Wisdom is painful. We think we really want it, but often it means seeing others make horrible mistakes, recognizing those mistakes while they’re happening, and not being able to do anything about it.
Finding the balance between being open to what others believe and being committed to what we believe is difficult.
When people say they want to reconcile with you but they really desire to convey, again, how you were wrong, that is not reconciliation.
It is 100 times easier to see the splinter in someone else’s eye than remove the plank from our own. Or maybe 1,000. That’s why even though this sounds like obvious instruction–“first remove the plank from your own eye and then you’ll be able to see to remove that splinter”–we disregard it. Frequently.
If God is present all of the time then a lot of my prayers don’t make sense.
If God is present all of the time, then praying more and worrying less would make more sense.
Never say anything about yourself that Jesus doesn’t say about you.
Jesus doesn’t call you “dipshit” (or whatever your personal self-insult of choice might be).
If we are punished by our sins, not for our sins, then the idea of “getting away with it” becomes absurd.
The discipline of not valuing people for the wrong things and not judging them for superficial things requires the long-term breaking of lifelong habits.
Being vulnerable is a choice that gives people the opportunity to see God’s grace. As one of my students said, “the more they see our atrocities, the more God’s grace can show through.” That means when we act like we have it all together, we aren’t just being a little misleading, we’re actively covering up what has saved our lives and what can save others.
If this is true, then “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand?” may mean something more. We think of “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine” meaning showing people our good works to help them see God. It does. It may also mean letting them see my darkness through which God’s light shines.
Advertising works. We are persuaded by things we imagine have no influence on us because we’re too smart for that. Our imagining we’re too smart is part of what allows it to work.
Studies show our thinking changes and our logic falters when we are faced with facts that conflict with our political views. We read these studies and nod our heads and think they are talking about other people.
I think humility is the characteristic that God most desires to see in us.
I think true humility is a right view of ourselves before God.
I think comparing myself to others causes about 60% of my problems.
Usually the difference between having compassion for others and judging them is my–or your–insecurity.
“Everybody is somebody’s weirdo.” We are all an acquired taste and we’re not for everybody. If we’re committed to kindness and trying to love others as we love ourselves, that is enough. Some people won’t get us, or ever like us, and we’re just their weirdo.
This last one isn’t mine, but I read it this morning and really liked it:
“Forgiveness might be the most complicated and difficult aspect of Christianity. And yet without it, we have no hope of living a joy-filled life. Generally speaking, we perceive ourselves as much better people than we are, much less in need of God’s forgiveness than is true. This distorted self-perception makes us quicker to judge and less likely to forgive. If we have a hard time forgiving people, we need to run to God for a good dose of humility, a reality check and a softening of our sick hearts.” Pastor Chris Rattay, Words to Walk By