The Perils of Prejudice

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here. 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

______________________________________


Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:

 

Back in the late sixties, I applied for a teaching job in a large midwestern city. I had just earned my Master’s degree in my subject matter from a prestigious college and was eminently qualified for the position. Imagine my shock when, instead of being considered for the job, the superintendent of the school district told me to “go back to my own people.”

To say I was speechless would be an understatement. Never before had I experienced prejudice, and prejudice simply because of my ethnicity. (For those of you who don’t know, I am of Italian descent).  Moreover, little did I know back then that I would have had legal recourse in the matter because of the then recently passed Civil Rights Act of 1964 that made employment discrimination illegal. But, as the saying goes, we get too soon old and too late smart. 🙂

The sting of the superintendent’s prejudicial slur dug deep. Yes, I forgave him from my heart, but the scar of his hurtful words remained. Instead of making me bitter, however, his words deepened my compassion for those who suffer prejudice of any kind. For the first time, I knew what prejudice felt like.

So, what exactly is prejudice? Noah Webster in his classic 1828 dictionary defines prejudice as follows: “Prejudgment; an opinion or decision of mind, formed without due examination of the facts or arguments which are necessary to a just and impartial determination.” The current edition of Webster’s dictionary defines prejudice as “an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.” When we think or act with prejudice, we are doing so without just cause and without logical reason. We are forming a preconceived opinion about someone, an opinion that has no basis in logic or experience.

Sadly, prejudice still exists today and, sadly, it will always exist until the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until that glorious day, we will have to deal with prejudice, whether it’s the prejudice of others toward us, or our own prejudice toward others. So, in this podcast, I would like to offer some logical reasons that prove that prejudice is not only a sin but that it is also counter-productive and counter-intuitive. In the process, we will learn ways to deal with prejudice in a manner that glorifies God and respects others.

First, some logical reasons that render prejudice illogical, foolish, and sinful:

Reason #1: All people ultimately descend from Adam and Eve and from Noah after the Flood. Since we share the same original parents, we are all in the same human family. In Acts 17: 26 NET, the Bible says this: “From one man he [God] made every nation of the human race to inhabit the entire earth, determining their set times and the fixed limits of the places where they would live.” 

Reason #2: There is only one race: the Human Race. All differences in skin color resulted from the amount of people’s exposure to the sun over time in a particular geographical area. The skin contains a pigment called melanin. Melanin determines one’s skin color, hair color, and eye color. Exposure to the sun affects the amount of melanin produced by the skin cells. The more exposure to the sun, the more melanin in the skin cells. The more melanin in the skin cells, the darker the color of one’s skin. So, as people migrated across the earth to different locations, some received more exposure to the sun than others, resulting in different skin colors. To judge a person by his skin color, therefore, is not only wrong but ridiculous.

Reason #3: God Himself is opposed to prejudice against others.
In Deuteronomy 10: 17, the Bible says: “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.”  Unlike God, a prejudiced person is partial. He treats people based on his own evaluation of them, an evaluation that is inaccurate and certainly incomplete. Only God knows what a person is truly like. Only God can read the human heart. When we attempt to do so, we are sinning against God and against the person toward whom we bear prejudice.


Characteristics of Prejudice

Prejudice is the antithesis of love. Love recognizes that every human being carries the image of God. Prejudice discounts the image of God in each person. We have no right to determine the worth of a person. God has already done that, and He has declared that every human being has intrinsic worth simply by virtue of the truth that God gave him worth.

Prejudice is proud. It believes that one is better than someone else. Yet, in Philippians 2: 3, we are commanded to esteem others better than ourselves. 

Prejudice is disobedience against our Lord’s command in Matthew 7: 12 to treat others as we want to be treated.  Moreover, if we say we love God but do not love those whom He created, then we are liars.

Finally, prejudice is subtle. We need to examine our own hearts to determine if we hold any prejudice toward others. If we do, we need to repent and ask God to forgive us and cleanse us. 

Determine today that you will treat every human being with the love and respect that he or she deserves as a creation of God. Treat every person with the same love and respect that you want to receive from others. If each of us will commit to eliminating prejudice from our own lives, we will eliminate it from the world-at-large and make that world a far better place.

