The Problem With Preferring People - Part Three

Written by Jeremy Pate. Posted in Blog.


This week, we will conclude our study on “dealing with people” with 2 final practical/biblical suggestions that will help us as we navigate our way through human relationships:

3. BE HONEST ABOUT MOTIVES – Since the beginning of time, we have been “kicking God off of His throne” and “putting people on pedestals,” haven’t we? The honest question that we need to be asking is, “Why do we do this?” Here are some suggestions that go a bit deeper into the reasoning behind some of these decisions:

a. In general, we don’t like being told what to do, but when we DO allow it, we would prefer that it be on our terms. When we de-throne God and elevate people, it seems to “soften the blow.” Why? Because…

b. We know that people can be controlled, manipulated, purposely misunderstood, critiqued, or even disregarded whenever we choose, which – in our minds - gives us the “final word” (see Exodus 32 for an example of this). We also know that God CAN’T be controlled, manipulated, purposely misunderstood, critiqued, or disregarded whenever we choose. We know that HE has the “final word,” and we often reject this idea. This is the reason why Israel preferred a king instead of God. This is the reason why the Jews preferred their own leaders instead of Jesus. This is the reason why the Corinthian Christians preferred Paul, Apollos, and Peter instead of Christ.

c. Have we replaced God with people so that we can maintain the illusion of “control” in our own lives? When God no longer sits on the “throne” of our heart and people become our highest standard, we will quickly fall into a multitude of sinful approaches and attitudes.

4. FORGIVE QUICKLY & GENUINELY – If we are to make the most of our relationships with other people, we must realize some important things that God has to say about forgiveness:

a. We are ALL in need of God’s forgiveness – Rom. 6:23; Col. 2:13 – We simply cannot survive, spiritually, without God’s forgiveness. We were “weak,” “ungodly,” “sinners,” and “enemies” of God before Christ died for our sins! We should NEVER forget this (2 Pet. 1:9)!

b. We are ALL supposed to extend forgiveness to those who sin against us – Lk. 17:3-4; Mt. 18:35 – There is no LIMIT to how many times we should be willing to forgive those who sin against us, and there is no “faking” this!

c. We are ALL EVENTUALLY going to need the forgiveness of others – Lk. 17:3-4 – We often focus on our forgiveness towards those who sin against us, but the flip side of this equation is the fact that we constantly find ourselves in need of someone ELSE’S forgiveness! How do WE want to be forgiven in those situations: gradually and reluctantly, or quickly and genuinely?

d. These issues of forgiveness are inextricably intertwined, according to Scripture! Col. 3:13; Mt. 18:23-35; etc. – Time does not permit us to go into every detail of this issue, but it seems very clear in Scripture that God’s forgiveness is CONDITIONAL upon whether or not we are willing to extend the same forgiveness to OTHERS!

So, in addition to having a “realistic/healthy” approach towards people, we would do well to have a “biblical” approach towards them as well! There is no doubt that dealing with people has been – and will continue to be – one of the most difficult parts of this life; but there is also no doubt that God’s Word has given us everything we need to do this in a way that pleases Him!

Let’s conclude this brief study with some helpful tips:

1. If my relationships with other people have become difficult, strained, or a source of sinful thoughts and behavior, it is past time to revisit my relationship with God.

2. Prayer, meditation, perspective, and Bible study are powerful tools against Satan’s attacks in this area of our lives. Let’s use them!

3. We are ALL imperfect, flawed, and in need of grace and mercy from one another. We would do well to include this powerful and constant truth in our assessment of our relationships with other people!

4. Don’t EVER give up on people! God has/will never done that, and we shouldn’t do it either!

May God bless us as we strive to order our lives according to His will!

The Problem With Preferring People - Part One

Written by Jeremy Pate. Posted in Blog.


“The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.” – Mark Twain

“I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.” – Charles M Schulz

A preacher was once asked, “What is your favorite thing about ministry?” His answer was one word: “People.”

The same preacher was then asked, “What is your least favorite thing about ministry?” He gave another one-word response: “People.”

Can you relate to any of this?

Casting My Vote...

Written by Jeremy Pate. Posted in Blog.


I’m not a very political person.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my country, and I do plan to vote next week (I think I’m going to do a write-in vote for Oscar the Grouch. At least he’s honest about it), but when it comes to the realm of politics, I am probably not the most informed, invested, or involved in the process.

Are You a Wizard?

Written by Jeremy Pate. Posted in Blog.


