All the Wrong Ninevahs

All the Wrong Ninevahs

We don’t have to go far in the Christian life
before we’re impacted by this kind of polarization - either by giving it or receiving it but usually both - and the entire character
and dignity of another person gets reduced to a nameless, faceless “other” which makes it easier to marginalize them and dismiss their views. So many of us do this.  

And when this becomes our way of interacting with the world?  

We end up with a culture of culture wars, where people no longer feel safe to dialogue, or to learn and ask questions…or to explore new opinions, or to be who they truly are.  

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Legalistic Fences

Legalistic Fences

For some of us, worshipping God once felt like a wide open land in which we were free to run, love him, and serve others.  But now, that freedom is gone.  

Now, God feels like a military inspector who, at any moment, could throw open your door and surprise you with a room inspection - ready to penalize you for not having your bed made, your uniforms cleaned, or not following the rules.

And so we retreat even more into rules. Before you know it, our list of rules becomes pretty long and our fences become pretty high.  We forget what worship in that wide open looked like, because all we know about worship are our fences.  

Worshipping God once was about loving him and serving others.  Now, it feels like nothing more than following a Christian to-do list. In this rigid, legalistic, fenced in way of living, we feel trapped and isolated.  We begin to believe our only purpose is to DO all the right THINGS.  We lose track of God, and begin to treat other people differently.

And I believe God is heartbroken because of it.  

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Triangulation

Triangulation

One thing could permanently handicap or even irrevocably split any church, any office, any school, any family, or any relationship, really, in a matter of months should we let it go unchecked. It’s really the only thing that has ever kept me up all through the night. And it’s the same thing that nearly destroyed Israel. It’s the same thing that causes relationships to rupture and churches to split. 

And that one thing has a name: Triangulation.

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The Shortcut of Stereotyping

The Shortcut of Stereotyping

Often times we label and stereotype based on race, upbringing, background, or finances. We stereotype and label based on parenting choices, spending habits, living room layout, or sexual orientation. Name the category, and it’s likely that we have some sort of stereotype associated with it.

But Jesus invites us to see things His way in our relationships: to lay down our tendency to apply labels on others and to choose a better way. A way that is not characterized by categories, but a way that reflects his love for the world.

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What to Expect When You're Expecting

What to Expect When You're Expecting

What happens when our expectations for others go unfulfilled? How does this affect our outlook on our relationships, our dreams, our hopes, and our aspirations? And what in the world do we do with the ensuing disappointment?

Because, more often than not, our expectations are often the driving force that moves us from freedom to captivity, from prioritizing our love for God and our neighbors towards an imprisonment to our own desires, fears, and anxieties. We become so bound by expectations that we're unable to hear the truth Jesus offers us: there is another way, a better way… a way rooted in sitting before the Savior who fulfills all our desires, hopes, and aspirations.

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