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.
No matter who you are or what stage of life you’re in, there are people in your life who are just difficult. People who take more than they give. People who endlessly repeat the same poor decisions that affect your life negatively. People whose personalities are drastically different than your own.
Sometimes church staff members don’t seem to care as much as for each other as they seem to care about the flock for which they co-labor.
I tend to want to fix my kids with my power. I want to say and do all the things that will produce the desired effect in their hearts and behavior; to smooth out their rough edges with solid biblical parenting; to mend their flaws and melt their fears so that I can feel really good about my kind, obedient and happy kids.
The world preaches a message of self-care and boundaries. It says, “this far and no more.” And it sounds good. It sounds good and is good to take care of yourself, to stand up for yourself and to have healthy boundaries in toxic relationships. But what does that look like for a Christian?
Often our discomfort with a topic (sex, rape, homosexuality, suicide, etc) can be misinterpreted as discomfort with the person. As believers, we can respond to difficult stories and hard conversations with compassion for the people who share them with us.
While we often talk about motherhood being a high calling, it's not the highest. Being made more into the image of Jesus is the highest calling for us all.
I couldn’t figure out why I always felt so angry. Why I struggled to feel nurturing towards my children. Why I flew so quickly to rage in the face of perceived injustice.
I don't know you. But I do know that while some families are planning their Mother's Day around church services and brunch gatherings, for some, there is no planning at all.
I realized something was really wrong in my heart when I continued to obsess over my wedding after it had taken place. Had everything been as I wanted it to be? Maybe if I had just changed a few things here, a few things there, then it would really have been ideal.
Is it true? Can I expect God to heal me? Should we expect him to solve our dilemmas? To fix broken circumstances? To mend fractured relationships? And what does it mean for us when our hurts persist?
Dying to self is painful, but dying in miserable sin is way worse.
Children are a gift from God precisely because they are a heritage. Parenting is valuable because as one participates in the activity of it, it produces something of worth. Something that brings significance for both the parent and the child.
The gospel gives us rest from having to prove ourselves, it gives us rest from having to define ourselves based on our accomplishments, and it gives us rest from evaluating ourselves based on our performance and production.
The first few months in my new home with our new calling were not shining moments. Things hit rock bottom when, in the course of one of our more spirited discussions, I laid the blame for my personal struggles squarely at the feet of our church plant.
For years my family and I have been preparing to head overseas. We have a church-based team heading to France early 2016. Our first team retreat was scheduled for Saturday, November 14, 2015. And then on November 13, all hell broke loose in Paris
. . . as I listened to these women laugh about potty-training antics, complain about sleepless nights, and compare notes on breast feeding, I was preparing for my next specialist appointment. I was due for another round of injections and an hour-and-a-half drive for a new batch of testing.
When you consider the breadth of humanity you have experienced, do you believe that humans are inherently good? Or, are we inherently bad? If we are inherently good, then why do we do bad things? If we are inherently bad, then how do we do good things?
When we sin against God and the people around us, turning from that sin toward reconciliation actually begins with confession and then repentance . . . not just expressing emotional remorse. Of course we can still be sorry that we sinned, but to repent we also must ask ourselves, what are we really sorry for?
The overly talkative child, the bossy child, the child with endless energy, the child who collapses in tears at the smallest upset, the child whose imagination means homework never gets turned in - these are a few of the personalities that plant themselves in our orderly homes, posing a threat to our expectations and our patience. Our first temptation may be to bring those behaviors to an immediate end. But I want to suggest a better way.