Strategies for Seeing Anew #19

…towards self-control and peace

An example from a Primary classroom
An example from a Secondary classroom

What does this mean?

Self-control is a societal issue (Proverbs 16:32) – lack of self-control leads to people not accepting limits to behaviour and harming others through their choices. Patience is one of the keys to self-control. Patience is actively experiencing the time we are in and not rushing onto the next thing. It is not a passive virtue.
 
Self-control is listed as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:6-8). Self-control is the right use of our power to direct our will with God’s help. The Holy Spirit works within us as individuals and as a Christian community to develop self-restraint, self-discipline and self-control in what we think, feel and do. Self-control restricts some things in order to let other things flourish. Self-control is a form of strength. A person without self-control is viewed as vulnerable in the Bible – like a city with a hole in its walls (Proverbs 25:28).
Self-control is the exercise of inner strength under the direction of sound judgement that enables us to do, think, and say the things that are pleasing to God. Jerry Bridges
One area in which we need to exercise self-control is in relation to anger and frustration. Anger is often borne of frustration – things don’t happen quickly enough for us. Anger itself is not necessarily wrong. Anger can focus on injustice and it can be the engine of change, once channelled correctly. Jesus was angry with the money changers, with the disciples when they sent the children away (Mark 10:14) and with religious leaders who made rules more important than healing (Mark 3:5). However, anger also often occurs when our self-interest has been challenged. The Bible is full of advice about anger: deal with anger quickly (Ephesians 4:26); speak gently and you will calm people down (Proverbs 15:1). Dealing with selfishness cures much anger.
The first thing to understand about anger is that it isn't always a bad thing. Many people, especially Christians, have the mistaken notion that anger is intrinsically evil. As a result, they feel needless guilt … The issue of self-control is the question of how we deal with anger. Violence, tantrums, bitterness, resentment, hostility, and even withdrawn silence are all sinful responses to anger. R. C. Sproul
Self-control also curbs other vices, such as greed, lust, slander and gluttony. Jesus’ life and teaching embodied God’s peace (Shalom) which is about wholeness and just relationships and not just a lack of conflict. Biblical peace is when there is harmony in relationships, minds, bodies and in the wider world. It is a positive peace in which people flourish. That experience of the peace of God is a foretaste of his peace to come (John 14:27). Having peace does not mean that life will be easy; sometimes we have to disturb an unjust false peace to create a just one. Having received peace from God we are called to live in peace as far as it depends on us (Romans 12:18).
 
Contentment is the opposite of dissatisfaction and discontent which are about wanting more and more (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Contentment is not complacency, it is shifting the focus from what we don’t have to what we do have (1Timothy 6-7), and from our desire for more to appreciation and thankfulness. Contentment has its roots in believing life is a gift not a right.
 
This section is about moving towards self-control and peace. You may wish to think about where people move from; is it a move from a conscious refusal to accept limits or from a lack of training in self-control? Is it a move from anxiety or anger or from sentimental images of peace?

What does this mean in school?

Anger, peace, patience and contentment are issues that arise in many subjects from history and geography to science and design.
  • In English draw attention to stories, poems and drama that explore patience and contentment, anger and peace.
  • Create a peaceful atmosphere for teaching and learning about peace, patience and contentment.
  • There are big questions to be explored such as: ‘Should we design adverts that create discontent and more and more consumption?’ ‘Is this peace treaty peace in biblical terms?’
  • Look at the role of self-control in history, writing, personal development (PSHE) and sport.
  • Draw attention to different understandings of anger and peace. For example, you might give a range of examples and ask students to create criteria for distinguishing between the different types of anger and peace.
Does some of the material you teach sometimes stir righteous anger? Think of a time when what was being taught made students angry; was it because it highlighted injustice or because it challenged their self-interests in some way?
