There is power in a lie just as there is pleasure in sin. You and I would be naive indeed to deny the destructive power of the lie. Naboth the righteous nobleman that lived near Jezreel died because two of his neighbors lied. They were bribed to say that Naboth had blasphemed God and the king which of course, he had not done nor thought of doing. They stoned this innocent man to death at the public square and no one came to his defense even though he was a just man.

Jesus said in John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies”. According to Jesus; every lie [no matter who tells it] originates with Satan. The devil is the master of propaganda; the last thing that he wants is for men to think. These poor idiots that say science contradicts the bible or mindless parrots. They are chanting the liberal mantra, they have drunk the cool-aid. They wouldn’t know real science if they meet it in the hall. Do a little research, I dare you. Think for yourself. I not trying to tell how to think, I am trying to get you to think period. I would begin by turning off the TV which is the main source of propaganda. Obama controls everything but FOX but I wouldn’t rely on FOX. Try reading, do a little research. I promise you folks, that even the local stations lie. Channel 19 cannot run a 30 minute news cast without at least one Obama commercial. Channel 19 is not owned by a group of conservatives living in North Alabama, it is owned by the New York Times and they are not conservative. Check it out! Don’t take my word for it. The devil uses lies: he always has and always will.

Another case in point is Sarah Weddington, the infamous lawyer who pushed for Roe v. Wade. The University of Texas have finally terminated Weddington after she had spread her propaganda to college students for 23 years. Officials blame the lay off on economic issues.

According to the Daily Texan, Weddington knew the university was facing budget problems but did not expect to lose her job as an adjunct professor [of propaganda], that pays her an annual salary of $80,899 per year, according to UT figures.

Weddington brought the original case for abortion in Dallas and Wade is the last name of Henry Wade, the district attorney in the area at the time. Weddington will forever be known as the lead attorney in the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that has allowed 53 million abortions since 1973. Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe of the case, was a woman who wanted a divorce from her husband and never obtained an abortion.  She told Weddinton that she was not raped but Weddington told her to keep her mouth shut, that the issue was bigger than her untimely pregnancy. Basically she told McCorvey, “This is about our cause, not the truth”. God forbid that we would let the truth interfere with our cause.

Weddington was in bed with the liberal agenda all along and they used Norma McCorvey as a scapegoat to get what they wanted. McCorvey came to know Christ personally in the early 90’s and has testified at pro-life rallies. I have heard her story in person. The pro-abortion lobby was working with Justice Harry Andrew Blackmun, a Nixon appointee who had turned to the left in hopes of making a name for himself. He promised the pro-abortion lobby that if they could get him a case involving rape or incest, that he would legalize abortion under the privacy clause. Any one with an elementary understanding the law knows that what he did was unconstitutional. My point is that the entire case was built on a lie. Norma McCovey was never raped and did not have an abortion. She changed her mind and decided that she did not want an abortion. Why don’t you hear this on CBS, NBC, CNN or ABC. I can tell you in one word: “Truth”, they don’t tell it!

Weddington was only 26-years-old when she went to the Supreme Court in 1971 to argue the case that would eventually topple pro-life laws nationwide two years later. She recalled her involvement in an interview with the Vancouver Sun newspaper in February 2008, and she said she can find nothing in her career or life that she realizes she will be remembered for nothing more than her involvement in that case. [Pity her!] “There were some years when I thought, ‘How will I trump Roe vs. Wade?’ I have finally made peace with the fact that I will never trump it,” she said. [I have to agree with Sarah here: she will never trump the lie that has led to 53 million deaths. Woe unto Sarah and those like her.]

Weddington told the newspaper that the first line of her obituary when she dies will highlight her involvement in the case. The pro-abortion attorney told the Sun she’s worried that today’s young women don’t understand the supposed value of what she did. After arguing for abortion, Weddington eventually became an advisor to President Jimmy Carter and pushed for research on breast cancer, a disease from which she is a survivor. Ironically, dozens of studies have linked induced abortions to an increasing risk of breast cancer and a top researcher says more than 300,000 women have died from breast cancer as a result of having abortions.

