“Are You on the Level?”

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.

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, July 20, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #29 in Series 2020 and is titled “Are You Living on the Level?”.

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During the 50 blessed years my husband and I have been married, he has become an expert at hanging pictures. But sometimes when he hangs a picture, I think it’s leaning to the right, and he thinks it’s leaning to the left. So, in order to avoid an argument, we get out our trusty level. My husband places the level under the picture, and the level tells both of us when the picture is straight.

The cool thing about the level is that it ALWAYS tells the truth.

So, when my husband and I trust the level, it settles the issue, because both of us believe and trust the level and set ourselves in agreement with it. As a result, we remain unified in our picture-hanging situations.

God has given us a level for life that always tells us the truth as well. That level is called the Bible, and it is Absolute Truth. If we use the Bible every day and in every situation we will ever face, the Bible will keep our lives straight—and on the level. If we use the Bible when facing conflicts in our relationships, believing, trusting, and acting on what the Bible commands will keep us unified and reconciled in our relationships.

But the sad thing is that most people use themselves as a level instead of the Bible. They measure the straightness or the crookedness of their lives by their own opinions and their own perceptions of what is true. This is called relativism. And relativism NEVER tells the truth. In fact, relativism ALWAYS leads to a messed-up life, broken relationships, and, eventually to destruction and death.

We live in a world that has become relativistic. It is a world in which each person has chosen to be his own level. Our world today is not only ignorant of the Bible, but it also despises and denigrates the Bible. All we have to do is look around us to see the results of not using the Bible as a level. Confusion. Hatred. Division. Lawlessness. Violence. Death. These are the tragic results of using the Satanic level of relativism instead of the God-ordained level of absolute truth.

Why? Because the level of relativism cannot be counted on since it changes from day to day and from person to person. We’ve all heard comments like, “Abortion may be right for you, but it’s not right for me.” This is relativism. This is each person formulating his own morality. Writing his own bible. When this happens, we have no level by which to measure whether something is straight or not. Whether it is true or not.

Imagine if I had one level for measuring whether or not a picture hung straight and my husband had another level—and each level said something different. How would we ever know if the picture hung straight? We wouldn’t know, because we were using different standards of straightness and crookedness.

The level my husband uses to hang pictures always tells the truth. We can count on it every single time. In all of our 50 years of marriage, that level has never been wrong.

The Bible also tells us the truth. It is the only standard that tells us the truth every single time.

And it will always tell us the truth because it is the Word of God, and God cannot lie and God never changes.

So, as we go about our daily lives, let us always bear witness to the Level of God, the Holy Bible. Let us always bear witness to the Truth, no matter what the cost.

And there will be a cost. Often a huge cost.

Bearing witness to the truth may one day cost you your job, your career, your reputation, your relationships, and, yes, perhaps even your very life. Will you be prepared to stay true to God’s Level? Only if you make a quality decision now to love and trust the Level—the Holy Bible—with every fiber of your being. For the Bible—the Word of God—is Jesus Christ Himself.

And Jesus Christ alone is Truth. He Himself said in John 14: 6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Truth is a Person, and Jesus Christ is that Person!

Jesus is TRUTH!

 Let me tell you four things about Truth:

1) TRUTH NEVER CHANGES. (Malachi 3: 6 – “For I, the LORD, do not change.”)

 2) TRUTH APPLIES TO ALL PEOPLE IN ALL PLACES AND IN ALL GENERATIONS. (Acts 10: 34 – “God shows no  favoritism.”)

3) TRUTH OFFENDS. (1 Corinthians 1: 23 – “So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.”)

4) TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. (John 8: 32 – “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”)

So Truth never changes; Truth applies to all people in all places and in all generations; Truth offends, and Truth will set you free.

But unless you make the quality decision once and for all to accept the Truth and always to bear witness to the Truth—unless you draw the red line in the sand to make the Truth your level for living—you will falter and compromise the Truth. You will bend it to fit your own agenda. And if you bend the truth, you will be deceived and destroyed.