Prejudice stems from wrong perceptions and lies we have heard throughout our lives. The only way we can get rid of those lies is by allowing Jesus Christ to set us free from those lies. If you have never invited Jesus into your life to save you, do it now. Pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I need You to help me recognize the lies I have believed about other people, lies that have caused me to act with prejudice toward them. I ask You to forgive me. Come into my life now, set me free from all lies, and make me what You created me to be. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your relationship with Jesus Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about and find fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

As a special resource this month, you may be interested in my latest novel, In Black and White, a powerful love story between a white woman and a black man and about the power of God’s love to restore all that is broken in our lives. In Black and White is available both in print format and ebook format at your choice of vendor. To purchase your copy, visit my website at maryanndiorio.com/book-table. Or you can simply go to my website at maryanndiorio.com and click on the tab marked “Store” in the menu at the very top of the page.

For additional resources, articles, books, and podcasts to help you grow in your walk with Christ, I invite you to visit my website at maryanndiorio.com. This podcast is found on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Soundcloud, Castbox, and Deezer, so I encourage you to subscribe.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I also invite you to become a Winning with the Wordpatron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for patrons. Your patronage will enable me to keep publishing this blog and podcast. To become one of my patrons, just click here.  Thank you so very much! 

In closing, I would like to recognize, honor, and thank this week’s sponsor of Winning with the Word, my newest patron, Karon Bekebrede. Thank you, Karon, for your generous support of this ministry. You are touching lives all over the world for Jesus.

And to all of you out there, thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, your virtual life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on winning with the Word.

Source cited: “How Did Different Skin Colors Come About?” https://christiananswers.net/q-aig/race-skincolor.html

Listen to the podcast here:


Now it’s your turn: Have you ever been treated with prejudice? How did it make you feel? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

PLEASE TWEET:  “The Perils of Prejudice” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

Please tell your family and friends about “Winning with the Word,” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

__Is Your Tongue Ruining Your Life?

__A Parent’s Promise from God

__Shedding Shame

Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Word, click here.

_____________________________________________________________

Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Image by Nicole Köhler from Pixabay

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

“Ouch! There’s a Thorn in My Flesh!”

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here. 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

______________________________________

Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:

Is there someone in your life who rubs you the wrong way? Well, if so, you’re not alone.

We’ve all had people in our lives who have rubbed us the wrong way. Of course, we rarely, if ever. think that WE rub someone the wrong way? That would be too humble of us, wouldn’t it?

Several years ago, I worked with a person who made life difficult for me. This person was harsh and unkind, and confusion often reigned in our communication. The more I tried to clarify, the worse the communication became.

I had hired and signed a contract with this person to achieve a professional goal. But the person seemed to be standing in the way of my achieving that goal by sowing confusion in our communication. In short, this person had become a thorn in my flesh!

Or, so I thought.

(By the way, if you haven’t experienced a thorn in the flesh yet, you will. So file away for future reference what I’m about to share with you.)

Now, in all fairness to the person, I must say that the opposition was not intentional. But it was there, nonetheless. Yet, given the contract I had signed, I had no other recourse but to put up with the situation and to make the best of it.

Day by day, as I engaged with this person, I found myself getting more and more stressed. I complained to the Lord that this person was an obstacle to my achieving my goal.

To my great surprise, the Lord answered me with these words: “This person is not an obstacle, but a vehicle.”

A vehicle?

Surely I had misunderstood and misheard the Lord.

But I had not misheard Him. He had simply shown me once again that His ways are higher than my ways.

Okay, Lord, I replied. “As always, you’re right. But how is this person a vehicle and not an obstacle in my life?”

The Lord said, “This person is a vehicle to my making you like Jesus. That’s been your prayer, hasn’t it? That I would make you like Jesus. Well, I’ve placed this person in your life to polish your rough edges. And you have many of them, you know.”

Gulp! Have you ever wanted to run into a cave and hide? Then you know how I felt.

With great sincerity of heart, I asked the Lord to forgive me of my selfish, arrogant attitude and to help me view this person as a vehicle to God’s shaping me into the image of Christ. Now, years later, I can see how that person’s presence in my life revealed the huge flaws in me that I needed to deal with in order to become more and more like Jesus.

Perhaps you, too, have a person or a situation in your life that is your thorn in the flesh. A person or situation that seems to be holding you back from what you want, that seems to be standing in the way of a goal you want to achieve. If so, stop and reconsider. Perhaps the very person or situation you think is an obstacle is actually a vehicle to something far better for your life. Something good you would miss if you didn’t have that thorn in the flesh.

So, why does God give each of us a thorn in the flesh?

