Correction That Lasts

In the mail last week I received a book to review that was billed as a ‘Christian response to 50 Shades of Grey‘. This book was an attempt at correction for Christians who had bought into sexual submission fantasies. As I flipped through the pages, it occurred to me that this book might be just as confusing to the message of the Gospel as the pleasure-is-all-that-matters message of 50 Shades. The idea of correction was centered on creating a sense of shame as a way of changing behavior. Both of these books are bound to leave the souls of their readers unsatisfied and untouched. The lead character was led to cover her shame by making herself the plaything of a man. On the other hand, covering shame with ‘right’ behavior will lead to a religious person who is far from God. Which beckoned the question, what is godly correction? Without a doubt, when we notice – in our self and others – behaviors that do not honor God, we should make every attempt to curb them. As we see unhealthy ways of relating, people should be counseled out of them. When our decisions are destructive, we should lovingly be made aware. But correction does not end with the command to ‘just stop‘. Correction must go deeper than simply telling our self and others to ‘try harder‘. That is the gospel of self-effort, and it ends miserably in exhaustion and burnout and the rationalization that God must not care because nothing has changed. The behaviors, decisions, and ways of relating we exhibit are symptoms of a deeper problem that must be addressed. That is...

What is Acceptance?

So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. – Matthew 22:10 The king had sent out a save the date announcement about his son’s upcoming wedding. Preparations were made and time went by, but the invited were to keep their eyes open and be ready. When all was set, the king sent word…and none of the invited came. So, Matthew 22:10 above tells of the king’s next command to his servants being executed – go and invite anyone you can find. Good and bad, they were brought in and the wedding hall was filled. This is a picture of a God who meets us where we are; He demonstrates acceptance. As part of the character of God, acceptance is then supposed to become part of our demonstrated character. Because of both our pride and the culture we live in, we get confused about what acceptance is. Acceptance is not to be confused with approval. Approval calls brokenness wholeness. It redefines the terms, and creates a man-based standard. It is simply doing what is right in our own eyes, and is a way to try to create wholeness apart from God. Approval of brokenness is a product of the false self. Because of the inherent worth we all have a image bearers of God, every person merits being accepted by followers of Christ and those that lead them. But, we are each in a broken state. When we accept another we understand that person is broken and is...

Gain Perspective. Live Well.

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