Category Archives: Sin

All podcasts on sin.

Words Matter

Words Matter a blog by Vince Miller of Mens Bible Studies

Words Matter When Opinions Divide

When we disagree with others, the words we use to state our convictions matters.

We live in a time of increasing polarization around issues that people care about deeply. It is painful to watch the news today as pundits, anchors, and commentators paint ugly caricatures of those with whom they disagree. On all sides of the political spectrum, there's demonization of the opposing party. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in our country as well as hate groups who cherish the color of their skin and hate those who are different from them. The veneer of civilization can be fragile.

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What Would Jesus Say To Us?
We are not exempt from participating in demeaning discussions of others. But here is what Jesus reminds us.

"The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:45

What Jesus is saying is that our words matter because they reflect the condition of our hearts. Demeaning words indicate a demeaning heart toward others. Dismissive words reflect a dismissive heart toward others. Ugly words reflect an ugly heart toward others. Consider Jesus's approach to those we dislike.

"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:35-36

Wow! Compare that heart response to what is happening in today's world.

How Can We Live With Conviction?
Jesus doesn't tell us to remain silent. He would want us to speak up. It is how we communicate our convictions that matter. We need not apologize for our convictions. But we should state our convictions with love and respect for those with whom we might disagree. We can disagree with their position while still respecting them in the process. Rather than an attitude of condemnation, Jesus tells us to be merciful as our Father is merciful. Even God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. So much more so we ought to be, no matter what our disagreements with their positions. Paul gives us an excellent principle for how we speak.

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:29-32

Try it! You will not only like the result, but you will surprise others and gain a hearing that you otherwise would not have. Most of all, you will be more like Jesus.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Live Life Backwards

Live Life Backward a blog by Vince Miller

Live Life Backwards

Sometimes it's good to reverse engineer life or as I call it "live life backward." Often this way of thinking helps us to understand a process, realize how something is constructed, or discover how we arrived at a final result. But I believe even more it can help us to live and leave a godly legacy - which should be the goal of every man. So what does it look like to "think backward" about our life?

Legacy leadership is marked by how we're remembered and the impact we leave after life is done. When we take our last breath we'll each leave behind temporal things - golf clubs, cabins, boats, and even that retirement account we been investing in for years. That's because they are only temporal tools and enjoyments. While they hold value in the present, on the day you take your last breath they won't matter a lick. And this is evidence that legacy is less about temporal stuff. It requires us to determine what we want to be remembered for and then make conscious choices that will achieve that legacy. So how do we do this?

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First | Determine What's Important To You.
Begin by listing what matters when your legacy is complete: family; marriage; relationships; children; faith; and write them down. This is the kind of thing that is great for a journal which every man should have. Get one here.

Having identified the critical legacy items of your life, take some time to write a few sentences or a paragraph on each one that describes why these are important and how they will impact your legacy. Be specific. God has given you one life to live with limited time so the more precise you can be in each of these areas the easier it is to focus on the right duties now before then.

Second | Write A Plan For Each Area.
Our legacy is built one decision at a time, one day at a time, one year at a time. It is about consistently paying attention to the essential areas of life and building a legacy through healthy habits and supporting disciplines in that arena of life. Take marriage for example. If you want to leave a legacy of a healthy, committed, close and happy marriage, it is going to require attention to your spouse and your contribution to that relationship. You need a plan, and then you need to work that plan. This is why it is helpful to have an annual plan that takes each of these areas of life into account.

Make sure that you can measure your progress and activities in each area. Remember legacy is built one decision at a time, one day at a time, one year at a time. Annually, take some time to determine how you are doing in each area and what modifications you need to make.

Third | Be Accountable To The Plan.
Plans are just ideas, dreams, and visions unless they are combined with action and accountability. Remember that every time you give attention, availability, action, and accountability to your plan you're building a legacy. Without a plan and you will live "on accident" not "on purpose" and thus miss the point of living life backward. Work your plan and focus on the important issues and you will leave a powerful legacy that honors Jesus and leaves an example to those around you. To leave a legacy, you need to live life backward.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Becoming A Man Who Battles Sin

King David The Battle a blog by Vince Miller of Resolute

Becoming A Man Who Battles Sin

We can either go to war or be defeated when it comes to sin. Let's battle!

It didn't take long for the results of the fall in the garden of Eden to manifest itself elsewhere. Take for instance the murder of Abel by Cain, both sons of the first father and mother (Adam and Eve). Prior to Cain murdering Abel, God had said this to him. "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it." Genesis 4:6-7

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War is not a metaphor for many things but it's definitely one for fighting sin. Sin is a constant battle: our human nature gravitates toward sin while our spiritual calling demands holiness. We battle gods of many kinds. For example, the god of money believing that our toys and possessions give human life meaning. We battle the god of sex and the pursuit of God's great gift outside of a committed marriage. Those are two powerful human influences and require supernatural effort.

