose professors of Christianity, think the Scripture spake in vain against this worldly-mindedness? or does the Holy Spirit who dwells in all Christians, or the new nature which he creates, produce such fruit? Natural corruption shows itself by envying. The spirit of the world teaches us to lay up, or layout for ourselves, according to our own fancies; God the Holy Spirit teaches us to be willing to do good to all about us, as we are able. The grace of God will correct and cure the spirit by nature in us; and where he gives grace, he gives another spirit than that of the world. The proud resist God: in their understanding, they resist the truths of God; in their will, they resist the laws of God; in their passions, they resist the providence of God; therefore, no wonder that God resists the proud. How wretched the state of those who make God their enemy! God will give more grace to the humble, because they see their need of it, pray for it are thankful for it, and such shall have it. Submit to God, (v. 7). Submit your understanding to the truth of God; submit your wills to the will of his precept, the will of his providence. Submit yourselves to God, for he is ready to do you good. If we yield to temptations, the devil will continually follow us; but if we put on the whole armor of God, and stand out against him, he will leave us. Let sinners then submit to God, and seek his grace and favor; resisting the devil. All sin must be wept over; here, in godly sorrow, or, hereafter, in eternal misery. And the Lord will not refuse to comfort one who really mourns for sin or to exalt one who humbles himself before him.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

The Daily Bible Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2020, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2019 was Year C. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.
The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, October 9, 2020
Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23; Exodus 24:9-11; James 4:4-10 (KJV)

Prayer of the Day for FRIDAY, October 9, 2020

Prayer of the Day
FRIDAY, October 9, 2020

They were standing by the sea of glass, holding harps that God had given them and singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: "Lord God Almighty, how great and wonderful are your deeds! King of the nations, how right and true are your ways! Who will not stand in awe of you, Lord? Who will refuse to declare your greatness? You alone are holy. All the nations will come and worship you, because your just actions are seen by all."

O Lord God, we thank you that in our times we may feel and see that you are at work. This is a joy and comfort to us and we take heart, although the misery on earth sometimes brings us to tears. We find joy again because you are at work. You are carrying out your will, which includes your plan for our life and salvation. Grant that fruits may appear in our times, for our times are in your hands. Grant that many people from all nations may come to you. May they turn to you in their need and know the happiness of receiving your help. May your name be honored, your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, October 9, 2020

Deuteronomy 13:4
Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
Read all of Deuteronomy 13

Listen to Deuteronomy 13

The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — Taken to Heart


Taken to Heart

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:18

A church leader listed five reasons why lay people are essential to the ongoing life, growth, and future development of the body of Christ.

The reasons are these:

* It's God's plan (see Matthew 28:18-20).

* There are far more lay people than church professionals.

* Lay people can often go where church professionals can't.

* Lay people offer a credible witness; a church worker's or pastor's witness is credible—but it is expected.

* Lay people can follow up daily.

It seems these reasons are applicable to all phases of church or congregational life. Some lay people just "do their thing" with their special gift wherever they are, without fanfare or thought of recognition. They do what they do because they know they are loved and blessed by the Lord. In truth, their lives embody Colossians 3:17. "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

Take Alex for instance. His special gift is visiting. He visits with people in their homes, in hospitals, at the grocery store, in church. Anywhere. He isn't nosey. He doesn't burden people with his problems. He doesn't visit long. He's just concerned about people and where they're at in life.

Then there's Brenda. Her special gift is encouragement. She's positive, thoughtful, supportive, open-minded, and tolerant of others' ideas and positions on things. She's not pushy, domineering, jealous, or pompous. She's not overly sentimental and doesn't dodge issues. She lives her faith quietly with assurance.

Roger's gift is to witness. His work involves lots of cold calling or speaking with people he's never met. His job isn't easy, but he makes the most of it. In the course of his career, he has probably spoken words of peace and hope to hundreds of wearied and worried people—quietly telling them about what Jesus means to him.

Lastly, there's Millie whose gift is service. She'll help anyone anywhere at anytime by any means possible. Whether it's babysitting, helping prepare meals, working at the local food pantry, or making hospice visits, count her in. Her prayer list is ever growing, and each day she asks God to open doors for her to love and serve others.