Weddington’s husband has an abortion legacy of his own, according to papers obtained from Bill Clinton’s administration. The papers reveal that, before he became president, Clinton received a letter from Ron Weddington who urged the then-Arkansas governor to promote RU 486. Clinton eventually approved the abortion drug before he left office and it has been responsible for killing more than a dozen women and injuring another 1,200 or more. How would you like to be Slick Willy standing at the judgment bar of God?

Folks, it is time to wake up and smell the fish. Obama is manipulating the media. He controls every major media outlet except FOX. His people write the script for PMSNBC or MSNBC. Google “Media Matters” and follow the trail that will lead to tears. This group was founded in 2004, they are extreme left and they were sponsored by some of the same folks that funded Obama including and the New Democratic Network.

Now Obama has orchestrated a propaganda move to replace the ABORTION issue which is a loser for the democrats as a more educated America now opposes abortion with at least a 10% margin and this change has come about in the last decade. Obama’s scheme is to make “Contraception” the new issue because 98% of American are in favor of the use of contraception. He had no intention of winning the recent debate over contraception with the Catholic Church, he was just introducing the new talking point. He had one of his stooges interject this subject in to one of the Republican Presidential debates. If I understand correctly Rick Santorum is the most pro-life Republican Candidate and this debate came right after his two victories. Dick Morris believes that Obama is a shrewd manipulator and that he is setting the table for the general election. It wants his talking point to be contraception, not abortion. Using the lie to further his cause is nothing new for Obama. He uses his staff to do the same.

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew is coming under fire for incorrectly stating [ lying] how many senate votes are needed to pass the proposed federal budget. And while Lew’s emphasis on the partisan gridlock plaguing Congress may be true, his office has been unable to explain the repeated mistake.

Gee, would that be because it was not a mistake, it was a “lie” and democrats do not consider a lie as a mistake if the lie furthers their liberal agenda. Hey folks, we should know this by now. Republicans can not lie without being castigated but it is OK for Democrats to lie, they lie all the time or should I say, incorrectly state things. Republican have to resign is shameful disgrace when they have an affair while democrats up their ratings. It really helps if you are a liar, a feminist, a lesbian or a homosexual–basically anything but a soccer mom and an angry white male.

How does Obama spin his web and work his magic in such a way as to create an illusion that a less than intelligent America swallows hook, line and sinker? Pure propaganda! He is the master of propaganda. I don’t think he is the anti-christ. He is anti-christ along with millions of others but it is my opinion that the one coming after him will be greater than he in his propaganda skills and also in the skill of illusion. Yet Obama is good, make no bones about it: he uses the power of the lie. I think he is more gifted at the use of the lie than Slick Willy himself.

I hope you noticed that where you find a group of baby killing liberal democrats, Jimmy the peanut farmer will be numbered among them, warming his hands at the fire of those who crucified our LORD. Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, how can you not love the unborn? What part of “Thy shall not murder” do you not understand?

The Tanners

The Tanners--Sarah, Hollis, John and Nell

Nell’s promotion on January 30, 2012 has set me to thinking about the Tanners. Nell was the last of the four Tanners in her generation. When we came to Danville in April of 1979, all four of the Tanner children were going strong. We got to know John first because he was a deacon at DBCand served on several committees. John was a very frank man, he spoke his mind but so do I. The one thing that stands out in my memory of John was his generosity. John Tanner loved to give. He got as much joy out of giving as anyone I’ve ever known. I can honestly say that I never paid for a meal if John was present. John would more than insist, he would demand your ticket and then he would pay it. Every year John raised a field of corn that he would give away. You could offend him if you did not get corn. John loved to giveJohn also loved DBC. He was a loyal dyed in the wool member. He was a deacon when I came and later moved to the position of Trustee which suited him more. John enjoyed taking care of the buildings and grounds. He and Hugh cut the grass at the present location for at least a decade. When there was work to be done at church, John was always in the middle.

