Relationship - Misc
Today in school, I got suspended. I was just wondering, if somebody tries to provoke you or get you to fight, how would you have self-control?
That’s a great question. If somebody at school tries to provoke you or get
you to fight, how do you have self-control? Well, you have to make up your mind
before you get to school that you’re going to have self-control first of all.
You’ve got to make up your mind in advance how you’re going to respond.
There are a lot of things that can happen in a normal day at school and what you
should do is decide in your heart and in your mind, “Here’s how I’m going to
respond if this happens. If someone tries to pick on me, I’m going to forgive
them. If someone says something mean to me, I’m going to respond by saying
something good to them and something powerful to them. I’m going to pray for
them. I’m going to tell them, ‘All I want to know is, what are you going to do
about Jesus? Are you going to receive Jesus or what?’”
You know, Larry, who is sitting by me here has a son was confronted by some kids
who were teasing him a few months ago. They started teasing him, making fun of
him and calling him names and finally, he just responded and said, “Look. Here’s
all I want to know; are you going to accept Jesus or aren’t you?” And it totally
made these kids shut up because there was nothing else for them to do. What else
are you going to do at that point. You know, bring Jesus into the situation.
What are you going to do about Him? I mean, this kid was bold. “What are you
going to do about Jesus? That’s what I want to know.” That’s how you should
respond in a situation like that. You tell them, “Look, man, we’re going to pray
and we’re going to get the answer from God.”
And be bold as a Christian. And if they still pick on you, you just need to know
that God is your Father, and God will protect you and if you need to have a big
brother, get a bunch of Christians that go to your school and say, “Man, we’re
going to rally together so that if kids pick on us, we’re going to go and we’re
going to teach them the Bible and invite them to our Bible study and we’re going
to pray for them.” See, you pray for kids like that and you make up your mind in
advance not to respond to them or retaliate. And if someone keeps picking on
you, man, just say, “Look, yeah, I could fight you and I could whoop you but
instead we’re going to make it together. We’re going to make it by doing the
right thing, not by doing the wrong thing.” Be strong in the Lord.
Relationship - Misc
I know as Christians we’re supposed to be meek and humble, but how do you prevent people from taking advantage of you when you do that because shouldn’t you also be assertive at times?
There are people that are going to take advantage of us as Christians but we
sometimes need to be willing to be taken advantage of for the propagation of the
gospel. We should not be taken advantage of because we’re letting our family be
taken advantage of or we’re allowing ourselves to get into a bad business deal
and we’re not standing up for ourselves. We shouldn’t be taken advantage of in
This will probably help to give you an understanding. The word “meekness” means
controlled strength. When a horse wins a Kentucky Derby, that’s because that
horse had meekness. He was strong, but his strength was bridled. His strength
was controlled to run the race and to win the race. That’s meekness. There’s a
difference between that and having uncontrolled strength; that’s a wild, bucking
bronco. But to have controlled strength, that’s meekness.
And that’s how Christians are supposed to be. We’re supposed to have strength,
maintain strength, but we’re only supposed to use it in the right way; to take
us in the right direction for the glory of God and for the protection of people
and the propagation of the gospel.
Relationship - Misc
As a leader in the department that I’m in, I have some staffers that come to me with personal issues. They ask for my opinions and my guidance. As a man of God, I want to be able to guide them with God’s Word, but I don’t want to overstep my boundaries. How do you recommend I go about doing that?
Well, it depends on what the issues are about. If the issues are within your
area of expertise, then I think that that’s fine and legitimate. I think that
everybody that has basic questions, you can eventually turn that question
towards God. There’s got to be an answer that you would be able to take from
Scripture. No matter what anybody asks me, I want to be able to find a way to
point them back to the Lord, to the Word of God, even if their question has to
do with something very unrelated to the Bible. Eventually, it’s going to get
related to the Bible unless it is a question that is meaningless because the
Bible speaks to every issue of our lives in one way or another.
I think the thing that I would do if I were in your situation, if you are
concerned about not stepping beyond your boundaries with them, is that when they
ask you a question, you just ask them “Do you want my answer from God’s point of
view? How much of an answer or how much information are you looking for?"
Sometimes something just as simple as that will create the boundaries for you.
I’ve had people come to me and I’ve asked them, “Well do you really want me to
address this issue? Do you really want me to go into this area?” Some have said
yes and some have said no so I just back away if they’re not interested in going
I would say to you that in general, you ask them how far they want you to go
with the questions that they’re asking and with the answers that you give them.
Throw the Bible out there, throw the Word of God to them and give them the
lifeline to the Bible and show them. If they’re asking something about their
marriage or their mind or their finances, there’s always some answer from the
Bible that you can give them. Two-thirds of the parables Jesus taught were
related to finances. There’s always a way to take things back to the Scripture.
Relationship - Misc
I’ve had a problem for a number of years with worrying about people talking about me. I’ve pretty much withdrawn from people. I’m pretty quiet in my workplace. I try to be kind and treat others as I want to be treated; to live by the Golden Rule. Unfortunately, I still have that paranoia; I still have that feeling of people talking about me constantly and it drains me physically.
Well, let me give you a little encouragement about that. When we’re twenty
years old, we think everybody is thinking about us. When we turn forty, we
realize, not everybody is thinking about us. When we turn sixty, we don’t care
that anybody is thinking about us. And when we turn eighty, we realize that
nobody is thinking about us. As you get older, you realize that people are not
thinking about you as much as you think they are. I want to encourage you that
what matters most is what God thinks about you.