 
More ways of seeing anew
Next way of seeing anew
 
1We humans make plans, but the Lord has the final word. 2We may think we know what is right, but the Lord is the judge of our motives. 3Share your plans with the Lord , and you will succeed. 4The Lord has a reason for everything he does, and he lets evil people live only to be punished. 5The Lord doesn't like anyone who is conceited you can be sure they will be punished. 6If we truly love God, our sins will be forgiven; if we show him respect, we will keep away from sin. 7When we please the Lord , even our enemies make friends with us. 8It's better to be honest and poor than to be dishonest and rich. 9We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go. 10Rulers speak with authority and are never wrong. 11The Lord doesn't like it when we cheat in business. 12Justice makes rulers powerful. They should hate evil 13and like honesty and truth. 14An angry ruler can put you to death. So be wise! Don't make one angry. 15When a ruler is happy and pleased with you, it's like refreshing rain, and you will live. 16It's much better to be wise and sensible than to be rich. 17God's people avoid evil ways, and they protect themselves by watching where they go. 18Too much pride will destroy you. 19You are better off being humble and poor than getting rich from what you take by force. 20If you know what you're doing, you will prosper. God blesses everyone who trusts him. 21Good judgment proves that you are wise, and if you speak kindly, you can teach others. 22Good sense is a fountain that gives life, but fools are punished by their foolishness. 23You can persuade others if you are wise and speak sensibly. 24Kind words are like honey they cheer you up and make you feel strong. 25Sometimes what seems right is really a road to death. 26The hungrier you are, the harder you work. 27Worthless people plan trouble. Even their words burn like a flaming fire. 28Gossip is no good! It causes hard feelings and comes between friends. 29Don't trust violent people. They will mislead you to do the wrong thing. 30When someone winks or grins behind your back, trouble is on the way. 31Grey hair is a glorious crown worn by those who have lived right. 32Controlling your temper is better than being a hero who captures a city. 33We make our own decisions, but the Lord alone determines what happens. Our thoughts are tested by the Lord
1From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus. God himself chose me to be an apostle, and he gave me the promised life that Jesus Christ makes possible. 2Timothy, you are like a dear child to me. I pray that God our Father and our Lord Christ Jesus will be kind and merciful to you and will bless you with peace! 3Night and day I mention you in my prayers. I am always grateful for you, as I pray to the God my ancestors and I have served with a clear conscience. 4I remember how you cried, and I want to see you, because that will make me truly happy. 5I also remember the genuine faith of your mother Eunice. Your grandmother Lois had the same sort of faith, and I am sure that you have it as well. 6So I ask you to make full use of the gift that God gave you when I placed my hands on you. Use it well. 7God's Spirit doesn't make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control. 8Don't be ashamed to speak for our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, just because I am in jail for serving him. Use the power that comes from God and join with me in suffering for telling the good news. 9God saved us and chose us to be his holy people. We did nothing to deserve this, but God planned it because he is so kind. Even before time began God planned for Christ Jesus to show kindness to us. 10Now Christ Jesus has come to show us the kindness of God. Christ our Saviour defeated death and brought us the good news. It shines like a light and offers life that never ends. 11My work is to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher. 12That's why I am suffering now. But I am not ashamed! I know the one I have faith in, and I am sure that he can guard until the last day what he has trusted me with. 13Now follow the example of the correct teaching I gave you, and let the faith and love of Christ Jesus be your model. 14You have been trusted with a wonderful treasure. Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives within you. 15You know that everyone in Asia has turned against me, especially Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16I pray that the Lord will be kind to the family of Onesiphorus. He often cheered me up and wasn't ashamed of me when I was put in jail. 17Then after he arrived in Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. 18I pray that the Lord Jesus will ask God to show mercy to Onesiphorus on the day of judgment. You know how much he helped me in Ephesus.
