Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
Revenge. Entire screenplays have been written with this one central idea as their focus. Someone is wronged, and then we spend a couple hours or more watching them “get even” with everyone. In life it’s very tempting to take revenge, it’s very tempting to get even, and maybe just a little more. All too often when we set out to get even we end up going just a couple steps further, and we restart the cycle with the other person. Entire families have been ripped apart because two people couldn’t let go of their vengeful attitudes and their desire to get even. Often we see that play out in the divorce papers as, “irreconcilable differences”. If only there was someone we could turn to, an impartial party, who could give out justice, someone who could make everything right again...
Roseanne Barr, famous comedienne, recently had the revival of her namesake sitcom cancelled after an ill-considered tweet she sent in the middle of the night. Was she treated fairly? Many in our culture are pondering that very question.
The number of people whose careers have ended because of words spoken or written in haste continues to grow. For generations God has warned humanity of the dangers words pose to the reputation and the future success of every individual. Take a few moments and refresh your memory with a few proverbs:
"Where there are many words...
A person's family experiences quickly form patterns and expectations which are difficult to change later in life. God teaches everyone to be especially concerned with whether family relationships mirror the spiritual relationship to Him. When family relationships become mirror images of the spiritual relationship to God, the family and every person connected to it benefits. Consider three of the principles God provides concerning family:
The last four posts have centered on habits that will help Christians more effectively serve their Lord, the church, and the lost. We learned first to be responsible by taking even the smallest job seriously. Second, we learned to be honorable, maintaining our integrity even in the face of abuse. Third, we learned to be a servant, aggressively pursuing opportunities to be a blessing to others. Fourth, we learned to be selfless, genuinely caring for the needs of others with no thanks or praise required. This final post considers that the process of continuing to be effective for the Lord is not easy, and that being a Christian beyond the building requires our stubborn dedication to God.
Eli Schnell is the Youth and Family Minister at the Northwest Church of Christ
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135