Archives for the month of: March, 2016

A while ago, I was perusing the pages of Instagram, and I came across the quote, “Jesus was king of the clapback.”   For those of you who don’t know what a clapback is, don’t worry, up until that Instagram post, neither did I.  Simply put, a “clapback” it’s the ability to give a quick-witted retort to a comment, typically one with negative intentions.  When I thought about the spirit of the quote, it made me chuckle, because it was kind of true.  Jesus was no shrinking violet.  Although he was meek and humble, he wasn’t afraid to let you have it.  Just ask Peter.

 

Out of Jesus’ twelve disciples, Peter was definitely one of Jesus’ favorites.  Several modern day commentaries have even cited Peter as one of Jesus’ inner three. (James and John were the other two.)  Peter was with Jesus during His Transfiguration.  Peter walked on water with Jesus.  He prayed with Jesus.  He even lopped of a man’s ear for Jesus.  You could say that Peter was one of Jesus’ besties.  That is why what I’m about the say is all the more significant.

 

In the early days of Jesus’ ministry, people varied in belief about who they thought Jesus was.  Some thought he was Elijah the Profit.  Others thought he was the prophet Jeremiah, while other believed that he was John the Baptist.  When Jesus asked Peter who he thought that he was, Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” (Matthew 16:16, NLT).  Jesus must have been pleased with Peter, for He responded by saying, “’18Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven,’” (Matthew 16:18-19, NLT).  Wow, Jesus called Peter a “rock,” and not just any rock, but a rock upon which he would build His church.  That was definitely high praises coming from the Son of God.  Peter must have been beaming.  He must have been proud, because Jesus had not said this in private.  He had praised Peter in front of the other disciples, but it’s what came next that would make today’s urban youth label Jesus “King of the Clapback.”

 

When the time drew near, Jesus had begun to prepare His disciples for His death.  He warned them that he would suffer death at the hands of man for the glory of God.  When Peter heard this, he rebuked Jesus stating, “’Heaven forbid, Lord,’ he said. ‘This will never happen to you,’”(Matthew 16:22)!  Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns,’” (Matthew 16:23, NIV).

 

“Get behind me Satan.”  Did Jesus just call Peter Satan?  He did, and here is why?  When it comes to the truth, it is either black or white.  There are no shades of gray.  Something is either true or false.  If God’s Word is true, then it stands to reason that anything contrary to the Word of God is false.  Truth comes from God.  Falsehood comes from Satan.  God told Jesus that he would die for the sins of man.  Therefore, when Peter attempted to contradict God’s command to Jesus, he spoke a falsehood.  He spoke of the devil.  In a crude sense, in that moment, Peter was being the devil’s representative.  Maybe Peter was thinking about his own desires.  In fact, not too long ago, Jesus had call him the rock.  Maybe Peter thought that Jesus’ death would compromise his plans of what he envisioned his position as the “Rock” to be.  Who knows what Peter was thinking.  What we do know is that Jesus knew that Peter’s motives for speaking weren’t aligned with God’s plans.

 

“Get behind me Satan.”  When I thought about this post this morning, the first passage that came to my mind was Jeremiah 29:11, “11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” (NIV).  Earlier in the post, we stated that anything that is not of God is of Satan.  In Jeremiah 29:11, God said that He has plans to prosper us and to give us hope and a future.  Therefore, anything (or anyone) that threatens our hope, our prosperity and our future is acting as Satan’s representatives, and we need to tell that thing (or person) to, “Get behind me Satan.”  James 4:7 says, “resist the devil and he will flee from you,” (NLT).

