Just Kidding

Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”

Proverbs 26:18-19 (NIV)

There’s an idea that these verses are about practical joking, and I can see where such behavior could be covered by these. I believe we can apply them to other behaviors too. I see these verses encompassing any situation where someone has said something or done something hurtful or deceptive and, when confronted, says they were “just kidding.” I’ve mostly seen this behavior in children; when I see it, I do my best to correct it because accepting it is dangerous. 

Unlike a computer game where someone can “save” their place and go off and do whatever they want and then restore their save, we live in the real world, where there are consequences for our actions. However, when we accept someone dismissing their actions as a “joke,” we’re giving them free rein to behave without dealing with the consequences of their actions. 

Morning Etiquette

If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.

Proverbs 27:14 (NIV)

Years ago, I used to be a “greeter” at my church. I’d stand at one of the doors and, you guessed it. Greet people before they walked into church. One Sunday, after cheerfully exclaiming, “Good morning!” to someone, they quoted Proverbs 27:14. However, this proverb isn’t talking about greeting someone loudly in the morning. It’s about flattering someone so loudly that other people can hear. 

The Bible’s Purpose

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Romans 15:4 (NIV)

What is the purpose of the Bible? I’ve heard people describe it as an instruction manual. There’s even a cute acronym for it. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (BIBLE). Some people say it’s a book of rules. I think Paul’s description of the Old Testament here in Romans 15:4 is a great explanation of the Bible’s purpose. I see three purposes in Romans 15:4.

1. Teach.

2. Encourage.

3. Give hope.

Prayer

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.

Romans 15:30 (NIV)

Whenever there’s a battle, people take their weapons with them. In the days of the knight and the sword, it would have been foolish to go into battle with no armor, sword, or shield. Today, our weapons are significantly more advanced, but the premise is the same. Who would wage war without weaponry? Yet, some people don’t pray. Or at least, they don’t pray very often. Here in Romans 15:30, Paul invites his brethren to “join [him] in [his] struggle by praying to God for [him.]” 

Sometimes, there’s nothing we can really do to help someone. We don’t have the words to say, and we feel helpless. Other times, we might know nothing of their struggles. However, there is One who does know. God. Even when we don’t know how to pray, we can still turn to God and ask him for his help for our brothers and sisters. There really is no more powerful and effective weapon than prayer because we’re in a spiritual war. 

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:4 (NIV)

In Galatians, Paul entreats us to take up one another’s burdens. 

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 (NIV)

While prayer is powerful and effective, if we have the means to otherwise help, we should. James tells us this about faith in action.

If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

James 2:16 (NIV)

Sometimes we can help someone by helping them with their physical needs, but we don’t. Instead, we pray for them, or we pray that “someone” will help them. As James reminds us, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17 NIV). 

I pray that this day finds you well, and I thank you for stopping by! 

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.