Here are three key reasons:

1. A thorn in the flesh polishes us. Thorns scratch at us, removing bits of harmful debris. Thorns polish us, removing our rough edges. Thorns prick us, instigating us to righteous living.

2. A thorn in the flesh keeps us dependent on God. When things aren’t going swimmingly—as our British friends say—we tend to go to God for help. Thorns in the flesh continually push us toward God. And that’s exactly what God wants: our total dependence on Him.

3. A thorn in the flesh keeps us from slipping into spiritual complacency. It’s so easy to think we can do life in our own strength. A thorn in the flesh reminds us that we can’t. A thorn in the flesh works in tandem with God’s goal for us. And here’s some breaking news: God’s goal for us is not our happiness, but our holiness.

So, if there’s a thorn in your flesh, rejoice and be glad. God is making you like Jesus. And there is no one we should want to resemble more!

That difficult person is no longer in my life, but, oh, I learned so much in that situation. Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned is that my life is not about me and my will. It’s about Jesus the Lord and His will for me. And His will for me is always the best for me.

Christ’s will for you is always the best for you, too. If you have not yet made Him the Lord of your life, do so now. Just pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I’ve spent my life doing my own thing and wanting my own will. Yet, You have graciously put people in my life to rub me the wrong way in order to show me that I need You. Well, I’ve finally figured that out, Lord. So I come to You now in all of my neediness, asking You to come into my life and to save me from myself. Be the Lord of my life. Make me like Jesus, no matter what it takes. I pray this in Your Name. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your relationship with Jesus Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about and find fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For additional resources, articles, books, and podcasts to help you grow in your walk with Christ, I invite you to visit my website at maryanndiorio.com. This podcast is found on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Soundcloud, Castbox, and Deezer, so I encourage you to subscribe.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for patrons. Your patronage will enable me to keep publishing this blog and podcast. To become one of my patrons, just click here.  Thank you so very much! 

In closing, I would like to recognize, honor, and thank this week’s sponsor of Winning with the Word, my awesome husband of 50 years, Dr. Dominic Diorio, my very first patron on Patreon.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, your virtual life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on winning with the Word.

Listen to the podcast here:

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  How have you dealt with a thorn in the flesh in your life? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE: “Ouch! There’s a Thorn in My Flesh!” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Please tell your family and friends about this “Winning with the Word” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

__Is Your Tongue Ruining Your Life?

__A Parent’s Promise from God

__How to Destroy Depression Once and for All


Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Word, click here.

_____________________________________________________________

Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Image by Nicole Köhler from Pixabay

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

Is Your Tongue Ruining Your Life?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here. 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

______________________________________

Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:

 

You may be thinking, “What a strange question? How could my tongue be ruining my life?”

You may be quite surprised when you find out.

So, let me start off by asking you another question: Are there problems in your life that you can’t seem to overcome? Like health problems? Marriage problems? Parenting problems? Addiction problems? Job problems?  The list can go on and on.

But if there are problems you can’t seem to overcome, the real problem may be your tongue.

Have I captured your attention yet? I hope so, because in the rest of this podcast, we are going to explore the role of the tongue in creating success or failure in life, blessing or cursing.

Just to clarify upfront, by the word “tongue” I mean the words we speak. 

Did you know that the words we speak affect our life, for better or worse? In the Book of Proverbs 18: 21, the Bible makes a very strong statement when it says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

Let that sink in for a moment.  What does this verse tell us? First of all, it tells us that the tongue has power. Second, it tells us that that power is the power of death and life.  In other words, your tongue has the power to generate death or to generate life.

Quite a sobering truth, wouldn’t you agree?

If you’re like me, just thinking about that verse makes me cringe. When I think of all of the negative words I’ve spoken throughout my life—unkind words, angry words, impatient words, impertinent words, hasty words, hurtful words, foolish words—I want to dig a hole and throw myself in it.

In James 3: 6, the Bible calls the tongue “a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.” James further explains that the tongue “corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

Wow! Those are pretty strong words!

So, what are we to do with this unruly member of the body?

Well, truth be told, there is nothing we can do in our own strength. Why? Because the BIble tells us it’s impossible to tame the tongue. I’ve tried taming my tongue in my own strength, and I’ve failed every single time. That strategy just doesn’t work. Why not? Because the root of the problem is not the tongue; it is the human heart.

