What does it mean to be a Christian? Seriously, what is the real bottom line true meaning of following in the footsteps of Jesus? Is being a Christian like an entitlement program? By professing Jesus do we receive protection from evil, deliverance from trials or the healing of our maladies? Do we receive a promise of an abundant and prosperous life? Or, is being a Christian more like a “getting whipped into shape” work and endurance program where we lose our own will, learn to do without and have to somehow rejoice in tribulation every day of our difficult lives? Is the price of true Christianity a simple acknowledgment of Jesus being in your life or is it a “sell all that we have and change what we are” mentality? What DOES it cost to be a true Christian? Is it a price we are willing to pay?
Lying. Okay, we know it’s bad but is it really always a bad thing? From a parent’s perspective, it is one of those things that is perched at the top of the “never do this” list of moral and ethical behavior. With children, the boundaries are clear and easy to define, because as we show them the difference between honesty and dishonesty, we reinforce what it means to take the high road, to be trustworthy and to be an honest and dependable friend. But what about the myriad of circumstances that arise as we become adults and begin to live in a world that is not awash in a bold contrast of right versus wrong but instead is overwhelmed with delicate shades of grey – with value judgments, personal rights and the fine line of being offensive? Are “little white lies” always wrong? What about only telling part of the truth – does that constitute a lie as well? Can lying ever be good?
Gossip – is it ever useful or good or is it always a waste of time and bad? Have you ever stopped to consider just how much of our present culture not only accepts gossip but places it in the enviable and important position of being a core and driving value of our everyday existence? Think about just how many publications, TV programs, talk shows and news items are driven by gossip. Now think about how much of our conversations at our work place or with our friends revolve around gossip. If you see it as I do, we are relentlessly inundated with gossip at every turn. So, what can we do about it? What should we do about it? How can we reduce the role of gossip in our lives and what should we replace it with?
Faith is a part of life. Faith is not reserved for those of us who claim religion. On the contrary, faith is an integral part of human life, no matter what perspective you come from. We have faith in the people in our lives that they will be there for us. To varying degrees, we have faith in our doctor’s ability to take care of us, our employer’s responsibility to be fair to us and our co-workers sensibility to do their fair share with us. We have faith in the internet as a window to the world, and we have faith in the antivirus software we use to protect that window. So, how does the faith we find everywhere in life compare to religious faith? Is one kind of faith reasonable while the other is sensational or are they the same?
Faith is a part of life. We here at Christian Questions have been blessed to be given the opportunity to live with faith as a basis for our lives. Doing this radio broadcast for the last 18 years has taught us much about faith and much about what is required to keep our faith not only intact but vibrant and flourishing in a backwards, crazy and godless world. You see, while faith is a gift, it is the type of gift that requires attention, work and a lot of discipline. If we consistently feed our faith with these things then our faith in turn can feed us. Being fed by faith produces a life's hope that can truly transform your everyday life! So, come along with us on our journey back in time…
Everyone loves a hero. Everyone loves to watch “that guy” as he (or she) defies the odds, stands up against darkness, evil or injustice and fights – sometimes he fights alone and sometimes his fight inspires others to stand and fight with him. We admire the guts, the vision and the strength of such people, for they in their heroic actions represent what we would like to be. So, what makes someone a hero? Is it one heroic action or is it a life lived in a heroic way? Do people become heroes because of their strength or in spite of their weakness? Are heroes made or are they born? How can you and I become more heroic in our everyday lives?
Most of us really don’t like ourselves. We are too tall or short, too fat or thin, too reserved or too lazy. We don’t like ourselves because we don’t think before we act or we think too much and don’t act at all. We don’t like ourselves because we are not attractive enough or we don’t have enough charisma or we are too lonely or we run away from our problems. Maybe we think we are too forward and forceful or too confrontational or maybe we think we are too analytical, too self-conscious or just plain wimpy! Whatever the case, we seem to be unhappy with ourselves, which brings us to the question – as a Christian aren’t we supposed to not like ourselves so we can be more like Jesus? So, shouldn’t we be happy in our unhappiness? Let’s stop already! Too many questions – let's find some answers!
Life can get heavy sometimes. It can happen for all kinds of reasons – our own poor judgment or mistakes, circumstances beyond our control, accidents or a tragedy. Whatever the reason, the fact is that sometimes life just becomes a heavy burden. When life does get heavy we begin to doubt and to fear, which opens the door to begin down that ever-consuming road of discouragement and even depression. So, how do we fight this? How do we find a formula that will help us to stand up and walk under the weight, to fight through the fear and to persevere through the pain? How can we transform the heaviest experiences of our lives into the best growing experiences of our lives?
…But do you trust me? Such a question pierces right down to the heart of any matter, for true trust is sacred. Any relationship - be it family, friends, business or otherwise - will thrive when trust is intact. With trust, growth, change and the conquering of obstacles are all not only possible but probable. With trust there is security. When trust is broken – and it can be broken in an instant with a single word or action – any relationship is headed for shipwreck upon the rocks of disappointment and despair. Rebuilding after such a shipwreck is a long and difficult process. So, how can we learn to trust the right things in a deep and secure fashion?
Inspiration elevates people. Everyone loves inspiration and wants to be inspired. We love to hear or watch stories that bring us inspiration, and we will go back to those stories again and again to refuel. Even more than going back to those stories, we would love to be inspiring to others – we would love to be that story that people go back to again and gain. Jesus was like that. He was a constant source of inspiration in everything he said and did, and for the last two thousand years, billions have gone back to the accounts of his life to be inspired and directed. Well, what if you could learn how Jesus inspired others and begin to become an inspiration yourself?