What to Do When Unscrupulous Opportunists Cut You Off

And the one question we should ask ourselves when we get sideswiped.

Last week a pickup almost ran me off the highway. The driver sped past until his truck bed paralleled my hood. Then with no pause, he lurched into my lane! I’ll call him Mr. Chevy.

What to Do When Unscrupulous Opportunists Cut You Off

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No blinker. No wave. No kidding. Just here I come to squash the little Prius! Mr. Chevy came close to doing it.

If fact, if I hadn’t slammed my brakes, the monster truck would have sideswiped me at 65 M.P.H. and sent me careening off a bridge like Evel Knievel vaulting over Snake River.

Okay, sure, rather than call Mr. Chevy a “narcissist” (that’s one way to paraphrase what I screamed—a mere ten minutes after my quiet time), I guess I should have given him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he may have been racing to the hospital or the grocery store or something.

It’s one thing to deal with unscrupulous drivers on the highway. They surprise us yet seldom shock us. But dealing with this behavior from someone on our own team, where we all should look out for the benefit of others, can do more than anger us.

It should force us to ask ourselves a question.

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Change happens only in the presence of compassion. No matter how self-involved or demanding a person is, compassion can make a difference — in fact, no lasting change will occur without it. If you’re trying to help, you will need to be “for” that person — for their welfare, for their success, and for their growth and transformation. We all need the grace of knowing someone is on our team.

Who You Should Compare Yourself To

A lesson at Tabgha frees you to follow Jesus as yourself.

Someone else’s stuff always seems better. Even their struggles seem better. Have you noticed? The temptation to compare yourself with somebody is hard to sidestep in the Christian life.

Who You Should Compare Yourself To

(Photo: Tabgha statue of Jesus and Peter. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

When Peter first met Jesus, the fisherman followed the Master out of a motive for glory and a prime seat in the kingdom of God. Peter wanted to be the “greatest” in comparison to others.

But after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, a single conversation along the shores of the Sea of Galilee at Tabgha changed Peter’s whole frame of reference.

That conversation can also help you not compare yourself with the lives of others.

It can free you to follow Jesus as an individual.

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How to Insert Your Quiet Time into Your Crazy Life

One discipline more than any other will make all the difference.

Sometimes I’m amazed at the chasm that stands between my morning quiet time and the rest of the day. You know what I mean? At times, there seems such a huge breach between Scripture and the real world.

How to Insert Your Quiet Time into Your Crazy Life

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Drinking deeply of the Word of God in the early morning hours, I express in prayer my love for the Lord, His Word, and His church. It’s all good.

But then I leave the house.

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What to Do When God is Not Fair

Discovering the hidden blessing of not getting what we've earned.

Unfair. That’s how it feels. Remember that Christmas when your sister opened the gift you wanted? Or when your brother got a T-bird and you got stuck with the family Nova? Not fair.

What to Do When God is Not Fair

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Fast forward to today and ask yourself how it hits you when:

  • A coworker gets a raise but you do more work—or perhaps, his work?
  • A neighbor decorates her home from an unrestricted budget and you’re gluing the peeling wallpaper back on the wall?
  • Your job reduces your salary because of the economy, but another business gives raises and bonuses?

There’s a reason Scripture has to command us not to covet. It’s in our nature. It’s systemic. If we can’t have more than others, at least we want it equal. But less than others? Uh, no.

Because that’s not fair.

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Lo-Debar: Why God Invades Our Comfortable Lives

What happens when comfort dulls our sensitivity to God.

Everything was going so well. A good job. Promising future. Nice place to live. Peace among peers. Then God got involved, and it all changed. Ever had that happen? Me too. So did Israel of old.

Lo-Debar: Why God Invades Our Comfortable Lives

(Photo: Umm ed-Dabar, possible Lo-Debar. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Hebrews sought opulent furniture, the finest food, first-class entertainment, the best wine and perfumes. But they did not seek the Lord.

Sometimes God invades our comfortable lives. Here’s why.

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Entitlement Cure

The Entitlement Cure: Finding Success in Doing Hard Things the Right Way (Zondervan, 2015)

Reading The Entitlement Cure was like sitting in a counseling office with a wise mentor who offered the odd combination of rebukes that encourage. So much of what Dr. Townsend writes connects to our everyday lives and struggles, since he identifies those problem-proned, entitled people we know (including the one in the mirror), as well as identifying the solutions deeply rooted in Scripture.

Whether the issue is a person who fears conflict, or refuses to admit “I was wrong,” or simply is lazy—The Entitlement Cure helps us take the next hard step toward true success, joy, and growth instead of continuing to chase easy choices that dump consequences that are anything but easy.

The book is worth every penny. And then some. I’ll read it again.

NKJV, Apply the Word Study Bible

Apply the Word Study Bible, NKJV (Thomas Nelson, 2017)

Most “Study Bibles” contain an introduction to each book of the Bible, as well as a concordance, maps, indexes, etc. But what makes the Apply the Word Study Bible unique are the features that offer devotional insights on most every page. These features offer substantial and interesting background information on biblical characters, places, and history, as well as some practical application. If “study” truly is the goal, the lack of white space and margins in the Apply the Word Study Bible offer significant limitations if one wants to add personal notes or insights beyond underlining. However, if Bible reading is all a person desires, this Bible will be ideal.

Why Your Path Forward Leads Backward

Seeing God's unusual leading in your life as normal.

Sometimes our path to next level includes what seem like setbacks. But they aren’t. God simply uses these tensions to propel us forward. Like an arrow pulled back against the bow.

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Occasionally God sidelines us to remind us our participation is a privilege and we can glorify Him just as much by our waiting on Him as by our serving Him in some other way that feels more fulfilling to us.

God takes delight in using us, but He doesn’t need us. He got along just fine in eternity past as Father, Son, and Spirit. His plan worked well long before we stepped on the scene, and it won’t skip a beat after we’re gone.

Our limitations only frustrate us when we forget that in weakness we glorify God.

Here’s what I mean.

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God Will Give You a Do Over

Why the end will only be the beginning.

Many people use the New Year to motivate life change they otherwise would never do. For most, however, the change doesn’t stick. It takes more than the flip of a calendar to flip a life.

God Will Give You a Do Over

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The end of one year immediately marks the beginning of another. The change occurs in one literal second. A similar transition will occur at the end of time.

The Bible begins with God placing the tree of life alongside the tree of the forbidden fruit (Revelation 22:1-5). Thus, the created earth became the stage upon which mankind could fulfill their purpose to rule under God for His glory.

But we blew it, of course. The good news? You get a do over.

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