You see, the Bible explains that what the tongue speaks comes out of the heart. In fact, the tongue can speak only what is in the heart. Matthew 12: 34 says this: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  The NIV version states it like this: “…the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

What is your heart full of? Is it full of hate, bitterness, envy, anger, revenge? If so, that is what you will speak.  No matter how much you try not to, you will eventually speak what is in your heart.

But even more serious is that what you speak will affect your future life. If you speak failure, you will create failure. If you speak success, you will create success. If you speak curses on yourself, you will create a cursed life. If you speak blessings on yourself, you will create a blessed life.

Let me give you an example.  A woman went to her doctor complaining of a chronic pain in her neck. The doctor ordered all kinds of tests, but every test returned negative. He could find nothing physically wrong with her neck. But the doctor was a very observant man. He noticed that, in describing her symptoms, the woman would often mention a particular person in her life whom she described as “a pain in the neck.” As a man who understood the connection between the body and the soul, the doctor gave the woman a prescription. He said, “I want you to stop saying that this particular person is a pain in the neck. Instead, start saying nice things about the person.”  Reluctantly, the woman followed the doctor’s advice. Within a matter of days, the pain in her neck disappeared.

This woman learned a very important lesson: what she said exerted power over her life. When she kept calling a certain person a pain in the neck, she reaped the negative effect of her negative words: a literal pain in the neck.

What words are you speaking about your health, your finances, your marriage, your children, your job? Are you saying things like, “My father died of cancer, so I will, too.”  “I’ll never get out of debt.” “My son will end up in prison.”  “My marriage is headed for divorce.” “I can’t stand my boss.” 

Are the words you are speaking words that you want to see come to pass in your life? If not, then STOP speaking them.  NOW!

Instead, start speaking the words you want to see come to pass in your life.  Start saying you are healthy and strong. Start saying that your son will turn out to be a fine man. Start saying that you are debt-free. Start saying that your marriage gets better and better every day. Start saying something good about your boss.

In addition, find Scripture promises that state what you want in life. There are thousands of them in the Bible. As you speak those promises of God to you, you will see them come to pass in your life.

Remember: what you say will set the course of your life.  Do you want death in your life, or do you want life in your life?  The answer is obvious. 

But in order to be able to speak words of life, you must first have life in your heart, for –as we noted earlier–the words you speak flow out of your heart.

But how can you have life in your heart? There is only One Way. His Name is Jesus Christ. He alone is Life. He alone can give you life. And when you have His life in your heart, the words you speak will be words of life. His life.

If you do not yet have Jesus, True Life, in your heart, won’t you invite Him in now? Just pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am.  My tongue has been unruly, but it’s impossible for me to tame it. I need a change of heart, and that change of heart can come only by inviting You into my life. So right now, I ask You to come into my life. I ask You to transform my heart and make it a wellspring of life so that the words I speak will be words of life not only to myself but to all who cross my path. Thank You, Lord, for hearing my prayer that I pray in Your Name. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your relationship with Jesus Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about and find fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For additional resources, articles, books, and podcasts to help you grow in your walk with Christ, I invite you to visit my website at maryanndiorio.com. This podcast is found on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Soundcloud, Castbox, and Deezer, so I encourage you to subscribe.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for patrons. Your patronage will enable me to keep publishing this blog and podcast. To become one of my patrons, just click here.  Thank you so very much! 

In closing, I am very grateful to announce that this blog post and podcast were made possible by Linda Slomin. God bless you, Linda, for your generous support of this ministry. You are making a huge difference in the lives of people all over the world.

Listen to the podcast here:

 

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  Have you struggled with your tongue? If so, what have you done to overcome it? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE: “Is Your Tongue Ruining Your Life?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Please tell your family and friends about this “Winning with the Word” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

Embrace Your Race


Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Word, click here.

_____________________________________________________________

Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

“A Parent’s Promise from God”

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio


WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here. 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

______________________________________

Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:

__________________________________________________________________

Parents frequently ask me for advice on how to raise their children. Frankly, I am somewhat surprised, since by no means do I consider myself an expert on parenting. I do, however, consider God the Expert par excellence on parenting.

As I was raising my children, I relied totally on God to direct me. There were many times I had absolutely no clue as to what I was doing. And there were even more times that I made mistakes–sometimes big ones. But there was one thing I always did right: I prayed!

And, oh, how I prayed! 

Each night, as I checked on my children after they had fallen asleep, I would kneel down beside their beds, gently lay my hands on their precious heads, and pray this prayer: “Father God, please bridge the gap between the love my children needed today and the love they received.” 

