Gray Areas

How could a ruler command to kill children?
How could a ruler command to kill an entire race of people?

Fear, ignorance, hate, greed and apathy blur the lines of what is right and wrong.

Faith, learning, love, charity and humility can help us see through the gray areas.

Always search for the truth.

But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

Exodus 1:17 KJV

Disposable Plates

How do you feel about disposable plates?
How about disposable income?
How do you feel about free lunches?
How about free time?

If you use a disposable plate, it could give you some free time.
If you had free time, you could make some disposable income.
If you had disposable income, you can give someone a free lunch.

Socialist Conclusion: 
All we need to do is give people free lunches on disposable plates.

Capitalist Conclusion:
How much do the plates cost?
What is the total cost of the lunch?
How much time can we save?
How many free lunches can we give and sustain profitability?

We better teach our children and our grandchildren how to reason and think for themselves. Someone must pay the price. Nothing is free!

And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation : the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph’s knees.

Genesis 50:23 KJV

Providence

I believe in personal accountability. I believe It lays the burden of responsibility squarely on the shoulders of anyone who will bear it. I also believe, with that burden comes a freedom that cannot be expressed in words.

What about inequality?
What about providence?
What about things that are out of my control?

We are not born with the same abilities, the same access or the same opportunities. Does that somehow diminish my responsibility as a human being to do the very best I can with what I have? No. History shows us that some of the most successful people who ever lived overcame tremendous adversity. Was it because of providence or their own persistence? Do you think these great men and women saw themselves as victims?

Providence and personal accountability are flip sides of the same coin.

So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Genesis 45:8 KJV

Accepting Patience

Ever heard a professional athlete say “I will wait 6 years before winning the championship”? Nope!

How about an entrepreneur saying “I will wait 10 years for this business to be successful”. Never!

If you start with WAIT you never start. You must start with NOW.

Even though it might take 6 years to finally win or 10 years to launch the IPO. Success is achieved on day one with an attitude and a willingness to do whatever it takes. Sometimes it takes time and you have to accept that as part of the process.

And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. (14) Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

Genesis 41:1,14 KJV

Bad Outcomes

Bad outcomes are inevitable. How we handle them makes all the difference.

There are several problem solving techniques scattered through the pages of books and across the internet that can help. Search for “The 5 Whys” and “First Principles”. Both of these methods can help us deep dive into an issue and discover the root of the problem.

What happens when you find the root is a moral problem and not a systematic one? 

We cannot see the future but we can study the past. We will never go wrong, regardless of the immediate consequences, by doing what is morally right.

And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. [20] And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

Genesis 39:19-20 KJV

How to Hate

You should not hate anybody. TRUE.
You should not hate anything. FALSE.

Hate drugs; they destroy people and families.
Hate lies; they destroy relationships.
Hate pride; it leads to destruction.
Hate wicked thoughts; they lead to wicked actions.
Hate cheating; it destroys trust.

Is it possible to hate actions and not hate the person doing them? Is it possible to forgive and repair where evil has destroyed? Yes and yes. God demonstrated his perfect hate for sin and his perfect love for us when he sacrificed his only son so we could be forgiven.

The only way to hate effectively is to love unconditionally.

And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

Genesis 37:4 KJV

Comparisons

Choosing which soap to use is pretty easy.
Choosing which computer to buy is a little more difficult.
Choosing which car to buy is pretty tough.

Content labels and reviews point out the advantages and disadvantages; we compare and choose. Comparisons are a great way to choose products and services, but terribly insufficient to choose how you should feel about your life. A quick look at your social media feeds can make you feel like your life is on track or it can make you feel like your life stinks! Reality check… your life didn’t actually change at all.

Some of the greatest authors and podcasters don’t read the comments. Why? Because they know that opinions are based on comparisons. People are not comparable. Let that sink in and stop comparing yourself to a “filtered 59 seconds of perfection”. 

Do you. Do your best work and don’t read the comments.

And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.

Genesis 35:10 KJV

Fences

Time and mental energy are wasted by revisiting questions that shouldn’t be up for discussion.

Should I work out today? If yes, how long? 
Should I eat that cheeseburger for lunch?
Should I write a blog post today?
Should I discipline my son when he forgets to take out the trash?
Should I address an employee about this issue?
Should I have a date night with my wife this week?

Simple, clear expectations are invaluable.

This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.

Genesis 31:52 KJV

Measure and Mercy

It’s easy to measure wrong for wrong. An eye for an eye… Right?

Better to measure right for wrong. To treat others as we would like to be treated.

If you’ve been here long, you know life is tough. But, you don’t know the circumstances of the guy that just cut you off in traffic. Let’s show some mercy and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?

Genesis 29:25 KJV

Before and After

Why do I have freedom to worship God?
Why do I have freedom of speech?
Why do I have freedom to gather with my friends?
Why do I have freedom to write this blog?
Why do I have freedom to own a gun?

The reason is simple. Someone before me cared about me even though they did not know me. In principle, they determined the right things to do to preserve freedom for generations to come.

Will my children and grandchildren have the same rights and freedoms I have?

If you listen to news outlets and political pundits, it almost seems hopeless. The level of shortsighted dealings and corruption is off the charts. But it’s not hopeless…it’s never hopeless! Each of us has a small space between before and after, a window of time and an opportunity. Are we willing to be uncomfortable? Can we sacrifice now for later? We better.

And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.

Genesis 26:24 KJV

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