 

Jesus wasn’t afraid to call a spade a spade.  Jesus was destined to die.  In order to fulfill His destiny, He had to speak against all that threatened it.  Each of us has a destiny, which we have to work to ensure that we fulfill.  The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy, (John 10:10).  As such, we have to be mindful of his various presentations.  Satan is the master of disguise.  Sometimes, he manifests as friends, family, co-workers, preachers, employers, employees and much, much more.  Whenever, individuals in our lives contradicts what God has commanded us, we need to rebuke them.  That rebuke doesn’t always have to be confrontational.  Sometimes, we could do it during the privacy of our prayer time.  If someone is getting between us and our destiny, we should call them by name and say: (Insert name), get behind me Satan!

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Maybe I’m emotion immature.  Maybe I’m selfish.  Maybe I’m passive aggressive.  Maybe, I’m all these thing.  That’s what the experts say.

 

During the past few weeks, I have come across the term “ghosting.”  For those of you who don’t know what ghosting is, simply put, ghosting is disappearing from a relationship and falling off the face of the Earth with no announcements or explanation.  For example, if you’ve every gone out with a guy (or girl) and all of a sudden he (or she) disappears from social media and you haven’t seen or heard from him (or her) again, then you’ve probably been ghosted.  According to some Internet “experts,” “ghosting” is a sign of psychological and emotional immaturity.  These “expert” further assert that emotionally developed adults should try to talk through their problems even if the end result is agreeing to disagree.  Here is my question:  Does every relationship deserve the benefit of an explanation?  Sure there are times in our personal and professional lives when we must confront issues head on, but must every situation be confrontational.  Maybe the easiest, and best, thing to do is just to walk away—to be GHOST!  What do you think?

Wasn’t technology supposed to make our lives better and easier?  Clearly, that isn’t always the case.  Nowadays, it seems as if our lives are even more complicated than ever before.  The limits of our boundaries are constantly being ebbed away.  The idea of personal and family time has almost been obliterated.  That person who dares to leave work at exactly 5:00 p.m. is either a trailblazer or simply lazy.  Whatever happened to the days when our free time was just that—free?  Once upon a time, we were not slaves to our cell phones or emails.  People didn’t always have an expectation that others should immediately beckon to their every request.  Today’s employees, particularly those who are salaried, are expected to be available around the clock.  Somewhere throughout the course of employment, an employee’s negotiated, and agreed upon, hours of employment became blurred and transcended into a 24-hour service.  Over time, there became an unspoken, and sometimes verbalized, expectation that employees should come in early and leave late.  Don’t even think about leaving “on time” if you ever want to be considered for promotion.  Doing so would almost always guarantee that you would be placed at the bottom of any promotion list.

 

Before I continue, I must make one disclaimer.  Generally speaking, this post is geared solely towards honest, hard-working people, not individuals who go to work to buy time between paychecks and whose morning and evening clock outs rotate around their 20 coffee, water and bathroom breaks.  It’s not geared towards those who approach work and life with a sense of entitlement and a spirit of mediocrity.  While those individuals might go through the motions of pretending to work, their attention and focus are usually elsewhere.  Those individuals are usually toxic and, almost always, help to further tax and over burden their co-workers, who then inadvertently take on their share of the workload.  I digress.

 

Diminishing boundaries are stifling our quality of life and potentially the productivity that we so desire. It is impossible to continuously perform at a 100 percent capacity without hitting our refresh or reset keys. Think about our computer programs.  Sometimes, in order to get them on the right track, we have to restart the program, which require that the computer is complete turned off.  As far as I know, there is no way to partially restart a computer.  Every terminal action is usually an attempt to force a program to quit and start over.  In our personal lives, the end of each day should be an opportunity to quit and start over.  However, too often, our days and nights have become one continuous blur.  Many of us in corporate America have become slaves to the grind.  We have become slaves to capitalism.  However, Christ did not die on the cross for us to be slaves.  Galatians 5:1 says, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law,” (NLT).  It is important that we heighten our awareness of the things in our lives that challenges our freedom and try to draw us back into the confines of slavery.  We have to constantly reaffirm that we are not slaves.  We are free.  Christ died on the cross so that we could be free.  We are not slaves!  I am not a slave!