1Here are more of Solomon's proverbs. They were copied by the officials of King Hezekiah of Judah. 2God is praised for being mysterious; rulers are praised for explaining mysteries. 3Who can fully understand the thoughts of a ruler? They reach beyond the sky and go deep in the earth. 4Silver must be purified before it can be used to make something of value. 5Evil people must be removed before anyone can rule with justice. 6Don't try to seem important in the court of a ruler. 7It's better for the ruler to give you a high position than for you to be embarrassed in front of royal officials. Be sure you are right 8before you sue someone, or you might lose your case and be embarrassed. 9When you and someone else can't get along, don't gossip about it. 10Others will find out, and your reputation will then be ruined. 11The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver. 12Listening to good advice is worth much more than jewellery made of gold. 13A messenger you can trust is just as refreshing as cool water in summer. 14Broken promises are worse than rain clouds that don't bring rain. 15Patience and gentle talk can convince a ruler and overcome any problem. 16Eating too much honey can make you sick. 17Don't visit friends too often, or they will get tired of it and start hating you. 18Telling lies about friends is like attacking them with clubs and swords and sharp arrows. 19A friend you can't trust in times of trouble is like having a toothache or a sore foot. 20Singing to someone in deep sorrow is like pouring vinegar in an open cut. 21If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. 22This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads. And the Lord will reward you. 23As surely as rain blows in from the north, anger is caused by cruel words. 24It's better to stay outside on the roof of your house than to live inside with a nagging wife. 25Good news from far away refreshes like cold water when you are thirsty. 26When a good person gives in to the wicked, it's like dumping rubbish in a stream of clear water. 27Don't eat too much honey or always want praise. 28Losing self-control leaves you as helpless as a city without a wall. Don't be a fool
1After Jesus left, he went to Judea and then on to the other side of the River Jordan. Once again large crowds came to him, and as usual, he taught them. 2Some Pharisees wanted to test Jesus. So they came up to him and asked if it was right for a man to divorce his wife. 3Jesus asked them, What does the Law of Moses say about that? 4They answered, Moses allows a man to write out divorce papers and send his wife away. 5Jesus replied, Moses gave you this law because you are so heartless. 6But in the beginning God made a man and a woman. 7That's why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married. 8He becomes like one person with his wife. Then they are no longer two people, but one. 9And no one should separate a couple that God has joined together. 10When Jesus and his disciples were back in the house, they asked him about what he had said. 11He told them, A man who divorces his wife and marries someone else is unfaithful to his wife. 12A woman who divorces her husband and marries again is also unfaithful. Jesus blesses little children (Matthew 19.13-15; Luke 18.15-17) 13Some people brought their children to Jesus so that he could bless them by placing his hands on them. But his disciples told the people to stop bothering him. 14When Jesus saw this, he became angry and said, Let the children come to me! Don't try to stop them. People who are like these little children belong to the kingdom of God. 15I promise you that you cannot get into God's kingdom, unless you accept it the way a child does. 16Then Jesus took the children in his arms and blessed them by placing his hands on them. A rich man (Matthew 19.16-30; Luke 18.18-30) 17As Jesus was walking down a road, a man ran up to him. He knelt down, and asked, Good teacher, what can I do to have eternal life? 18Jesus replied, Why do you call me good? Only God is good. 19You know the commandments. Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Do not cheat. Respect your father and mother. 20The man answered, Teacher, I have obeyed all these commandments since I was a young man. 21Jesus looked closely at the man. He liked him and said, There's one thing you still need to do. Go and sell everything you own. Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come with me. 22When the man heard Jesus say this, he went away gloomy and sad because he was very rich. 23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, It's hard for rich people to get into God's kingdom! 24The disciples were shocked to hear this. So Jesus told them again, It's terribly hard to get into God's kingdom! 25In fact, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God's kingdom. 26Jesus' disciples were even more amazed. They asked each other, How can anyone ever be saved? 27Jesus looked at them and said, There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything. 