Still Offended By Goodness

“And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:13-15

There is a predictably one-sided and hysterical article that came out at HuffPo bemoaning the fact that Chick-Fil-A is still continuing in their “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior” by donating vast amounts of money to hate groups. Genuine shock and outrage that they did not receive the previous memo to abandon their beliefs has ensued. I’m not going to link to it this time, it’s too ridiculous and it’s easy to look up. The ‘hate groups’ that are referred to by the way are Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army, so there’s that. Without heading down a huge rabbit hole (or shall I say chicken), I want to use this as a little jumping off point to talk about this marvelous paragraph in 1 Peter about how we believers are to deal with the haters.

It’s a story as old as humanity itself, Peter is addressing his letter to Christians who are suffering persecution and rejection because of their obedience to Christ. Their contemporaries are shocked and a little insulted that these folks don’t still choose to run with them in the same sinful circles (4:4) as they once did. Peter urges patience and humility in the face of unjust persecution.

So he begins by asking the question, “who is going to harm you for being a follower of what is good?” The answer is clearly those who aren’t following what is good. Misery loves company… sin loves company… and when you choose not to walk in it or celebrate it, you become a natural target. The Chick- Fil -A debacle was a manufactured outrage from the beginning, a lose-lose battle for anyone holding Christian beliefs. As painful as it is, being a follower of what is good automatically makes you a target.

Peter goes on to say that even when we suffer for what is right, we will be blessed. The enemy will do everything in his power to get us to jump ship or join forces with the other side. The media is in an all out war against a chicken restaurant for heavens sakes, the likes of which you simply do not see with any other company. God says be blessed in the midst of it. Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays and still does better than McDonalds and Starbucks franchises combined. Obviously, something is working. We think we need to do things the world’s way to keep up and it just isn’t true. Honor God, honor His ways, and be blessed by being different.

The last few sentences Peter writes are powerful. “Be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…” Now honestly, how often is this happening? Do people see a hope in us that makes them genuinely want what we have? Or are we too busy fortifying our own little walls to keep everyone out? Peter is telling us we need to be shining examples of HOPE in a world gone totally bonkers. How do we do that? “With meekness and fear…” Meekness and humility are almost entirely extinct traits in our society. What if we could be settled in our beliefs, but still humble enough to want to share them with others? What if we could stand our ground against this anti-Biblical agenda that wants to erase truth, but do it in a way that our conscience is clear before God? That’s the ‘fear’ part right there…we have to fear God more than men. Chick-Fil-A, as a company, is doing exactly what we all need to be doing on a personal level.

“They think it strange that you do not run with them…” (4:4)

Let them. We have to be ok with this. Biblical love is sharing the hope and truth that is in us with others. It is not nodding and agreeing with sin so that people will like us. Peter and the early church faced persecution and so will we, and friends, Chick-Fil-A is the tip of the iceberg. I use it as an encouraging example to be true to God, serve Him, serve others, and let the haters dig their own proverbial graves.

Whats that silly internet meme? “Ain’t nobody got time for this?” That’s the truth.

Are people mad that you still haven’t caved to their demands that you embrace the world? It’s ok.

Are folks offended that you continue to believe what Jesus said even though their own modern-day analysis says you are a fool? Super.

We need not be afraid of suffering for what is right. Not ever.

Draw people with the hope that is in you, and do it with meekness and fear. The gospel has a beautiful way of proving itself true time and time again.

Children of (Dis)obedience

“Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4

I read the story of the Tower of Babel and I can’t help but wonder “who amongst these people thought this would be a good idea?!” Just a few generations down from the great flood in which humanity was essentially wiped out and given a new start, here they are again, eyeball deep in idolatry, rejecting God, and building their castles in the sky.

Verse 5 is a little cheeky sounding to me, it says that God had to “come down” to see what they were up to. Even man’s biggest tower was still an anthill to Him.

There are worse things than wanting to make a name for yourself and not be scattered all over the earth, aren’t there? Possibly. However, these folks, the descendants of Noah, were given a very specific command: Go and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1). They were doing the opposite of what they were told to do.

