Monday, June 24, 2013

Developing Live Broadcast Delay

For much of what seems to be live broadcasts on radio and television, there is actually a mechanism that delays the broadcast briefly so that inappropriate things can be bleeped out if necessary.

I think that the people on these shows like this feature. They feel like they can say whatever they want and the unseen editor will make sure the profanity does not get heard by the public. Except of course that it encourages them to be unrestrained in their profanities and it doesn't always work.

Proverbs has a lot to say about controlling what you say. Generally speaking, the fool says everything that comes to mind. The wise person puts a guard on his lips and controls his speech.

(Proverbs 29:11)  A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back. 

We need to learn to think before we speak. I know from personal experience that this is no small task, but it is absolutely essential for maturity and godliness. The scriptures are very clear on this.

(Proverbs 15:28)  The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

Our culture values individualism and directness.  People are encouraged to be themselves, to speak up, and to say what they think. And people do - in person, on the air and online. You know exactly what they are thinking - and most of it isn't worth much.

We need to learn to control our impulse to speak. We need to remain silent long enough to evaluate our feelings (especially angry ones) and control our speech. What comes out of our mouths should be purified and helpful to the hearers. Many of our feelings should not be expressed.

Our goal is to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The thoughts that do not serve Christ should not be expressed... and should be discarded after a momentary (silent) reflection.

Lord God, help us to develop a broadcast delay that lets us serve you more effectively.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happily Ever After

Much of the stress in life comes from our pursuit of "happily ever after."

We think that once we get to a certain point, everything else will go well for the rest of our lives, but then it doesn't keep going well. So we struggle to patch up the problem or achieve new goals. We are sure that once we get these things fixed, everything will go well for the rest of our lives. But it never does.

A man struggles to get training and certification and rejoices on his graduation day. But then he can't find a job. He struggles in the job search and working at "dead-end" jobs that he dislikes.

He finds a job in the field he has trained for and is sure this is the HEA point. Then he finds out that he needs to get more certification to stay current and has to achieve at a certain level to stay employed. He struggles to achieve and to get more training and certification. The economy fluctuates, competition is fierce and money is tight.

He works at his job for several years and accepts ongoing training and competition as a part of the mix, but feels safe in his work. But his family grows, his house is too small, the car breaks down and needs to be replaced, his wife is unhappy with his work schedule, he begins to have health issues. His company is sold to a competitor who will downsize and consolidate. He may need to move to another city.

Get the idea?

We are stressed trying to get to the point were everything will go well. Then we are stressed by the realization that things are still going wrong. Then we are stressed by the fear that things will go wrong, even if they are not currently going wrong.

The solution is to realize that we are imperfect people living in a broken world. We cannot ever reach the happily ever after point in this world, because this world is broken by sin. Death, disease, frustration, injustice and corruption are an ongoing part of our lives here.

Our goal cannot be happily ever after life on earth, or we will be frustrated. We should seek our satisfaction in handling daily problems well. We seek comfort in trusting God to carry us safely through the difficulties of life. Faith in God gives us the confidence that we are loved and even our problems are ultimately for God's good purposes.

Life is an adventure of challenges in which we try to bring God glory through proper attitudes and actions. The real happily ever after of our existence is out of this world and beyond the scope of this life. And it is guaranteed by God in Christ, in spite of our shortcomings in this world.