Back in the late 80’s when we were discussing relocation, we couldn’t all get together on what we needed. John didn’t want to leave the old property and he was not by himself. We were meeting every week and finally I made the suggestion that Kenneth and I would take some of the young ones who wanted to grow and we would start a new church and leave the old DBC building in tact with most of the congregation. We talked about a New Church plant with the old church sponsoring us and giving us their blessing. The men were to pray about it and discuss it at the next meeting. At the next meeting, John walked in and before we could have prayer or call the meeting to order, he said, “We are going to look for a piece of property, we’ll sell this one and we will all move”. It was John’s desire that whatever we did, we were to do it together. Trust me folks, it was settled. There was no opposition and no discussion. I was thrilled and relieved. From that day on, John was as excited as anyone about the new property and plan. I continued to worry that John would have a tough time leaving the old property but he did not. We marched down highway 36 in the pre-dawn hours of Easter Sunday morning 1991 lead by Ken Nelson who was leading us in hymns, we sang our way to the new location where we had the conclusion of our sunrise service. The first part was at the old site and last at the new site. John never looked back. He never regretted the move to my knowledge. I never  heard him talk about the old building. He did not even want to move the bell. Bobby James and I wanted to move the bell and the marvel markers but John said leave them and that is probably what we should have done.

Note Burning

When we started the FORTE is September of 2001, John would come and sit on the back of his pickup and watch the construction. After a month or so, he said, why don’t the men my age come on every Friday and we will have a prayer meeting for the construction. That was the birth of the Friday Senior Adult Prayer meeting that went on for almost a decade. We met at the church and prayed at 11:30 and then we went to Crossroads for lunch and John always paid for my lunch. Those were some good days. I looked forward to that Friday prayer meeting. John was the heart and soul of that group and it was never the same without him. We continued it for four or five more years but it was not the same. When Cross Roads went up on their menu and Hugh went into the boycott mode, that was the last nail in the coffin. We continued to meet but not eat which is a downer.

Pic made on Easter 2003, John Promoted 2 months later

I’ve told several people that if everyone was as generous with me as John Tanner, I would be a millionaire. Of course if John were here, he would refute that by saying, “He can’t hold on to anything longer enough to be a millionaire.” And John would be right. If you were not careful, John could hurt your feelings. When I started the house on Craze Road, John said to me, “Preacher, you need a house, I’ll go along with that much but you do not need to build it yourself.” I had little of enough sense to ask him “Why”? He came back without any hesitation, “Because you need it done right.” I never told John that he was right. Matter of fact, I probably didn’t realize it until he had departed but he was right and so was Hugh, Jimmie and Daddy. All of them loved me but they knew I was sinking too much into something temporal. They also knew how fast kids grow up and get gone and then you don’t need a big house. John was honest. He called it like he saw it. Someone asked him once with me standing beside him, I think it was Big Earl Cook, “John, I have noticed that you folks blame Bro. Jack for everything that goes wrong at Danville. Why do you do that?” Again without hesitation John retorted, “Because 90% of the time he is to blame.” John was fairly accurate. The last Friday prayer meeting that John attended he said, “I feel bad, I feel so bad I would have to die to get better”. I had no idea that he really felt as bad as he said and I sure had no idea that this was his last prayer meeting. When John got the bad news about his kidney’s shutting down, he took it like a man. I don’t think I even realized what was going on until the middle of the next week. John very bravely took his flight on June 6, 2003. We miss John.

John and Vellene With Grandkids

Here is Danville, there has been no one to take John’s place. No one is exactly like John. Jim looks like him and Steve drives like him but no one can replace John. John was truly unique. He was always brimming with pride about his family, his farm and of course we knew He loved us too. I heard him say many times that getting Vellene to marry him was the best day of work he ever put in and I always corrected by saying, “John that was not your work, that was God’s grace.” John did well: Vellene is quiet a woman and a quiet woman, she minds her own business, she is organized to the T and works hard. She takes care of everything including her wheelbarrow.