So I urge you to accept truth today. Accept Jesus Christ Who is Truth. If you do, you will live a life that is always on the level, keeping you from destruction. Pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, my life has been crooked. I want it to be straight. I want to live on the level of Your Word. So I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Straighten out my life and put me on the level. In Your Name I pray. 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 walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in Historical Fiction in the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the page-turning, compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face the wrath of family and society in order to preserve their love. This book was written for such a time as this, in which we are facing very serious issues of racism and hatred in our society. To discover the only real answer to racism, get your copy of IN BLACK AND WHITE now at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, or other vendors of your choice.  If you are reading this blog post, you can also purchase IN BLACK AND WHITE at the link below or on my website at maryanndiorio.com. Just click the bookstore tab at the top of the page.

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You will also find additional resources on living the abundant life in Jesus Christ on my website at maryanndiorio.com.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I encourage you to share them with others. I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. It is now reaching numerous countries throughout the world with the message of the Gospel. I could not do this without your help.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and 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.

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Now it’s your turn: Are you prepared for the return of Christ? If no, are you willing to get prepared? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

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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.

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Are You Thinking Straight?

Why Thinking Straight Will Set You Free

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Do you think straight? What does that even mean, and how can you tell if you do?

Let me explain by telling you a little story.  During the 45 years of our marriage, my wonderful husband has hung many pictures for me. Each time he hangs a picture, he asks me if it looks straight. Usually, I say that the picture is leaning to the left or to the right. Usually, my husband says it looks straight to him. 

Bubble level work tool at true, also suggesting honesty through colloquial title expression

So, in order to determine if the picture is straight or crooked, he gets out his trusty level. The level never lies. It always tells the truth. If the level shows that the picture is straight, then it is straight, no matter what it looks like to our eyes.

The level is our standard of truth.

Well, God has provided a “level” to serve as the standard of truth for living our lives. That “level” is called the Bible, and it was given to us by God to tell us if we are thinking straight or not. If our way of thinking lines up with what the Bible says, then we are thinking straight. If our way of thinking does not line up with what the Bible says, then we are not thinking straight.

Now, a picture that hangs crooked on my wall may not do much more than annoy me, but a way of thinking that hangs crooked in my mind could destroy me.

For example, if I think that I will go up if I jump off a roof, that kind of crooked thinking could harm me as I soon hit the ground.  I will have discovered too late that jumping off a roof will cause me to go down, not up.

There are some kinds of crooked thinking that are even more serious than falling off a roof.  Take, for example, my thinking about Jesus Christ. If I don’t believe that He is the Savior of the world, and if I don’t accept Him as such, I will spend eternity in Hell, separated from Him. Why? Because He says that “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life . . . . ” (John 3:36).

Bottom line, any thinking that contradicts God’s thinking is crooked thinking.  Anything that agrees with God’s thinking is straight thinking.

So, are you thinking straight? To find out, just ask yourself if your thinking agrees with God’s thinking.  How can you know? There is only one way. You have to get to know how God thinks by reading and studying His Word.

The Apostle Paul wrote this in Romans 12:2: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (emphasis mine). Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” We change the way we think by studying, memorizing, and meditating on the Word of God.

Too many Christians today are thinking like the world.  They have adopted the cultural consensus and, consequently, are not thinking straight. This is the reason we hear of Christians having sex outside of marriage, agreeing with the Supreme Court’s recent decision on gay marriage, and condoning abortion. This is all crooked thinking!

I urge you today to start thinking straight. Not only does your success in this life depend on it, but, most importantly, your eternal destiny hangs on it.

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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pmGonzalez, is not thinking straight. Consequently, she is in danger of missing God’s will for her life. Will she change her thinking to agree with God’s thinking and thus fulfill her destiny? 

Available in Kindle and print versions.

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If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
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Copyright 2015 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 maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Fotolia.com: File: #12211283 | Author: Terrance Emerson

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below: