HANG ON… I’ve a mind to refill my coffee… feel free to let me know you’re in the room. I’ll be right back “after these messages” (as they say on TV). 

Good morning. Saturday, Dec 4th, 2021.
Folks are still sleeping so I have to run quite, run deep. 

It’s 30º out, at 7:38 a.m. and it should get up to 52º later this afternoon.

  1. Now, I want to show you that Paul had some good “psychology” going on in his 13 letters. But first….
  2. In the little world of psychology they say to be “mentally ill” you must do three things:

One: You must overlook the good.
Two: You must focus on the bad.
Three: You must exaggerate the importance of the bad.

  1. If you take away Paul’s “theology” talk… you know, the chatter about God and God’s purpose and Christ’s accomplishment… you still have some decent, helpful ideas in Paul’s writing that would help anyone with “mental illness”… and don’t kid yourself… “mental illness” according to the above definition is not far from all of us.
  2. Almost on a daily basis… you meet and deal with people who “overlook the good”… and folks who “focus on the bad”… and all those nut jobs who “exaggerate the importance of the bad”.
  3. In our world of “politics” … we have political parties who specialize in overlooking the good… and focusing on the bad… etc.
  4. Our news media… does this all the time… can we call CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC et al, “mentally ill news channels”? I think so. They’ve even been known to make up news out of nothing — only to be exposed later on as liars, etc.
  5. Now Paul, in his reporting “the evangel” — especially “the evangel of our salvation” does not ignore or overlook the “bad news”… he clearly tells us of “this evil eon” and “the indignation to come” etc. But he certainly does not exaggerate it beyond all limits.
  6. Yet, and this is important about Paul’s evangel: He goes out of his way to FOCUS ON THE GOOD… telling us “all is out of Him, and through Him and for Him… (Romans 11:36) and that “All will be headed up in the Christ.” (Eph 1:10) and that “Christ died for all.” (I’m a little rusty on that verse, look it up yourself). So, Paul presents to us THE ULTIMATE GOOD. FOR ALL. Even revealing to us that “God is the savior of all mankind” (I TIM 4:10)
  7. But if you hang out with the organized church, and their traditional “doctrines” of “endless conscious punishment in hell” and “freewill” and the rest… you might end up thinking THEY ARE MENTALLY ILL, as they clearly “overlook the good” (Christ died to save all) — they “focus on the bad” (His death does not save unless you do your part) and “exaggerate the importance of the bad” (“where the worm dieth not and the fire is never quenched” etc.)
  8. Keep in mind, that we can argue that if you take away Paul’s “theology” you still have some good “psychology”… but why do that? Why take away, the foundation of his message… if the GOOD NEWS helps you turn away from the BAD NEWS… then what is the GOOD NEWS of Paul?
  9. The good news is that we’re all in this together. Romans 5 shows that Adam’s sin resulted in condemnation for all. And what exactly is this condemnation? It’s that we’re all stuck in mortal bodies… and THAT SUCKS. So, yes, we’re all in this together, but Paul’s good news shows that it’s all temporary. And that God, the creator of all, the Father of all, is also the Savior of all. And one thing that can and will give us peace is to realize God’s operations in it all.
  10. Now, Paul warns about bad behavior, naughty behavior — shall we call it “destructive behavior” … but so does every psychologists. Don’t do that crap… there is a natural price to pay, don’t cha see. And you know, the natural price is quite enough to steer our behavior into a good direction. Hang on…
  11. Let’s go back to the opening of my thoughts here… I’m thinking that “mental illness” is doing those three things mentioned above… overlooking the good, focusing on the bad, and exaggerating the importance of the bad… and guess what… if you do those three things all at once… THAT IS DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR and you will chase people out of your life… YIKES.
  12. Hang on… let’s say you get mad at someone… and you take it in hand to “get even” with them… aren’t you “overlooking the good” in that person? Aren’t you “focusing on the bad”, in that person. And… aren’t you exaggerating the importance of the bad, in that person.
  13. Don’t want to beat a dead horse, but I think you get the point… to the point where I want to encourage you to READ PAUL’S LETTERS.. and make note of how he encourages you to see the good… both in the short term and the long term.
  14. Paul says “No trial has taken you, except what is common to man, and God will make a sequel to go with the trial to enable you to undergo it.” (In one of the Corinthian letters)— What kind of message is that if not one of don’t overlook the good. Don’t focus and exaggerate the bad.???
  15. Paul says “For even as in Adam, all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive”… THAT IS THE ULTIMATE in putting the right focus on things. (I COR 15:20-28)
  16. So, when you’re reading Paul… read it with a highlighter (yellow?) and a nice pen so you can underline striking passages. And read it with a notebook by your side so you can make references to this and that. I’m not kidding… YOU WILL BE SURPRISED… pleasantly surprised… at Paul’s revelation.
  17. I admit, when I first started reading Paul, I had no idea what he was on about… oh, by the way… get yourself a CONCORDANT LITERAL New Testament… it’s the one translation out there that does double duty to try and give you an honest TRANSLATION OF WORDS without any human “interpretation” — as near as possible.
  18. I think that on the whole we can say of Paul… that he focuses on “three” things as well…
    One: Focus on the good.
    Two: Consider the bad, but for Christ’s sake…
    Three: Don’t exaggerate the bad.
  19. And what is the good, in Paul’s message? Is it the “salvation of all”… ??? Nah… Paul’s focus is on God himself… And God’s plan… and God’s operation… and God’s love of His Son. So, yes, I TIM 4:10 says “God is the savior of all”… but why look at only the last three words of that passage… why not look at the first two words… GOD IS… Paul’s focus is in giving us a clearer picture of who God is.
  20. He is the Father of all. That includes YOU.

Grace to you.
8:26 a.m.

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