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Long-time readers of this blog will know that Rusty Wright has contributed many articles to it over the years. Some have been co-written by his wife Meg Korpi. I was very sad to learn that Meg has passed away after suffering with cancer for the last few years. Today's post is a tribute to her, written by Rusty, and shared with permission.
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Meg Korpi 1953-2016 Wonderful wife, committed partner, faithful friend
Meg Korpi 1953-2016 Wonderful wife, committed partner, faithful friend

Recently, when my wife, Meg Korpi, was dying of cancer, a longtime friend offered some advice I'm really glad I heeded.

"Hutch" Hutchins told me I should write a tribute, expressing what she's meant to me and how much I love her. I should frame it, give it to her, and read it to her personally.

Meg was on home hospice care after a three-and-a-half-year struggle with ovarian cancer. I was her primary caregiver – a demanding, 24/7 responsibility – and was reeling with exhaustion. But his advice clicked. I read the tribute to her on May 21, our 16th anniversary.

It had a very positive effect…calming, soothing. She seemed at peace, contented, with brightened spirits. It was one of her last lucid days before dying a month later.

Tribute to a rare jewel

Meg was a rare jewel. In her wedding vows, she had said she wanted me to feel like "the most blessed man alive to be married to" her. I did. In this tribute, I told her that in her, God gave me:

• A gorgeous bundle of fun, adventure, character, and faith

• A godly woman who walks closely with Him

• A faithful friend – my very best friend – and companion

• A keen mind to help me think through life's sometimes perplexing issues

• A wise counselor with sound advice at crucial junctures

• A determined spirit to prompt me to reconsider my course when needed

• A sweet lover (Whew!)

• A fun woman, whose sense of humor brings delight. I love to laugh with you!

Thank you so, so much for loving me unconditionally; for honoring and respecting me; for caring and encouraging; for listening to my heart; for sharing my joys and hurts; for looking out for my interests; for being there through good times and bad; for facing life with me as long as we both shall live.

I love you very much, and am eternally grateful to be your husband.

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Lots of laughter

We loved to laugh. As world travelers, sometimes we laughed about language translation complexities.

60 Minutes television veteran Mike Wallace, speaking through an interpreter, once asked former Russian president Boris Yeltsin if he weren't being a bit "thin skinned" in his sensitivity to media criticism. The interpreter goofed, telling Yeltsin that Wallace had said, "You are a thick-skinned hippopotamus."

Shortly after we married, a speaker at a Miami meeting I attended told of efforts to translate a biblical love poem into the language of a Kenyan tribe. The phrase, "Your beauty is like that of the lily," did not connect with the rural East Africans, for whom lilies were mere cattle fodder. Their culture highly esteemed the cow, not the flower. On the advice of tribesmen, the translators rendered the romantic phrase: "You are a black cow in a herd of spotted cattle."

The speaker relating this tale suggested I use that compliment on my new bride, without explanation. Since Meg was returning to California from Philadelphia that evening, I left the cryptic greeting on our home answering machine. A few hours later, my Miami phone rang. Her first words: "And you are a thick-skinned hippopotamus!"

Most important lesson

At her memorial celebration, I presented all this, then briefly noted a conviction we shared deeply, the most important thing I’ve ever learned. I'm indebted in many ways to my Jewish friends and their heritage for it.

One ancient Hebrew book describes Job, who, despite his slew of troubles, affirmed, "I know that my Redeemer lives." (Job 19:25) That gave him hope.

A skeptic in my youth, I didn't believe my Redeemer lived. I thought it was a fairy tale. Then, my first year at Duke, I heard a lecture about Jesus' Resurrection evidences, given by Bob Prall, who later became my mentor. Jesus was executed and declared dead, wrapped like a mummy, placed in a tomb. A huge stone covered the tomb's entrance, which Roman soldiers guarded. Most of his disciples fled in fear.

Sunday morning, the stone was rolled away, the tomb was empty, but the grave clothes were still in place. Jesus appeared alive. Frightened disciples became martyrs because they believed he had risen.

