Forgive Us Our Scorn

Why it takes humility to receive God's grace.


Ben White


As you read through the Bible you can't miss that God wants his creation to love one another. This axiom is simple, and it's woven into the DNA of the Scriptures such that we can't read more than a few pages without encountering the concept.

Whether this concept is overt as in the Ten Commandments—six of which deal explicitly with how humans should treat one anotherand Jesus's own proclamation that the second greatest command is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, or whether the standard is less obvious such as Jesus's encounter with the woman at the well, the pages of the Bible are peppered with the Golden Rule. In fact, 1 John teaches that, "By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother" (3:10). Pretty strong words!

Consume This Proverb Responsibly

A preview of September's email-only article.

Justin Aikin


Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers. (If you'd like to join the club, fill out the form below. It's free!)

In this month's subscriber email we're looking at how to respond when faith becomes inconvenient.

Here's how the article starts:

I love passages like Proverbs 3. The verses are uplifting and optimistic. They offer a clear path for peace, health, and prosperity.

Yet read in isolation, these verses set the reader up for disillusionment. Without proper context, life's messiness might cause one to question God. The inevitable bumps in the road will test one's faith, pushing the Proverb-reader further from the Creator.

Specifically, examine verses like verse 16 in which Solomon seems to promise that those who embrace wisdom will become wildly rich and full of youthful exuberance. He wrote, "Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor." Wisdom, personified as a woman, will bring wealth and longevity to those who embrace her.

This is, of course, generally true.

Those who sow wise seeds will reap its benefits. Those who are wise in managing money will become wealthy. Those who live with integrity will receive honor from their peers. Those who exercise and eat right will feel better and live longer.

Usually.

The fittest people still become ill. Costly accidents or expensive medical bills still bankrupt the best money managers.

 

Want to read the rest?

Just enter your email address to join the list, and I'll send it to you right away:

.

I send two to three emails per month, but you can unsubscribe at any time.

See you next month!


2 Disparate Manifestations of God's Love for Us

You can't have one without the other.

Juliane Liebermann


You've probably heard the adage, "God is love," culled both from experience of those with deep relationships with him and from popular Scripture passages such as, "God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" (1 John 4:16).

The saying is true.

God is the essence the lovea perfect, unconditional, and consuming love. Yet the effects of this quality manifest themselves in diverse ways. This is to be expected since God's love is deep and consuming; it touches all aspects of our lives. Sometimes the implications of this quality are confusing because of our shallow and shortsighted understanding of the term.

Proverbs 3:9-12 highlights two very different ways God shows his love to us:

The Antidote to Going through the Motions

    A preview of August's email-only article.


Sammy Williams


Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers. (If you'd like to join the club, fill out the form below. It's free!)

In this month's subscriber email we're looking at how to respond when faith becomes inconvenient.

Here's how the article starts:

I recently read David Allen's productivity manifesto, Getting Things Done. I'll write more about it in my annual reading roundup, but the entire philosophy of Allen's system could be summed up in this one quotation:

Your mind is designed to have ideas, based upon pattern detection, but it isn’t designed to remember much of anything![1]

When we don't have a reliable system for recording commitments and to dos, we attempt to store and recall everything in our brains with disastrous effect. Something in the back of our minds knows we have unfulfilled and unrecorded commitments, therefore we must do our best to retain these details. The psychological toll alone is overwhelming since our brains are not great at recall.

Around the same time I read Getting Things Done, I was also studying motivation theory in the workplace for a college course. One dimension of motivation is the contrast between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic desire spurs people to engage in activities for the benefits they will receive from the activities themselves, while those motivated by extrinsic factors engage in activities for external outcomes like money or praise.[2]

Which do you think is more effective?

 

Want to read the rest?

Just enter your email address to join the list, and I'll send it to you right away:

.

I send two to three emails per month, but you can unsubscribe at any time.

See you next month!

----

Notes:

1. David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (New York: Penguin, 2015), Kindle Edition, 277.
2. Steven McShane and Mary Von Glinow, Organizational Behavior: Emerging Knowledge, Global Reality, Ninth Edition (New York: McGraw Hill, 2021), 171.
3. This post contains an affiliate link.

Our Best Response in the Face of Loss

 A counterintuitive example from Job.


Jonatán Becerra


Part of the human condition is dealing with loss. Living in a post-Edenic fallen world, chaos, entropy, and just plain evil reigns (for a time).

If you haven't experienced loss, you will. The question, really, is how will you respond?

Maybe you're a better person than I am, but I doubt I'll have the faith to respond as Job did when he lost just about everything. In rapid succession Job lost his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, and all of his servants to raiders and natural disaster. Last, "a great wind" came and blew down the house of Job's eldest son, killing all of his children who were enjoying one of their infamous feasts at the time.

How did Job react?

When Christianity becomes Inconvenient

   A preview of July's email-only article.


Mike Haupt


Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers. (If you'd like to join the club, fill out the form below. It's free!)

In this month's subscriber email we're looking at how to respond when faith becomes inconvenient.

Here's how the article starts:

On the blog this month we examined Job's wealth and godliness and the implied causal relationship between the two. The Scripture seems to suggest, but does not state, that Job was wealthy because he lived an upright and blameless life. That is, God blessed Job because he was godly.

But as we progress through the book we see Satan trying to reverse cause and effect. This should come as no surprise since the adversary is always trying to twist the truth, calling up, down and right, wrong. Here he claims Job is only living a righteous life because of the blessings God has given him. Take those away, Satan said, and Job would curse God.

If you ask me, it's pretty dumb to wager with an omnipotent being, but the enemy has enough hubris to do just that. Nevertheless, Satan probably formed his assumptions about Job's faithfulness to God based on centuries of human examples.

 

Want to read the rest?

Just enter your email address to join the list, and I'll send it to you right away:

.

I send two to three emails per month, but you can unsubscribe at any time.

See you next month!