These men and women aren't over-zealous religious do-gooders or busybodies looking to outdo or embarrass others by their many activities. They've just taken the Lord's command to serve others to heart. "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter 4:10-11).

They just love Jesus, and want to serve Him by serving others.

Heavenly Father, lead us by Your Spirit to serve others each day. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Jon Suel

Reflection Questions:

1. Are there people in your church who inspire you to do more? How so?

2. Today's Bible verse is short but powerful. Can you give your own definition of it in a few words?

3. How do you find strength to serve others when you feel weak or disinterested in doing so?
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
A church leader listed five reasons why lay people are essential to the ongoing life, growth, and future development of the body of Christ.

Standing Strong Through the Storm — DOUBLE PORTION OF EVERLASTING JOY

Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

Yesterday we looked at some outcomes from Christian women’s conferences in Central Asia. When deep issues are discussed and prayed for, and when barriers of shame and dishonor are broken through, there are usually many tears. One participant said, “In fact, enough tears have been shed to make many trees grow that we won’t have any desert places left!”

As a result of God’s healing movement new initiatives are born to bring healing to abused and rejected women and children in society: ministry in orphanages, to street children and abused children; outreach projects to women in prostitution, safe havens for abused women; involvement in politics to stop legislation on polygamy; preventive health care; teaching on HIV/Aids and caring for patients; involvement in pastoral care, intercession and prayer ministries; ministry to people in prison, etc.

There is a desire to not only participate in a conference but also to use what has been learned and to develop more skills. Three young Uzbek women who had been to a conference before wanted to come back to be part of the prayer team so that they can learn, and take back the skills to minister to their own women!

Others shared that they want to minister to other women when they go back home. Some churches used to have women’s ministry but for some reason, it had stopped. After this training, the women wanted to revitalize the women’s ministry in their churches.

A speaker at one of the conferences says:

“In other countries, we saw Priscilla’s—Christian wives who were standing beside their husbands in loving and serving the Lord. In Central Asia, we not only saw the Priscilla’s, but we also saw Esther’s and Deborah’s—women who by themselves are standing strong in their faith and for God. Whether they are single or have an unbelieving husband does not stop them.

“The women we have met in that training seem to have Esther’s character: ‘If I perish, I perish.’ They stand up despite the clear warnings of their husbands, neighbors, or the authorities. They know the cost. One knew very well that her husband might lose his government job if a family member would be found witnessing for Jesus. She was warned by her husband to tone down her evangelistic zeal. But she could not keep herself from speaking of Jesus. Two others have marriages about to fail if it were not for their enduring stand as wives to keep the family intact. These participants are capable to lead other women even after just the first training.

As the women penetrate the walls of shame and break the silence, God fulfills His promise of Isaiah 61:7. Instead of shame and dishonor, you shall have a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy!

RESPONSE: Today I want to receive a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy from the Lord.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, that You can turn shame and dishonor into everlasting joy!

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
When deep issues are discussed and prayed for, and when barriers of shame and dishonor are broken through, there are usually many tears.

Men of the Bible — Matthew

His name means: "Gift of Yahweh"

His work: Matthew was a tax collector who was awarded by Herod Antipas a contract to extract tariffs from his own people.
His character: A successful businessman whose encounter with Jesus profoundly changed his life and vocation forever.
His sorrow: Alienation, first from his own people because of his profession and then from religious leaders because of his vocation.
His triumph: A carefully organized, accurate, and convincing apologetic for the veracity of Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
Key Scriptures: Matthew 9

A Look at the Man

Matthew was good at making money. But there was a downside to getting rich as a tax collector in Palestine: People hated you for it. It made it hard to have any friends besides tax collectors or other ne'er-do-wells. He had learned to ignore the looks, to pretend he didn't hear the epithets—to conclude that these were the necessary costs of doing business.

Tax collectors were answerable to no one. There were no regulations to guide their procedures. Whatever they could extract from the people—over and above what the authorities required—was theirs to keep. It wasn't that Matthew didn't care about people, it was just that he cared more about his own prosperity. No wonder he was hated.

Matthew knew this when he chose his profession. In fact, in his writing, Matthew grouped tax collectors with prostitutes in social rank. But he was willing to pay this price for financial success.