And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. v.6-8

God knows, better than we know ourselves, what we are capable of when left to our own devices. This was just the beginning. Interesting that the flood did not and could not wipe out the stain of Adam’s sins. Humanity continues in it’s pride and desire to be it’s own boss.

The disease of sin has been passed down to us, it’s in our very genes. Ephesians 2:2 says we are born “the children of disobedience.” Instead of filling the earth with the Good News, we are busy building our own little kingdoms. Jesus came to undo what the first Adam had done. He came to break the sin-curse that plagues us and root it out once and for all. Have you ever pulled a giant weed up by the roots? It’s remarkably satisfying. If you get it at the roots, it’s not coming back. Too often, we pull and tug at what we can see of our sin but fail to deal with things at the root. Trimming a weed to make it look better doesn’t get rid of the weed problem. Jesus restores us to our original place in the story… free from the curse and free to live a life of obedience to God.

We don’t always respond to the word obedience with open, welcoming arms.

Ever tried to correct a teenager? “I’m doing the best I can! I’m not perfect!”

Ever been comfy enough with sin that you really just don’t even want to give it up? “Don’t be so legalistic! Jesus came to free us from the law! We aren’t supposed to be earning our salvation!”

If talking about living in obedience makes you feel more condemned than free… if it brings up more excuses than solutions… well, you’re not alone. We mess up, then give up, making all kinds of excuses as we go. This isn’t God’s plan at all, thankfully. Salvation isn’t earned, it’s worked out (Philippians 2:12). Our obedience, our love toward others, it’s just the evidence of a real faith working inside us.

How confident are we in Jesus? Do we go all-in with Him regardless of what people will think? In spite of our discomfort? Or do we obey when it’s convenient and take to building our own little cities when we think we can do it better? It’s so easy to start piling up our bricks isn’t it? They keep us sheltered and together. But God isn’t all that concerned with ‘safe and in place’.

James tells us pointedly that faith without works is dead… our obedience (or disobedience) is a natural outflow of our faith. We aren’t meant to struggle along like beggars, we actually get to go “from strength to strength” (Psalm 84:7). He gives us strength to obey, a desire to obey, and a heart to obey. One strong choice leads to another, and before you know it, obedience is more natural than disobedience. Our default becomes not what our flesh wants, but what God wants. Not always the easiest choice, but for sure the best choice.

God wants us to honor Him by putting Him first. I don’t think we are created to handle “big” very well. Making a name for ourselves shouldn’t be on our to-do list. Making His name known should.


Equipped

“We still talk of all our struggles in the present tense. We exchange brokenness like it was good news, and comfort each other with still more brokenness. We want to declare each other “enough.” We have treated Christian identity like it was the great afghan of coziness underneath which all of humanity ought to be settling in for a long nap. But what if our identity in Christ is not a blanket? What if, instead of a cozy place to hibernate, what we are being handed in Christ is actually cold steel, intended for a completely different purpose? Your identity in Christ is a weapon, one that will put to death the old man that lives within you (Romans 8:13). We have been baptized in his death, in order to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). If we are not equipped through Christ to fight the sin nature in all of us, it does not matter how thick or cozy the comfort blanket is. Underneath it, the cold hands of sin are still around our necks. That fight cannot be comforted away. We cannot soothe each other into relief from our problems.” https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/your-identity-in-christ-means-war

Mmmm…. blankets. I have an obsession with them. I stockpile them. Have you tried the new weighted blankets advertised on tv? Heaven. I’m a huge fan of a) not being cold, and b) being surrounded by something comforting. This article made me squirmy a bit because it hit me right in my soft spot: comfort. I think we all desire a cozy place to snuggle up and be left alone, and that can easily translate over into our spiritual lives. The status quo is holding steady, we don’t want to really rock the boat, we just want a place to feel wrapped up and secure. Ok, so we are ‘broken’ as they say… but we don’t mind huddling up and just be broken together. I have developed a great aversion to that word – I do not want to sit around and be broken with people. It’s not that I think everyone is ‘whole’, I know we aren’t even close. I just find the concept of celebrating it like it’s our lot in life a bit… backwards.

