Wickedness, Hypocrisy & Toxicity: Crosswalk's Top 10 Spiritual Life Articles of 2015
- Crosswalk.com Staff
- 2015 15 Dec
It was a record-setting year at Crosswalk.com! Readership soared, especially on articles relating to our daily, practical walk as believers, because of an influx of fascinating content.
Some of this content was popular for the way it encouraged the downtrodden. Other pieces gave readers steps to take as they seek to become more like Christ in their interactions with the world. Still other articles tapped into deep feelings, argued intepretations and disagreements over time-tested issues: Do I need to go to church? Is one word I say any worse than any other word? What is heaven like? Is my salvation secure?
Listed here are the most popular - in terms of pageviews - Spiritual Life articles that were published in 2015. Not all of these articles were popular because they were uniformly well-received, or well-understood. But they all helped us think, grow, and understand. To that end, we've included some of YOUR own user comments here. But we recommend getting into the discussion for yourself by clicking on the link to take you to each individual article.
Enjoy! And may you grow even further in your walk in 2016!
10. 3 Things You Didn't Know about Joseph in the Bible, by Cortni Marrazzo
Key Quote: "When we have times in our lives where we are being treated unfairly or things seem to be continually against us, we can look to Joseph for a great example of how to keep our eyes on God and continue to live in integrity and have confidence that God will come through for us at his perfect timing."
What YOU Said: "How wonderful what a great person to think of when you have feel that you had done all the right things yet things keep falling down i will keep this thought close to my spirit when things don't go as i think they should knowing that a greater purpose is behind it all." ~Lutricia Lumaine
9. How to Distinguish a True Christian from a Hypocrite, by Tom Hicks
Key Quote: "A true believer has the three great essentials of genuine Christianity. First, he is broken in heart and emptied of his own righteousness so as to loath himself. Second, he takes up Christ Jesus as the only treasure and jewel that can enrich and satisfy. Third, he sincerely closes with Christ’s whole yoke without exception, judging all His 'will just and good, holy and spiritual'. A hypocrite does none of these things."
What YOU Said: "I disagree with this article on so many levels. First of all it is a strict Puitan influence that simply does not apply in many religions. Exactly! Religion! Only God knows a man's heart! this writing conjures condemnation in many minds that have read it. Wrong again! There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Being a Christian is having a personal relationship with Christ . It is a process for many. We keep growing each day, each month, each year to Gods perfection , not mans perfection, till we go home to be with Him." ~Sherry Forschen
8. What Does the Bible Say about Swearing?, by Dr. Roger Barrier
Key Quote: "The Bible makes it very clear that we should clean up our speech. Why? Because Jesus teaches that unclean words come from a dirty heart. Our light to the world is extinguished and no one sees Jesus in us. Jesus also says that our unclean words lead us into depravity and sin. Our Christian purity is flushed down the toilet. So what do we do? We read the Bible often. God’s Words are like Ivory soap. They purify your heart and uplift your thoughts. We filter our mouths and think and say wholesome and positive things."
What YOU Said: "Very good article! I was an accomplished cusser in high school. When I joined the Army in 71' I refined that skill even more... I got saved at 19, my first day in the Army, and over the next few months gradually let go of cussing entirely. The Lord dealt with me, but patiently... I often overheard others around me "he doesn't cuss" and they meant it in a good way. YOU get all the glory Lord. And YOU alone. Jesus - the power to change lives..." ~Chuck Webster
7. How to Protect Yourself from These 10 Toxic People, by Debbie McDaniel
Key Quote: "Sadly, when we look deep into the mirror of our souls, we may realize that we are the ones who have some unhealthy tendencies that God wants to change. Today’s a good day to stop wasting time in toxic patterns of living. For he has better in store for us."
What YOU Said: "I used to be one of those people. Since accepting Christ I have gradually changed and see things so differently. I'm not around toxic people (I'm retired which helps) and I don't think I am toxic any more. Through God's grace for sure. Not because I tried and did it myself. He did it." ~Jean Terry
6. 3 Myths about Heaven Christians Should Stop Believing, by Joshua Ross & Jonathan Storment
Key Quote: "There is a reason that Jesus taught his disciples to ask God for 'Your will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.' Contrary to being about escaping this world, the Christian view of Heaven is that we would be the kinds of people, doing the kinds of things that brings more of Heaven, more of the will of God to the area of the world we are in, and the time we find ourselves."