28Peter replied, Remember, we left everything to be your followers! 29Jesus told him: You can be sure that anyone who gives up home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or land for me and for the good news 30will be rewarded. In this world they will be given a hundred times as many houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and pieces of land, though they will also be ill-treated. And in the world to come, they will have eternal life. 31But many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first. Jesus again tells about his death (Matthew 20.17-19; Luke 18.31-34) 32The disciples were confused as Jesus led them towards Jerusalem, and his other followers were afraid. Once again, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and told them what was going to happen to him. He said: 33We are now on our way to Jerusalem where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses. They will sentence him to death and hand him over to foreigners, 34who will make fun of him and spit on him. They will beat him and kill him. But three days later he will rise to life. The request of James and John (Matthew 20.20-28) 35James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus and asked, Teacher, will you do us a favour? 36Jesus asked them what they wanted, 37and they answered, When you come into your glory, please let one of us sit at your right side and the other at your left. 38Jesus told them, You don't really know what you're asking! Are you able to drink from the cup that I must soon drink from or be baptized as I must be baptized? 39Yes, we are! James and John answered. Then Jesus replied, You certainly will drink from the cup from which I must drink. And you will be baptized just as I must! 40But it isn't for me to say who will sit at my right side and at my left. That is for God to decide. 41When the ten other disciples heard this, they were angry with James and John. 42But Jesus called the disciples together and said: You know that those foreigners who call themselves kings like to order their people around. And their great leaders have full power over the people they rule. 43But don't act like them. If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others. 44And if you want to be first, you must be everyone's slave. 45The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue many people. Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus (Matthew 20.29-34; Luke 18.35-43) 46Jesus and his disciples went to Jericho. And as they were leaving, they were followed by a large crowd. A blind beggar called Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting beside the road. 47When he heard that it was Jesus from Nazareth, he shouted, Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me! 48Many people told the man to stop, but he shouted even louder, Son of David, have pity on me! 49Jesus stopped and said, Call him over! They called out to the blind man and said, Don't be afraid! Come on! He is calling for you. 50The man threw off his coat as he jumped up and ran to Jesus. 51Jesus asked, What do you want me to do for you? The blind man answered, Master, I want to see! 52Jesus told him, You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith. Straight away the man could see, and he went down the road with Jesus. Jesus enters Jerusalem (Matthew 21.1-11; Luke 19.28-40; John 12.12-19)
1The next time that Jesus went into the meeting place, a man with a crippled hand was there. 2The Pharisees wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong, and they kept watching to see if Jesus would heal him on the Sabbath. 3Jesus told the man to stand up where everyone could see him. 4Then he asked, On the Sabbath should we do good deeds or evil deeds? Should we save someone's life or destroy it? But no one said a word. 5Jesus was angry as he looked around at the people. Yet he felt sorry for them because they were so stubborn. Then he told the man, Stretch out your hand. He did, and his bad hand was healed. 6The Pharisees left. And straight away they started making plans with Herod's followers to kill Jesus. Large crowds come to Jesus 7Jesus led his disciples down to the shore of the lake. Large crowds followed him from Galilee, Judea, 8and Jerusalem. People came from Idumea, as well as other places east of the River Jordan. They also came from the region around the cities of Tyre and Sidon. All these crowds came because they had heard what Jesus was doing. 9He even had to tell his disciples to get a boat ready to keep him from being crushed by the crowds. 10After Jesus had healed many people, the other sick people begged him to let them touch him. 11And whenever any evil spirits saw Jesus, they would fall to the ground and shout, You are the Son of God! 12But Jesus warned the spirits not to tell who he was. Jesus chooses his twelve apostles (Matthew 10.1-4; Luke 6.12-16) 13Jesus decided to ask some of his disciples to go up on a mountain with him, and they went. 14Then he chose twelve of them to be his apostles, so that they could be with him. He also wanted to send them out to preach 15and to force out demons. 