Far too often those lunch buddies are like-minded people that we have pre-approved as worthy of our fellowship. I do it too, but the flaw in this is that we are not leaning into the tension of the teachings of Christ...
Just because you can’t control your hands doesn’t mean it’s okay to hit people and just because you can’t control your mouth doesn’t mean it’s okay to hurt them.
It’s easy to feel jaded when you hear about people going on international service or missions trips, but if the opportunity arises for you, I seriously implore you to consider going. You probably won’t make a dramatic career change, but I fully expect it will increase your empathy for others and change your perspective.
"The title of this blog isn’t for shock value or to be controversial. It’s not meant as click bait to get more views generated. As a Christian man, it’s exactly how I feel. Let me explain…."
We sit and we wait to be motivated to do those things that we’ve resolved beforehand, and in doing so we completely disregard how motivation works.
I don’t think we completely embody God’s idea of the church. The way I understand it, we’re meant to be one cohesive unit, where each person is an essential part. What I see happening is some people get put on a higher pedestal than others.
"... The kids I see and teach won’t remember the Women’s March, they will remember the election. And that has already started a chain reaction that I know will take a long time to stop."
I’m a pastor’s kid, meaning a church essentially functioned as my childhood permanent residence... In attending these 20 trillion church functions, I’ve encountered some amazing, life-giving, life-changing places… so I've seen the good. But I’ve also seen the bad and the ugly.
Don’t be that guy or gal that shames someone who is brave enough to speak out about it, for taking medication.
"When you practice self-love, you start to recognize your journey as your own and no one else’s. When you see your journey as your own, it becomes difficult and foreign to envy other’s."
I’ve never felt the call to preach from the stage, or use my music as a tool for ministry. I truly believe that if we have faith in God, that our lives should be our ministry. As someone who holds that view, I’ve often examined my life as a musician and felt that I was lacking in certain ways, that I wasn’t being enough of a light in a dark world.
I’ve thought about the phrase and what it means to not be in want, the first response was in getting past the stereotypical American “First World” mind set. I honestly think the weight of this goes deeper than just the materialistic desires.
We as Christians, as the church, suck at loving people. I’m sorry if I’m being a bit too forward, but I really feel that it’s worth shedding light on... Personally, I know that feelings come and go, and this isn’t the first time I’ve felt this and it certainly won’t be the last.
I used to pray to God to take me by my 35th birthday, because who in their right mind would want to live past that, right?! As I got closer to that target date birthday, I kindly asked God MANY times for an extension on my original prayer. It wasn’t so much that I was afraid of death at that point, I just hadn’t accomplished many of the things I really wanted to...
It is a commitment you’ve already made in your mind and in your heart long before you take the vows or get dunked/sprinkled/dipped. Committing your life to someone, whether it’s Christ or another person, is a serious commitment made before God and it requires time, energy, and plenty of prayer to consider the costs and benefits.
What is the persecuted church? …this inquiry is followed by a definition of Christian persecution, which is ‘any hostility experienced from the world as a result of one's identification as a Christian’. Ok, fair enough, but you didn’t exactly answer my question.
We all know men and women often view and respond to the world in fundamentally different ways, that’s just the way we’re wired. But when it comes to our relationship with and understanding of the character of God, both perspectives are not just helpful, they are both necessary.
"We have to understand the culture we are reaching so we can address repentance in a specific manner and to challenge their worldviews when we introduce the Gospel."
“Everyone just has to be so politically correct.”
“People are offended way too easily these days.”
“I don’t understand why people are always so butthurt.”
Being a person who is constantly on the internet (for better or for worse), I see comments like this all the time. For a while I would think that, yeah, it really does seem like everyone is always offended. The thing they’re offended about wasn’t that bad. After a while though, something clicked. I realized where I was going wrong. Whenever these topics came up, I realized the one thing in common with them all:
I don’t belong to the same group as the victims.
I’ve never been on the receiving end of racism. I’ve never dealt with any sort of disadvantage due to my gender. I’ve never been raped. I’ve never truly felt like I didn’t belong in my own body. I’ve never been told I’m an abomination because of who I’m attracted to. I’ve never had society at large tell me that I don’t belong because of things I cannot control.
This realization was pivotal for me. Noticing this allowed me to take new perspectives. My straight white dude worldview was not and will never be comprehensive enough to understand the nuances of every situation. I’m not that smart (no, seriously, I’m not). I am smart enough, however, to know that if I want to understand people better, if I want to love them better, I need to listen. I can’t tell them how to feel, I need to listen when they tell me. Louis C.K. said it well:
“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.”
How in the world can we say “it’s just a joke” when we have no idea what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the pain we so flippantly dismiss? How can we tell people “it’s not a big deal man” when it’s never been our deal to begin with?
I do still think there is a “too far,” don’t get me wrong. Just like basically everything, there’s a fine line that can be crossed. However, I don’t think we’re in some hyper-sensitive age where everyone is getting offended by everything. I think our society is just slowly getting better at listening. I think we’re realizing we can’t tell people how to feel about jokes that target them.
If you’re someone who resonates with the “everyone’s always getting so offended” mentality, I’ve got a challenge for you. Step out of your own shoes, and into the shoes of others. Take a look at the group being hurt. Talk to and make friends with people who are different than you. Ask questions. Try really hard to understand. Listen. Take the time to do these things. You’ll come to realize that experience is invaluable.
We don’t live in a hyper-sensitive society. We live in a society that’s learning to listen.