Attempts to explain this away didn't work for me. The guard was too powerful, the stone too heavy, the disciples too timid. I realized it was true. Jesus had successfully predicted his own Resurrection. If I could trust him in areas like this where I could test him, I had grounds for trusting him in areas where I couldn't test him, such as eternal life and how to obtain it. He said, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die." (John 11:25)

Comforting? True?

Is it comforting to me that I'll see Meg again and spend eternity with God? Absolutely. But it's only comforting because I believe the evidence indicates it's also true. If it weren't true, it wouldn't be comforting.

I realize this is a controversial subject, and you may not agree. If you've not examined the Resurrection evidences, may Meg and I gently and politely encourage you to take a look? Lots of good books and websites present them. Our own site – which Meg designed and built – also presents them. RustyWright.com

We know our Redeemer lives. We hope you can as well.

And…I love you, Sweetheart.

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You can visit Lasting Memories for more on this remarkable woman, including a lovely 5½ - minute memorial presentation of Meg's life (images and music; put together by several family members).

Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. www.RustyWright.com

Tradition. If we grow up being told that things need to be done a certain way, we don’t usually know any differently until we begin to question things and look for answers from different sources. The authorities will probably label this as rebellion, and perhaps it is. We would more likely say that we are figuring things out for ourselves. It’s a fine line.

When Jesus travelled around the countryside teaching His disciples, He was certainly labelled a rebel. After all, the Scribes and the Pharisees were experts in the law. They were the most religious people around, but somehow Jesus didn’t quite see eye to eye with them. He didn’t fit the expectations for an upstanding citizen much less the Messiah. But there was something about Jesus that made the people follow Him by the thousands to listen to what He had to say. Twelve of those people, His disciples, considered Him their rabbi, their teacher, and wanted to learn from Him. What we now know as the Sermon on the Mount was really the disciples sitting down with Jesus to learn from Him. It starts in Matthew 5.

In Matthew 5:17, Jesus assures His disciples that He did not come to do away with the law that was handed down to them by Moses. God is still the same now as He was then; His principles haven’t changed. Yes, there were a few things that changed when Jesus came. We don’t have to make sacrifices to pay for our sins anymore. We don’t have the same food restrictions anymore. (Mark 7:15, February 3, 2012) But the way God feels about people hasn’t changed; He still is more interested in our hearts than anything else.

Jesus tells His disciples that He isn’t doing away with the law, but He needs more from them than external adherence to the letter of the law (Matthew 5:20) as the Pharisees exemplify. The Pharisees have added to the law that Moses gave the people, and they have made things harder than they need to be, but they still don’t address the most important issue, and that is the internal factor. In the following verses (Matthew 5:21-48) Jesus gives them examples of how controlling their thoughts and intentions is just as important as controlling their actions. He starts each example with words similar to “You have heard that it was said…”, and followed with “But I say to you…”. What He was talking to them about was the traditional way of living that had been enforced by the Pharisees, but which was a misrepresentation of God’s desires for us. We may not have actual Pharisees running things nowadays, but there are still people who perpetuate distortions to God’s Word because that is all they have ever known. There is a way to avoid this though. Check out God’s Word for yourself. Read it. Study it. Pray. Yes, sometimes it helps to have someone else’s point of view to help you understand what you’re reading, but don’t let them be your only source of information. Go directly to God for the answers.

The fight between good and evil—it is a common theme in books and movies, especially older movies, but there is no question that it is also a part of our daily life on this Earth. I Peter 5:8 warns us to be sober and alert. The devil is looking for someone to devour, to win over to his side, so we must be constantly aware and work to avoid being ensnared by him. Ephesians 4:27 instructs us not to give the devil a foothold, an opportunity. How can we do that? The whole message of Ephesians 4 is that we need to be transformed from our old selves to our new selves through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 4:1-3, Paul encourages us to live with humility, gentleness, patience and love in order to maintain peace and unity in the Spirit. In Ephesians 4:22-24 we are instructed to put our old ways behind us and to start living as the person who was created in God’s image, striving to be like Him by knowing His truth. One specific way to do this is to follow the guidance given in Ephesians 4:26: Be angry and do not sin.

