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"Insight for Living" with "Chuck Swindoll"

Stop Lying and Start Acknowledging, Part 2

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chuck SwindollOf all the bad habits we could address, few are more prevalent yet more acceptable than lying. As painful as it may be to hear it, ours is a nation of liars. One reliable survey reveals that 91 percent of Americans lie regularly. The majority of Americans find it hard to get through a week without lying. Unfortunately, this is true for believers almost as much as unbelievers. Christians are just as likely as non-Christians to falsify their income tax returns, commit plagiarism, bribe to obtain a building permit, shift blame onto someone else, illegally copy a computer program, and steal from the workplace. If we are not lying to others in the process, we are lying to ourselves. It is time for us to face it: lying is an ongoing habit that definitely needs to be exposed, analyzed, and ultimately, stopped. As we shall see, when Paul wrote to the believers in first-century Ephesus, he put it straight: “So stop telling lies” (Ephesians 4:25 NLT).

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Stop Lying and Start Acknowledging, Part 1 - Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Of all the bad habits we could address, few are more prevalent yet more acceptable than lying. As painful as it may be to hear it, ours is a nation of liars. One reliable survey reveals that 91 percent of Americans lie regularly. The majority of Americans find it hard to get through a week without lying. Unfortunately, this is true for believers almost as much as unbelievers. Christians are just as likely as non-Christians to falsify their income tax returns, commit plagiarism, bribe to obtain a building permit, shift blame onto someone else, illegally copy a computer program, and steal from the workplace. If we are not lying to others in the process, we are lying to ourselves. It is time for us to face it: lying is an ongoing habit that definitely needs to be exposed, analyzed, and ultimately, stopped. As we shall see, when Paul wrote to the believers in first-century Ephesus, he put it straight: “So stop telling lies” (Ephesians 4:25 NLT).
Stop Acting Perfect and Start Being Vulnerable, Part 3 - Monday, February 20, 2017
In our image-conscious society, there is an enormous emphasis placed on appearing to be someone you’re not. This includes leaving the impression that we are bulletproof, that we’re on top of any challenge and all circumstances, which means we are living in the realm of virtual perfection. Playing such a role is not just inauthentic; it also encourages us to keep others at a distance. The last thing we want is for them to get so close they’re able to discover the truth, namely, that we’re nowhere near the person they think we are. Therefore, we learn early in life to “put up a good front.” The pressure mounts, forcing us to work overtime in order to fulfill this phony image. Someone accurately described our situation as this: “We are not who we are. We are not even who we think we are. We are who we think others think we are.” In the mix of that, we cultivate the habit of faking it. As we’re going to learn, there is a much better way to live. It calls for letting down our guard. It requires modeling reality. It has to do with no longer polishing our image. It means being vulnerable.  
Stop Acting Perfect and Start Being Vulnerable, Part 2 - Friday, February 17, 2017
In our image-conscious society, there is an enormous emphasis placed on appearing to be someone you’re not. This includes leaving the impression that we are bulletproof, that we’re on top of any challenge and all circumstances, which means we are living in the realm of virtual perfection. Playing such a role is not just inauthentic; it also encourages us to keep others at a distance. The last thing we want is for them to get so close they’re able to discover the truth, namely, that we’re nowhere near the person they think we are. Therefore, we learn early in life to “put up a good front.” The pressure mounts, forcing us to work overtime in order to fulfill this phony image. Someone accurately described our situation as this: “We are not who we are. We are not even who we think we are. We are who we think others think we are.” In the mix of that, we cultivate the habit of faking it. As we’re going to learn, there is a much better way to live. It calls for letting down our guard. It requires modeling reality. It has to do with no longer polishing our image. It means being vulnerable.
Stop Acting Perfect and Start Being Vulnerable, Part 1 - Thursday, February 16, 2017
In our image-conscious society, there is an enormous emphasis placed on appearing to be someone you’re not. This includes leaving the impression that we are bulletproof, that we’re on top of any challenge and all circumstances, which means we are living in the realm of virtual perfection. Playing such a role is not just inauthentic; it also encourages us to keep others at a distance. The last thing we want is for them to get so close they’re able to discover the truth, namely, that we’re nowhere near the person they think we are. Therefore, we learn early in life to “put up a good front.” The pressure mounts, forcing us to work overtime in order to fulfill this phony image. Someone accurately described our situation as this: “We are not who we are. We are not even who we think we are. We are who we think others think we are.” In the mix of that, we cultivate the habit of faking it. As we’re going to learn, there is a much better way to live. It calls for letting down our guard. It requires modeling reality. It has to do with no longer polishing our image. It means being vulnerable.
