Just read the Samson story again. His biography, with scores of others, gives us hard and helpful truths as we navigate this life. One of which is:
It is possible for a person to be incredibly anointed, undeniably wise, and still act like a complete jerk.
It’s a head scratcher I know, but it’s all true, all at the same time. And it neither negates the anointing, nor unravels the wisdom and certainly doesn’t legitimize the being a jerk.
It’s how things are under the sun. You will face it from time to time in this life.
Perhaps in the mirror.
it would be a good idea to actively seek advice.
Take that big issue you’re wondering about. The problem or the possibility or just the “hey, what do you think I should I be working on as a person?”
Find three or four people you think are at least as wise as you. Honestly, warts and all, lay the information that you have out in front of them. Ask them for their take on it. Close your mouth, then use both ears. Thank them. Give it weight and mull it over.
Add all the caveats you want – yes, it’s still your responsibility; bad advice is a possibility; conflicting advice is tricky; “yes men” really exist; some people suffer from analysis paralysis; people maybe offended if you seemingly ignore their advice.
But the humility evoked, the extra brain cells mobilised, the blessing of the Lord upon it and a thousand other factors mean this practice is something that will help you over the long haul. Really, really help you.
So you’ve already done it once or twice in 2016 right?
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15
The seventh episode. The Bible – is it a ‘manual for life’, moral stories akin to Aesop’s Fables, or something else? Why view the New Testament as the ‘word of God’? And more! Enjoy:
We bounce off this verse: “But he answered, “it is written, ‘man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God'”” Matthew 4:4
Links alluded to:
Question of the week: Have you got a better line of reasoning for why the New Testament should be viewed as the word of God than we’ve given in the podcast?
Missed any previous episodes? Find them here: one, two, three, four, five and six.
Naturally, your mental and emotional energy will be used up today on two issues – firstly, how will I be satisfied? Secondly, how will I be seen?
The call of Jesus to you is to redirect this mental and emotional energy away from that and on to “The Kingdom of God”.
How can I satisfy the King today?
How can I cause others to see the King?
Not easily answered, so we’re called to seek. Pound on those questions. Mull them over. Chew them over. Slow cook and then skewer them till you’ve taken some action for the cause of the King.
Today – Happy seeking.
Shadowing me? You might be tempted to think it’s your acts of religious devotion, your services and songs, that are the most important thing to God now. Nope. He’s after peace. Genuine peace in your heart, genuine peace in your relationships. It’s not just the massive bust-ups he’s bothered about, it’s all the way down to the tiny unspoken grudges. These unsaid insults corrupt your heart now and continue to count in eternity. So, at the worship leader’s first strum, if you remember someone’s not right with you, GO! Get right, before you join in the song. First, be reconciled.
Matthew 5:21-24 as part of the SAS Project
There is an action to take that will immediately alter its size.
Share it with someone, and, as grandma said, it will be halved.
Or don’t share it, and you’ve now doubled it. The original problem, and the new problem – the fact you can’t talk about it.
Take it from someone who’s been slug-like on the uptake on this – the longer it takes you to get, the bigger it will cost.
PICK UP THE PHONE! (or go for coffee, whatever works for you ;-))
Galatians 6:2 if you need a verse.
It’s great to work day in and day out in a large institution where 80% of the people involved are teenagers. An open window on to humanity. Here’s what I’ve seen:
They’re absolutely amazing…
and unbelievably awful.
Don’t misunderstand me. It’s not at all that there are some awful ones, and other amazing ones, and we can draw two columns and assign each their place. No. Not a bit of it. They are all awful, and all absolutely amazing, all at once.
They’re incredibly creative, and worringly corrupt. Outrageously lazy, and also diligent leaders. Tremendously talented, and still prone to tantrums. Cruel and caring. Rude and repentant. Gifted and gross. Inspiring and exasperating. Proud and petrified. Lust fuelled and love formed. Brilliant and boring. Beautiful and boisterous. Defiant and delightful, at times delightfully defiant. All at once.
In short, they’re very human.
Us adults are exactly the same. Maybe some areas of our character are a touch more cultivated, and we’ve certainly got more competent at the art of the cover up but we’re all inescapably human.
So, although sentiments like, “Just be true to yourself” and it’s relations, contain some truth and make for great pop lyrics. Given as a primary guide to life it is stunningly unloving advice.
Which bit of myself do you want me to be true to?
A roomful of 14 year old boys lead by their feelings could be heroic, but it could also be horrendous.
The same with 44 year olds.
We are dark and lovely.
“Repent and believe” is what love came and yelled.