John with Granddaughter in the swing

I was also Sarah’s pastor for five years. When Sarah moved back to Danville, J.T. was in bad shape. Sarah was a very good care giver and she stood by J.T. until his passing. Sarah seemed to be in good health but she went to Huntsville for a routine arteriogram and the catheter ruptured one of her arteries. She seemed fine at first but started running a fever and then they told us what had happened. She lived only a few days after the procedure. Hollis was getting ready to go see Sarah when he had a heart attack and he passed away two days before Sarah. If I remember correctly, Hollis passed on Sunday and Sarah on Tuesday. So two of the four departed during the same week. John held up well through all the grief but his own health was failing. John was promoted four years later leaving only Nell who lived another nine years. Nell was a very friendly, outgoing person. She worked at the bank [Southtrust] most of her life but had been retired for some years. Nell was member of 1st Baptist Hartselle. She had two children, Pat and Polly. The thing that I think of most concerning Nell was her cheerful attitude and her broad smile. You can see that smile in the picture above. Matter fact, if you study the picture, the two on the right are have practically the same smile.

John’s Sunday School Class

The Parable Of The Fish

The Israelites had a tendency to worship idols. This affinity for the worship of idols goes back to Abraham’s immediate family. His father Terah was an idol maker. Abraham did not agree with his father’s profession or practice. He wanted to distance himself from idolatry.  Abraham had two brothers: Haran was the first, he died young and was the father of Lot and Nahor was the second brother and his son was Laban father of Rachel. You will recall that when Jacob returns from the land of Haran with his wife Rachel [his first cousin] that she had stolen one of the household idols and had it hid in her saddle bag. When her father Laban came to reclaim the idol, not his daughter, she would not get off of the saddle bag where the idol was hid. So idolatry was reintroduced to Abraham’s descendants through Rachel. The Israelites just could not get idol worship out of their system and the 430 years in Egypt did not help. Idol worship was a problem in the wilderness, it was a problem in the time of the Judges and the Kings. Somehow, God used the Babylonian captivity to turn the Israelites against idols. Jeremiah may have hit the nail on the head in chapter 50 where he says thatBabylon was a land of images, a nation gone mad over idols.” Perhaps it was in this context that the Jews got sick of idols. Toward the end of his prophecies, Jeremiah encourages those in captivity to think about Jerusalem. Babylon, a type of the world, was their temporary home. Most of the Israelites were dissatisfied in Babylon and Jeremiah saw this as a good thing. They were not supposed to be satisfied in Babylon because Babylon had no future and it was not their long-term home.

Laban searching for his god

This creates a beautiful picture. This world is not our home. We should not be satisfied here and if we are something is really wrong. Max Lucado said, “The ultimate disaster that can befall us [believers] is to feel ourselves at home in this world“. I would think that the ultimate disaster would be a sentence to hell but I do understand Mr. Lucado’s point. We believers are not to be at home in a world where Jesus was homeless. We are not to settle in a place where Jesus had no place to lay his head. We are not to seek the praise of the world that heaped abuse upon our sinless Savior. We are not to cling selfishly to a life of comfort with no confrontation, content to live inside the camp when Jesus was treated with contempt outside the camp. If you are not totally satisfied with this world, that is a good thing. Jeremiah did not want the Jews to get satisfied with Babylon. Are you happy? I mean 100% happy–No grief, no sorrow, no cares, no worries, no unmet needs, no unfulfilled desires, no shattered dreams, no broken heart–I mean everything is grand and glorious like a pentecostal at a healing service. I think for most of you the answer will be no! No, I am not happy, I am not satisfied, I am not content and there is a deep longing in my soul for something more. GREAT! Welcome to the family of God. You are not supposed to be happy here. Unhappiness on earth cultivates a hunger for heaven. It would be tragic for you to settle for the temporal pleasures and treasures of this world.