“If ever, oh ever, a wiz there was, the Wizard of Oz is one because, because, because, because, because, because – [count them if you want; you’ll see I’m right] - because of the wonderful things he does!”

This was the song that the Munchkins sang to Dorothy about their beloved Wizard of Oz at the beginning of the movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” It also happens to be the song that is currently stuck in MY head as a result of this article, but that isn’t the point.

Are You Kidding Me? Part Two

Written by Jeremy Pate. Posted in Blog.


Last time, we explored the account of Achan’s sin as it is recorded in Joshua 7. Against God’s explicit instructions, Achan had taken some of the spoils of the battle of Jericho (7:20-21) and had made “the camp of Israel a thing for destruction” and brought “trouble upon it” (6:18).

Are You Kidding Me? Part One

Written by Jeremy Pate. Posted in Blog.


Have you ever met a person named Achan? In all of my years as a human being, I have never met a man whose parents named him Achan. I have also never met a Jezebel, a Judas, or a Cain. Do we really have to wonder why these names have been all but erased from every list of possible baby names since the completion of the canon of Scripture? 

A Question of Commitment

Written by Jeremy Pate. Posted in Blog.


Every good coach demands commitment from his/her players. Every good band director, club leader, teacher, etc. places a high priority on commitment from those who are participating in those activities.

Why is this so important?


Written by Pam Newman. Posted in Blog.

SOPA16We are about halfway through the summer and if I have learned one thing about the youth group, it is that they will never cease to blow me away. They are hardworking, loving, and have an endless source of enthusiasm and energy. But these characteristics themselves, as awesome as they are, aren’t the most impressive thing. What is truly mind-boggling is how they use them.

We had a group of around forty teenagers get up and arrive at the building every morning so they could go out to the Peachtree Village trailer park and put on a VBS for the families there. When we got there, the BYG kids would set up awnings and tables, so when the children came they would have shade to do their crafts under. And that shade was needed because the average temperature for the week was in the high nineties. But that didn’t stop these amazing kids from having a positive attitude and carrying on with the work. After we had set up the awnings, the BYG kids would go out in two groups of ten to knock doors. Every day, they knocked every door in the trailer park to tell them about the VBS we were hosting, the Buford church of Christ along with Buford Iglesia de Cristo, and the different ministries here.

Being a Daughter of the King

Posted in Blog.


Since we have been baptized into Christ then we are God’s children (“But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children …” – John 1:12). Think about that. The King of kings is OUR Father! We are Daughters of the King. This makes us princesses. I don’t know about y’all but ever since Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, being a princess has been my number one career choice, but being a Daughter of the King carries much more meaning than just claiming yourself as a princess. I don’t know what your relationship with your earthly parents is like, but I do know how God expects us to treat our moms and dads: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” – Ephesians 6:1. If we are called to obey our parents here on earth how much more obedient should we be to our God? His commands are not simply suggestions or requests but rather a call to be set apart as His children.

            My mom is my role model in most everyway. I look and act just like her. We have the same obnoxious laugh, same taste in clothes, and we both will talk your ear off about any and everything. When I was younger I would get frustrated whenever people told me I reminded them of her but now I take any comparison to my mom as a compliment. I live in way that reflects my mom’s characteristics. Likewise, we should be living in a way that reflects God’s characteristics. When others look at us there should be no doubt that He is our Father. We should love, forgive, and even rebuke like our Heavenly Father.

Real Power

Written by Jeremy Pate. Posted in Blog.


When you see a bulldozer or a jackhammer in action, do you ever think about where their power really comes from? What good would those pieces of equipment be if they didn’t have a power source? Would they be able to do any of the things that they do without power? Does the source of their power get enough credit for what it does, or have we elevated the equipment to a status that it might not deserve?

The Lunchable Gospel

Written by Jeremy Pate. Posted in Blog.




As you may know, Brooke and I have three daughters, and the oldest two (Ava and Greta) attend the Sonflower Preschool here at the church building. They absolutely love it! They love their teachers, their friends, the playground, and all of the special things that they get to do at the school. One of their favorite things is when we allow them to buy/bring a Lunchable to school for their lunch.

Skin In The Game?

Written by Jeremy Pate. Posted in Blog.


We often refer to those who are invested in something as having “skin in the game.” This phrase means that these people have put themselves in a risky position, either monetarily or otherwise, and that they now have something to gain/lose. They are not simply spectators, observers, or even “fans;” they have a vested interest, and they will be affected by the outcome, one way or the other.


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