The Flattering Tongue

These people…flatter others to get favors in return.

-Jude 1:16, NLT

 So many of us, because of countless reasons, try to flatter our friends, family, as well as complete strangers. But when we come to the realization that there’s no need, because living for God brings His favor upon you in all situations, it’s an amazing thing. It truly will change your perspective and how you view your “need” to please others, or to meet their needs. According to Psalm 5:12, God blesses the righteous and surrounds them with His favor as with a shield.

 There are many instances in the Bible of God giving His children favor with man, with no effort on their part, only because they are seeking Him. Consider that God gave Esther favor and the king chose her to be the queen of Persia (Esther 2). He gave Daniel favor with one of the king’s officers, who allowed him and his three friends to select their own diet rather than eat the non-kosher food of their captors (Daniel 1). God gave Joseph favor in Egypt, and he went from being a captive to commander of all the country’s resources (Genesis 39-41). These children of the Most High never had to resort to any form of self-effort in order to prove themselves for gain or survival.

 Justin and I both are honest, sincere people. If you have any relationship with us at all, you know that we’ll tell you the truth if asked of us, whether it’s actually what you want to hear or not. We both used to long to impress and flatter man, to be “on top” if you will, but a couple of years back our outlook changed. Our desire is to follow God, to seek His heart and follow after Christ’s life, to live by God’s living Word. Though us choosing to do this has caused greater trial and tribulation from when we were “in the world”, living like those who claim to not need God or just simply do not know Him, and it has also caused greater persecution within our families and friends, we have been shown greater favor than we have ever experienced before, and not only with man. I feel as if I am downplaying or under-exaggerating when I say that we see God’s favor in everything we encounter. No-brainer, obvious situations where we have received God’s blessing in favor just within the last several months have been in our jobs, in our housing (first at the Sierra Motel, then at the condos at the Travelodge, now here at the house we purchased), in our relationships through our church and at work, in our finances, in our parents, in our marriage. And when you search further, you see it in the people that we meet almost every time we go out somewhere (we have met so many awesome people in the most random of places, and they always seem to bless us in one way or another, whether just by conversation or something physical, it seems almost every time we leave the house), when we eat out, when we go for a walk, when we go to work, and there are so many other instances. If we are encountering something we know we will not enjoy, God blesses it, He makes it so much more than bearable. I could go into specific example after example, but I only wish for others to experience this too, not to seem to boast or be prideful in what we’ve been given. Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous (Proverbs 13:21, NLT), and God desires for ALL His children to know this type of life! He desires for everyone to come to Him and show them unsurmountable favor.

 My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store My commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

-Proverbs 3:1-4

 Instead of ending this post in a normal way, I’d like to just pray over those reading the post today, is that alright? 🙂

 Father God, I need to plug my netbook in before the battery dies, so I’ll be right back – okay, I’m back now. I just wanted to take another opportunity to thank You for this blog and website that You’ve given us, for the resources that You’ve shown us and opened us up to, for Justin’s talents in graphic design, for the chance to impact at least a few people’s lives, or to at least try. It’s incredible to us that it’s gotten this far, that there are even a few readers, hehe. But we continue to give You the glory Father, because it’s by You and for You that we write. I ask that You help us to keep this mindset as we continue forward, that we write our posts with a clear understanding of Your word, so as to not compromise it and teach it wrong or inaccurately. We ask that You continue to develop a passion in us for You, not only for me and Justin Lord but for the people reading this post, a passion that we’ve never known before, one that stands out and sparks interest in those around us. We pray that our witness stands strong, that our standards remain high and like those of Your Son. We pray that You continue to build our faith in You, that our souls rise up in unity with those in the Church and that we continue on the path that You’ve selected for us, learning how to treat our brothers and sisters as You’ve instructed.

Lord, I’m reminded of the country songs that I heard the other day that really made me laugh. They’re such an improvement in a sense for those singing them, but they’re still so clueless Father God, so clueless that it’s You who shapes them into who You want them to be, not You who shapes them into who they want to be. Lord, I ask that my compassion grows for those like this and for those who don’t know You and for those who are seeking You, that I do my best to not only see their needs but to meet them the best that I’m able. I cannot do much, but it’s You who has made me strong and done through me what I have done so far – so God, I ask that You continue to use me, continue to shape me, continue to help me reach out to others in Your Name.

Lord, it’s late as I’m writing this post and praying, and I’m tired, so help me to not just type words and not mean it. I don’t want to sound anything close to religious, or like it’s just more words for people to read. Help me to stay honest to You and to desire to be guided by You.

I thank You for the desires and gifts that You’ve put in Justin. I enjoy listening to him play his guitar Lord, and I know that He wants to worship You with the music he makes, so I ask Father that You release more talent into his life in that area – that talent You’ve already placed in him, help him to see that it’s there and he is talented, and that he can serve You through it, whether he thinks it’s petty or little or whatever.

I thank You for Unger Lord, he’s the cutest little puppy ever. He’s blessed us already, I know that’s probably weird to say, especially since he just pee’d on the floor a couple of minutes ago, and he’s getting in the garbage now – he’s learning though! It’s amazing Father God how You’ve even given animals personality, I love it. Speaking of that, thank You for the little beavers down by the waterfront who we saw again, was it this morning, or yesterday morning? They’re so darn cute too.

(It must have been yesterday morning, since we got up late this morning, it was closer to afternoon than morning) I thank You for readers Lord who can stand (or read on, rather) through our seemingly sometimes pointless posts (or prayers that seem to not really be relevant to them, YET!), and I just pray Lord that You speak to their hearts through the words that You’ve given us to write. We want to disciple others for You God, for the glory of Your Son, to get them to see that there’s a true, holy, living difference in our lives because of You.

I am tired, and I know that Justin and Unger probably are too. I just thank You for my family God, for where You’ve taken Justin and I myself individually and as a couple, and I do thank You for where You’re going to lead us. We really don’t know what You’re going to do through us next, but we love serving You, and we want to only do it more – more wholeheartedly, with more devotion, with more sincerity, with more selflessness, with more love. We thank You again Father for Justin’s job, for the next job that You have in line for me, for our house, for our puppy, for our friends and family, for the wonderful, incredible church that You’ve called us to that we’re headed off to tomorrow morning. We love it, and we cannot wait to serve You more there and to reach out to others in the church as well as through the church.

We love You Lord, thank You for allowing me to bore Your readers one more time. 🙂

In Jesus’ Name I pray (I know I keep on going back and forth between “I” and “we”, but I am praying on behalf of only myself, sometimes myself and Justin, and sometimes myself, Justin, and those reading this),

Amen.

 Good night.

 The Bottom Line of Speaking Life: Speak these words of life over yourself right now: “I will show partiality to no one, nor will I flatter any man; for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away.” (Job 32:21-22, NIV) Do not look for the favor of man, because you already have the favor of God and man if you’re seeking Him. God always makes everything work together for our good.

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