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Activated July 2011

Social Responsibility - July 2011

Torn between pursuing personal goals and taking social responsibility? It’s possible to succeed at both.
 

01-07-2011
Jesus’ Yoke
Jesus’ Yoke

I had read that passage from the Bible I don’t know how many times. I memorized it years ago, and it has often appeared on these pages. “Come to Me [Jesus], all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”1 Then I read something that helped me see those verses in a new light.

Philip Yancey writes, “I used to believe that...

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01-07-2011
Being Neighborly
Being Neighborly

A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite [temple assistant], when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.

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01-07-2011
Because You Can
Because You Can

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

The first time I read these words, I remember thinking they didn’t make sense. That was going to change.

My mom and I had gotten on a bus, and as we walked down the aisle looking for two empty seats together, I noticed a young mother with a toddler and a baby. The toddler was obviously bored, and his mother was struggling to keep him seated while also trying to make her baby more comfortable.

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01-07-2011
Paradoxical Commandments
Paradoxical Commandments

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;

Forgive them anyway.

 

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;

Be kind anyway.

 

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;

Succeed anyway.

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01-07-2011
Ambassadors of Love
Ambassadors of Love

Through His children, God is trying to show the world what He is like. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”1 Jesus came to love the world, and He calls us to do likewise in every facet of life. The only way that others will ever find His joy and peace and love and happiness and heaven is through us.

No matter where we are from, if we have Jesus, we are now His ambassadors and represent the King of kings, the One who runs the universe.

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01-07-2011
Tolerance
Tolerance

The human family is very diverse. Many conflicts in our world are caused when people are intolerant of the ways that others see the world. Learning tolerance is an important cornerstone to creating a better world.

—Robert Alan

 

Respect your fellow human beings, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it. No destructive lies. No ridiculous fears. No debilitating anger.

—Bill Bradley (b. 1943)

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01-07-2011
Do Not Be Overcome
Do Not Be Overcome

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.—Romans 12:21

It’s interesting that the apostle Paul wrote that to the Christians in Rome, because there are some obvious similarities between the social climate of first-century Rome and that of much of the world of today.

Evil was rampant in Rome, and its pull was strong. The Roman Empire hadn’t become the undisputed ruler of the Western world through compassion, kindness, or humility. Wealth was in the hands of a few, and they used it to control the rest. The rich and powerful lived extravagantly while the masses struggled to survive....

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01-07-2011
People Are Good
People Are Good

I’ve known Alex for four years. He is 24 years old, has cerebral palsy, and is one of our Women’s Club food delivery recipients. Each time I deliver food, we spend an hour or so talking. “If you could go anywhere in the world,” I asked him several times, “where would you go?” His answer was always the same: St. Petersburg, Russia.

Last year he graduated from university with honors. For his extraordinary achievement he received plane tickets for two to St. Petersburg—a gift from a family that had heard about him through the food delivery program.

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01-07-2011
“All Things to All People”
“All Things to All People”

The Bible tells us, “Do not be shaped by this world.”1 It also tells us to “become all things to all people.”2 At first glance these instructions may seem contradictory, but they can actually complement each other. God does not want us to conform to ungodly attitudes, no matter how prevalent they may be, but He does want us to be attuned to society in ways that allow us to better show His love to others, that we might bring them closer to Him.

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01-07-2011
The Christian Profile
The Christian Profile

The Epistle to Diognetus was written by an unnamed Christian to a high-ranking pagan, probably in the late second century. Perhaps the earliest preserved explanation and defense of the Christian faith to a nonbeliever, it provides insight as to how early Christians viewed the world and their place in it. The attributes the author lists in chapter 5, "The Manners of Christians," provide food for thought for us today. Excerpts from the J.B. Lightfoot translation:

Christians are not distinguished from the rest of humanity by country, language, or custom. For nowhere do they live in cities of their own, nor do...

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01-07-2011
The Drunk at My Window
The Drunk at My Window

It was nearly midnight and I was brushing my teeth, already half asleep, when I heard him. He was shouting and mumbling at the same time. Probably a drunk calling to his drinking buddy, I decided.

Half an hour later, I could still hear the man shouting, though I couldn’t make out anything he was saying. Enough was enough! I decided to call the police.

As I passed a window, I saw that the man was standing under a streetlight. He was older than I had imagined, bare-chested in the cold, and yelling right in my direction.

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01-07-2011
Winning friends
Winning friends

Question: I want to get along well with others and be liked, but often I don’t know where to begin. How can I build strong connections with people?

 

Answer: Here are some tips to get you started. The point is not to pretend to be something you’re not, but to make a conscious effort to cultivate qualities that will make people feel at ease and be happy to be around you.

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01-07-2011
Working with God
Working with God

The workplace is becoming an increasingly nasty and competitive arena. Too often, honesty and hard work seem to lose out to the pursuit of a quick buck and me-first politicking. But there is another way. The idea that the Bible contains specific guidance for the modern work life is not as incongruous as it might seem. As Joseph and Daniel proved, integrity and diligence can help us succeed and stand out from the crowd.1

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01-07-2011
Who Needs Prayer?
Who Needs Prayer?

Who needs your prayers? Lots of people do. Among those closest to you, there are probably at least a few who aren’t in good health, or have suffered some personal loss, or are depressed or stressed. And then there are those you hear about in the news and those you pass on the road of life.

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in our own concerns that we neglect to look around at the needs of others. This exercise is a remedy to such self-involvement, but it’s more than that; it’s a vehicle for you to reach out and help...

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01-07-2011
Learning to Relate
Learning to Relate

A key to understanding others is putting yourself in their place. When I came to earth, I did that for you. I experienced firsthand the difficulties of life. I got tired, hungry, sick, lonely, discouraged, and went through everything else you experience. And having done that, I can now truly feel for you, help, and comfort you the way you need Me to.

That’s also the key to relating well to others. You can’t totally change your circumstances like I did, but you don’t need to. Just project yourself mentally into their circumstances.

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