Love

I was twenty-four years old before I heard of agape. It was a time of trial in my life. I was driving in the car with a coworker when he started explaining to me the differences among three types of love: erosphilia, and agape.

 

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I had been in church, on and off, for most of my nearly twenty-five years, yet I had never heard of agape. My coworker described agape as unconditional love. It is always there for you no matter how righteous or wicked you are. You cannot do anything to lessen it or increase it; it is the same, steady love day in and day out. This type of love does not keep track of your sins. It does not stifle you or imprison you. It is the kind of love that fills you and frees you. It is the kind of love that changes you.

 

I had spent the last fourteen years deprived of love. I had sought love in every corner. I had pursued passionate love, romantic love, and friendship. I had searched high and low for a love that would make me feel valuable. I yearned for love. I simply wanted to be worthy of someone’s love.

 

You can only be rejected so many times before you start to believe you deserve it. At that time of my life, I felt alone and unlovable. Then my coworker guided me to the truth of unconditional love. I did not fully comprehend the significance of this concept at the time, but I have since come to understand that I am loved. When I felt rejected and worthless, those feelings were not my true identity. In truth, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 NIV). God Himself “created my inmost being”; He “knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13 NIV). God set me apart before I was born as one who was and is and always will be loved—by Him.

 

The church needs to wake up and stop constantly fixating on everyone’s flaws. We cannot afford to forget who God is and what He did out of His abundant love for every single one of us. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV). We did not and cannot deserve His sacrifice and love for us, yet they are ours to receive. How dare the church allow another child to endure a life of desperately searching for love because no one shared with her the blessing of God’s free gift!

 

Jesus Christ issued His disciples this command: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35 NIV). Will you rise to the challenge and share agape with someone every day this year? In one year, 365 days, I challenge you to convey this message of unconditional love to the people God brings into your life. Tell someone, “You are loved. It is part of your identity. It is etched into your being, and it can never be removed. It is in your very fingerprints—every indelible line testifies that you are loved.”

The Key to Overcoming Offense

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I used to be easily offended. Everything hurt me. Over the years, I have slowly allowed God to heal those painful places where I could be easily gotten. However, I still get hurt. I can still be offended, especially by the people I love the most, the ones closest to me. It is a full-on fight to throw down the offense and stand up in truth and love! How about you?


Knowing who we are in Christ makes all the difference in the world because once you know who you are, you suddenly begin to see others as who they are in Christ. It makes it easier to forgive and get over your stupid offense! 

What belongs to us when we are made a new creation through Christ? Do you know?
 
Stop. Do you really know? Maybe you know in your mind, but do you know in your heart, deep down in your soul?
 
Are you bothered when others challenge you or call you out on your behavior? Are you defensive? Are you easily hurt or offended?
 
We spend most of our lives being told by our parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and friends what they think of us. They might say good things, like “You are so smart” or ” You are so much fun to be around,” or they might say bad things, like “You are stupid” or “I wish you were never born.”
 
These comments shape us. Somewhere along the journey, because of a certain behavior or trait or something you did once, you might have been given a nickname. I was Motor Mouth (my softball team put it on my shirt!). I was also short stuff and hollow leg (because I could eat anything and not gain a pound—wish that were still true!). My stepdad called me stupid.
 
Faith comes from hearing, and I heard all of these bad and silly things about myself for so long that they truly began to shape my identity.
 
When I became a Christ follower, I still lived out of my old identity. Quite frankly, I had a really hard time believing that I could be completely new in Christ. I still felt stupid and insignificant and insecure. I had a serious case of identity confusion!
 
Discovering our identity in Christ is a journey of tearing down the false ID and rebuilding our true identity. It takes a lot of time and trust in the Lord. As you grow near to Him and steep yourself in the things He says about you, you will be transformed into your true identity and be more confident than you have ever known! 

Do you want this? 

Are you hungry for the truth? 

Because if you are not, this journey will not be very fruitful. You have to want it! You have to want it like you want air to breathe! It can be so hard to accept the wonderful person that you are in Christ, and if you don’t want it, you will be likely to waste your time. It is a lifelong journey. 

So decide now: Will you spend your life seeking to know your true identity, your true self, in Christ Himself?
 
