Don’t just cling to hope. Be it. Continue reading
“Don’t forget to give the dog her pill.”
That’s all my wife Joy had said. Her tone was perfectly pleasant. She didn’t make a federal case out of it. But my blood started a low simmer that, over the next half hour, rose to a silent but steady boil.
When my feelings are hurt, I don’t usually go on the attack. I shut down. When all is well with my soul I start conversations and crack jokes. Once my emotional clouds roll in, my responses are clipped and my tone goes flat.
Now you would probably think that I could simply say, “That hurt my feelings.” But you know, then I would have to admit that my feelings were hurt. And revealing hurt feelings makes me feel weak and vulnerable. Besides, I realized how stupid this was going to look. And I hate to look stupid.
“Is something wrong?” Continue reading
A friend of mine and I are exchanging emails about spiritual growth. She recently shared with me a paraphrase of something Bishop Desmond Tutu once said.
We are like light bulbs. God is like electricity. Light bulbs illuminate their surroundings. That is to say, they shed light when they are connected to a source of electricity. Unscrew a bulb from a fixture, and out goes the light. The bulb is what it truly is only when it is connected to a power source.
In keeping with this light bulb analogy, God created humans to be connected with us. We are what we were always meant to be when we stay connected.
The apostle Paul has something like this analogy in mind when he talks about the fruit of the Spirit and contrasts it with the works of the flesh. The fruit of the Spirt is what we become as a result of our connection with God in Christ. The works of the flesh are what we make of ourselves.
In an intellectual landscape shaped by thinkers like Plato and Descartes, we may mistakenly think of Spirt and flesh as two different kinds of stuff. We might think that Paul is contrasting our immaterial soul with our physical bodies, counting the one as good and the other as evil. Continue reading