Common Slaves

Common Men; Uncommon Master


Choosing Better

Choosing Better, pt.7: It is Better to Attend a Funeral than a Party

It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because that is the end of every man,
And the living takes it to heart.
Ecclesiastes 7:2 

Here is a seemingly morbid portion of Scripture, and hardly a common piece of advice: Better to go to a funeral than a party.

My Dad, who is far more gifted with acronyms and alliteration than I could ever be, summarizes the book of Ecclesiastes this way: ITIA –“I Tried It All.”

It’s good to read books, because in a matter of hours or a few days you can absorb material it took the author perhaps years to learn. It’s good to talk to elderly people, because if you’re willing to listen and learn, in a matter of a few conversations you can take graduate level courses from the school of their hard knocks and keep the bumps off your own head. Continue reading “Choosing Better, pt.7: It is Better to Attend a Funeral than a Party”

Choosing Better, pt6

It is Better to Pursue Quality. Or Quantity.

For a day in your courts is better
        than a thousand elsewhere.
    I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
        than dwell in the tents of wickedness. Ps 84:10 ESV

Quality. Quantity. Which is better? Continue reading “Choosing Better, pt6”

Choosing Better, pt.5

Ignorantly entering hell is better than apostasy, 2 Peter 2:21

…if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.

Here is one of those warnings that doesn’t seem like it should need to be there for the person who has raised the hand, walked the aisle, prayed the prayer, and signed the card. Continue reading “Choosing Better, pt.5”

Choosing Better, pt.4

Drowning is better than ruining Jesus’ children. Mark 9:42

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.”

This is a powerful statement, and I’d have loved to see Jesus’ eyes when He made it. Jesus is a big brother of the first order here. Mess with one of His, and you’ll wish you hadn’t. This is a warning shot to false apostles, false teachers, lawmakers, and anyone who would feel so inclined, for whatever reason, to destroy the young faith of a believer. Continue reading “Choosing Better, pt.4”

Choosing Better, pt.3

Mutilation is better than hell, Matt. 5:29-30

If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.”

Without spending a lot of time working through the fact that Jesus isn’t speaking of a twisted form of works-based salvation through mutilation, the larger point is that self-mutilation, as awful as it is, is better than hell. Continue reading “Choosing Better, pt.3”

Choosing Better, pt2

Dying and living with Jesus in heaven is better than Life on Earth

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Phil. 1:21-24

The word that stands out to me in this text is the last word of v.22, “choose.” What’s intriguing is that it seems that as Paul was sitting in prison, he was presented with two options, presumably by God Himself – suffer martyrdom in the near future, or be released for further ministry, and suffer martyrdom later. Continue reading “Choosing Better, pt2”

Choosing Better

The Bible contains several passages where two things are set in a scale and weighed in order to determine which is of greater value, and it is those passages that have caught my eye over the years, and I’ve just sort of tucked them in the back of my mind and thought someday I’d like to put a bunch of them together into a series of sorts. So, here is my introduction to the subject, and following articles will begin breaking down some of those fascinating texts. Continue reading “Choosing Better”

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