16Simon was one of the twelve, and Jesus named him Peter. 17There were also James and John, the two sons of Zebedee. Jesus called them Boanerges, which means Thunderbolts. 18Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus were also apostles. The others were Simon, known as the Eager One, 19and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus. Jesus and the ruler of demons (Matthew 12.22-32; Luke 11.14-23; 12.10) 20Jesus went back home, and once again such a large crowd gathered that there was no chance even to eat. 21When Jesus' family heard what he was doing, they thought he was mad and went to get him under control. 22Some teachers of the Law of Moses came from Jerusalem and said, This man is under the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons! He is even forcing out demons with the help of Beelzebul. 23Jesus told the people to gather around him. Then he spoke to them in riddles and said: How can Satan force himself out? 24A nation whose people fight each other won't last very long. 25And a family that fights won't last long either. 26So if Satan fights against himself, that will be the end of him. 27How can anyone break into the house of a strong man and steal his things, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can take everything. 28I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are. 29But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven. That sin will be held against you for ever. 30Jesus said this because the people were saying that he had an evil spirit in him. Jesus' mother and brothers (Matthew 12.46-50; Luke 8.19-21) 31Jesus' mother and brothers came and stood outside. Then they sent someone with a message for him to come out to them. 32The crowd that was sitting around Jesus told him, Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside and want to see you. 33Jesus asked, Who is my mother and who are my brothers? 34Then he looked at the people sitting around him and said, Here are my mother and my brothers. 35Anyone who obeys God is my brother or sister or mother. A story about a farmer (Matthew 13.1-9; Luke 8.4-8)
1As a prisoner of the Lord, I beg you to live in a way that is worthy of the people God has chosen to be his own. 2Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. 3Try your best to let God's Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace. 4All of you are part of the same body. There is only one Spirit of God, just as you were given one hope when you were chosen to be God's people. 5We have only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. 6There is one God who is the Father of all people. Not only is God above all others, but he works by using all of us, and he lives in all of us. 7Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us. 8As the Scriptures say, When he went up to the highest place, he led away many prisoners and gave gifts to people. 9When it says, he went up, it means that Christ had been deep in the earth. 10This also means that the one who went deep into the earth is the same one who went into the highest heaven, so that he would fill the whole universe. 11Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers, 12so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong. 13This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him. 14We must stop acting like children. We must not let deceitful people trick us by their false teachings, which are like winds that toss us around from place to place. 15Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head 16of the body. Christ holds it together and makes all its parts work perfectly, as it grows and becomes strong because of love. The old life and the new life 17As a follower of the Lord, I order you to stop living like stupid, godless people. 18Their minds are in the dark, and they are stubborn and ignorant and have missed out on the life that comes from God. They no longer have any feelings about what is right, 19and they are so greedy that they do all kinds of indecent things. 20But that isn't what you were taught about Jesus Christ. He is the truth, and you heard about him and learnt about him. 22You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. 23Let the Spirit change your way of thinking 24and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy. Rules for the new life 25We are part of the same body. Stop lying and start telling each other the truth. 26Don't get so angry that you sin. Don't go to bed angry 27and don't give the devil a chance. 28If you are a thief, stop stealing. Be honest and work hard, so you will have something to give to people in need. 29Stop all your dirty talk. Say the right thing at the right time and help others by what you say. 30Don't make God's Spirit sad. The Spirit makes you sure that some day you will be free from your sins. 31Stop being bitter and angry with others. Don't yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. 32Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.