But in spite of his choice of occupation and his pleasure with its material benefits, everything changed the day Jesus invited Matthew to be one of his disciples. And the wisdom of following the Master was confirmed in Matthew's heart the night Jesus won the affection of his friends.

Matthew knew that his decision was one he could never withdraw. He had set his life on a new course that could not be changed. Unlike the other disciples who had temporarily left their fishing nets—and could return to them at a later time—he knew it would be difficult for him to go back to his tax collecting. But Matthew was not halfhearted about his decisions. He had paid a heavy price among his countrymen when he chose tax collecting; now he would be asked to do the same in following Jesus.

Imagine how Matthew's transformation became a confirmation of the power and the authenticity of the Messiah's message. "Have you seen Matthew recently?" Jews would say to each other in the marketplace. "Something has happened to him."

Matthew was swept away with Jesus the man, the messenger, the Messiah. His gospel includes more references to Old Testament prophecy than any other. This truly was the one the prophets had foretold. And his thorough coverage of Jesus' most important sermon reminds us that Matthew was awed by the power of the Savior's words.

Very little is recorded in the Gospels as to Matthew's specific activities. Except for his invitation for Jesus to join him and his friends for dinner, we read of no conversation or dialogue. But this does not diminish Matthew's prominence during the days of Jesus' ministry on earth. For nothing speaks more profoundly than the testimony of a changed life—especially one that makes waves in the marketplace.

Reflect On: Matthew 9:9–13
Praise God: For his transforming power.
Offer Thanks: For the impact that the message of Jesus Christ has on those who are willing to believe and follow the Messiah.
Confess: An unwillingness to turn from our drive for economic success and to submit to the Spirit’s direction—to resist being inconvenienced by the call of the Savior.
Ask God: To come to your workplace—your tax collector's booth. Ask him to repeat the same words he spoke to Matthew, and ask him to give you the courage to respond as Matthew did.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
Matthew was good at making money. But there was a downside to getting rich as a tax collector.

John Piper Devotional — God’s Wise Mercy
God’s Wise Mercy

We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to the Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Over against the terrifying news that we have fallen under the condemnation of our Creator and that he is bound by his own righteous character to preserve the worth of his glory by pouring out eternal wrath on our sin, there is the wonderful news of the gospel.

This is a truth no one can ever learn from nature. It has to be told to neighbors and preached in churches and carried by missionaries.

The good news is that God himself has decreed a way to satisfy the demands of his justice without condemning the whole human race.

Hell is one way to settle accounts with sinners and uphold his justice. But there is another way.

The wisdom of God has ordained a way for the love of God to deliver us from the wrath of God without compromising the justice of God.

And what is this wisdom? The death of the Son of God for sinners!

The death of Christ is the wisdom of God by which the love of God saves sinners from the wrath of God, all the while upholding and demonstrating the righteousness of God in Christ.
Over against the terrifying news that we have fallen under the condemnation of our Creator and that he is bound by his own righteous character to preserve the worth of his glory by pouring out eternal wrath on our sin, there is the wonderful news of the gospel.

Un dia a la Vez — No me gusta el espejo
No me gusta el espejo

En cuanto a mí, veré tu rostro en justicia; estaré satisfecho cuando despierte a tu semejanza.
Salmo 17:15, RV-60

Parece extraño, pero es verdad. Hay personas que no son muy amigas del espejo.

Un día iba en el auto con mi princesa Niki y me dijo: «No me gusta ese espejo». Se refería al espejo que está arriba del asiento del pasajero. Así que le pregunté: «¿Por qué dices eso, mami?». A lo que me contestó con sinceridad: «Porque me muestra todo lo que tengo». En esos días, había estado con una gripe terrible y tenía ojeras. De inmediato, saqué una hojita y escribí la idea, pues va más allá de lo que imaginamos, sobre todo en el ámbito espiritual.

El espejo se menciona en seis versículos de la Biblia y, a decir verdad, no sé si es bíblico o no, pero tiene sentido lo que he escuchado: «Los ojos son el espejo del alma».

Hay espejos en los que nos vemos de tamaño regular, pero hay otros que vienen con aumento y esos nos muestran los mínimos detalles de la cara. Esos no me gustan. Otros espejos distorsionan la imagen y, por lo general, los vemos en las ferias porque es divertido. Sin embargo, ¡qué importante es el espejo! Te muestra tal como eres y prevé cualquier molestia… ¡ya sabes a lo que me refiero!