And then I trusted God to do just that.

And, do you know what? He did!

My daughters are now in their forties, and I can see the fruit of my daily, heartfelt prayer in their lives. They have become beautiful women of God who love Him and serve Him with all of their hearrt, soul, strength, and mind. And I owe it all to our Heavenly Father.

You see, when I first became a Christian a few years before my children were born, I discovered a promise to parents in the Bible. The promise is found in Proverbs 22: 6 KJV and says this: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The New Living translation states it like this: “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”

As a young mother, I was trusting enough to believe that verse and to take God at His Word. My job was to learn what  “the right path” was and to teach it to my children. 

And so I began a diligent study of the Bible. Whenever I learned a new principle of holy conduct, I taught it to my children. I taught them the Word morning, noon, and night, because the Bible instructed me to do so. Regarding God’s commandments, the Bible has this message for parents: “And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

And that’s what I did. 

So, let’s break down these verses in Deuteronomy 6 and uncover the specific steps to wise and successful parenting:

1. Commit wholeheartedly to God’s commands. As parents, we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to God’s commandments, If we aren’t serious about obeying God, we can’t teach our children to be serious. They will see right through our hypocrisy.

2. Repeat God’s commandments over and over to our children. We all know that children usually don’t get it the first time around. Nor the second! We have to repeat and repeat and repeat. The same is true of God’s commandments. Our children need to hear them over and over before those commandments begin to sink in.

3. Continually talk about God’s commandments. We must talk about God’s commandments when we are at home, in the car, or playing outside. We must talk about the Word at bedtime, and in the morning when our children first get up. When my children were just toddlers, I made up little songs for them based on Scripture verses. To this day, they remember those songs, and now I am teaching them to my grandchildren. The Word of God must continually be on our lips, and we must continually interject it into every situation in life. 

4. Place reminders of God’s Word all around us. I used to post Scripture verses around the house–on plaques and post-its, on the kitchen table in our little Scripture breadbox, on the front door. I even bought a bracelet to wear with Scripture verses engraved on it so I could have them in front of me and teach them to my children. Wherever my children turned, there was something they could see to remind them of God’s Word. 

Perhaps you are struggling as a parent. Perhaps you have a rebellious child, or a newborn and you worry about raising him right. Perhaps your heart is broken by a child who has gone astray.  Whatever the case, God’s promise to you still stands. 

Begin today to pray for your child like never before. Ask God to bridge the gap between the love your child needed and the love he or she received. He will.

For you parents who are discouraged and hurting as you read or listen to this message, let me encourage you. In Psalm 23: 3, God promises to restore our souls. He will restore not only your child’s soul, but He will restore your soul as well. He will also restore your relationship with your child if that relationship has been damaged or destroyed.  

And here’s another wonderful promise from God to you, found in Malachi 4: 6: “He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents.”

As one parent to another, I can relate to your heart. I didn’t get everything right. In fact, I messed up more than I succeeded. But I made sure God was in my life to bridge the gap between my mistakes and what my children needed from me. 

God says what He means and means what He says. Trust Him now. Believe that He will make all things new in the lives of your children. Only believe, and trust God to keep His promises.

He will!

I cannot leave you without telling you that what made all the difference in my parenting was my own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Had I not had that relationship in my life, I would not have been able to tap into God’s infinite wisdom in the raising of my children. I am convinced that both my children and I would have had a really rough time of it without the Lord. Only He knows where all of us might have ended up. But thank God, I accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord before I had children so I could know where to turn in my times of need.

You, too, can have a sure place to turn when you face challenges raising your children. If you do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, start that relationship now. Just pray this simple prayer with me:

“Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am and just where I am. I need help, not only for my own life but for raising my children. The problems are great, and I don’t know what to do. So I turn to You and invite You into my life. I receive You as my Savior and as the Lord of my life. Help me in this extremely important job called parenting. Make me the parent You created me to be. Make me the person You created me to be. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your relationship with Jesus. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you, where you can learn about Him and find fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

I am very grateful to announce that this blog post was sponsored by Christine and David Strittmatter. God bless you, Chris and Dave, for your generous support of this ministry. You are making a huge difference in the lives of people all over the world.

NOTE: I wish to thank blog follower Gee Dixon for recommending this interesting topic on parenting. Thank you, Gee, for your valuable input. 

