I was troubled to learn about a survey study in 2015 showing that “kids raised in religious homes were less generous and kind than those raised in non-religious homes.” They “tended to be more judgmental, less altruistic, and more punitive than kids raised without religion.” Yikes!
When a friend, loved one, or even just an acquaintance, is grieving, it’s hard to know what to say to them. You hate to see them hurting, so you try to come up with something comforting to say. But some things are better than others. Here 5 good things to say, and 5 to avoid.
We might not see it much in our small town setting, but when you drive to the larger towns and cities near us, you start to notice: people on the corner, at the intersection, or at the gas station, asking for money. You’re wary that it might be a scam, or just someone wanting money for substance abuse. But you’re also a nice person who wants to help people, and you remember Bible verses like “Give to anyone who asks you” (Luke 6:30) and “If anyone is poor…do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them” (Deuteronomy 15:7). So what do you do? What would be most helpful?
We are very blessed to live in a free country, where we are free to worship without fear for our lives. But what if we didn’t? What if we lived in a country where religious minorities suffered abuse and persecution? Most people would just worry about surviving. But is there any way to have an active, effective witness for the love of Christ amidst such hostility? (Hint: YES!)
Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery programs help turn people’s lives around and keep them pointed in the right direction. They try to help people to keep getting better, take responsibility for themselves, and work to help others change their lives too. That sounds a lot like what the church should be doing too.
If you’re like me, you spend time and maybe even worry trying to figure out what God’s will is. What is God’s will for my life, my family, my church, etc.? Anybody who wants to make their life better–whether in general or in the midst of bad consequences–has probably wrestled with that question. Just what is God’s will?? Well, we shouldn’t really have to ask what it is, because it’s easy to find out. We should just ask how to do it better.
What does the Bible say about immigrants? A lot, actually. So it begs the question: Since there are people who have settled in our community/country, do we treat them like the Bible says to treat them? And if so, what is that like?
Sermons are nice but not near as important as the things people share with each other during regular times of life, in the middle of the day, sitting at work, or visiting at home. Some of those listeners will never walk into a church, so the words they hear about how God loves them, coming from their friends and neighbors, are the most important words that they will hear. That means you’ve got a big job to do!
Do we, as a church, care about people who are struggling financially, either in our community or around our state? Do we care about families who can’t afford to properly feed and clothe their kids? If not, then we can just move on. But if we do care about them, then here are important things we […]
I recently learned about a conference in England last summer intended to help people think about how churches can enable disabled people to be more involved in the life and mission of the church. The speakers were disabled themselves or worked closely with people who were–areas like physical disabilities, the deaf, autism, blindness, and learning disabilities, for […]
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