Have you heard the parable of the fish? You have not, I am sure.  A man was walking along the beach when he came across a fish that had got caught up in the current of a surging wave and was flopping on the wet sand trying its best to get back into the water. The man picked the fish up and carries the creature to his beach chair. Afraid that the sun would dry the fish out, he puts lotion on the fish but fish is still flopping and flailing and jumps out of the chair and into the hot sand. The man retrieves the fish and starts the process all over again but the fish will not relax.  The man reaches into his cooler and gets out a bud light and offers the fish a drink. He even pours the beer in the fish’s mouth and uses it to wash the sand off of its scales but the fish keep flopping and flailing like something is wrong. I know what it is says the man, the fish is hungry so he gets out a sandwich but the fish will not eat. Frantically, the fish flops into the sand again. The man picked the fish up, puts it back into the chair but the fish just flops right back into the sand. The fish just cannot be content or satisfied when anything that the man offers. “What could I do to help the poor unhappy creature”? said the man. “I could cover it with cash, give it everything that the bar has to offer, I could buy it some $150 sun shades or find a beautiful young woman in a thinly clad swim suit to care for it but none of these things are going to satisfy this creature. Hey, I know what I’ll do, I will put it back in the water”. So the man chases the flopping, flailing, frustrated, frantic, and frightened little fish, picks it up and puts it back in the water, instantly the fish stops flopping, flailing and gently with grace swims out of sight into the deep, deep blue sea. The moral of the story is that fish are made for water and they will never be content on land. You and I were made for heaven and we will never be content in this world. We are not supposed to be; something is tragically wrong if we are.

Insecurity, The Mother Of Broken Relationships

Churches like families are made up of relationships. Family relationships include father, mother, son, daughter and then grandparents, aunt, uncles with cousins, nephews, nieces and so on. When you stretch it into another generation it is prefixed with Great…Great grand mother, great-uncle, etc. Jesus taught us that in the church, His body, we have only one Father and that is our heavenly Father and we members relate to one another as brothers and sisters. So the church is a body made up of many diverse members but we relate to each other like siblings, all having the same father.  A survey was conducted a couple of years ago and the number one characteristic of all growing churches was a “loving fellowship”. People are attracted to loving, caring churches. This does not surprise me. The last thing I would want to do is join an unloving church. We live in a bruised and broken culture and we all need a loving sanctuary. In this world system there is no refuge, no place to rest, to place to get love and acceptance, so the last thing I would want to do is attend fighting church were there was jealously, competition and the fear of being rejected.

Let me present a question for your consideration: is your church a loving church? Before you answer that question, perhaps you should consider this one: are you a part of the problem or do you want to be a part of the solution. The problem in the church is the same as the problem in the home, it is insecurity. We are eaten up with phobias. Jesus recognized this in the life of His disciples, He said, “Why are you afraid?” [Matthew 8:26] As a matter of fact, Jesus began many of his conversations with them with these words, “Be not afraid.” The next time you read the N.T. Testament, underline every verse that contains that phrase; you will be shocked at how often it is repeated.

What are some of the things that make us afraid? Why are we so insecure? After Adam and Eve transgressed they attempted to hide from God. God ask Adam why he was hiding and Adam said, “Because I am naked”. Adam had always been naked; he was created naked but without shame. My grandchildren ran around naked when they were little. It doesn’t bother little kids to run around naked. I have nightmares just thinking about being exposed. There is no danger of me streaking. Adam hid because he felt the shame of his guilt. He was afraid of confronting God. He knew that God was good and that He had specifically warned Adam not to eat the fruit. Adam had sinned and he knew it but something in him [pride] urged him to cover his sin. That is why he hid and that is why he made the apron out of fig leaves. He did not want to be exposed. He did not want the truth known. He was afraid to be naked before holy God but it does not stop there: he no longer felt comfortable being naked in front of his wife. Adam and Eve became inhibited with fear.

We all have insecurity but some to a greater degree than others. People who have been scarred by sexual abuse have a tendency to be grossly insecure. People who have been scarred emotionally have the same tendency. In the first church that I attempted to pastor [18 months, while I was in college], a young lady came to me that was around the age of 16 or 17. She was deeply troubled and she began telling me her story. I have no way of verifying the story and I assume it is true but one way or the other, it illustrates my point. She had been involved in an incestuous affair with her father. Her mother knew, but was in denial. The father had threatened to kick her out if she told anyone. I think most of us live in denial because this kind of thing happens much more than we care to admit. If you had been in an incestuous relationship with a parent, sibling or cousin; would you want anyone to know? Of course not, it is a deeply shameful thing that scars the human heart. I was a bit shocked that she shared her story with me but in reflection, she did the right thing. I did not blame the girl. I counseled with her several times although, in those days, I knew very little about counseling anyone. I did assure her of God’s forgiveness and I tried to demonstrate that through my own life. I treated her with dignity and respect. I am happy to say that she meet a man a few years later and she trusted him with the truth. The last time I heard from them, they were happily married and had a family.

