I have been thinking and praying these last few days about how the world is reacting to this Covid-19 virus, and the announcements of various governments around the world. I have been listening and watching the reactions of people, both online and in the public as we have ventured out. I have been weighing these behaviours against The Word of Yahweh written for us to bring us through these days.
This is what occurs to me.
At one point I read a story of an elderly man, someone who has been through the Great Depression. Someone who knows what it is like to do without - bread shortages, flour and sugar rations, and other things which greatly affected their lives during that time. This man has “seen it all,” you could say. He went to the store and, with everyone else in line with overflowing carts of toilet paper, just wanted 4-6 rolls to get him through the month. That was all. Just to get through the month. He asked the “owner” of cart upon over-flowing cart if they would sacrifice just ONE package for him. Not one would give up a single pack of toilet paper for an elderly man. Not one. I wanted to throw up. Literally – my stomach got so knotted that I felt like throwing up.
Is this what we have come to in America? If so, then it is time for people to check their heart!!! Do you know what hurt the most? Watching people who under normal circumstances call themselves believers, but under THESE LAST FEW DAYS, threw all that, shall we say, three sheets to the wind??? Yes, I went there and made a toilet paper reference!
If anyone would have, even for a brief second, questioned or hesitated about giving toilet tissue to that man, you need to check your heart. But I will go even better on this topic, if you think that saying one thing here on social media or when talking with friends, but act differently in public - Check your heart!
And remember these words and use them as your check list:
When you have hoarded things to yourself or prevented another less fortunate than you go without, what you just did was as if we have done it to Yeshua!!! Literally.
In Matthew 25:40 WEB it pointedly states: "The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU DID IT TO ME.” (CAPS added for emphasis)
I know, I repeated myself. I did that in hopes that it drives the point home. Sometimes, in front of others, we may behave or speak one way, yet act or react completely different in another setting. Because of that, NOW is the time to truly examine Yahweh’s truth, the words recorded from Genesis to Revelation. THIS is the time to find out, discover, and examine how well are we witnessing of Him in each aspect of life.
Remember those verses in the New Testament that say, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” We hear them often as believers, don’t we? Well, let’s look a bit more closely at the words in Matthew 7:12 WEB “Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”
I love this version because it is very direct: whatever it is that you want people to do to you, go out and do it to them!!! As you venture out to the grocery store or bulk store, can you say that you did to others as you wish to be treated? Another way of saying this is: Didn’t you just express to others by your actions that you want to be treated a certain way? What way was that? Were YOU a good example of Yeshua? Of His teachings? Did YOU exemplify Christ?
Or how about Luke 6:31 WEB “As you would like people to do to you, DO EXACTLY SO TO THEM.” (CAPS added for emphasis). Ouch. We often use these words to scold others for how they treat us, but is that what it truly says? I see things a bit differently – I see that we’re being told to treat others EXACTLY how we would like them to “do so” unto us. So, when you are rude, are you expecting to be treated rudely? Angry – angrily? Lacking compassion and denying basic needs to others – you want others to deny basic needs then to you.
I know believers who have taken pride in screaming in the faces of clerks, cussing at store workers, cursing at family members! Using this teaching, we should ask them when they brag about it or demonstrate this in front of us, “Did you just give permission for that person to scream and cuss in YOUR face?” Of course, they will say no, and likely claim the person deserved it or “had what was coming to them.” But if you show or recite either of those verses to that “believer,” I pray you can show them how they actually ARE giving that person a certain level of permission to do the same to them.
Reversing the attention in those verses should be an attention getter for every believer. How YOU ACT TODAY, TOMORROW, NEXT WEEK during this entire man-made crisis is a statement of HOW YOU WOULD LIKE OTHERS TO TREAT YOU.
If you hoard all the toilet paper to yourself, then that means you want people to withhold basic needs from you in an emergency. If you ensure you buy all the meat or milk, cereals or pasta, and do not share with the neighbor who didn’t make it to the store before the panic, then you are stating out loud that is how YOU want them to treat you in your time of lack! Have you ever thought of it that way? I have – many times. It is one of the “exercises” I use regularly to try and keep myself in check.