Anger is an emotion, a gift given by God, and it is impossible to avoid becoming angry. Sin, however, is an act of the will or a lack of self-control. We choose how we will act when we are angry, either consciously or by failing to exercise self-discipline. Some Bible scholars state that because the verb in the original language is in the imperative form, we are commanded to be angry, and they discuss the value of righteous anger. God gets angry at sin, and so should we. Of course, God is sinless and we are not, so we are in much bigger danger of doing the wrong thing with our anger. Other scholars say that yes, it is the imperative form, but it is a permissive imperative. In other words, go ahead and be angry if you must, but be careful what you do with it. Whichever interpretation you believe to be true, the rest of the sentence is clear: do not sin. Make sure that you are controlling your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you.

The second half of Ephesians 4:26 should be taken symbolically rather than literally. It doesn’t mean that if you get angry in the morning you have a longer time to fume and stew than someone who didn’t get angry until later in the day. It means that you should resolve the disputes between you as soon as possible, and you should do it in the light of day. Darkness symbolizes deceit while daylight symbolizes truth. Work out your differences with pure motives. Forgive each other as we talked about last week. If we can control our anger and keep from sinning in the midst of this intense emotion, we will succeed in keeping unity and peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we will not give Satan a chance.

Today's post was written by Rusty Wright with Meg Korpi.
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I laughed so hard, I ached.

A while back, a friend e-mailed me a list of “Worst analogies written by high school students.” I began using them when presenting at writers and editors conferences. They were genuine side splitters, an English teacher’s nightmare.

Here are some:

Laugh Lines

“Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.”

“From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and ‘Jeopardy!’ comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30.”

“The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.”

“He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.”

“Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.”

“Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.”

“John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.”

“The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.”

“His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.”

Source Check

Recently, I decided to track down these shaky analogies’ original source. Turns out they weren’t culled from high school classrooms, but rather were published entries from The Style Invitational, a Washington Post humor writing contest. Apparently, Internet rumors morphed them into high school bloopers.

Oops.

And ouch.

You see, not only am I a stickler for accuracy, but people who spread Internet rumors without checking the facts really irk me. Countless times, I’ve encouraged correspondents to fact check on Snopes.com or TruthOrFiction.com, valuable, if imperfect, resources. I should have checked these analogies before repeating them.

“Physician, heal yourself!” you might say. Guilty as charged. “Any story sounds true,” notes a Jewish proverb, “until someone sets the record straight.” Lesson learned.

The Internet can be a 21st-Century backyard fence or office water cooler. One click can spread interesting, funny, engaging, or juicy gems. Problem is, too often the dispatches contain cyberfactoids—my wife Meg’s coinage for unsubstantiated or inaccurate information, propagated as fact via the Internet. And many will believe these tidbits. After all, they came from a trusted friend.

Does Truth Matter?

So where’s the harm in conveying a little imperfect information? These analogies are just for fun—and they do seem funnier coming from unwitting high-schoolers, rather than contestants intentionally writing “good” bad analogies. Shouldn’t we just lighten up?

If you’re the “trusted friend,” it may depend on whether you want to be, in fact, trustworthy.

If you’re the receiver, you might find wisdom in the old saw: “One who can’t be trusted in small things, shouldn’t be trusted in large ones.” (Luke 16:10)

In fact, carelessness with the truth can blow up on you. Just ask those who ignored problems at BP’s Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

A few years after publishing the above analogies, the Post ran another collection of bad analogies, including two by Joseph Romm, who had several entries published in the first batch. One of his entries on the second list:

“Joe was frustrated, like a man who thought his claim to fame was occasional appearances in a weekly humor contest, but in fact is known to millions as a stupid high school student who writes unintentionally humorous bad analogies.”

Sorry, Joe. I really am. Hope this helps set the record straight.
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Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. www.RustyWright.com

Meg Korpi is a senior research scientist who studies character development and ethical decision-making through the Character Research Institute in Northern California. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from, and formerly taught at, Stanford University.

Today's post was written by Rusty Wright.
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At Easter, some might wonder what all the fuss is about. Who cares? What difference does it make if Jesus rose from the dead?

It makes all the difference in the world. If Christ did not rise, then thousands of believers have died as martyrs for a hoax.

If he did rise, then he is still alive and can offer peace to troubled, hurting lives.

Countless scholars--among them the apostle Paul, Augustine, Sir Isaac Newton and C.S. Lewis--believed in the resurrection. We need not fear committing intellectual suicide by believing it also. Where do the facts lead?