Who’s in? Raise your hand!

Dreaded Teenage Rebellion

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Teens. Teens. Teens.
With all girls, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I feel sorry for you. Just you wait until the dreaded teenage years.”

I always respond under my breath, “I rebuke that in Jesus’ name.”

I seriously never believed I would go through some of this teenage junk. 
I know. I know what you are thinking. 
 
Are you stupid? 
Hello, naive mother, every teen talks back and rebels. 
Thanks for that. 🙂
No, I am not stupid. I just refuse to believe that every teen has to go through it. I believe there is a better way, and I am trying to learn it.
 
Key word: TRYING! 
This is how it went in one instance (and most every other day in the sweet year of 2014).
Me: 

“Did you go through the blah blah blah [you know that’s what she heard] like I asked you to?”

She: 

“No.”

She continues doing the same thing. 
No movement toward the thing she was asked to do. 
Music volume increases.



My head voice:

Really?

Big eyes.
Foot tapping.

Hello! Wake up! See the body language?

Me:

“Ahem.”

 Crickets.

 
Mom’s plotting thoughts:

Hmmm … what’s the consequence for this delayed obedience?
No more iPod for the next 10 years! 
I guess that’s not a natural consequence. Get real. 
You can do this, mom!
Well, that’s it. I’m going to have to swat her.

Okay, deep breath …

Wait, I know! I will pray.
I have not because I ask not, right?

Father, whhyyyy [whiny voice]? What is wrong with her? 
How do I get back to her heart?

Sigh. This isn’t helping. The music is too loud to pray. 
Why is she ignoring me and my request?
 


Don’t forget to breathe out, Sheri. 
 
Okay … 

 just walk away. 
 


Oh nelly, the music stopped. 


 
What does this mean?


 
Oh, wait … wait! 

Hallelujah! She’s back. 

Whew. 
 
She:
“Oh hey, 

Mom, I was just taking a short break because I completed three math lessons. That was exhausting.”
 

 

 

Humiliated Mom:
Really?
“Oh, great! Good job. I knew you were a wise time manager.”
What is wrong with me? Shut it.
Help! I am an idiot.
Have you ever been an idiot like me?
Maybe the dreaded teen years aren’t all the teenager’s fault. Maybe it’s partially our fault (along with uncontrollable hormones, appetites, and growing pains) 
for not transitioning our role from commander to coach.
Parents need to transition gradually from controlling our children (“You’d better or else!”) and requiring immediate obedience to waiting on the teen’s will to catch up to our request. We have to let go a little at a time, or we will find ourselves quickly losing ground and all of the influence we have with them. That’s when it’s just too late. 
I am in the influence stage.
All I have now is influence.

Every day that I choose to voice my frustrated words or body language is a day that reduces my influence.
  





Oh Father, teach me to remain silent. 
Help me to understand that I am not her army commander any longer. I have the privilege of coaching, mentoring, and influencing. Help me to embrace this incredible new season.
In love,
Sheri
P.S. I wrote this in the middle of this battle yesterday.
P.P.S. I am still growing and learning. You too?

One Thing a Wife Must Know

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To Wives from a Husband

Sometimes I love to paint or build my own elaborate form of art with metal wire. Inspiration happens in a moment, and my mind races through the layers and twists and turns of my hands before I ever touch a brush. I imagine shapes and moves, and more than anything else, I see meaning. Without a deep meaning or purpose larger than life for my creation, I might as well be painting a fence. With a storm of emotion inside, in a matter of minutes I can produce with my hands what my mind prophesied months, days, or minutes before.

Wives, you are your husband’s prophesy—his future.
God puts it this way: “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:11–12 ESV).
His heart is the source of his demise or gain. God has given you, actually entrusted you, with a funnel into your husband’s heart. The kind of fruit you expect from him can only be harvested from the seeds you sow into the rich soil of his soul. With your encouragement, his hands will live with deep meaning and purpose as if his life and yours depend on it.
 
Wives …

It’s Sheri. When I read this, I sometimes want to 
condemn myself.
I could do such a better job of building up my husband. Could you? 
 
Let’s look at application and strengthen our husbands with our actions.

Examine the fruit your husband has produced. 