This analogy really made me think: what if Jesus is offering us something better than to just wrap ourselves up and shut out the world? What if He’s handing us a cold, steely, sword? The further I go into the whole ‘identity’ thing, the more I realize how temporary all of our little “identities” really are. These things aren’t the end game, and counting on them to fulfill us isn’t a good strategy. With good intentions, we sit around piling blankets on one other, but what we really need is to start handing out some weapons.

That kid who feels anxious on the way out the door? Shoes of peace.

The friend who has trouble surrendering everything to Jesus? Belt of truth.

Ourselves, when we feel constantly attacked by the enemy? Shield of faith.

Comfort is fantastic, but not at the expense of our souls. Nobody would ever wrap themselves up in a blanket made of fiberglass, but that’s pretty much what we are doing by ignoring the war at hand. We have to make those ‘cold hands of sin’ unwrap themselves from around our necks and pick up our weapons. Don’t fear the brokenness, but don’t forget the One who came to actually heal it and bind it up for good. (Psalm 147:3)

Narcissistic Meanies


I get all kinds of ideas while walking through Target. Things just jump out at me like you wouldn’t believe. Recently it’s been the vast array of ‘kindness’ merch in their dollar section. Cute mugs and cups, napkins and cups all reminding us to be kinder people. The kindness campaign is out in full force.

“Kindness is free, sprinkle that stuff everywhere.”

“Kind people are my kinda people.”

“Be a kind human.”

It’s all very cute and sweet. We should be kind. It’s like the new commandment of our culture… if you can be anything, be kind. I wonder if it’s because we have actually lost so much of our decency toward one another that we now need this reminder. Is it possible to just wake up and sprinkle kindness around?

Sometimes that is possible. There are days when we can take the high road, smile at ourselves in the mirror and just push through with kindness. How about the other 364 days of the year? I don’t have an endless bucket of kindness confetti to throw around, and when someone hurts me, having ‘be kind’ written on my coffee mug isn’t going to help.

We are surrounded by meanness because we are engrained in a culture that actually encourages us to put ourselves first. I cringe when I imagine the things my kids see and hear and never tell me. Hurtful things. Stinging remarks.

“A culture of meanness has cropped up around us. It’s a meanness that is fueled by narcissism, by a wave of cynicism, and an over-appreciation for snark. Meanness and narcissism hold hands. Meanness says , “What I feel matters most. I have no empathy for you. If you are in the way, I will run you over.” Jennifer Dukes Lee

And all the while, we are filling our heads with stuff like this:

Photo: Instagram, Rachel Jankivich

I love this because author Rachel Jankovich adds her own little notes to these garbage sayings to point out how ridiculous it is to be so self-absorbed. (The purple writing is hers.) People who believe they come first will never be ‘kind’ people, no matter how hard they try to throw that confetti around. Narcissism makes us mean. Becoming your own hero makes you a real pain in the you know what. Treading on the feelings of others to make yourself bigger doesn’t make people want to be around you. This is not kindness.

I learned a fancy phrase awhile back when reading about our kindness-obsessed but actually mean culture: cognitive dissonance. Dissonance is the disharmony between two musical notes that don’t go together. When the human mind does it, it’s trying to make two opposing ideas gel together. Like demanding tolerance but never giving it. Preaching niceness while acting anything but nice. You get the picture. It happens when we believe and accept every thought that passes through our heads… things clash.

The thing is… we can’t just go out into the world and be kind. We are too selfish. It’s who we are. If we could do it, the world wouldn’t look like the dumpster fire that it is. Our nature is to serve ourselves first, even as Christians who want to act differently:

“For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. It is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me nothing good dwells. (Romans 7:15-16)

And when we are basking in Instagram posts and freshly-penned self-help books that tell us to seek out our own happiness first?

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16)

Kindness is awesome, but it can’t be our starting point. Kindness is a fruit of the spirit along with some other often overlooked goodies like… patience, self-control and faithfulness. Can you imagine a “self-control” or “faithfulness” campaign taking hold? I somehow feel like that merchandise wouldn’t fly off the shelves as fast: “Sprinkle self-control around like confetti!” “Faithful people are my kind of people!” Hmmm…

How do we combat a culture of meanness and narcissism? Not by trying to be kind, but first chasing after holiness:  “Be holy as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15). “He has saved us and called us to a holy life…” (2 Timothy 1:9). We are called and commanded to first be holy – separated – different than the others. From holiness flows all the rest of the wonderful things, like kindness and goodness and self-control. The fruit is the result, not the cause.