What YOU Said: "[They] did not say Heaven was a myth, [they] said many of the things people are taught to believe about heaven are myths! Ideas like sitting around on a cloud, listening to harp music etc. Images like this have no Biblical basis and discredit the Gospel. The earth is a literal place! Heaven is a literal place! Jesus said 'if I speak to you of earthly things and you understand not, how will you understand if I speak to you of heavenly things? There is a difference!'" ~James MacInnis
5. Why I Stopped Going to Church, by Jennifer Maggio
Key Quote: "It is crucial that the body of Christ stay connected to the house and become passionate about getting others there. Church attendance doesn't save you. But life is found in God's house. It's where encouragement is found. Friendships are formed. Lives are challenged. Stay connected."
What YOU Said: "It helped me to separate the PEOPLE in the church from GOD. There are difficulties in the church congregation, or any group of humans, but remembering that those issues are PEOPLE, not GOD helped me. I go to church to fellowship, to encourage other believers, to praise, to worship, and to be filled by the Word and the Spirit. I have found a dynamic church that truly speaks to me, but the difficulties also help me grow. I learn to love those who are difficult to love, to help those who are difficult to help, to obey God's lessons inspite of poor modeling, to be more patient, etc. Sometimes the very lessons we need are within the church... I pray you all find a church you feel good in, can grow in, and can worship our Lord in!" ~Amanda L. Nielsen
4. 33 Verses about Fear & Anxiety to Remind Us: God is in Control, by Debbie McDaniel
Key Quote: "I began to find that the things that once would have sent me down an anxious spiral no longer had the same effect. It didn't happen quickly, but over days, months, years. I read words - of life - of truth. Soaking them in, over and over, praying them out loud. Until they became so familiar, they replaced the other things in my mind that I'd battled against. There's nothing magical about words and verses, but there is power through them, because they're God's words. Change happened."
What YOU Said: "This is a great article with scriptures concerning fear and worry IT PRINTS OUT beautifully Great Gift idea for a friend in Need- great references." ~Kerry Hall
3. 5 Birthmarks of the Christian: How to be Certain of Your Salvation, by David Jeremiah
Key Quote: "His grace is inexhaustible and His salvation is irreversible. Make sure you have confessed Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and then trust Him with your eternal future. He will never leave you or forsake you. His Word was given that you might know Jesus Christ as your Savior and that you might know that you have eternal life. You can have assurance of salvation today."
What YOU Said: "Great word, Dr. Jeremiah! In my early years, I struggled with having the assurance of my salvation....until I began to understand what Christ's death on the cross acomplished. Judicially speaking, the believer is dead to sin.....even though he still has the capactiy to sin, but a true believer cannot continue in sin and it not bother him/her. A true believer WILL DESIRE to live righteously for Christ." ~Wayne C. Cooper
2. 5 Verses You Thought Were in the Bible... but Aren't, by John UpChurch
Key Quote: "Sometimes, Disney movies seem to invade Scripture. Perhaps because we humans love Cinderella stories, the notion of us being 'anything we want to be if we just believe' has become weaved into the fabric of how we view the Bible. David the shepherd boy became a king, right? But we aren't meant to do just anything. We're meant to fulfill the purpose God has for our lives."
What YOU Said: "WOW!....let's dust off the BIBLE and crack it open...enter a Church and really get a real bible study going....GOD'S WORDS is only located in the Bible....sorry not on Facebook or any TV preacher which is not a substitution for the word of GOD....Holiday Christians ....time to show up for Church.....how important is really GOD to you ?" ~Wilma Flint
1. 5 Indicators of an Evil and Wicked Heart, by Leslie Vernick
Key Quote: "When you confront evil, chances are good that the evil heart will stop counseling with you because the darkness hates the light and the foolish and evil heart reject correction. But that outcome is far better than allowing the evil heart to believe you are on his or her side, or that 'he's not that bad' or 'that he's really sorry' or 'that he's changing' when, in fact, he is not."
What YOU Said: "This is one of the most honest review given about evil and wicked hearts. I have first hand knowledge of people with these characteristics. I have witnessed in my own life the very exact thing written about here. People who cause misery and pain and never once take responsibility for their actions and continue to believe that it is me who is broken and needs fixing." ~Martha Vance
Publication date: December 15, 2015