My point is this: insecure people build a fortress of lies around their secret. Their greatest fear is to be known. The young lady in the story above did not allow this stronghold of fear to become a prison, she broke down the very first wall by telling the truth. The devil can not enslave and honest person. The truth will set you free but insecure people are afraid of the truth. They lie and deceive not because they are diabolically mean but because they are terribly afraid…What if people knew? This is why I always recommend Robert McGee’s book, A SEARCH FOR SIGNIFICANCE. Dr. McGee, in a brilliant way, helps the reader to understand that Jesus already knows you deep hidden secrets and He loves you anyway. We build our self-esteem on our relationship with Jesus. Our self-esteem is not based on our relationship with our parents, grandparents or spouses which is some cases is multiple. I knew a woman who was married seven times which is the legal limit in Alabama. She told me that every one of her husbands had a problem. She ask me to perform the seventh wedding and I declined because she would not acknowledge failure in any of the previous relationships. Jesus ran into a woman who had practically the same numbers and He loved her. Jesus loved the fear right out of her and He can love it out of you. The person you should trust first and foremost is JESUS. Everything you tell Him is in confidence and He doesn’t act shocked because He is not: He already knew what you confessed. He doesn’t need to hear the confession to know about your secret, you need to make the confession to begin breaking out of the wall of lies that you are hiding behind.

Everyone has some insecurity and the only way to good sound emotional health is to admit the truth. I am afraid of__________, just fill in the blank. I knew a bachelor who used to say repeatedly, “the only thing I fear is a woman who wants to get married.” That same man slept with a gun under his pillow every night. I would say that he was afraid of more than a woman wanting to get married. What frightens you? Are you afraid of failure. Antiochus Epiphanes, the brutal Assyrian king, died of depression. He was haunted by his fear of failure. As a very young man and preacher, I had panic attacks. I had them in seminary; I had them in Mississippi and I had them when we took our first church in Cherokee. Finally, I slipped home [Athens] and got my mother to line me up with a doctor and he put me in the hospital and did every test imaginable. His final analysis was: Jack, you are healthy as a horse. The only thing that I can find wrong with you is hyper-tension, you are strung tighter than a banjo string. I have something that I will give you to help you relax. He did, it relaxed me all right; I slept for two days. The medication slowed me down to a crawl. I knew that I could not live this way and so I began to pray. The Great Physician told me that my problem was fear, primarily the fear of death. I was a preacher of the gospel who talked about heaven and going there and yet I was afraid to die. It was humiliating. My first thought was to set the medication aside and just prove to myself that I could lick this fear but that is not what my Doctor [Jesus] prescribed. He wanted me to confess my fear publically…more humiliation. How could any good come out of so much humiliation? So I confessed it to my friends and to the church and I stopped taking the medicine. I don’t think I was cured instantly but I never took the medication again. It seemed like the more I confessed my problem, the stronger I became. It got to the point that my reputation preceded me. I’m sure I shared it in the first few weeks here at Danville because a few years later, a dear friend came to me and said, “There is a woman who I want you to talk to, she has been in and out of every hospital in North Alabama but I believe you can help her”. I went with him and he introduced me and told her why we were there: He said “Bro. Jack is going to talk to you and I think he can help you.” Well, I shared my story about my anxiety of death and all the problems it had caused. I was absolutely shocked. She listened with keen interest and thanked me for coming. This happened 30 years ago and to my knowledge, she has not been in a hospital since unless it was to see a friend. A lot of people suffer from psychosomatic illness. The symptoms seem so real but they are generated by fear. If you are willing to be honest about your fear, there is great hope for recovery.