Holiness isn’t perfect living, it comes first by being justified through Christ and then by living obediently for the long haul. It’s a life that puts up boundaries when need be, a life that is anchored to something other than feelings, a life that is steady because Jesus makes it so.

So go out and be kind… spread it around… buy the t-shirt… but campaign for holiness. Without it we are at the mercy of the meanies, and one step away from becoming just like them.

Dismal Forebodings

One of my favorite books as a teen was the classic Christian allegory Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It’s the story of a little girl named Much-Afraid, who lives in the Valley of Humiliation with her family The Fearings… they plague her existence with their negativity. The aunt who raised her is called Mrs. Dismal Forebodings, a fearful old soul afraid of her own shadow. The poor old woman could hardly stand to go outside or open a window for fear of what calamity may befall her. One day the Shepherd comes to invite Much-Afraid on a pilgrimage to the High Places where He promises her a new life and identity. She is frightened at the idea but longs to leave the Valley and go with Him. Her family is no help. Everyone in the old Fearings clan is so wrapped up in their own bondage, they try to keep poor Much-Afraid locked up with them. When the Shepherd passes by the cottage  with his sheep, He gently calls to her to come along. Her cousin Coward covers her mouth so she cannot respond. They all begin babbling negative thoughts so she cannot hear the Shepherds voice. She feels an “incoherent fear” come over her and is so confused, she can’t even move. The valley-dwellers love company and will do almost anything to keep someone from leaving for the mountains.

Dismal Forebodings… the inexplicable feeling that the bottom is about to drop out. The nagging fear when you wake up in the middle of the night and everything seems dreadful. Little things are big, big things are paralyzing. Have you ever just longed for it to be morning? Not because the sunrise brings a solution, but because things just aren’t as bad in the light of day. You can combat things more easily, move around, get some perspective. The night is just dark and quiet. We spend our days soaking up fear like sponges, it’s no wonder we can’t sleep at night.

Bible addresses fear a lot. Everyone from Abraham down to the disciples is given some kind of ‘fear not’ along their journey:

After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.’ Genesis 15:1

“Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Joshua 8:1

“Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’” Mark 6:50

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.” Isaiah 41:10

In addition to the ‘fear nots’ the Bible tells us not to worry, despair, or be anxious. As long as we humans walk the earth, there will be no shortage of things to fret about.

So we have pills advertised non-stop on our televisions and calming apps on our phones. If the first pill didn’t work, there’s an add-on pill, surely that will help. The app tells us to be ‘mindful’ of what triggers us. Map it out. Rate it on a scale from 1-10. Control it, and maybe it won’t control you. It’s a sidestepping game, like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

When Much-Afraid finally leaves the Valley with the Shepherd, He tells her they are climbing up to the High Places. The journey will make her whole and most importantly, she will get to know Him better – but they must climb together. She will not be able to go around the mountains, that would be useless. There can be no gazing up at their beauty from the valley. What she needs is up on the steep slopes, and she is going to have to climb up to get to it.

It can be a hard climb up and out of fear. I thought that as my kids grew older, I would get better at it, but the fears just rearrange themselves into newer, more distressing forms. It’s not going away with a pill or an app… only the light can dissipate the darkness.

“The Shepherd laughed too. “I love doing preposterous things,” he replied. “Why, I don’t know anything more exhilarating and delightful than turning weakness into strength, and fear into faith, and that which has been marred into perfection. If there is one thing  which I should enjoy doing at this moment it is turning a jellyfish into a mountain goat. That is my special work,” he added with the light of a great joy in his face. “Transforming things —to take Much-Afraid, for instance, and to transform her into—“ He broke off and then went on laughingly. “Well, we shall see later on what she finds herself transformed into.”