Don't Be Passive In The Battle.
Passive soldiers get defeated, and a lot of men are getting defeated by fleshly desires. Why? They don't believe they have the strength to stand up and declare "No!" They are shamed by their past mistakes or they are just apathetic and believe their efforts will make no difference. But our effort makes a difference. When we engage the battle great things happen.

If you have watched modern day soldiers get suited up for battle, you know how much they prepare for the battle they face. They gear up with helmets; flack jackets; ammunition; boots; night vision goggles; earpieces and weaponry and all the additional gear that goes in the packs. It is pretty impressive. Yet, we go into our day with little thought about the battles we will fight that day or the defensive and offensive gear that we need spiritually in order to fight our battles. It is no wonder we are defeated by sin. This is because passivity never works when we come to battle.

Go Into Battle Prepared.
Each of us knows where we're most vulnerable. Don't go into a new day without a plan for how you will handle your vulnerabilities. Not to do so is stupidity. First, devise a plan each day on how you will prepare for your days battle with your sin. Second, engage the weapon of prayer during the day asking God to help you deter and battle your sinful tendencies. Third, build a band of brothers and be candid with them who can encourage you and hold you accountable. Fourth, study Ephesians 6 regarding the armor of God and dig in deep in making better preparation in your heart and mind.

Those who downplay sin get defeated by it and lose the battle. Those who take it seriously and prepare are ready for victory through the Spirit. Take sin lightly and you will pay a terrible price ultimately. Take it seriously and you will prevail, or better God through you. Remember: "sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Purity In Our Opposite-Sex Relationships

Purity a blog by Vince Miller of Resolute Mens Ministry

Purity In Our Opposite-Sex Relationships

Why our conduct with women matters today, and God's standard for what men call "locker room talk."

The topic of sexual ethics is getting a lot of press today. Maybe because men are behaving so poorly in their interactions with people, but also because the #MeToo movement is highlighting this. But issues of this nature shouldn't surprise us given the increase and even constant bombardment of sexual themes on radio, television, and the prolific presence of pornography on the web. And it raises the question, in an age of sexual bombardment, "How should a man of God conduct himself sexually with men and women in life?"

God's standard is not a hint.
Consider these words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:3-4. "But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving."

The NIV reads this way, "not even a hint," which is the standard for a follower of Christ. We don't need a #MeToo movement, because God has given us the #notevenahint mandate that implies impurity of any kind, including sexual impurity, is just not compatible with God's plan nor our holiness. Sexual expression, while permissible, has appropriate boundaries in the Bible. And while contemporary radio, television, and the web attempt to redefine these boundaries by turning sexual acts, innuendos, and joking into entertainment this does not infer that their limits (or lack of them) are appropriate for conduct among followers of Christ.

Purity is the aim.
"Not a hint," means that our relationships with women are to be pure and respectful as if all women were our relatives, siblings, mother, or grandmother for that matter. We should be protective of women who are made in God's image as if we are relatives to them – never exploitive, condescending, or treat them as objects. In fact, as Christians, we are called to treat all people with honor and respect. And whenever a relationship with a woman, other than our spouse, becomes sensitive, suggestive, sensual, or sexual in talk or touch we should back out, regardless the cost, because it is a violation of God's standard of purity. Case in point: Joseph and Potiphar's wife. While Joseph ran from her sexual advances, which was right, there was a price to pay, which was high. But this cost was not as high as paying the price of integrity, holiness, and purity.

Locker room talk is not acceptable.
Both men and women are capable of vulgar sexual conversation with friends. You have heard both genders engage in hypersexual talk, as have I. Men often write it off as "locker room talk," as if there is a place where such language and conversation is acceptable. We do this because we falsely believe the lie that, "men will be men." But if the standard is that our lives display "not even a hint" of sexual immorality or any impurity, this is not a conversation that we should ever be party to. We are temples of the Holy Spirit, and anywhere we go, and wherever we have a discussion, God is there, and we grieve him when that conversation is impure or immoral. Locker room talk has no place in the life of a Godly man.

The next time you are in a situation where language, attitudes or actions cross a line into impurity remind yourself: Not even a hint.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Understand Your Pride

Know Your Pride a daily devotional by Vince Miller

Understand Your Pride

"Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall."

Proverbs 16:18

Men who accomplish an extraordinary level of prosperity, prestige, or position often become immortalized by the world. This could be an athlete, business leader, or well-known author. And sometimes the elevation of these men by others has a way of distorting their view of self and the world around them. I am sure you can think of more than one example of a man whose fame has gone to his head.

But a man who knows his pride, and when and how it manifests itself can resist it before it distorts his view of self and damages his identity, character, and relationships.

One outstanding quality of Jesus was his willingness to humbly live out his identity and position or great power yet persistently redirect attention away from himself to his Father.

DO THIS TODAY: Understand your pride and living humbly.

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