I have used this throughout my life. If I want others to backbite or gossip, lie, cheat, steal, and covet from me, then I will do the same to them. Yet I don’t want people to lie to or about me, covet, cheat or steal from me. And so, I try my best to not do those things to them.
That is what those words are there for in the scriptures – to help remind us of what NOT to be. Yet many don’t look at them from the other side. Most often we try to use those words to put OTHERS in check for how they are treating us or those around us. Take the time, please, during this trial in our nations. And think about how you are treating others. Remember that old saying about walking a mile in their shoes? Now is the good time to try that. Some days it is as simple as asking yourself, if I were the store clerk, cashier or manager, or even the other customer: would I want those words coming out of someone’s mouth aimed at me? Would I want them to behave that way toward me?
This is what will get us through the next weeks.
There is an old saying that seems to have gone by the wayside for many women of faith. We call the phrase “The Golden Rule” and it says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Nowadays many seem to have lost where this “old saying” comes from: It’s in the BIBLE. Yes, the Golden Rule can be found in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. It is a quote that is often used to show a Christian that they are a hypocrite and that they are not behaving “Christ-like” when an outsider wants to call the believer to repentance or to call them a hypocrite. I have seen believers become very angry or annoyed when called on the carpet by an unbeliever, no matter what the particular reason for it, we often become offended because we do not believe we are doing anything wrong. What if you truly do need to pause and take some time to use the verses to take a closer look at yourself and that you might need to make some corrections? What if right now you are NOT treating someone else as you wish them to treat you?
Sadly this is what is happening more and more frequently in one relationship that used to be somewhat immune to the disrespect and double standards. Now, though, our modern social-media-engrossed world is drawing a line between husbands and wives, and it is time for this double standard to come to light.
It has bothered women for probably thousands of years that men appear to be quickly led to look at women in a lustful fashion. Throughout our modern history, we can find countless examples of women getting angry that men gawk at women as they walk down the street, men have been caught flirting with waitresses in front of spouses, or encouraging attention from women in various situations from flight attendants to bosses or subordinates. Many divorce courts are filled with cheating husbands that started with “innocent” flirting (as they call it) that evolved into full blown adultery, separation and then divorce.
Imagine for a moment that you are perusing your social media stream and you see pictures and memes popping up all through the feed from a married man’s computer. These pictures and memes have scantily clad women, women in compromising positions, or just women in sexy poses. You suddenly notice your husband making comments and “appreciating” how those women look. What would your reaction be? Most often, women get angry and call the man a “misogynist”, a “pig”, and tell him he is portraying women as nothing but sexual objects. How horrible! You rotten male human who has no respect for women! Now, what if I told you the tides have turned, and it is time that women wake up to their own lustful behaviour?
Let’s switch roles for just a moment. Instead of photos and memes of women you see pictures of MEN scantily clad, in compromising positions, or in sexy poses. Would you be the first woman to leave a comment or compliment about his physique? Would you be the first one to hit the approval button? If you think this is all fine, then I need to ask you why. Don’t you believe that you should hold yourself to the same standard that you hold your husband? OR, do you, like so many in the world, think that you are just making up for lost time? Do you believe that all those times men have done it to women gives women have the right to “get even” for all the cat calls, whistles, and “oooooh, baby” remarks?
It pains me to see that women have decided that along with “equality” and “liberation” they have chosen to lower the standards for themselves while holding their men to a higher standard. When I see these posts come across my feeds on social media, I can’t help but wonder what effect this has on their marriages. How will a woman feel when her husband sees her lustful comments about another man? Women have for decades complained about how sexual remarks and malicious behavior makes us feel like objects, threatens us and our relationships. When we hear a man that we love make those kinds of remarks about another woman it causes us to suffer dings in our self-esteem by making us feel less appealing to a man who claims to love us. Why would it suddenly be acceptable for women to treat their husbands, whom they claim to love, in a way they would never tolerate from their men?