Sé que a veces lo que vemos en el espejo puede determinar nuestro estado de ánimo. Quizá se trate de unas libras de más o de una pérdida de peso.

Pensemos, pues, que del mismo modo que el espejo nos muestra cómo somos, también nuestra vida debería ser un espejo para los demás. Es decir, que quienes nos vean quieran ser iguales a nosotros porque reflejemos a Jesucristo.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Parece extraño, pero es verdad. Hay personas que no son muy amigas del espejo.

Devocional CPTLN — Tomando en serio el uso de nuestros dones

Tomando en serio el uso de nuestros dones

Hijitos míos, no amemos de palabra ni de lengua, sino de hecho y en verdad.

Un líder de la iglesia enumeró cinco razones por las que los laicos son esenciales para la vida, el crecimiento y el desarrollo futuro del cuerpo de Cristo. Ellas son:
  •     Es el plan de Dios (ver Mateo 28:18-20).
  •     Hay muchos más laicos que profesionales de la iglesia.
  •     Los laicos a menudo pueden ir donde los profesionales de la iglesia no pueden.
  •     Los laicos ofrecen un testimonio digno de crédito; el testimonio de un pastor u obrero de la iglesia es digno de crédito, pero es esperable.
  •     Los laicos pueden realizar un seguimiento diario.
Parece que estas razones son aplicables a todas las fases de la vida de la iglesia. Algunos laicos simplemente "hacen lo suyo" con su don especial dondequiera que se encuentren, sin fanfarrias ni necesidad de reconocimiento. Hacen lo que hacen porque saben que son amados y bendecidos por el Señor. En verdad, sus vidas encarnan Colosenses 3:17. "Y todo lo que hagan, ya sea de palabra o de hecho, háganlo en el nombre del Señor Jesús, dando gracias a Dios el Padre por medio de él".

Tomemos a Alex por ejemplo. Su don especial son las visitas, por lo que visita a personas en sus hogares, en hospitales, en el supermercado, en cualquier sitio. No es entrometido. No carga a la gente con sus problemas. No visita mucho. Solo le preocupan las personas y quiere ayudarlas.

Luego está Brenda. Su don especial es dar ánimo. Es positiva, reflexiva, solidaria, de mente abierta y tolerante. No es agresiva, dominante, celosa o pomposa, ni tampoco esquiva los problemas. Brenda vive su fe con tranquilidad y seguridad.

El don de Roger es ser testigo. Su trabajo implica hablar por teléfono con personas que no conoce; no es fácil, pero lo aprovecha al máximo. A lo largo de su carrera, probablemente ha dicho palabras de paz y esperanza a cientos de personas cansadas y preocupadas, compartiendo lo que Jesús significa para él.

Por último está Millie, cuyo don es el servicio. Ella ayuda a cualquiera en cualquier lugar y momento y por cualquier medio: cuidando niños, ayudando a preparar comidas, trabajando en comedor local o visitando el hogar de ancianos. Su lista de oración está en constante crecimiento y cada día le pide a Dios que le abra las puertas para amar y servir más a los demás.

Estos hombres y mujeres no son demasiado entusiastas, religiosos y entrometidos que buscan superar o avergonzar a otros con sus muchas actividades. Simplemente han tomado en serio el mandato del Señor de servir a los demás. "Ponga cada uno al servicio de los demás el don que haya recibido, y sea un buen administrador de la gracia de Dios en sus diferentes manifestaciones. Cuando hable alguno, hágalo ciñéndose a las palabras de Dios; cuando alguno sirva, hágalo según el poder que Dios le haya dado, para que Dios sea glorificado en todo por medio de Jesucristo, de quien son la gloria y el poder por los siglos de los siglos. Amén" (1 Pedro 4:10-11).

ORACIÓN: Padre Celestial, guíanos por tu Espíritu para servir cada día más a quienes nos rodean. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

The Lutheran Layman, 1980, Jon Suel

Para reflexionar:
* El versículo bíblico para hoy es breve pero poderoso. ¿Puedes decirlo con tus propias palabras?