Sorry about the life story: what I want to address is the part that insecurity plays in destroying relationships. Insecure people feel terrible threatened by social or multiple relationships. Insecure people tend to have one, perhaps two friends at a time and they have to feel in control of those relationships. Taking control away from an insecure person will cause panic on their part. They become so desperate in their attempt to control [they think of control the way we think of oxygen] that they will do practically anything. They are notorious for lying. They will undermine any relationship that threatened them. I know grown men who can’t even talk to their mother without their wife being present. There is a word for this; it’s called insanity. I know that I am a male chauvinist but I can not stand to deal with any man who can’t talk to me privately.  I am telling you folks, insecure people can even be jealous of their own children. They are afraid, they feel threatened by other relationships. An insecure person does not want their husband or wife to be popular. They want to be their one and only friend. I knew a man who constantly put his wife’s family down. He would say things like, “They don’t care anything about you…they are just using you…they wouldn’t give you air if you were corked in a bottle”. Why do people do such things? Because they are insecure. They are afraid that their spouse will get along without them.  As a general rule, I pay very little attention to tattling. Why would a person want me to think less of another person? Why would anyone want to tell me how much another person despises me? What’s in that for me? I know that I’m not the most popular guy on the block but it does not edify me for someone to tell me that a certain person hates my guts. The reason I don’t give such things heavy consideration is the motive behind the messenger. Why would you want to undermine any relationship? What’s in it for you? I have four married children and I want them to stay married. I have no intention of undermining any of their marital relationships. From time to time, a church member will blow off steam to me; hey, I am not going to run to the other person and tell them, “Do you know that so and so is upset with you”. Folks, that is sowing discord among the brethren and it comes with a heavy penalty. The route of gossip and tale bearing is insecurity.

I have no doubt in my mind that gossip, which is nothing more than fabricated tales, destroys relationships and hurts churches. Churches lose members over disinformation. I’m not sure that anything hurts a church worse than an unhappy member who is intent on destroying as many relationships as possible. Insecurity can destroy a small group, it can hurt an entire congregation. It is bad enough to have the world to deal with but when our own people distrust each other, it really does damage.

In the 40 DAYS OF COMMUNITY, I came across this statement, “We must love the fear out of others.” Needless to say, that statement convicted me. Over the years I have had very little patience with the extremely insecure. They symptoms of insecurity are easy to spot. Insecure people feel victimized. They think that everyone is dumping on them. They always get the short end of the stick. They do not take responsibility for their mistakes. They play the blame game…everything is always someone else’s fault. They are performers. They are convinced that love is earned; they have no concept of grace. They are highly judgmental and critical. Very few people can meet their demands. They live in  a very small circle, usually, my four and no more. They can destroy a party single-handedly by sitting in the corner and saying nothing. They just sit there and look miserable. It’s like, “You guys are having too much fun, come be miserable with me, at least hear my miserable story about how sorry my parents were, or my husband, or my kids, etc. In other words, insecure people are wet blankets, party poopers and rain makers. They enjoy raining on your parade. So how are we to love a creature like the one described above?

Have you every tried to help a dog off of the highway once it has been hit by a car? You better be careful, they will bite. The entire nature of the dog changes due to the injury. They look fine on the outside but  when there is internal injury, they are afraid that you moving them will cause greater pain and so they react out of fear. Insecure people react out of fear. I think the first thing that we have to do is: [1] Understand that they have been hurt or even scared emotionally. Someone has really disappointed them are hurt them and they did not get the proper healing. [2] Don’t prey upon their weakness. You know what causes them to panic so don’t trigger their panic button just to see them go haywire. You cannot allow them to control your life but there are many things that you can let them control. They cannot survive without some sense of control. Remember, it does not matter if they are really in control so long as they “feel” that they are in control.  [3] Commit to loving the fear out of them. Everybody needs and desires love. Insecure people are convinced that love is earned. You have to demonstrate to them that love is unconditional. None of us deserve God’s love and forgiveness. [4] It is very important that you understand that this person may never change. Insecurity is a self-imposed incarceration. The insecure person may have adapted to life on the inside and they may choose never to come out. Inmates who are incarcerated for long periods of time adapt to prison life and sometimes they do not want to come out; they do not want to become responsible. In prison, all decisions are made for them, there are no bills to be paid and no demands to be met. Sometimes they become so conditioned to this life of dependency that they fear freedom and responsiblity. The same is true with the insecure. You have to commit to loving them the way they are; not as you wish them to be. You also have to accept the fact that they may never change.