Answer these questions:

•    What fruit has he produced that you have enjoyed with deep satisfaction?
•    What great fruit has he produced that you have not enjoyed with him?
•    What rotten fruit has he produced that you would rather not see in your home again?
•    Lastly, who first planted the seeds in his heart from which the harvest came?
 
Would you begin today to pray, ask for forgiveness, encourage, 
believe in, and trust God with your Hubby?
 

Desire Me, Please


I was only four years old. 

I cried myself to sleep so many times. Other times my mom would bust into my room and say, “You should be thankful he’s not here. He’s not a good man, and he certainly wouldn’t be a good dad.

My four-year-old mind couldn’t conceive what she was saying. Of course he would be a good daddy—because he was mine! Isn’t every girl supposed to have a daddy? My young mind was tormented with thoughts. I was in agony. I can still remember how deeply it hurt. I sat in my room alone in the late-night hours, crying out for my daddy.   



And so the father wound entered into my life. It was that wound that leaves girls needy and searching for love in all the wrong places. I became nuts searching for my missing piece: love. 

I actively sought love. I pursued passionate love, romantic love, and friendship. I searched high and low for a love that would make me feel valuable. I yearned for love. I simply wanted to be worthy of someones love.


You can only be rejected so many times before you start to believe you deserve it. At that time of my life, I felt alone and unlovable.

The world defines love as: profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend; a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

I tried out this love many times, but it is not true love. This love is empty. It fails. Its not patient or kind because human beings are the ones dishing out this kind of love.


It wasn’t until I was twenty-four years old that I heard of agape. It was in the darkest and most lost time of my life, a time of utter brokenness. I was driving with a coworker when, in his efforts to console and counsel me, he explained to me the differences among three types of love: eros, philia, and agape.

I had been in and out of church for most of my nearly twenty-four years, yet I had never heard of agape. My coworker described agape as unconditional love. Unconditional means not subject to any conditions.
·      It is always there for you, no matter how bad or good you are.
·      You cannot mess it up!
·      You cannot do anything to lessen it or increase it; it is the same, steady love day in and day out.
·      This type of love does not keep track of all the things you do wrong.
·      It does not stifle you or imprison you.
·      It is the kind of love that fills you and frees you.
·      It changes you because its so radical!

How is this possible? How in the world did I grow up in church and never know this? What?!

I had spun out of control the previous fourteen years, deprived of love, when love was available all along. God is love:

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8 NIV)


Love is not a feeling; it’s a person! It’s Jesus Christ!


Read through 1 Corinthians 13 and make a list of “Love Is….” You will see that God defines His kind of love (agape) in this chapter.

My coworker guided me to this truth, and I found unconditional love. I did not fully comprehend the significance of this concept at the time, but I have since come to understand that I am completely loved. I felt rejected and worthless, but those feelings were not my true identity.

The truth is that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 NIV). God Himself “created my inmost being,” and He “knit me together in my mothers womb” (Psalm 139:13 NIV). He set me apart before I was born as one who was and is and always will be loved—by Him.

We are the Church, and we need to wake up and stop constantly fixating on everyones flaws. We cannot afford to forget who God is and what He did out of His abundant love for every single one of us:

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV)


We did not and cannot deserve His sacrifice and love for us, yet they are ours to receive. How dare the church allow another child to endure a life of desperately searching for love because no one shared with him or her the blessing of Gods free gift!

Jesus Christ gave His disciples this command: 

Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34–35 NIV)


This is your commission, your calling, and your equipping! You are already ready!

The only logical reason we would not be sharing this almost-too-good-to-be-true love is because we have yet to fully comprehend it for ourselves. To know love compels you to share love!

Will you rise to the challenge and share agape with someone every day this year? In one year, 365 days, I challenge you to convey this message of unconditional love to the people God brings into your life.

Tell someone, “You are loved. It is part of your identity. It is etched into your being, and it can never be removed. It is in your very fingerprints—every indelible line testifies that you are loved.”

Will you accept this challenge?

