Whether it’s particular, embarrassing things I’ve said that can’t be erased from memory or just my regular, daily idiotic thoughts, the Lord slowly morphs and renews my thinking. Recently, there’s a common phrase that’s been utterly and completely taken out of my lexicon.
I will never.
Our family is in the middle of a house renovation. By “our family” what I really mean is, I have personally taken on an entire building project that is both exhilarating and 100% overwhelming. I’ve never built anything. I’m not particularly handy. I don’t love measuring things, nor am I especially crafty. But the idea of taking something not-livable and making it beautiful is something I love. And so, I’m renovating a house I had no business getting my hands into.
Rather than embracing God’s love, trusting God’s plan for their current stage of life, and serving the church selflessly, they make single people become more inward and selfish. When we think and speak like this, we may be revealing more about our hearts than we realize in the moment.
It never fails that personality tests have a way of pinning us. As they should, it tells us what we already told it by answering the questions. When I’ve taken these tests honestly, they’ve helped me understand why I’m sometimes unlikable. And, sometimes why I thrive in particular situations. They’ve shown me how I’ve responded to some things and circumstances I naturally avoid.
In some ways, these tests can be helpful. They can also be detrimental.
So you—yes, even and especially you, reader—are not alone when you trust in Jesus. You are not on your own when you trust in Jesus. No temptation was too great for him to bear, and through faith in him and in community with others—who like you, need him—you have already received victory over all sin.
Yes, even over your porn addiction.
Am I supposed to be more than I am or am I supposed to forget that I exist at all?
I get the appeal of both sides. I like hearing that if I work as hard as Hollis, I can fly first class too. But Jesus really is better than first class.
Truth is, there’s something to learn from both sides.
It makes logical sense that we would be terrified to confess and repent of our sin.
What will people think? Can I bear the consequences? What will happen if I do? What will my confession destroy? What will I lose? Will it kill me?
But Jesus threw a kind wrench into the sense of our flesh.
I may not comprehend your suffering or the hardships around me, but this I know to be true: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end (Lam 3:22). I can’t see everything like he can. But one day, for the rest of eternity, everything will be made right.
It’s a privilege to spend time with these girls, my friends, at the club. I’m 100% convinced the only difference between “them” and me is they don’t know yet how they are fearfully and wonderfully made by a Savior (Ps 139:14).
In the wake of these scandals, much of the SBC history of spiritual and sexual abuse will no doubt be blamed on Satan. And by all means, let’s give him some credit, just not the bulk share.
The blame lies with us.
The truth is, every sin is hypocritical if we don’t simultaneously recognize our need for a Savior. Only Jesus is perfect but thank God his reticent grace points us back to his gospel to help us repent and change, repent and change, repent and change.
We’re all weak, which means we all need one another to be steadfast in obeying Christ. How then should we seek to hold one another accountable? By relishing God’s grace, being realistic, offering kind correction and loving one another the whole time.
When we care for vulnerable people, we are taking a risk. It may end badly for us—there are no guarantees. But that shouldn’t deter us from loving people. The psalmist wants us to know that even when we experience the sum of all our fears, God is still blessing us. Because like David on his sickbed, God will sustain us when we suffer.
With meticulous intent, organizing the opposite of what our hearts naturally expect, God uses what appears scandalous to accomplish the good and glorious. He uses the shocking and sinful to show glory and redemption. He chooses the unlikely and unassuming to achieve greatness. Why? So that through the failing appearances of others, God’s glory astounds.
God uses children to get our attention, to reveal our sin, and to save us for our good and his glory. Our children are gifts partly because God is faithful to use them in order to get us ready for heaven. If God has given you the role of parent, the point isn’t for you to nail it.
The role of parent isn’t so much for you to produce a holy child as it is for God to produce a holy you.
To be mean is to insist on your own way at the expense of others. It’s the opposite of Christ’s kind gentleness. It is to throw away God’s faithfulness and exert your own pride as means to achieve selfish ends.
With each experience of someone being hateful towards us, God is giving us an opportunity. Sure, we might be taken aback, but that’s simply because we have expectations greater than depraved souls can meet all the time.
So today, remember what Christ has done for you. He died to make you debt-free. Repent, believe the gospel, trust Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf. And come before the Father who offers grace, hope and peace to all who believe. Christian, it is for freedom that Christ set you free!
Be free, indeed.
I thought completing a work for God through ungodly means would be fine with Him. I thought the ends would justify the means. I underestimated the holiness and authority of the God I sought to follow, fearing failure instead of Him.
But don’t worry. I didn’t get away with it.
Dark seasons come in all different shapes and sizes. As unique people we tend to cope in different ways, both good and bad. We tend to struggle at different times of the day or week. If you’re like me, I’ve long expected dark seasons to pass quicker than they actually do. I want to learn the lesson, grow in whatever it is, get over whatever the ailment and move on, and quickly. But God doesn’t work my way.
The best kind of self-care is to remember that it’s actually Jesus who perfectly cares for us. He never sleeps because he is always watching over us (Ps 121:4), he’s always praying for us (Rom 8:34) and he always understands us (Heb 4:15). When we are faithful to abide in him, he provides the rest, wisdom and energy needed to live well (1 Jn 4:16).