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Are You Understood?

Ever look at what gives others pleasure and wonder, “Why would anyone want to do that?”
That’s what the world should do toward you.

Peter gives a list of all kinds of pleasures people seek, “for the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries” I Peter 4:3. 
The world wonders, “What’s wrong with you?” for not wanting these things.

Peter tells it this way: “In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you.” I Peter 4:4.
Not only does the nonbeliever enjoy things that you find no interest, but they will malign you because you don’t.
In other words, they seek to destroy you by slander, malevolent, and evil-intentional criticism. 

Why?
What they find pleasurable, you, by refusing to participate, show them the light.

What does the light do?
Shows the emptiness of their own deeds.
Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. John 3:19
It is not that we, as Christians, hate the world (the people in it). 
But we cannot embrace what the world loves and love God too. What we once enjoyed doing, we can’t any longer.
The pleasure is gone.
The meaningless and futility of that life is made plain.
It doesn’t hold us.

Nor can we “just get along” with the world. 
We walk in opposite directions: one toward the light, the other deeper into the darkness. 

That is why God commands, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” II Corinthians 6:14. (He gives further examples of not uniting with the world, see note below.)

Why is this so important?
The Israelites gave us multiple examples of what it cost when they ignored God’s commands and sought to be like the world.
They wanted a king, like everyone else. God gave it to them. 
It led them to a miserable life that destroyed their families, cities and brought them into slavery.
Living like the world did not give freedom and peace; it brought destruction.

King Solomon, the wisest man in the world, disobeyed God in this matter. He married wives who did not know God.
What harm could they do?
They turned Solomon's heart from God.
Is that so wrong?
It split Solomon's kingdom and weakened the entire nation of Israel.
Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes, a book about the futility of everything but knowing God.
He knew by experience all the pleasures of the world, but they brought him nothing.
His concluding remarks, "Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Light reveals. It cuts our hearts, removing the darkness. By its removal, it brings truth, meaning, clarity and GOD. 

A believer can participate in the world’s pleasure, but it will eat away at his soul. He can’t enjoy it for long.
The prodigal son could live a riotous life—for a time. The world sucked him into its grip. He was so far from the light that only a twinkle shone in the distance.
Did he enjoy it?
He was miserable.
His meaning was found in obedience to God and he knew it. 

But the believer who lives for God finds meaning, purpose and life.
Yet will be considered strange, unaccepted, and stupid by the world. 
Men will ask, “How can you believe a God Who demands your life? I won’t be a slave to anyone!”
Yet they do not realize their own slavery. It consumes them and leaves them empty, hollow, and destroyed.

Are you understood?
Depends on whom you are seeking to be understood by.
Are you walking in the light? Then you will never be understood by a watching world who loves the darkness.
But God will understand. And His truth will draw you to the light where true living is found.

 

*Note
"Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,’ Says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ Says the Lord Almighty.” 
II Corinthians 6:14-18.

I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
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               Sonya Contreras


How have you been misunderstood by others because you have chosen to follow Christ?
 

Faith
Find more articles about faith here:
Don't Carry More than You Need
Cast the Seed
God Is Faithful
Are You Deceived?
Are You Essential?
Are You Safe?
Are You Tired of the Same Old Thing?
Does the World Make Sense?
Have You Seen God's Majesty?
Do You Feel Judged?
If You Only Had One More Day To Live
Are You Understood?
Do You Long for the Word of God?
Slow Down and Smell the Dead Leaves
Are You Hospitable?
Our Heritage Is Bought by Blood
Are You Disturbed?
Are You Depressed?
I Did It My Way
Finding the Simple Life with Meaning
The Simple Life
Do You Have the Right Words?
Did Your Dream Die?
On the Other Side of the Fence
Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
Confessions of a Desperate Mom
Saving for Tomorrow
A Wedding Remembered
Who Will Stand in the Gap?
Are You a Protector or a Ruler?
Who Are You?
Are You an Image Bearer or a Wad of Cells?
Are You a Watchman?
Where Do You Find Meaning?
The Lamb of God as Told by a Scribe
What Love Is This?
Remember: The Symbols of Passover Explained
Tea and Rest
Do You Have Peace?
What Makes a Marriage Work?
When Life Is Awful
Are You Strong Enough?
Rules
Seasons
Be Faithful through Suffering
Do You Know the Word?
Wake Up! Strengthen What Remains
Are You Spit in God's Mouth?
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Do You Stand Against Satan Himself?
Are You Tired of Being a Mom?
What in the World Is Happening?
It's Not My Story
How Would Your Faith Compare?
Are You Sinking?
Are You a Rule Follower?
Useful for Him
An Intimate Moment with Mary
The Worldview that Makes the
   Underclass

Thoughts to Ponder
What Does It Take To Know the
    Heart of God?

See the Story in the Stars
Do the Scriptures Burn You?
Being in His Presence
Contentment: It's Not for the Timid
How Secure Are You?
How Do You Respond To Stupid People?
The Earthworm Is My Hero
Heart Issues or Issues of the Heart
Things Aren't Always What They Seem
More faith articles are found here:
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under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Or here:
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under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Articles on Suffering can be found  here, 
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under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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