Love,

Sheri Yates

Love


Love bears all things, endures all things, carries all things.
When all is gone, these remain: love, joy, peace. 
If I have a silver tongue, convince a crowd, but don’t love, I am nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I can prophesy and reveal all mysteries but don’t love, I am nothing.
So no matter what I say, no matter what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
So we love others as we are loved.
We cherish others as we are cherished. 
Even if I go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but don’t love, I’m no one.
He loved us first, so we love others as He does us. 
The greatest act of love ever done was this: while we were sinners, Christ died for us. For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son. Whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
And so even God loves.
He loves us with a powerful love that will seize us, carry us, cover us.
His love is deeper than anything we will ever know.
It is so deep, I could drown in it.
It is a life-giving water come to all who are thirsty.


As a deer pants for water, I long for You.
In a dry and weary land, anyone who drinks the world’s water shall grow thirsty again, but Jesus offers life-giving water. If you drink it, it will form a well in you.
I have tasted and seen: You are good.



• Authored by Josh Pugh •

2 Steps to Restoring Broken Relationships

Let’s talk. 


The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
(Luke 6:45 NIV)
Yes, I know, we’ve talked about words before. 

Don’t roll your eyes or turn this off. Let’s talk. 

Our words are powerful. Do you agree with that? 

We can use words to build others up or tear them down. For a long time, I didn’t know how to control my tongue. I barked every feeling of disappointment or anger that I had. You know what I ended up with? Nothing but broken relationships. 

I spoke those awful things because I desperately longed to be justified. My sense of self-worth simply couldn’t handle another rejection or another time when I was wrong or a bad person. I was broken from my past experiences and my past mistakes. You see, I knew that I was a bad person because I didn’t have wonderful or kind thoughts in my head. 
My little heart was always offended, wounded, hurt, disappointed. It was a weepy heart always looking for people to treat me “right.” When they didn’t (according to my definition), I would take my ball and go home—but not before I blurted out toxic words.

If I didn’t say what I was thinking straight to their faces, I would say it in my heart. I am sure my actions represented my true heart even if my words didn’t. 

I was the girl with relationships always on a thread. I was a needy, desperate girl. I fought, bickered, complained, and gossiped because it made me feel better about myself. 

Ugh.
At that time, I didn’t know this: 
“Show me a struggling relationship and I will show you toxic words. Every single time, you will see toxic words. Speak words of Life and watch God bless that relationship.” ~ Craig Groeschel, Soul Detox
I actually thought I had RIGHTS. I thought my actions and arguments were justified because of other people’s behavior. 

That’s a LIE. Trash!  

I was the problem all along. 

Ugh! How many dreadful years did I spend wrestling with this lie?
Too many!

If you are like me, there is HOPE! 
Look at your relationships. Are they constantly falling apart? 
Look at your words. Are the words you speak full of life or death? 
Are you constantly complaining or constantly grateful? 
First 
You have to fill your heart with the love of Jesus. Oh, how He loves you! He wants you to come to Him—just as you are. You don’t have to change anything about yourself first. Simply come and receive His life. He lived the life you should have lived and died the death you deserved to die.
Know Jesus today.
Second  
Now that you have the love of Jesus in you, you need to know your new identity in Him. Sure, you may understand it partly, but you never fully arrive. It is a daily renewal of your mind. Every time you are outside of your comfort zone, you must go back to your identity so you remember that you are safe in Christ. When you are persecuted, you must return to knowing God and His love for you so you can hold fast and stand firm in the battles (Ephesians 6:10–18).
Don’t know your new identity? Check it out HERE.
Your relationships will prosper. 
How have your relationships been strained because of your words? How will you restore those relationships?