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  How have you overcome parenting problems? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE: “A Parent’s Promise from God” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Please tell your family and friends about this “Winning with the Word” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

___________________________________________

Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

Listen to the podcast here:

 

How to Destroy Depression Once and for All

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here. 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

______________________________________

\

Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:

 

Hello and Happy Day!  This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, your Virtual Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is December 23, 2019, and our topic is how to destroy depression once and for all.

Yes, I said destroy—as in get rid of forever!  If you’re depressed, that sounds like beautiful music to your ears.

And it is!

Did you know that the number of depressed people today is greater than the number of people suffering from heart disease and cancer combined? This is a staggering number.

But it does not have to be so.

You see, most advice on destroying depression focuses on the physical and the psychological. Very little advice focuses on the spiritual, which, in truth, is the real root cause of depression.

While the physical and psychological remedies prescribed offer some semblance of relief, the depression rarely is entirely cured. It is merely managed.

But wouldn’t you prefer not just to manage your depression but to get rid of it once and for all?

Well, you can! And today we’re going to talk about how to do that.

First, let’s look at some of the symptoms of depression, While experiencing these symptoms once in a while doesn’t necessarily mean that you are depressed, experiencing them frequently may mean that you are.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms of depression:

__Feeling hopeless about the future.
__Crying a lot, especially at the drop of a hat.
__Wanting to isolate yourself from people.
__Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed.
__Feeling tired all the time.
__Having trouble focusing or concentrating.
__Thinking of harming yourself or even killing yourself.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, what can you do?

Isaiah 61: 3 gives us the answer: “Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”

“What?!?” I can hear you screaming now. “Dr. MaryAnn, are you saying that I’m supposed to praise God when I feel depressed?  You’ve got to be kidding! How can I praise God when all I want to do is die?”

Friend, I am not saying it. God Himself is saying it.  God tells us that the antidote to depression is praising Him!

But how can that be?

Well, it’s like this. Praising God is an act of trust in His love for us. When we trust God, we are expressing faith in Him to deliver us from whatever is coming against us. Praise will drive out depression EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Why? Because depression is an evil spirit that wants to rob you of your joy, your power, and your destiny. And evil spirits get terrified and flee when they hear us praising God. 

Yes, contrary to what medicine and psychology may say, depression is an evil sprit. And yes, an evil spirit can cause physical and mental problems, like a chemical imbalance and suicidal tendencies.  Medicine and psychology may be able to tame those symptoms temporarily, but unless the evil spirit is dealt with, those symptoms will recur.

How is the evil spirit dealt with? Through praising God.

Praising God does not depend on our feelings. It depends on our will.  We can choose to praise God even when we don’t feel like it. In fact, God commands us to praise Him even when we don’t feel like it. Why? Because God knows that praising Him will lift us out of depression and drive it away. 

Philippians 4: 4 commands us to rejoice always. Praising God is a form of rejoicing, and, according to Nehemiah 8: 10, the joy that comes from rejoicing and praising God gives us strength. 

The Bible further tells us in 1 John 3: 8 that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Depression is a work of the devil. In Joel 2: 32 we learn that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” When we praise God, we are calling on His Name and He will deliver us from depression and every evil thing.  

In Psalm 22: 3 we read that God inhabits the praises of His people. This means that when we praise God, He comes on the scene.  Because evil spirits cannot tolerate being in the presence of God, they must leave when we praise Him. 

So, the next time you feel depressed, stop what you’re doing, lift up your hands toward Heaven, and start praising the LORD with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Do it despite how you feel. You will be amazed at how depression will flee and you will be filled with the joy of the LORD!

If you have trouble praising God because you do not know Him as your Savior and Lord, I invite you to get to know Him now. Pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I look to You to deliver me from depression and from every other evil thing. I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Make of me what You created me to be. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet to help get you started in your relationship with Jesus. Also, I invite you to visit my website at maryanndiorio.com. There you will find lots of resources to help you grow in the abundant life that Jesus died to give you.

Thank you for listening. Remember that Jesus Christ loves you just AS you are and just WHERE you are, and He will help you to keep on WINNING WITH THE WORD!

NOTE: I wish to thank blog follower Scott Dauman for recommending this interesting topic. Thank you, Scott, for your valuable input. 

Listen to the podcast here:


Now, it’s YOUR turn:  Have you struggled with depression? If so, what have you done to overcome it? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE: “How to Destroy Depression” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Please tell your family and friends about this “Winning with the Word” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
_______________________________________________________________