Outlook: the prospect for the future
Thought for the Day: For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. II Timothy 4:3-4
I’m a Cinderella girl. Ask anyone who really knows me, and they will vouch for that fact. I am my best version of myself experiencing sunny days, warm breezes, smelling freshly mowed grass, hearing night sounds and/or the sound of the ocean. Additionally, I want to read stories and encounter life situations with endings of happily ever after. That’s an outlook that keeps me positive and pressing forward; knowing attainment of the best version of me can be experienced even if I live in a world sending mixed signals.
When God formed us in our mothers’ wombs, we were equipped with an intricate mind. I believe we only tap into a miniscule fraction of that endowed intelligence. With that being said, there are individuals actively imploring their talents in the art of persuasion using that proficiency to convince others to be likeminded. How in the world do you think 918 people drank what has become known as Kool-Aid following their cult leader, Jim Jones, in Guyana? According to one article, Jim attracted his followers by sharing this goal, “Divine principles. Total equality. A society where people own all things in common, where there is no rich or poor, where there are no races.” Sounds like reasonable goals, right? But what happened when people began questioning those goals as the rules and guidelines became a bit muddy? What occurred as meals continually consisted of rice, gravy and wild greens and the people, even children were required to participate in working approximately ten tedious hours a day? Did they begin to wonder why towers were built overlooking their living situation? Was it built to keep others out or to keep them in?
When officials decided to take a closer look upon receiving complaints, Mr. Jones decided he could no longer keep his own little kingdom to himself, so he decided the next best thing was having them drink poison and die rather than surrender their way of life. His solution? Have everyone drink Favor Aid mixed with cyanide a dash of Valium. There were 304 children among the number of dead that were first given this “drink” by their parents they would not have to watch their children die. Those who decided not to drink were shot. Jim Jones shot himself instead of drinking his “solution”.
These individuals listened to a man who gave them an outlook that sounded to be a utopia, a paradise of freedom. Please be aware Satan is alive and is still wreaking havoc among us today. You might think, I’d never fall for the lies of Jim Jones. Maybe you wouldn’t, but a lie began in the Garden of Eden as Satan slimed around the forbidden tree. When we view life outside of God’s boundaries purposed for our good and desire to call your own shots, you are opening a foothold of evil proportions. Satan is quite skilled in the art of persuasion.
God is not a Jim Jones, my friend. God is not the tempter and He will never ask you to accept false information or be involved in activities laced with eternal damnation. God instead offers peace within your heart and eternal life beyond. If you are a believer you have been gifted with the Holy Spirit; God’s meter of truth. When you are exposed to false accusations regarding our Lord, your meter will instantly fill you with a discernment to know something doesn’t add up. The discretion of the Holy Spirit will urge to fact check with scripture questionable comments and teachings.
If you have children, be ever diligent to know what they are being taught. Challenge the curriculums, read their reports and homework assignments and for the love of all that is right, view their computers and what is being brought into the safety of your homes. If your children are in college, have conversations. Liberal professors take full advantage of sculpting minds that leave home at 18 years of age and deliberately begin to weave their own beliefs into a preset agenda. You might have raised them differently, but there are those who will inform your students they need a more progressive thought process, leave mom and dad’s old ways behind.
I end with a personal story. I went back to college when my son was 13 months old and over the next ten years I took part-time and full-time classes to obtain a degree in elementary education. During those years, known as a nontraditional student, I had classes with both young people and older folks like myself. One of those professors I will never forget, my elementary math professor.
Dr. Martin was a liberal thinker from day one. I don’t want to falsely describe the man because he possessed a great mathematical mind and had ways of teaching children equations that I used to teach my son. However, when he found out I was a conservative, born and raised within a few miles of Dr. Jerry Falwell, that was just the nudge he needed to begin investigating how far he could baptize me with his beliefs on evolution. Yes, he was a math teacher, but he just couldn’t help himself confronting a conservative who believes in creation.
One day I needed to meet with him concerning a math paper and he began again, this time in his office with no students or time limits, how could I possibly believe in creation. Of course, I was in my late 30’s, had a family, was on time constraints, and had much more on my mind than continually defending my position, but I ended the discussion this way. “Dr. Martin, we have discussed this issue several times. I believe in creation. You believe in evolution. It’s very plain from these discussions neither one of us is changing our minds. But I tell you what, you bring a monkey in here and place him in cage and when he begins to evolve into a full grown human, we’ll revisit the issue.” He never pursued the topic again.
Being challenged happens every day, in every walk of life. The question is, are you equipped for the challenges that often sound plausible and correct? Being prepared for an encounter that contests your beliefs is of utmost importance. Perhaps you have given your full attention to the phone in your hand, or with the busyness of life that you are leaving instructional opinions to someone who is not only influencing your outlook, but that of your children. Don’t be mistaken and think you have the ability to face these issues in your own strength. The only overcomer who can fill your life with a positive outlook guarding your heart and mind from partaking in the Kool-Aid of false teaching is Jesus Christ.
God, please give us insight to sense worldly challenges which sound correct but seek to persuade the making of bad decisions. Remove these encounters, dear Father, before we become insnared guarding our hearts and minds with the ability to walk away. Bind Satan and shine Your Light so brightly all can be revealed. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Judith "Cookie" White is the founder of The Sounding Board Ministry. She is the author of two devotional books which are available on this site.