May we be changed. May we go with the Shepherd up to the High Places and see who we really are. Floppy jellyfish can become mountain climbers when they put themselves under His care. It’s Jesus’ special work to transform us and what an honor it is to leave the valley and go climbing with Him!

 

Self Care Shenanigans

“Lets talk like Christians. Lets talk about fellowship and rest. Let’s talk about serving God and others. Let’s talk about thinking others are more important than yourself. Your time in the Word is not self-care, it is obedience. Having a coffee is not self-care, it is something to thank God for. The selfish bus is going to hell, and it is driving there fast, why would we want to be on it at all? ” Rachel Jankovic

It’s all the rage lately, the self-care phenomenon has been in full-force since the new year. Everywhere I go, I am encouraged to take a moment for myself, be mindful of what is stressing me out, and simply turn to something that makes me feel better about it all. This bag here was at Target, reminding me to love myself more. It’s not a new craze, but it seems to be really taking off lately. From living minimalist to blowing bubbles in the park, the universe (or the savvy marketers) want me to get hold of some awesome me-time. Here’s a helpful little list from some scholarly people at the University of Buffalo in case you need some ideas.

Such mindfulness! After you’ve listened to the cat purr, planted a flower, and/or walked a labyrinth… do you feel better? If not, you need to up the workout routine and drink more water, obviously. The anxiety has disappeared. Or not.

Hold on, you say… there’s nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves!

Mark 12:30-31 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Notice the often overlooked part of that verse… love your neighbor as yourself. We already love ourselves pretty well I’d say. We are born loving ourselves. God wants us to value ourselves, we are His creation!

Ephesians 5:29 says, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church…”

None of us need to “practice” loving ourselves as they say. We value, nourish and cherish ourselves as His creation, but we certainly don’t need any more help looking inward.

So what is wrong with a little self-care? The entire movement is an experiment in mindlessness. Do yoga, watch a candle burn or whatever else is on that list and feel better for a minute because you are focused on that particular thing. Taking a hike usually makes me feel better. So does eating a cake-pop. Life has little pleasures that are meant to be enjoyed (without guilt by the way) and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But to look out onto the sunrise with no acknowledgement of it’s Creator? To worship and obsess over my aging body without remembering Who made me and numbers my days? Futile. Sad, actually.

I honestly believe the world has turned everything into an inward-pointing exercise and is discovering there’s not much “in there” to get very excited about. Social media leaves us empty and longing. Drugs and alcohol hold things off for just a little while and wear off. We’ve minimized our pantry and gotten rid of things that don’t ‘bring us joy’. In the name of freedom, we’ve banished all rules moral codes that held us back from enjoying our own lives. So now we try the self-care thing and see where that will take us.

But Jesus took time for Himself! Indeed He did. But not in the way the Target bag suggests.

Jesus took time to be alone with the Father, for sure, but it wasn’t under the silly guise of “self-care”… it was because He knew His very life-source was in something outside of Himself. He looked up, not in. We go to the Father because nothing in this world can fill us but Him.

The worship of self is a dead-end street. Looking inward and living for self is one of the most futile and vapid things we could possibly do. I feel like the more the world realizes this, the more rabid they get about chasing it: when one thing doesn’t work, it’s on to the next. Now we need bags and mugs and shirts to remind us that we need to love ourselves more? Ick.

No thanks. The human definition of fulfillment is not God’s. If the thought of being ’empty’ scares you, the worst thing you can do is try and fill your own cup. We don’t share a moral compass with a “me first” world, so to glean self-care tips and tricks from them is a recipe for disaster. I for one, refuse to take my cues from a bunch of people whose morality changes according to the latest political fad.

God’s kingdom works backwards from all that. When Jesus fills us up, we have an endless river of Living Water to pour out onto others. We don’t need to obsess over where our next fix is coming from. As we understand the treasure we are in His eyes, our self-care routing becomes so much bigger than our own fulfillment.

Psalm 115 talks about the ways in which we become like what we worship. The idol-maker worshipped his idols, the work of his own hands. If we just look inward at our own sinful and flawed selves, we will become more sinful and flawed. How exhausting. Love who you are in Christ, but don’t fall into self-worship.