Paul the apostle struggled with people and trying to please people and trying to
be approved by people and worrying about what they thought of him until he
finally got free from people. It’s written about him in Acts 26:17 where God
said to him, "I’ve delivered you from the people so I can deliver you to the
people.” In other words, once he was free from the fear of people and what they
thought about him, he was now empowered to truly be a blessing in other people’s
The most selfish thing we can do in our lives is to think about how people think
of us and how people view us rather than think about how God views us. When
we’re worried and self-conscious about what other people think about us, then we
no longer are of any good to them and then we can’t bless them; we can’t serve
them or help them.
I want to encourage you to start meditating on what God thinks about you. Read
Psalm 139 and Psalm 40. That’s my assignment for you. It will really encourage
you about the way that God thinks about you. It will set you free from peoples’
thoughts toward you.
I know what you’re going through and I know how easy it is to withdraw and you
lose all your energy because of all the effort that it takes to worry about what
people think about you. You need to stop. You need to realize that they don’t
think about you as much as you think they do. And furthermore, they don’t think
about you the way you deserve to be thought about but God does think about you
the way you deserve to be thought about.
We have to accept the fact that we don’t fit into people’s drama sometimes.
People are going to try to make you the villain of their drama and they need to
be the star of their drama. They need to be their own villain; we don’t need to
be their villain. "Don’t be the mama in somebody else’s drama" as we like to say
around here. Stay out of people’s drama. Don’t engage in that. Don’t allow
yourself to put yourself under their thinking and under their view of you and
their opinion of you.
You do your best to be pleasing to God because when you stand before Him, your
boss, your employers, your employees, your friends, your family, your relatives,
your neighbors, none of those people are going to be standing there when you’re
standing before God. It’s only going to be Him. And that is eternal. That is
forever. What we do in this life will echo into eternity.
Let us be pleasing to God on this earth, in this life, so that when we stand
before Him, we can hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Everybody else’s opinion of you is going to pale in comparison; it’s going to
wither up and disappear on that day. So let it disappear now and focus your life
on being pleasing to God. Pursue being pleasing to God and receiving His love
and walking in His love towards other people.
I would say, “Be the person that God created you to be.” Let your thoughts
meditate on His love for you and His attitude towards you and then that attitude
of love and kindness is going to be reflected in your attitude towards other
people. No matter what they do for you or think about you, you just think about
them the way that God thinks about them and you’re going to have a great life.
Relationship - Misc
When I was 17 years old, I started getting involved with homosexuality. I dealt with that for 3 years and then I moved away, not knowing that the homosexual spirit was following me everywhere. I fought it and fought it. I would get delivered from it and then it would come back and I’d get delivered and it would come back. I know I’m delivered from it and I can feel in my spirit that I’m delivered from it, but the thing is, the old friends keep coming around, being persistent. It’s like the enemy is trying to pull me back. So, what do I do about these people?
First of all, let me congratulate you on being honest, number one. Number
two, on being a fighter. You’ve done great. I’m proud of you. You’ve fought and
you didn’t give up. God’s proud of you.
So, how do you deal with old friends? In two ways. Number one, you don’t be
deceived by the thoughts that keep coming to you because even though the
thoughts come, that doesn’t mean that you’ve given in to them. That doesn’t mean
that there’s something wrong with you just because you’ve had thoughts. We’ve
all had thoughts. We all have had millions of thoughts. That is why the Bible
says we need to take thoughts captive.
The difference between your life now and what you were before is that now you’re
dealing with it. In the past, the thoughts would grow and then they would become
an imagination, something that you’d think about all the time, and then it would
become a stronghold. It would have a strong hold on you and it would control
your actions and behavior. That’s how it was in the past.
But now, you’re dealing with it in the thought level. Now it gets to the
thoughts and you don’t let it go to the imaginations and you don’t let it become
a stronghold so now it can’t control you. So keep taking those thoughts captive.
Realize that even though the thoughts come, that’s not who you really are. Even
though the thoughts come, the real you is a woman of God, a child of God, a
woman who can control herself and can avoid sexual sin.
You need to continue to deal with things at your thought level. Intensify that
even more and fill yourself up with the Word of God because you need to replace
bad thoughts with God’s Word in your mind and coming out of your mouth.
The second thing you must do is you must sever relationships with those people.
You must not call them. You must not let them call you. You must not answer
their calls. You must not respond to them. You have to cut off those
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:33-34, “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
So, it’s being with the wrong people that will corrupt you and it’s not you. You
are a new creature in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If any man is in Christ,
he is a new creature. The old things have passed away.” You’re a brand-new
person. But your new person can still be corrupted and act like the old person
if you hang around that crowd still.
So you’ve got to avoid those environments and avoid those people. Run from them.
Flee. The Bible says flee from them. If you’ve said everything that you can say
to them, then just stay away from them.
Really, for me, it wasn’t me running away from my friends. It was that I began
preaching to them and they ended up running away from me. Some got saved and
then the others ran away. They didn’t want anything to do with me. So attack
them with the Word and start preaching to them if they keep coming. Remember God
told Lot to separate himself from those that were in Sodom and Gomorrah that
were homosexuals and lesbians.
And I’m not judging homosexuals and lesbians. We know that the act of
homosexuality is wrong but the people are just as loved by God as I’m loved by
God; as my newborn baby is loved by God. God loves the person who is in
homosexuality as much as He loves my baby.
God told Lot, “Get out of the city and run from Sodom and Gomorrah.” But he
didn’t do it at first. The people there kept pressing against him, pressing
against him, pressing against him and it ended up costing him his wife and some
of his children because he did not really take it seriously the first time. And
then the angel had to really to pull him out of there and it was too late for
some of the rest of his relatives.