* ¿Dónde encuentras fuerzas para servir cuando te sientes débil o desinteresado en hacerlo?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
Un líder de la iglesia enumeró cinco razones por las que los laicos son esenciales para la vida, el crecimiento y el desarrollo futuro del cuerpo de Cristo.

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày — Phản Ứng Trước Chỉ Trích

Phản Ứng Trước Chỉ Trích

Đọc: Châm Ngôn 15:1–2, 31–33 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Ê-sai 32–33; Cô-lô-se 1

Người chậm giận làm yên cuộc tranh cãi.

Lời thô lỗ gây tổn thương. Vì vậy, bạn tôi, một tác giả từng đoạt giải thưởng, đã vất vả tìm cách đáp lại lời chỉ trích mà anh nhận được. Cuốn sách mới của anh được đánh giá năm sao cộng với giải thưởng lớn. Sau đó, một nhà phê bình tạp chí đáng kính dành cho anh lời khen mỉa mai, mô tả quyển sách được viết tốt nhưng vẫn chỉ trích nó cách gay gắt. Anh hỏi các bạn của mình: “Tôi nên trả lời thế nào?”

Một người bạn khuyên: “Thôi bỏ đi”. Tôi đã chia sẻ lời khuyên từ bài viết trong tạp chí, bao gồm các mẹo để bỏ qua những lời chỉ trích như vậy hay học hỏi từ nó ngay cả khi tiếp tục làm việc và viết sách.

Tuy nhiên, cuối cùng tôi quyết định tra xem Kinh Thánh – quyển sách có lời khuyên tốt nhất cho mọi vấn đề – nói về cách phản ứng với những lời chỉ trích nặng nề. Sách Gia-cơ khuyên: “Mọi người đều phải mau nghe, chậm nói, chậm giận” (1:19). Sứ đồ Phao-lô khuyên chúng ta “sống hòa hợp với nhau” (Rô. 12:16).

Tuy nhiên, có cả một chương trong Châm Ngôn cung cấp những chỉ dẫn khôn ngoan về cách phản ứng với các cuộc tranh cãi. Châm Ngôn 15:1 chép: “Lời đáp êm dịu làm nguôi cơn giận”, “Người chậm giận làm yên cuộc tranh cãi” (c.18). Hơn nữa: “Ai nghe lời quở trách đạt được sự thông sáng” (c.32). Khi suy nghĩ lời chỉ dạy khôn ngoan đó, nguyện Chúa giúp chúng ta luôn giữ lưỡi mình, như bạn tôi đã làm. Tuy nhiên, trên hết, sự khôn ngoan hướng dẫn chúng ta “kính sợ Đức Giê-hô-va” vì “sự khiêm nhường đi trước sự tôn trọng” (c.33).
Phản ứng điển hình của bạn khi bị phê bình là gì? Trong cuộc tranh luận, bạn dùng cách khiêm tốn nào để bảo vệ lưỡi mình?
Lạy Chúa, khi có những lời chỉ trích tấn công hoặc tranh cãi gây tổn thương, xin gìn giữ môi miệng con để con luôn hạ mình tôn vinh Ngài.

Chú Giải

Sự khôn ngoan được tìm thấy trong sách Châm Ngôn có nhiều điểm tương đồng với sách Gia-cơ trong Tân Ước, còn được gọi là “Châm Ngôn của Tân Ước”. Những lời trong Châm Ngôn 15:1 “Lời đáp êm dịu làm nguôi cơn giận, còn lời xẳng xớm trêu cơn thịnh nộ” phản ánh những lời khôn ngoan trong Gia-cơ 1:19-20. Từ chương đầu đến chương cuối của sách Gia-cơ, chúng ta không thể bỏ qua những lời ám chỉ hoặc trích dẫn từ sách Châm Ngôn. Cả Châm Ngôn 2:6 và Gia-cơ 1:5 đều nói rằng Đức Chúa Trời chính là nguồn của sự khôn ngoan. Sự khôn ngoan trong Châm Ngôn 10:12 được bày tỏ trong những lời cuối cùng của Gia-cơ về việc “che lấp vô số tội lỗi” (5:20). Và như rất nhiều chỗ trong sách Châm Ngôn, Gia-cơ chương 3 nhắc nhở chúng ta rằng đời sống khôn ngoan bao gồm việc cẩn thận sử dụng lời nói của mình.

Arthur Jackson

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