It’s ok to talk like a Christian. We need to think like Christians too. We are new creations, image bearers of the Living God. We can love ourselves while keeping the worship on God where it belongs.

We have to get God’s words ingrained on our hearts, because the inspirational quotes are out there… and they are coming for all of us. 🙂

Human Altars, Life Mottos, and Beth Moore

“At that time there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.” (Judges 21:25) 

This is the last verse in the book of Judges. I read it and turned the page to see what came next, but that’s it: there was no king and the people just did whatever they wanted. Throughout the book, we see how Israel has devolved into moral and religious corruption. God continues to draw them with His mercy, and they continue to reject Him. Over and over, it plays like a broken record.

The tribes were given specific directions, but chose to do their own thing. What is interesting is that in the absence of leadership or relationship with God, they formed their own little idols to worship. It’s the human condition to worship something… they just chose the fake over the real. There is a depravity happening on an individual level and on a wider cultural level, it permeated everything they did and it had awful consequences. They were in a kind of moral free fall, and interestingly enough the book ends there. The people just did their own thing.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with a culture that claims to embrace logic and science, but in reality lives solely by feelings. The radical feminists’ entire agenda relies on the necessity of a fixed gender. The transgender phenomenon relies on the exact opposite argument. What is happening? The blatant dishonesty and willful ignorance involved is mind-numbing. Want to murder your baby just before it’s born? No problem, it’s not really a baby anyway and it’s your right. But please love all and accept everyone. Your six year old boy feels like a girl? Great! Follow that path and do whatever you like, nothing is real until you say so. Unless you need it to be. Wait… now I’m confused again. 

I listened to a podcast yesterday that pointed out some interesting consequences to this kind of direction-less thinking. The sexual revolution of years ago delivered some unexpected results. Decades later we have fatherless kids, rampant abortion, shattered families, pervasive pornography, and a #MeToo movement that acts genuinely surprised that we are in this mess. Who has been liberated in all this? Nobody. In trying to free ourselves of all constraints, we have become complete slaves to an ideology that can change with the weather. 

We cannot just keep clinging to self and expect things to work out. Lisa Whittle, in her book Put Your Warrior Boots On, says one of my favorite things ever: 

“This is why getting right before God is so vitally important. This is why the search in the bottom of a bottle must end. This is why no more playing around with sex. This is why our marriages need to get right. This is why we have to stop playing church. This is why we can’t just do whatever we want. This is why we need to be committed to holy living, at all costs – because sin kills the fight out of us and we need all the fight we can get. Standing is dozens of different moments of yes to God and no to self. We can’t expect to stand for God without practicing. Otherwise, when the time comes, we won’t know what to do.” 

We can choose to be the captain of our own ship, but it’ll be more like a rowboat in a typhoon. Rudderless and entirely at the mercy of the changing waves. We need a captain. We need Jesus at the helm. The wisdom of the world is coming in direct conflict with the wisdom of God, now more than ever. God has made foolish the wisdom of the world (I Corinthians 1:20). When you go against the true nature of God, you are faced with two choices: continue in folly or surrender to the truth. The vast majority of our world chooses to continue on believing and promoting things that are false. What is our role here? Bury our heads in the sand? Argue our point until we are exhausted and even more frustrated? Meh.

We are to joyfully embrace the truth. We are to love our neighbor. One of my mottos in life is “speak the truth in love.” It’s so important. Both sides are important, both are necessary. Humorously, I saw this on Twitter yesterday: 

 

Dang, Beth… did you look me up? Because I actually DO have this in my Twitter bio. I get what she’s saying… don’t whack someone over the head with your big fat truth if it’s going to shred them. But this is Biblical and we cannot and must not discount it just because it isn’t fancy or soothing enough for your feelings. Don’t ever say “no, no no” to anything in God’s Word. Say “yes, yes, yes” even when it makes you uncomfortable. I’ll save this for another day, but enough with people telling us how and what to glean from God’s Word. No more human altars. 

We need a compass. We need absolutes. Jesus is the only sure thing that keeps us from drifting about in a sea of our own mess. The idol of self is getting bigger every day and we must look away from it if we are to stay afloat in this crazy world.