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Tag Archives: humility

Saying “Don’t despise me, old people!” probably won’t work

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

1 Timothy 4:12

Currently, I am on a study track that is taking me through Paul’s epistles. This started by remembering being in one of Allen Hood’s classes about six years ago, when he told us, “You need to make friends with some dead guys!”

Now, before anyone gets too weirded out, this is not in the Sixth Sense vein (“I see dead people!”) or in the light-some-candles-and-get-out-the-Ouija-board vein. What Allen was talking about is getting to know the Biblical authors and characters. This means seeing and being inspired by their lifestyles, successes, struggles, hardships, and victories. It means observing how God moved in them and through them in their unique lives and personalities. If all we do is sift through their works looking for quotable soundbites and cut-and-paste sermon illustrations, we are significantly losing out on some of the richness that God has packed into His Word.

So right now, I’m being intentional about making friends with Paul. We’re presently hanging out in 1 Timothy. I’m finding that the pastoral epistles are incredible opportunities to get to know Paul as not just the powerful apostle, but a father in the house of God. In these books, we get to see some very personal stuff regarding how he cares for the churches, as well as how he cares for the leaders of those churches (Timothy and Titus).

So it’s in writing to Timothy, a “true son in the faith” (1:2), that Paul gives a bit of fatherly advice. This is perhaps the most-quoted — and most-misquoted — verse in the history of church youth groups: “Let no one despise your youth”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in 1 Timothy, Bible

 

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Not to Be Pitied

I was thinking about the Cross the other day, and the incredible severity of what Jesus went through. Of course, there is the physical pain that He endured — the scourging, the blows with a rod, and the slow, agonizing death of crucifixion. There is the interpersonal aspect, from being betrayed to being abandoned and denied. To top it all off, there is the spiritual trauma, both of bearing the world’s sins and of the terrifying interruption of the divine fellowship of the Trinity. No one in the history of creation has endured the kind of suffering that Jesus did.

When we see this — really see it — it is jarring. It can and should deeply impact our emotions. But there is one response it should not elicit in us: pity. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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30-Day Humility Challenge

I’ve still been thinking about body image. A lot. I just can’t shake how important it is that we declare war on the superficial, appearance-based value system that our world so loves and promotes. I’m burdened with how all-consuming this thing gets if we let it take root in our hearts, and how drastically it impedes our ability to love and to receive love (from God and others). I feel more strongly than ever that, especially as believers who value the fasted lifestyle, we have to be clear on this in order to stay safe. We daren’t spend the fast either hoping we lose a lot of weight, or else worrying that it might slow down our metabolisms and make us fat.

This is not only important for those people with diagnosed eating disorders. This is not just for people who are already “just fine” and shouldn’t worry about their looks (“unlike MY tubby/pale/pimply/wrinkly/otherwise ugly self,” we might think). This is for any one of us who ever looks in the mirror and sighs unhappily about what we see. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2010 in Heart Stuff

 

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The Great Equalizer, Illustrated

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of “equality” lately. You can’t do even a cursory study of the gender debate without running across this word a lot. There are so many arguments about it — what groups are actually equal with each other; what groups need to be; what groups claim to not have equality, but really do; and, “well, what is your group to tell me that my group doesn’t need it anymore?” etc. etc. There are tons of ideas of how to achieve equality, countless articles searching for the cause of its absence, and lots and lots of finger-pointing and/or self-pity regarding those who get the short end of the stick. It is such a dicey subject.

On one hand, I definitely agree with the overall concept of equality. We in the church are supposed to love, honor, and submit to one another in Christ, so we really should not be seeing vast swaths of people who are being systematically oppressed. We need to treat even unbelievers with kindness. Defending the oppressed is biblical, and it’s a great thing.

But on the other hand, it’s hard to justify by the Sermon on the Mount how it’s okay for any of us to stand up and demand our fair and equal rights. Although it’s right for us to be treated well, it’s not our job to fight tooth-and-nail to make sure that happens. The Bible actually seems to assume that we’ll be mistreated (Matt 24:9; John 16:33; 2Cor 4:8-11; 2Tim 3:12; 1Pet 4:12…just to list a few)! And then it tells us to do ridiculous things like turn the other cheek! But shouldn’t we stand up for what’s right?

Holy ideological minefield, Batman! What do we do now?

As I was mulling over this topic the other day, it struck me how I was coming at it from completely the wrong angle. The Bible actually gives us a really clear picture of what Christ-centered equality looks like. And it looks something like this:  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2010 in Theology, Women in Ministry

 

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Friendships, Airships, Internships

(Okay, so technically “airship” is a blimp, not a plane, but I was on a roll with the “-ships” and couldn’t help myself.)

A couple of weeks ago, I had to say goodbye to a very dear friend of mine. I am not a big fan of change in general. I am an especially not-big-fan of change when it means shipping my friend and roommate of almost five years to the other side of the planet — literally — with no clear idea of when I get to see her again.

Of course, this was a day we had anticipated for a long time. International migration is not exactly something that happens on the spur of the moment. For years, it was that unpleasant necessity that loomed on the horizon — an unpleasant necessity I preferred to mostly not think about. However, in the last months, when the countdown to my friend’s departure was much more urgent, I found myself thinking about it a lot. I only had close access to this person for a short time. How could I maximize the time and connection we had together before it was time to say goodbye? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2010 in Heart Stuff, Intimacy with God

 

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When Unprofitable Servants are Served

If you read this blog, I imagine you have been keeping up with the awakening meetings taking place at IHOP-KC. If by some remarkable chance you haven’t heard, the Holy Spirit has been moving on us (especially on our student body) in an unusual way lately. You can watch live meetings Wednesday-Sunday, starting at 6pm (Central), as well as watch some amazing archives and testimonies, at www.ihop.org/watch.

You can read the explanation of what is going on at the IHOP website. Plus, you can go read a couple of great posts by Zack Hensley and Randy Bohlender  with some further thoughts on the meetings. As I consider what has already been said, along with what could be said, and how much I’m still trying to get my own bearings on things right now, it is hard to decide how to write about this. At one level, I have to say something — we are having healings, deliverances, and salvations breaking out after all — but at another level, what can I say? (Except for: “Seriously folks, if you haven’t tuned in to any of it yet, get on www.ihop.org/watch sometime this Wed-Sunday.”)

This has something to do with the pronounced lack of blog posts so far this month.

Yet as I was reading through the book of Luke recently, I was struck with two passages that exactly speak to what I’ve been feeling about this season of awakening. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Jesus is not Braveheart

Here I go, stating the obvious again. I seem to have a knack for doing that in my titles. Certainly nothing will draw readers in like telling them something that everyone and their dog already knows. Assuming that their dogs read or watch movies, that is. And it would also be helpful if they had a basic grasp on theology.

Anyway. The point.

I don’t really take issue with drawing theological parallels to movies. I’ve sat under a number of sermons that referenced a movie, or even played a clip from it, to illustrate a pastor’s point. I’ve seen/heard references to Lord of the Rings (particularly The Return of the King), Gladiator, The Patriot… and even Jurassic Park. No, I’m not kidding about that last one. I wish I could remember what point it was supposed to convey. Probably had something to do with spiritual warfare. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2009 in Knowledge of God

 

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