1A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up. 2Words of wisdom come from the wise, but fools speak foolishness. 3The Lord sees everything, whether good or bad. 4Kind words are good medicine, but deceitful words can really hurt. 5Don't be a fool and disobey your parents. Be clever! Accept correction. 6Good people become wealthy, but those who are evil will lose what they have. 7Words of wisdom make good sense; the thoughts of a fool make no sense at all. 8The Lord is disgusted by gifts from the wicked, but it makes him happy when his people pray. 9The Lord is disgusted with all who do wrong, but he loves everyone who does right. 10If you turn from the right way, you will be punished; if you refuse correction, you will die. 11If the Lord can see everything in the world of the dead, he can see in our hearts. 12Those who sneer at others don't like to be corrected, and they won't ask help from someone with sense. 13Happiness makes you smile; sorrow can crush you. 14Anyone with good sense is eager to learn more, but fools are hungry for foolishness. 15The poor have a hard life, but being content is as good as an endless feast. 16It's better to obey the Lord and have only a little, than to be very rich and terribly confused. 17A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. 18Losing your temper causes a lot of trouble, but staying calm settles arguments. 19Being lazy is like walking in a thorn patch, but everyone who does right walks on a smooth road. 20Children with good sense make their parents happy, but foolish children are hateful to them. 21Stupidity brings happiness to senseless fools, but everyone with good sense follows the straight path. 22Without good advice everything goes wrong it takes careful planning for things to go right. 23Giving the right answer at the right time makes everyone happy. 24All who are wise follow a road that leads upward to life and away from death. 25The Lord destroys the homes of those who are proud, but he protects the property of widows. 26The Lord hates evil thoughts, but kind words please him. 27Being greedy causes trouble for your family, but you protect yourself by refusing bribes. 28Good people think before they answer, but the wicked speak evil without ever thinking. 29The Lord never even hears the prayers of the wicked, but he answers the prayers of all who obey him. 30A friendly smile makes you happy, and good news makes you feel strong. 31Healthy correction is good, and if you accept it, you will be wise. 32You hurt only yourself by rejecting instruction, but it makes good sense to accept it. 33Showing respect to the Lord will make you wise, and being humble will bring honour to you. The Lord has the final word
1Jesus said to his disciples, Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me. 2There are many rooms in my Father's house. I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. 3After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together. 4You know the way to where I am going. 5Thomas said, Lord, we don't even know where you are going! How can we know the way? 6I am the way, the truth, and the life! Jesus answered. Without me, no one can go to the Father. 7If you had known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him. 8Philip said, Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need. 9Jesus replied: Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don't you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? 10Don't you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn't said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things. 11Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. 12I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. 13Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honour to the Father. 14I will do whatever you ask me to do. The Holy Spirit is promised 15Jesus said to his disciples: If you love me, you will do as I command. 16Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. 17The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don't see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you. 18I won't leave you like orphans. I will come back to you. 19In a little while the people of this world won't be able to see me, but you will see me. And because I live, you will live. 20Then you will know that I am one with the Father. You will know that you are one with me, and I am one with you. 21If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like. 22The other Judas, not Judas Iscariot, then spoke up and asked, Lord, what do you mean by saying that you will show us what you are like, but you will not show the people of this world? 23Jesus replied: If anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to them and live in them. 24But anyone who doesn't love me, won't obey me. What they have heard me say doesn't really come from me, but from the Father who sent me. 25I have told you these things while I am still with you. 26But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you. 27I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn't like the peace that this world can give. So don't be worried or afraid. 28You have already heard me say that I am going and that I will also come back to you. If you really love me, you should be glad that I am going back to the Father, because he is greater than I am. 29I am telling you this before I leave, so that when it does happen, you will have faith in me. 30I cannot speak with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. But he has no power over me. 31I obey my Father, so that everyone in the world might know that I love him. It is time for us to go now. Jesus is the true vine
1Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That's the most sensible way to serve God. 2Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him. 3I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you. 4A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. 5That's how it is with us. There are many of us, but we are each part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another. 6God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. 7If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. 8If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully. Rules for Christian living 9Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. 10Love each other as brothers and sisters and honour others more than you do yourself. 11Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. 12Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. 13Take care of God's needy people and welcome strangers into your home. 14Ask God to bless everyone who ill-treats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. 15When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. 16Be friendly with everyone. Don't be proud and feel that you are cleverer than others. Make friends with ordinary people. 17Don't ill-treat someone who has ill-treated you. But try to earn the respect of others, 18and do your best to live at peace with everyone. 19Dear friends, don't try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says, I am the one to take revenge and pay them back. 20The Scriptures also say, If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads. 21Don't let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good. Obey rulers
1Be careful what you do when you enter the house of God. Some fools go there to offer sacrifices, even though they haven't sinned. But it's best just to listen when you go to worship. 2Don't talk before you think or make promises to God without thinking them through. God is in heaven, and you are on earth, so don't talk too much. 3If you keep thinking about something, you will dream about it. If you talk too much, you will say the wrong thing. 4God doesn't like fools. So don't be slow to keep your promises to God. 5It's better not to make a promise at all than to make one and not keep it. 6Don't let your mouth get you in trouble! And don't say to the worship leader, I didn't mean what I said. God can destroy everything you have worked for, so don't say something that makes God angry. 7Respect and obey God! Daydreaming leads to a lot of senseless talk. 8Don't be surprised if the poor of your country are abused, and injustice takes the place of justice. After all, the lower officials must do what the higher ones order them to do. 9And since the king is the highest official, he benefits most from the taxes paid on the land. 10If you love money and wealth, you will never be satisfied with what you have. This doesn't make sense either. 11The more you have, the more everyone expects from you. Your money won't do you any goodothers will just spend it for you. 12If you have to work hard for a living, you can rest well at night, even if you don't have much to eat. But if you are rich, you can't even sleep. 13I have seen something terribly unfair. People get rich, but it does them no good. 14Suddenly they lose everything in a bad business deal, then have nothing to leave for their children. 15They came into this world naked, and when they die, they will be just as naked. They can't take anything with them, and they won't have anything to show for all their work. 16That's terribly unfair. They leave the world just as they came into it. They gained nothing from running after the wind. 17Besides all this, they are always gloomy at mealtimes, and they are troubled, sick, and bitter. 18What is the best thing to do in the short life that God has given us? I think we should enjoy eating, drinking, and working hard. This is what God intends us to do. 19Suppose you are very rich and able to enjoy everything you own. Then go ahead and enjoy working hardthis is God's gift to you. 20God will keep you so happy that you won't have time to worry about each day. Don't depend on wealth
1Be careful what you do when you enter the house of God. Some fools go there to offer sacrifices, even though they haven't sinned. But it's best just to listen when you go to worship. 2Don't talk before you think or make promises to God without thinking them through. God is in heaven, and you are on earth, so don't talk too much. 3If you keep thinking about something, you will dream about it. If you talk too much, you will say the wrong thing. 4God doesn't like fools. So don't be slow to keep your promises to God. 5It's better not to make a promise at all than to make one and not keep it. 6Don't let your mouth get you in trouble! And don't say to the worship leader, I didn't mean what I said. God can destroy everything you have worked for, so don't say something that makes God angry. 7Respect and obey God! Daydreaming leads to a lot of senseless talk. 8Don't be surprised if the poor of your country are abused, and injustice takes the place of justice. After all, the lower officials must do what the higher ones order them to do. 9And since the king is the highest official, he benefits most from the taxes paid on the land. 10If you love money and wealth, you will never be satisfied with what you have. This doesn't make sense either. 11The more you have, the more everyone expects from you. Your money won't do you any goodothers will just spend it for you. 12If you have to work hard for a living, you can rest well at night, even if you don't have much to eat. But if you are rich, you can't even sleep. 13I have seen something terribly unfair. People get rich, but it does them no good. 14Suddenly they lose everything in a bad business deal, then have nothing to leave for their children. 15They came into this world naked, and when they die, they will be just as naked. They can't take anything with them, and they won't have anything to show for all their work. 16That's terribly unfair. They leave the world just as they came into it. They gained nothing from running after the wind. 17Besides all this, they are always gloomy at mealtimes, and they are troubled, sick, and bitter. 18What is the best thing to do in the short life that God has given us? I think we should enjoy eating, drinking, and working hard. This is what God intends us to do. 19Suppose you are very rich and able to enjoy everything you own. Then go ahead and enjoy working hardthis is God's gift to you. 20God will keep you so happy that you won't have time to worry about each day. Don't depend on wealth