Arugula, Self-Hate, Reconciliation, Humility and Narcissism (Incomplete thoughts for people in process)
Self-Hate Christian Assessment Culture
It seems that much of our Christian publishing industry is fueled by a culture of church discontent and self-hate. Every week a new book comes out decrying what’s wrong with the Church and church leadership. Sadly, most of these books are written for people who already know God. I wonder what would happen if we wrote books for people who don’t know God? The harvest is ripe and the workers are few. Even so, the books critiquing the workers are multiplying. Seems like instead of encouraging more to enter the harvest field, we are just building bigger bleachers to get a better perspective of the harvesters we are becoming experts in judging. Even our new missional vernacular is being co-opted by the perpetually dissatisfied to improve the precision of their endless church rebukes.
It seems to me that if you don’t like how people are advancing the Kingdom or harvesting the fruit, then get out there and lead by example. The assessing of a church and the leading of a church are two very different things. When you do, you become a better doer and you also develop a fair amount of understanding and grace for why others do what they do. A spectator culture excels in cataloging what’s wrong, with little accountability to make things right. The Kingdom of God will not be advanced by spectators. So you know what you don’t like, what are you doing to invest in an answer? Contend for a better dialogue! I’ve got more to say….but not today.
It Not About Being Right, It’s About Being Reconciling
If we communicate truth without love, it ceases to be truth. If love becomes a secondary value, it ceases being love. It’s not just about what we say, but it’s about the why and how we say it. If we say truth for the sake of our love for others, it will be reconciling. If we say truth for the purpose of proving others wrong, we become arrogant and pharisaical. It’s easy to be right; it is hard to be reconciling. It’s easy to tell people they are doing it wrong; it is hard to help them find the courage to do what is right. Before we ask people to change, they must know that we will love them even if they never change. Love is not a doctrine, it is the abiding presence of our resurrected savior revealed in the s/Spirit of our actions and communication. People will change not because of our ideas of Christ, but because of our identity in Christ. If my truth cannot advance or be defended by love, then it is counterfeit truth. I’ve got more to say….but not today.
A true narcissist will take the extra effort to learn how to spell narcissism without the aid of a spell check or google. It’s almost impossible to write about my narcissism without perpetuating it. It’s even harder to defend against accusations of being a narcissist. As a general rule, just assume you are one if you’re under the age of 50. If over 50, you are most likely a narcissist if you are reading this post, already positioning yourself to disagree with the next sentence. . . The sentence where I call you a narcissist.
The best way to overcome narcissistic tendencies is to blog, tweet and facebook endlessly about how you are recovering from your narcissistic tendencies. You might even want to form a narcissist recovery group. The good thing about a narcissist recovery group is you only need one person to keep it going. I’ve got more to say….but not today.
Humility gives each person a way forward. Pride is a dead end. If you want to learn something in life, learn humility. Humility will increase your loving relationships and your opportunities to be and feel more human. Humble people have healthy marriages and kids who want to talk to them. Humble yourself in the eyes of the Lord and He will lift you up! I’ve got more to say….but not today.
One last thing or things
Don’t let past regrets or future fears keep you from following God’s will in the eternal now. “Arugula” is probably one of the least threatening words in the English language. Remember when you can’t find anything on TV or at the movies that interests you, you are still God’s target audience. I’ve got more to say….but not today.
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