Paul, a first-century skeptic-turned believer, wrote that "Christ died for our sins...he was buried...he was raised on the third day...he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve (Disciples). After that, he appeared to more than five hundred...at the same time, most of whom are still living." (I Corinthians 15:3-6) Consider four pieces of evidence:

1. The explosive growth of the Christian movement. Within a few weeks after Jesus was crucified, a movement arose which, by the later admission of its enemies, "upset the world." What happened to ignite this movement shortly after its leader had been executed?

2. The Disciples' changed lives. After Jesus' arrest and crucifixion, most of the Disciples fled in fear. Peter denied three times that he was a follower of Jesus. (The women were braver and stayed to the end.) Yet ten out of the eleven Disciples (Judas committed suicide) were martyred for their faith. According to traditions, Peter was crucified upside down; Thomas was skewered; John was boiled in oil but survived. What turned these cowards into heroes? Each believed he had seen Jesus alive again.

3. The empty tomb. Jesus' corpse was removed from the cross, wrapped like a mummy and placed in a solid-rock tomb. A one-and-a-half to two-ton stone was rolled into a slightly depressed groove to seal the tomb's entrance.

A "Green Beret"-like unit of Roman soldiers guarded the grave. Sunday morning, the stone was found rolled away, the body was gone but the graveclothes were still in place. What happened?

Did Christ's friends steal the body? Perhaps one of the women sweet-talked (karate-chopped?) the guards while the others moved the stone and tiptoed off with the body. Or maybe Peter (remember his bravery) or Thomas (Doubting Thomas) overpowered the guards, stole the body, then fabricated--and died for--a resurrection myth.

These theories hardly seem plausible. The guard was too powerful, the stone too heavy and the disciples too spineless to attempt such a feat.

Did Christ's enemies steal the body? If Romans or Jewish religious leaders had the body, surely they would have exposed it publicly and Christianity would have died out. They didn't, and it didn't.

The "Swoon Theory" supposes that Jesus didn't really die but was only unconscious. The expert Roman executioners merely thought he was dead. After a few days in the tomb without food or medicine, the cool air revived him.

He burst from the 100 pounds of graveclothes, rolled away the stone with his nail-pierced hands, scared the daylights out of the Roman soldiers, walked miles on wounded feet and convinced his Disciples he'd been raised from the dead. This one is harder to believe than the resurrection itself.

4. The appearances of the risen Christ. For 40 days after his death, many different people said they saw Jesus alive. Witnesses included a woman, a shrewd tax collector, several fishermen and over 500 people at once. These claims provide further eyewitness testimony for the resurrection.

As a skeptic, I realized that attempts to explain away the evidences run into a brick wall of facts that point to one conclusion: Christ is risen.

The above does not constitute an exhaustive proof, rather a reasoned examination of the evidence. Each interested person should evaluate the evidence and decide if it makes sense. Of course, the truth or falsity of the resurrection is a matter of historical fact and is not dependent on anyone's belief. If the facts support the claim, one can conclude that he arose. In any case, mere intellectual assent to the facts does little for one's life.

A major evidence comes experientially, in personally receiving Jesus' free gift of forgiveness. He said, "I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him (or her)." (Revelation 3:20)

Worth considering?
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Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. www.RustyWright.com

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In my last post I discussed how sometimes Christians can be judgemental, but Christians are judged a lot too. One judgement that is often made is that we must be mindless to believe in a God we cannot see. Yet there are people who have suffered persecution, even given their lives rather than deny their belief in God. Why would the disciples have kept the faith when their lives were at risk? Why would people today? They would have to be pretty certain that what they believe is true to be willing to give up their lives for it.

One of the verses that I mentioned in my last post was I Peter 3:15-16. Always be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have. Be ready to explain why you believe as you do. In order to do that you have to know for yourself, and the fact that your parents or your friends believe that way won’t hold up as a reason for long.

