Question: Is there a single thing that both causes and sustains “train wrecks” (i.e., cascades of broken relationships)? If so, can it be inverted to provide a cure?
Perspective: Yes, abjection (i.e. dissociating self from what is toxic or outside our control). The tragedy is that abjection is essential for identity in both groups and individuals, yet ultimately destructive of the larger context. The cure is to follow Christ by incarnating into what was abjected, and overcome it by the power of the cross.
“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” — Galatians 2:19-21
boIn Which Diligently Searching God’s Word Leads Us to Truth
Few disciplines are as essential — or as dangerous! — as studying the words and works of God. Used in the wrong spirit, theology can become a heavy burden or a useless distraction (cf. Matthew 23:4). But when taught by the Holy Spirit, God’s word becomes the very source of life itself (cf. Luke 4:4). The challenge to us, as to Timothy, is whether we will apply God’s word rightly…
Memory Verse: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” — 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
Hope is the primary virtue of the Soul. It provides Reasons to encourage positive Emotions, and the Emotional energy to search for better Reasons. It can be defined as “the ability to joyfully pursue a higher purpose — even when painful.”
Hope is particularly needed by the Mocker, who is driven by both the need to control (due to fear) and the illusion of control (due to pride). Yet if they can unclench their soul enough to hope in God’s wisdom, Mockers may yet discover that true freedom comes from giving up control.
Though such learning usually only comes after great suffering…
For the third part of my trilogy on leadership development, I want to focus on practical skills. Here’s my short list (twelve, again) of the key abilities I believe leaders need to cultivate. Anything you would add or subtract?
This song was inspired by the narrative idea of “creation-corruption-redemption” as illustrated in The Grace Cycle. I awoke that Sunday with a heart full of praise, but didn’t have the words to express how I felt. The word “GraceFather” (a la GodFather) came to mind, but it was intertwined with my increasing appreciation for God’s law. The final progression looks like this:
O Precious Lord Reveal to us Your Law For You’re the one Who gave to us Your Law O Precious Lord Who saves us from Your Law O GraceFather You will fulfill Your Law
It is cold and dark in the upper room where the three disciples are gathered; together in body, yet each lost in private reverie. Emotion huddles in a corner, weeping tears of Sorrow. Reason lies on a cot, staring up into empty space, his head resting on an uncomfortable cushion of Contradiction. Intention paces the room, chafing under the cloak of Guilt he wears. Suddenly, there is a knock on the door, a pounding. A familiar voice calls out: it is Hope, bearing vital news. The disciples all stand and look at each other, wary. The doors are heavily barred against the agents of Fear and Shame, which even now must be seeking to destroy them. To open the door to Hope may give them entry as well.
Emotion appeals to Intention, who looks at Reason. Reason shrugs, so Intention squares his shoulders and heads to the door. With a deep breath, he opens the door, and Hope comes rushing in, followed by Joy. Both women are covered in deep cloaks of Mourning, but the hoods have been thrown back, and their faces are excited. They shout as one, “He is risen!”
The disciples are stunned. Emotion looks at the two women, then the other disciples. He embraces Hope, then takes Joy by the hand and runs to the tomb. Intention follows slowly, more to keep an eye on Emotion than because he trusts Hope. Reason shakes his head sadly, and returns to staring at the blank walls, turning his back on Hope.