Stop Resisting and Start Submitting, Part 3 - Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Webster defines the term “submit” in this way: “To surrender or yield to the will or authority of another . . . give in. To allow oneself to be subjected: acquiesce.” Those words seem strange in today’s rebellious world where resistance to authority is not only tolerated and expected, it’s admired and defended! Children, once taught to be submissive to their parents, now resist their authority with hardly a second thought. In some cases, they take them to court! Those who lead companies, corporations, and even ministries must now be ultra-sensitive toward their employees, using great diplomacy when exercising their role of authority. For professions such as teachers and police officers, the former days of demanding absolute submission to their authority are over. Admittedly, there are times when resistance is appropriate. We would not remain a free nation if we submitted to the tyranny of those who would take our liberty from us. There are times when defending one’s rights is essential; to do less would result in chaos. However, we are not addressing those issues in this message, but rather the sin of standing in stubborn defiance against and questioning any and all authority that has the right to confront, correct, or instruct us. Such resistance greatly displeases the Lord our God.
Stop Resisting and Start Submitting, Part 2 - Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Webster defines the term “submit” in this way: “To surrender or yield to the will or authority of another . . . give in. To allow oneself to be subjected: acquiesce.” Those words seem strange in today’s rebellious world where resistance to authority is not only tolerated and expected, it’s admired and defended! Children, once taught to be submissive to their parents, now resist their authority with hardly a second thought. In some cases, they take them to court! Those who lead companies, corporations, and even ministries must now be ultra-sensitive toward their employees, using great diplomacy when exercising their role of authority. For professions such as teachers and police officers, the former days of demanding absolute submission to their authority are over. Admittedly, there are times when resistance is appropriate. We would not remain a free nation if we submitted to the tyranny of those who would take our liberty from us. There are times when defending one’s rights is essential; to do less would result in chaos. However, we are not addressing those issues in this message, but rather the sin of standing in stubborn defiance against and questioning any and all authority that has the right to confront, correct, or instruct us. Such resistance greatly displeases the Lord our God.
Stop Resisting and Start Submitting, Part 1 - Monday, February 13, 2017
Webster defines the term “submit” in this way: “To surrender or yield to the will or authority of another . . . give in. To allow oneself to be subjected: acquiesce.” Those words seem strange in today’s rebellious world where resistance to authority is not only tolerated and expected, it’s admired and defended! Children, once taught to be submissive to their parents, now resist their authority with hardly a second thought. In some cases, they take them to court! Those who lead companies, corporations, and even ministries must now be ultra-sensitive toward their employees, using great diplomacy when exercising their role of authority. For professions such as teachers and police officers, the former days of demanding absolute submission to their authority are over. Admittedly, there are times when resistance is appropriate. We would not remain a free nation if we submitted to the tyranny of those who would take our liberty from us. There are times when defending one’s rights is essential; to do less would result in chaos. However, we are not addressing those issues in this message, but rather the sin of standing in stubborn defiance against and questioning any and all authority that has the right to confront, correct, or instruct us. Such resistance greatly displeases the Lord our God.
Stop Worrying and Start Trusting, Part 3 - Friday, February 10, 2017
Our world is filled with addictions. To the surprise of many, addictions are not limited to those outside the family of God. Many within the Body of Christ struggle with nagging, relentless habits that defy quick and easy solutions. We seek help, but they don’t go away. We share them with a few close friends, hoping that in the process we will somehow break free, but that doesn’t happen. There are rare occasions when we find a measure of relief, but it isn’t long before the battle returns—and usually it’s with the same enemy of our souls that leaves us discouraged and defeated. Curiously, the most common addiction is not labeled as one. Thanks to our creative ability to rationalize our way around it, we pass it off like it’s of little consequence. We even convince ourselves that it’s normal—we say to ourselves, “Well everybody does it so it’s okay.” But the truth is that this habit is never treated lightly in the Scriptures. And what is the “most common of all addictions?” Worry. What an emotional drain! What a waste! It’s time we stopped our habit of worrying and replaced it with the God-given solution: trusting!
Stop Worrying and Start Trusting, Part 2 - Thursday, February 9, 2017
Our world is filled with addictions. To the surprise of many, addictions are not limited to those outside the family of God. Many within the Body of Christ struggle with nagging, relentless habits that defy quick and easy solutions. We seek help, but they don’t go away. We share them with a few close friends, hoping that in the process we will somehow break free, but that doesn’t happen. There are rare occasions when we find a measure of relief, but it isn’t long before the battle returns—and usually it’s with the same enemy of our souls that leaves us discouraged and defeated. Curiously, the most common addiction is not labeled as one. Thanks to our creative ability to rationalize our way around it, we pass it off like it’s of little consequence. We even convince ourselves that it’s normal—we say to ourselves, “Well everybody does it so it’s okay.” But the truth is that this habit is never treated lightly in the Scriptures. And what is the “most common of all addictions?” Worry. What an emotional drain! What a waste! It’s time we stopped our habit of worrying and replaced it with the God-given solution: trusting!

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
the Seventh Week after Epiphany
There are 53 days til Easter!
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