In Acts 17:10, Luke is in the process of recounting the travels and activities of Paul and Silas among others. They had been in Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-9) but had to leave because the Jews there didn’t want to consider anything different than what they already believed, so they were not willing to hear that Jesus was the Messiah that they had been waiting for. They opposed Paul and Silas and accused them of stirring up trouble and opposing Caesar. These were pretty serious charges, so after paying their fine, the believers sent Paul and Silas to the town of Berea. As usual Paul went to the synagogue to share the good news that Jesus was the Messiah. The Bereans heard the message, but instead of opposing it, they listened with open minds to hear what Paul had to say. They also took the next step. They didn’t just take what Paul said at face value; they searched the Scriptures and studied them every day to see if what Paul was saying was true. (Acts 17:11) Many translations describe the Bereans as being noble or fair-minded. Essentially, they were more willing to learn, by listening to Paul and then checking the facts for themselves.

Are you unsure what to believe? Don’t believe anything just because someone else tells you to. Think for yourselves. Do your research. The Bible can withstand your scrutiny. Do a little bit of studying. One example of a person who did this is Josh McDowell. He was a skeptic that set out to prove Christianity was a joke. He couldn’t do it because there was far too much evidence to prove that Jesus is who He says He is. You can read Josh’s account of his own journey in the third section of Skeptics Who Demanded a Verdict, available as a PDF here. Other resources he has available may help you in your own search for the truth.

2

The Israelites were slow learners. They spent a lot of time doing the wrong thing—not trusting God, not following His guidelines—and then when life got hard, they repented and asked for God’s mercy. In Isaiah 64:1-2, they begged God to tear the heavens apart, and to come down and do the miraculous to save them from their enemies. Even though they were constantly falling down on the job as God’s chosen people, they always knew that they and God were on the same side. Their adversaries were God’s adversaries.

Isaiah 64:4 tells us that since the beginning of time, there has been no one else like God. No eye has seen, no ear has heard any other god who is like Him. But this God who is beyond our imaginings is also the God who is full of mercy and will intervene on behalf of those who trust in Him. The Israelites counted on that, because after trying it on their own, over and over again, they realized that they couldn’t make it without God’s help.

I’m not sure that much is different with us today. That is because we just cannot fathom the infinite nature of God with our finite minds. We don’t understand His power, so we try, over and over again, to do things on our own. Then when we run into difficulties that are more than we can handle, many of us, like the Israelites, come back to God and say, “Oh, yeah, I remember now. I can’t do this without you.” The good news is that God is not forgetful like we are. He is faithful, and He who is rich in mercy, and full of love for us, will continue to intervene for us when we put our trust in Him. (Isaiah 64:4, Ephesians 2:4-5)

1

I’ve spent a lot of time on university campuses, three campuses as a student and one as faculty. Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of talk about truth. Generally speaking, the consensus is that truth is individual—what is true for you may not be true for me, and what is true for me may not be true for you. And the truth could change. As we gain new knowledge, we may alter our views. For me, that doesn’t define truth at all. For me, that defines opinion. That is not to say that we can’t learn more about truth as we go through life, but truth doesn’t change, only our knowledge of it does.

In French, there are two ways to express the verb to know. Savoir is used when the meaning is to know a fact or to know how to do something. Connaître is used for being familiar with a place or for knowing people. In English, we don’t have those distinctions, but Jesus told us in John 14:6 that He is the Truth. So in John 8:32 when He speaks of knowing the truth and being set free by the truth, He is referring to Himself. In this case, there is no question of what that truth might be depending on who perceives it. John 8:31 makes it clear. “If you continue to follow my teaching,” Jesus says, “then you will be true disciples...” John 8:32 continues the sentence, “…and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” So often people take John 8:32 out of context, and use it alone to encourage the pursuit of knowledge. But that is not the point of this verse. Jesus is encouraging new believers to know Him. He is telling them how to truly be disciples, and He gives them a promise, that abiding in Him will give them freedom. He didn’t mean political freedom as the speakers of John 8:33 must have assumed, but spiritual freedom, freedom from bondage to sin. (John 8:34-36)

Being somewhat academically inclined, and also somewhat idealistic, I like to know the truth for the sake of knowing the truth. But if knowing that truth, also brings freedom, that’s a bonus that I don’t want to miss out on. So I will choose to abide in the teaching of Jesus who is the Truth. Will you?

