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12/12/2010

LIVING UNDER A CURSE



Recently, I was reviewing a situation, and the only answer to the problems presented seemed to be the possibility of a curse. Now, I am not one to lightly bandy that term around. I feel it has been misused in the past and used far too glibly. Yet, in this situation it seems to fit.






At issue: An institution unable to get ahead, unable to achieve any of its goals, to become what its destiny implied, unable to identify and follow a vision with honor, and an institution with a track record of viewing its human resources as a disposable commodity. This last element, especially, seems the most likely vehicle by which a "curse" or similar proclamation may have been levied.




Such actions tend to generate discord, if not downright hate, and from such hurt and pain arise careless actions or words. Such actions also tend to violate solid Christian principles of righteous actions and fundamental principles of ethics, love, and concern.






CURSING ELEMENTS

How were those O.T. curses voiced? They often included declarations that -


1. Your Plans would come to naught. Despite strategic plans, goals, well orchestrated emphasis, and visions of possibilities, there is in the end complete failure. The target is not reached. Every effort falls terribly short of its intended goal despite all efforts to the contrary.


2. Your Wells would go dry. Wells provide nourishment, they enhance life by their existence (shade and life emerge around the well or watering place). The water is symbolic of new life, of cleansing, and renewal with new purpose.


3. Your Herds would not increase. The herd can be symbolic of economic stability and blessing. The herd can be symbolic of discipleship and growth. The herd is the future and the reproduction, addition, and improving of that herd were keys to stability, growth, and future life.


4. You are spurned. Like Cain there seems to be a sign reading 'loser' or some other sign that keeps quality customers at bay but attracts negativity. Over all, there is the sense that the darkness embraces even as the light spurns the business, group, or agency.
COMMON CHARACTERISTICS
These objects of prophetic pronouncements often seemed to share some common characteristics as well.




1. They closed their ears. They did not listen to advice, warnings, or words of wisdom to change their ways, correct their course, or rethink their strategies. Pride had stepped in to steal their humility. They did not hear the cries for compassion, help, or mercy. They did not hear the warnings or the counsel.


2. They closed their eyes. They did not see what was before them, pr they chose to be too selective in what they did see. They saw what they wanted to see and they urged movement to the wrong landmarks as a result. They did not hear the cries of the widows, the orphans, the hungry, or the injured (physical or metaphorical).


3. They closed their mouths. They did not speak up when they saw error, sin, or crime on every side. They did not dare to disagree when the decisions were made that headed them toward the shoals of unethical actions, unscriptural conduct, or illogical thinking.






In uncontrolled power lies the bitter root of sin, the lure of hubris, and the inevitable outcome of pain. In power lies the ability to generate fear and control. This Fear keeps the ears, eyes, and mouths closed. Fear gives the ungodly control. Fear is the tool of those who who seek to destroy. As the Bible says where there is envy and strife, and selfish ambition, there is “confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16).






In WW2 a pastor, Martin Niemoller write a poem...."In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."


Fear, unconcern, and the refusal to be fully aware of what is going on around combine to create a deadly situation. This is the opposite of what the Bible says the Christian is to be and to do.




"But the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and hypocrisy" (James 3:16-17).




The hurting person who intentionally or unknowingly lays down a curse can only place that curse on those who do not operate in that "wisdom that is from above". Those who are being pure, peaceable, gentle, merciful, without partiality or hypocrisy, have nothing to fear.


THE CURE



"Come let us reason together" and 1) search the heart of the self, the institution, and the cause to determine if there is a curse and why it is able to negatively impact our setting. 2) Then, corporately repent, 3) seek out those wronged and make restitution or seek forgiveness, and 4) then make the changes necessary to be a Godly, righteous, and ethical place.




Then....and only then....will real advancement or achievemenets be made.

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