The Power of Purity

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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fotolia_59452426It takes only a tiny drop of poison to contaminate a glass of water.  A tiny drop seems so inconsequential, yet it has the power to render a simple glass of water potentially fatal.

The same is true of our hearts. The tiniest deviation from God’s Word can contaminate our hearts in ways that have very serious consequences, some even irreversible.

Let’s take a “little white lie,” for instance.  We rationalize it as follows:

  • It’s only a little lie.
  • It won’t hurt anyone.
  • It’s really a way of being polite.

But is it, really?

One of the reasons I love children so much  is that they are blunt. One night, as I sang to my five-year-old granddaughter at bedtime, she said, “Nonna, you don’t sing like Mommy. I like her voice better.”  I laughed and praised God for my granddaughter’s honesty. It was refreshing. It was wholesome.

It was pure.

Purity is the key to a meaningful life.  David the Psalmist prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).  My pastor has coined a great saying: “A clean heart brings clear vision.”  We can’t have clear direction for our lives if our hearts are not pure.

In purity lies the power. The power of God to serve God.  Jesus said, “Be ye holy as I am holy.” What does this mean?

To be holy is to be without contamination. It is to be sound. The root of the word “holy” means “whole” in the sense of lacking nothing pertaining to well-being.  The Word of God tells us in 2 Peter 1:2 that our Lord has given us everything we need to live a holy life through our knowledge of Jesus Christ. The better we know Jesus, the more whole–or holy–we will be. A holy life–a pure life–derives from intimacy with Jesus Christ. He is the Vine; we are the branches. 

As we cling to the Vine, we will grow in purity. As we grow in purity, we will grow in power.

And a heart full of God’s power is a heart that can change the world.

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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 This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr.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.

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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:

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The Controlling Heart

Do you have a controlling heart?  Or, perhaps, you know someone who does. Whichever the case, a controlling heart can cause major problems both for the one doing the controlling and the one allowing himself to be controlled.

What are some of the characteristics of a controlling heart?  Here are a few of the most common:

  • Controlling people want to dictate how everything around them is done. They nag and insist on their own way of doing things.
  • Controlling people are unable to admit their mistakes. They have to be right and refuse to listen to constructive criticism that could set them free from the spirit of control.
  • Controlling people assume authority without being asked and without the spiritual or legal right to do so. They may interrupt a meeting and simply take over, or they may make a decision they have no authority to make.
  • Controlling people micro-manage their spouses, their children, their friends, and their co-workers. They offer advice without being asked.
  • Controlling people are manipulative. They often use charm to get their own way.
  • Controlling people are narcissistic, selfish, and very immature. They believe their way is the best way. They will not consider the opinions of others as being as valid as their own.

Usually one of two evil spirits lies at the root of a controlling personality: 1) the spirit of power or 2) the spirit of fear.  Some controlling people have a sick need to dominate others and will attempt to bully them into complying with their wishes.  Other controlling people operate out of fear that if they do not hold the reins, their world will fall apart. In my experience, most controlling people are motivated by fear.  Both spirits of control will, if not confronted, destroy relationships, families, churches, and organizations.

Control issues usually start in early childhood because of a home environment that, in some way, failed to make the child feel secure.  As a result, the child developed a method of coping with anxiety by attempting to control his environment. What the controlling person fails to realize is that control is an illusion that inhibits healthful growth and fosters bondage. While authority is ordained of God, a controlling person abuses that authority to the detriment of himself and others.

People with controlling spirits are usually very insecure and have serious codependency issues. This means that they need to control others in order to feel safe and secure themselves. Especially challenging are controlling persons in positions of authority. I have seen organizations split or fail to full their destiny because of a controlling person who either led the organization or led the leader of the organization.

If you struggle with a controlling personality, get help. If you are the victim of a controlling personality, get help to free yourself in the proper way. 

God made us to be free within the confines of His Word. He who seeks to control another is assuming a role attributable only to God. Doing so is nothing short of idolatry.

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

(Business) Increasing Your Writing Power

Scripture tells us that “knowledge increases power” (Proverbs 24:5).  The more knowledge we have about writing, the more power our writing will have.

How do we acquire knowledge about writing? There are many ways, and I encourage you to explore as many of them as you can.

  • Read the kinds of books you want to write. This is one of the best ways to gain knowledge about writing. As you read, you will be absorbing successful writing modalities–as long as, of course, the books you are reading are well-written.  Be sure to read the best books.
  • Read books about writing. Many outstanding books exist on the craft of writing. Read as many as you can. If you are a newbie, read books that give you a general overview of the writing caft and the writing profession. As you grow, read books on specific aspects of writing, like plotting, chraracterization, or dialogue.
  • Attend writers’ conferences. I recommend attending at least one major writers’ conference per year. If the cost of a major conference is prohibitive, attend one-day seminars. Most parts of the country offer these shorter versions of conferences. When choosing a conference, be sure to choose one that invites agents and editors if you are at the stage of submitting your work. Until then, a general conference will give you the basics you need to get started. For your convenience, I’ve listed a few websites where you can learn about writers’ conferences around the world.
  • Feed on the Word of God. The Word of God is the only source of true power. As we feed on the Word, the Word will enter our spirits and flow through our writing, infusing it with the only power that sets captives free.

Some Major Writers’ Conferences:

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Copyright 2013 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD.  All Rights Reserved.