7

I often read other people’s blogs and comments. One comment I read recently was on the topic of food laws of the Old Testament, and if we weren’t willing to obey them, should we just ignore all the other laws of the Old Testament, such as the ten commandments, as well? I’ve heard comments similar to this before. If this was a cultural issue and doesn’t apply to us today, then does any of the Old Testament apply? I find it interesting that (a) people think that it has to be all or nothing and (b) people are willing to follow the rules without understanding the underlying principles. This is what the Pharisees did.

The Pharisees were very religious, and they were so strict about following the Law that they made up more rules to add to it. Before long it was more about the rules than it was about pleasing God. Jesus had offended the Pharisees by not observing their Sabbath laws, (Mark 2:23-3:6) so they began to watch for any reason to accuse Him. An opportunity came when the disciples didn’t follow the rules for ceremonial washing before a meal. (Mark 7:1-5) This ritual was not intended for physical cleanliness, but for moral cleanliness. So when Jesus responded to them, (Mark 7:15) He also was talking about moral cleanliness. In doing so, according to Mark, He declared the end to food restrictions. (Take note that Jesus did not speak those exact words, but Mark came to that conclusion from what he had learned through Peter in this passage and in Acts 11:1-10.)

The disciples had grown up with these Pharisaical traditions, and didn’t know any other way. So when Jesus said that people could not be defiled by what they ate, the disciples were confused and asked for an explanation. (Mark 7:17-23) I’m sure that Jesus did not intend for us to never wash or to eat anything we wanted without regard to our health. But He was more concerned with our spiritual health than with our physical health. He was more concerned with the condition of our hearts, because that is the source of sin in our lives. If we will concentrate on keeping our hearts pure, our hands and mouths will not do anything to defile us.

4

In honour of Ephesians week, I am reposting an entry that I shared with you a couple of months ago.  Some of you may have missed it, and some of you may be encouraged by reading this again.

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Some people are insensitive. I’d like to believe that they aren’t that way intentionally, but on the other hand, it would be nice if they intentionally tried not to be. Unfortunately, sometimes, because of their own expectations of how things should be, they say hurtful things to people who aren’t meeting their expectations. Now, I’m not talking about reproving someone in love because they have done something unbiblical; I’m talking about things like criticizing people for being single or not having children. Somehow we are all expected to grow up, get a job, get married and have a family, in that order. It doesn’t happen that way for everyone, and so, hurtful, insensitive comments make us think that we’re doing something wrong or that we are in some way not good enough. Satan loves to plant the seed of worthlessness in us and then water and fertilize it to make it grow. This is far from the way God sees us.

Ephesians 1:4 tells us that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, and that His purpose for us is to become holy. The larger context (Ephesians 1:3-14) tells us that in Christ we are blessed with every spiritual blessing. (Ephesians 1:3) We are predestined and adopted according to the pleasure of His will. (Ephesians 1:5) He has freely bestowed His grace on us. (Ephesians 1:6) We have been redeemed and forgiven through Christ’s willing sacrifice for us. (Ephesians 1:7) Because of this we belong to God. (Ephesians 1:11) We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit who gives us the assurance of our redemption and inheritance and will be with us until the time when all of this is completely fulfilled.

There are many other places in scripture that tell us of the value we have in Christ.

We are:
- the salt of the earth and the light of the world. (Matthew 5:13-14)
- more valuable than the birds that God cares for. (Luke 12:24)
- heirs of the prophets and of the covenant. (Acts 3:25)
- called. (Romans 1:6-7)
- co-heirs with Christ. (Romans 8: 17)
- God’s co-workers. (I Corinthians 3:9)
- God’s temple and bought at a price. (I Corinthians 3:16-17, I Corinthians 6:19-20)
- part of the body of Christ. (I Corinthians 12:27)
- a letter from Christ. (II Corinthians 5:20)
- children of God. (Galatians 3:26)
- heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:28-29, Galatians 4:6-7)
- children of promise. (Galatians 4:28)
- members of God’s household. (Ephesians 2:19-20)
- children of light. (Ephesians 5:8-10)
- chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, and we are called out of darkness into His wonderful light. (I Peter 2:9)

Don’t let Satan keep you in the darkness. The next time someone says something hurtful to you, focus on what God thinks of you instead.