My Friend, My God

God, You cover me in cloaks of grace and love.
I will live my life for You.
I have fallen short of Your glory.
Let Your mercy reign and cover my sin.
Let Your grace hide all I have been.
Let Your love consume me now.
Make me new.
Like a hammer, life hit me hard, but You caught me in Your web of love.
I am new.
My heart and mind will change.
Only for You, my heart will sing all of what You do.
You took my life, a life of sin, and said you can start again. All you need is to ask and receive all I have for you.
My life is not my own, but please let me show I am new.
My life belongs to the Savior of my soul, the Redeemer of my life.
You have done what only You can do.
You have won me.
You love me.
Your love stays with me even when I’m beneath the sin no child of Yours should know.
Can You show me I’m not too far? There’s still hope for me?
You came to me.
I didn’t choose You, but You chose me to be part of Your family.
I want to know, do I show what You did for me?
Do I shine with Your love?
Do I give to the least of us?
Am I a friend to the lonely?
Do I go beyond religion?
Do I show all You want us to know, that You are never mad, never angry, never bitter towards what I’ve done, but You love and still call me son?
Your grace is with me.
I will be a family to those who cannot see; I will be their eyes.
To those who cannot hear, let me be their ears.
To the girl who ran away and lost herself, she needs to know that she can still follow You. 
Give her Your hand and save her from sin. 
She is Your daughter, and You love her still.
To the boy who lost everything, all your days trust the Lord. He is good. He will follow You, too. 
God forgives all we’ve done.
He will still call me son.
He doesn’t want anything more than for us to know His love.
His grace carries us in this rat race.
He covers my sin and will carry me till the end.



• Authored by Josh Pugh •

Nothing Should Separate the Love of God’s Children


A small bit of yeast makes a whole batch rise.
It’s truly sad how friendships grow further and further apart because a little bit of poison, offense, or hurt builds up walls, breaks down relationships, tears away partnerships, and destroys the intimacy a friendship once had. Maybe you have a friend to whom you once were close, but you slowly grow further and further apart. There is less pursuit of and desire for the things you used to do but don’t do anymore. Before you know it, you’ve got a divided friendship where once it was unified.
I think we should be people who forgive and forget quickly, tear down walls, and destroy barriers so we can stay one in Christ because Jesus’ last words were that we would be one like He and the Father are one. There should be nothing separating us from the love of God’s children. Nothing.

People Pleasers

People pleasers—they are dangerous. They will run over someone to make someone else happy. This might be good if you are on the receiving end. But at what cost do you want to be pleased?
They are dangerous because their god is not stable. Their idol is a moving target. Their god is the one they seek the most approval from in the moment.
They are angry. When they disappoint someone, they can easily lose their temper because they feel like a failure; they feel like they are not high and lifted up in your eyes.
People pleasers live out of their emotions. They need to feed their flesh so they can have the fulfilment of approval.
People pleasers cannot be a sold-out follower of Christ because it’s impossible to please man and serve Christ. You cannot serve two masters.
Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
People pleasers are selfish. They are self-protecting. They call all of their efforts servanthood, but they’re striving to make themselves look good. James 3:16 says where there is a self-serving motive or selfishness, wherever someone is striving because of their selfish desire to be approved, they will find disorder and every evil work. Wherever there is a self-serving motive, you need to watch your back.

James 3:16 (NIV)
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
People pleasers are disobedient. We are supposed to work for the Lord in everything we do. But when you work for man, you may cut corners or be deceitful in everything. You are working for man, whose expectations are always changing.
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
Colossians 3:22 (NIV)
 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
Numbers 23:19 (NIV)
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
People pleasers are always seeking praise. They practice their righteous efforts for others.
Matthew 6:1-34 (NIV)
Giving to the Needy
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Prayer
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, [a] but deliver us from the evil one. [b]’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Fasting
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in Heaven
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, [c] your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, [d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Do Not Worry
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
People pleasers are unsafe. They are never safe or stable, because the Lord’s shelter is the only safe shelter.
Psalm 91:1 (NIV)
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
The fear of man is a snare. It’s a trap.
People pleasers are adulterers. Friendship with the world is enmity with God.
People pleasers take advantage of others. They have a self-protective nature.

Leviticus 25:17 (NIV)

Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God.
People pleasing makes them step on anyone to get what they want to please.
Psalm 1 (NIV)
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
1 Thessalonians 4:6 (NIV)
… and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.
Romans 16:18 (NIV)
For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
They smooth talk you and try to make what they want your idea so they won’t have any opposition. Once again, they are self-protecting. They deceive the innocent.
Matthew 24:4 (NIV)
 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”
Heed the voice of the people pleaser. Let no man deceive you. They secretly hate having to please you.
1 John 4:20 (NIV)
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
2 Corinthians 11:20 (NIV)
In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face.
As a man bringing you into bondage. If you are in bondage, you are not free.
Rebellion comes from bitterness. Rebellion is the sin of witchcraft. Stubbornness is as inequity and idolatry.