Ever heard the phrase, “Christians should be known more for what they are for and not for what they are against”? There is something to that. But have we coined and championed the phrase as a way to shirk duty, justice, and Truth? As Holbrook Jackson put it, is our [Christian] kindness actually cowardice?
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Below is a draft-post I wrote in March, 2013. After writing it, I decided against posting it. In fact, I nearly deleted it.
When the Supreme Court ruling regarding gay marriage was handed down yesterday, I thought of this post. It’s as timely as ever. I hope you find it helpful.
On March 26 & 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding two specific cases of same-sex marriage. According to USA TODAY, Attorney David Boies, all who oppose gay marriage do so “from a reservoir of ignorance.” Likewise, he is confident that “the high court may very well present a united front in favor of gay and lesbian rights” (USA TODAY).
During a dark time in your life, did you ever say anything you deeply regret? Ever had painful words spoken to you that cut you to the bone-marrow? Me too, on all the above. Question is, how does God feel about those words? And how should you feel about those words spoken from you or to you?
0:03 secs – 1: 59 (“When did you first fall in love with God’s Word?”)
2:00 – 3:49 (“Do you believe the Bible is relevant for today and not just a history book?”)
3:50 – 6:50 (“How do you personally study God’s Word?”)
6: 52 – 8:42 (“On fun side, what character in the Bible is your personal favorite?”)
8:45 – 12:38 (“What advice would you give on being more consistent in God’s word; that it would be more than routine and a ‘check-off’?”)
There’s the story of a Rabbi who told his students that if they studied the Torah it would put Scripture on their hearts. One of them asked, “Why on our hearts, and not in them?” The Rabbi answered, “Only God can put Scripture inside. But reading sacred text can put it on your hearts, and then when your hearts break, the holy words fall inside.” *
This I know: Truth doesn’t crack my heart. Pain does. Truth doesn’t bring wisdom. Pain that awakens me to Truth, does. I once believed a great sermon, a Christian best-seller, and a study on “Humility” would make me more humble, more forgiving, and more loving. It was never enough. It has taken pain to break my heart so God’s Truth would fall inside.
Celebrity actor Rob Lowe wrote, “You stop growing emotionally the very moment you become famous.” ** How so? Many celebrities spend millions to shield themselves from pain. They surround themselves with “yes” people. Yet, when the emptiness of celebrity sets in, or when they reach the point of near self-destruction, they take off to the Near East to sit at the feet of a Guru. They hope for a fast-track to wisdom, meaning, “truth,” or maturity. But it never works. At least not for long….
This I’ve learned: Wisdom is not about avoiding or numbing pain. Wisdom is learning from it, growing in it, becoming stronger for it, and more dependent on Jesus because of it. Wisdom is using pain to build more wisdom into my life and make Jesus more glorious through my life. In many ways it still takes pain not only to break my heart so that the Truth would fall inside, but more so that Jesus would forever reign there.