Some will say, “But they deserve it! If for no other reason than all the times that men have treated women that way!” Really? I thought you believed in “Do unto others AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.” Doesn’t your behavior make it okay for your husband to now go out and do the same as you do? Shouldn’t he be allowed to do unto you as you have done unto him? I can already hear someone out there saying, “Well, that’s exactly what I am doing!!! Giving him back what he has done to me for so many years! Therefore I am living by that scripture.” God did not provide us with that counsel that we would do unrighteous things to others, but that we would do righteous things to others. Remember, Romans 12:19 says, “For it is written, "Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God's wrath. For it is written, "Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.” If there is issue with our spouse’s heart, it is our responsibility to talk it out and pray about it, but it is not our job to “get even” by doing the same thing or having the same attitude and sin in our hearts.
It is happening more and more amongst the people I know, and I am concerned for those I hold dear. I 'm worried for the marriages that are being touched by this reverse sexism and concerned for the salvation of those I know. My concern has led me to ask several ladies these same questions just to see what they would say and was surprised that, yes, many women do feel that men have done it for so long that it is now the woman’s turn to verbally assault men with sexual comments. They also believe that we are just making up for lost time. “Turn-around is fair play, after all.” I have even had one Christian woman, a friend try to convince herself that the counsel against lust only applies to men. She used the verse in Matthew 5:28 which reads, “You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” You see, she said, this verse only refers to a man looking at a woman, not a woman looking at a man.
I believe we need to take the scripture, in context, and read then study it in conjunction with the totality of scripture. Did Yahweh honestly give the commandments only to men? Or do they apply to women as well? Clearly in Leviticus 19 it states that God told Moses to consecrate the people, the people agreed to prepare for the meeting with the Lord at Mount Sinai, Moses led the people out of the camp, and then in Chapter 20 the Lord spoke to the people what we now know as the Ten Commandments. The Old Testament does not say that Moses only took the men with him or that God only spoke to the men. It plainly tells us that all of this happened with and for the people, both men and women. It is not gender specific and applies to BOTH spouses, not just the husband.
What other proof text can we provide to show women that it is just as important for them to remain faithful in thought and avoid lust?
We already know “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” but what other scriptures would help clarify how God and Yeshua (Jesus) feel about this sin? Moreover, what scriptures can we use to prove to women that the sin of lust applies to them as much as it applies to men?
“…gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:6-7 WEB
“That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.” Romans 1:26 NLT
James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” When we behave one way and preach or teach another, we are only living the old adage of “do as I say and not as I do”, therefore becoming very deceptive and unstable, according to God. Not just in the way we present ourselves to our husbands but to others as well. Children, relatives and friends, especially on social media, will see how you treat your spouse, what impression will this give?
The scriptures are clear that a woman is just as vulnerable. Even Christianitytoday.com claim that 1 in 3 visitors to adult websites are women . Therefore, the problem is not a male only sin, but women also struggle with the sin of lust, yet many are in denial about their sins.
Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. . . ” Although this scripture may be talking initially about loving God or loving money, it shows us what will happen if we serve one master rather than the other. The two masters being the world and God, which are we serving when we are gawking at a member of the opposite sex and making inappropriate remarks? Which Master would you like to serve?
What can we do? Use the scriptures to look at yourself and what you are demanding of others as well as what you are doing. Matthew 23:25-26 warns, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
Now when I hear women talk about how unfair it is for their husbands to stare at other women who may be younger, thinner, prettier, I take pause. Wives don't like it when spouses compare that "other woman" to them because that woman is unnatural or fake, maybe even airbrushed. In this double standard world, you have to wonder if the wife has applied the same judgment to her words and actions. Has she thought that maybe the man she is drooling over may be just as airbrushed, unnatural and fake as the women about whom she complains?
My prayer today is to stir up in women the desire to better themselves, their relationships with their spouses, and most of all their relation with their creator and God.
 Reference: http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/march/confessions-of-lustful-christian-woman.html
Scriptural references unless otherwise indicated are from the World English Version .
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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