Friday, January 28, 2011

Making God Laugh

There is an old saying, "If you want to make God laugh, just tell him YOUR plans." The context is, of course, that God's plans prevail. Does God laugh? Yesterday, as I sat praying out loud to God, something funny happened, which made me realize two things. God does have a sense of humor. And we DON'T want him to laugh at us.

As I prayed, I asked God to help me be humble. I am preparing to speak at a women's retreat later this year, and I want to make sure the women see God, not me. But ironically, as I said the word humble, I stumbled on it, making it sound like, "Hummmmummmmble." It reminded me of when a TV character is trying to say something they don't want to. Consider Fonzie on Happy Days trying to say, "I was wrong." So after I said, "Help me be hummmummmble," I laughed out loud at myself.

As I went on to pray, I apologized to God for laughing, then went on to thank him for our sense of humor. I said, "Lord, I don't know if you laugh, but I do know we are made in your image and we have a sense of humor, so I suspect that you do too." After my prayer time, I went on to read my Bible. The day before I had read Psalm 90 - Psalm 93. I thought I'd pick up at Psalm 94. But then, I was drawn to go back and start at the beginning of Psalms. I would read Chapters 1-3.

Imagine my surprise when I read Psalm 2:4, "The One enthroned in heaven laughs." What? Really God! I had literally just asked God if he laughed, as much hypothetically than literally, and there it was in the Bible. Surely God did laugh at my surprise!

But as I studied the verse I realized that here the Lord was laughing in derisive laughter, or mockery. As I did a word study of the word LAUGH throughout the Bible, I realized most times that God laughed it was in mockery of the wicked. I definitely don't want to make God laugh at me like this!

Still, the Bible is clear, there is "a time to weep, and a time to laugh" (Ecc 3:4), and that because of our joy over the great things God has done "our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing." (Ps 126:2) It's okay for us to laugh!

Still, I don't want to make God laugh at me. Rather, I will strive to make Him smile.

Chatty Kelly

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Faith Like Noah

The rain fell in torrents as I drove into the parking lot of my daughter’s school. We ran from the car to the doors, but were soaked by the time we entered the building. My clothes stuck uncomfortably to my body, and I felt every bit the drowned rat.

I dropped my daughter off safely in her classroom. As I was leaving I jokingly told the school's director “I’m off to build an ark!” She replied, “Well you better hurry because it’s already raining.”

That caused me to think....

To continue reading, join me over at Titus 2 in Action, where I am a guest contributor every other Wednesday.

Titus 2 in Action

Chatty Kelly

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cruel to Be Kind

You gotta be
Cruel to be kind, in the right measure
Cruel to be kind, it's a very good sign
Cruel to be kind, means that I love you
Baby, you gotta be cruel to be kind

Cruel to Be Kind, Nick Lowe, 1979

No one wants to hear what they are doing wrong. That includes me! It's true, I can get defensive when someone points out my faults. I want people to only see the best in me. But the truth is, I mess up! There I said it!

Christians, like everyone else, don't want to hear when they get it wrong. As a matter of fact, when confronting a Christian brother or sister about their sin, you're less apt to get repentance than you are to get told what YOUR sin is in return.

The Bible is clear, we are to speak the love. That means, when we talk to someone about their sin the first thing we need to do is a heart check. Are we pointing out the issue in anger, in pride, or is it truly love - that we care so much for that person we can't stand to see their sin.

Next, we have to check out our own behavior. You can't point out the speck in your friend's eye, if you have a plank in your own! If you are trapped in bondage to sin, its best to work on your own issues before pointing out someone elses.

Matthew 18 gives clear guidelines on speaking to someone about sin. First, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." Just between the two of you! This isn't a time of public humilation. It's a time to speak to someone privately. Matthew 18 goes on to further explain the guidelines if this attempt fails.

Some might think pointing out their sin to them is cruel. To that, we could sing you have to be Cruel to be kind, in the right measure, cruel to be kind, is a very good sign. Cruel to be kind, means that I love you. Make sure that you aren't cruel, but kind in speaking the truth.

Speak the truth in love...In the right measure...It's a very good sign...It means that I love you.

Chatty Kelly