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Showing posts from October, 2020

A New Form of Government

The Bible doesn’t tell us what to do in every situation, practically speaking. It’s not a handbook for troubleshooting all of life’s dilemmas, like: how do I consider the opposing wishes of twins on their birthday? How do I kindly ask someone to stop giving me excessive gifts? How do I vote? How do I reason with an unreasonable neighbor? How do I juggle a job, aging parents, an infirm dog, and plumbing problems all at the same time? Knowing how to act wisely amidst daily emotions, noise and confusing options requires a counselor. Someone who knows everything about me, all the factors involved, and who wants what’s best equally for all people. So basically . . . God. Knowing what to do means continuously consulting God, but not like we’d consult a magic eight ball or a vending machine or even Siri. Rather, this continuous consultation is more like a blind man feeling the ground around himself every few seconds to make sure he’s still walking on a trustworthy path. Or like a girlfriend w

How the Enneagram Numbers Handle Icky Feelings

  One: the Reformer "Ekk! I'm not supposed to be feeling this way. It's not right! I can't let these feelings out. I'll stuff them in a box and sit on them. There. Done. Those yucky feelings will just have to stay in there. Right? And I'm never going to do this again. This is what produced those icky feelings in the first place. Don't scoff! This is the best way I know how to maintain my idea of goodness." Two: the Helper "Golly, I don't know what to do with all these feelings. I certainly can't tell anyone about them. Then I'd look desperate and needy. I'll focusing on your icky emotions instead. It's much easier to feel your emotions than to feel mine. So tell me. What do you feel? How can I help you process through what you’re feeling? And maybe, once you've realize how much I've felt for you, you'll give me back everything I gave to you. Don't scoff. This is the best way I know how to get love." Three:

The Right Kind of Fear

Fear the fire; God made it to burn.  Fear the wind; God made it to lash.  Fear the quake; God made it to crash.  But this fear won't empower you  For God is not them. Fear the storms; they know not their masters.  Fear disease; it ravages indiscriminately.  Fear wars; they are inevitable.  But this fear won't protect you  From these instruments in his hands. Fear other's intentions; they might misuse you. Fear other's grasping; they may rob you. Fear other's passions; they may unravel you. But this fear won't produce a strategy To keep what's your. Fear sin's enticement; it seizes every chance. Fear the evil one; he hungers for you. Fear displeasing God; he demands much. But this fear won't save you Because it never stops striving. Fear the Lord; his holiness is dangerous. Fear the Creator; he gave you your life. Fear the Master; he has authority here. Fear the Author; he can rewrite you. But unless this fear compels you to yield, You shall never sto

How Much I Need from God

I think I need God for very little because I seem to be able to do most things on my own—eat, sleep, shop, meal plan, settle arguments, keep up relationships, google questions, go to the dentist, etc. I actually need God's help for nearly everything I do. In fact, that little white portion at the bottom of the graph probably doesn't exist at all. Sure, I can physically do a lot on my own, but I can't do anything with a pure heart nor out of love for everyone else on planet earth. Hence, I need God's wisdom in everything. I don't know how my purchases will hurt the environment. I don't know how my splurges will affect the poor. I don't know how my voting will alter the course of history. I don't know how the words I choose will affect another's heart. There is just so much that I don't know.  If God offers me everything I need—all wisdom, power, and love—through a relationship with him (this is not an instantaneous acquisition but a daily communio

Why the Enneagram Numbers Won't Give

One: the Reformer "I know how much time, energy, and money it's going to take to do this well, and I just can't do that right now. I'm running too many other things. Sure, we could do it another way, but I just can't stand half-baked ideas, and I'd rather not give at all than see it done poorly." Two: the Helper "You have no idea how much I've already given. I practically destroyed myself giving, and no one seemed to appreciate me at all. So I'm done. Unless they start acknowledging how much I've sacrificed, I won't be giving anymore." Three: the Achiever "I just don't think it's going to succeed. I mean, I've given before and the project was an embarrassing flop. It looked terrible. Of course, if I'd been leading it, it would've been different. How about I do it next time, then I'll give it my all." Four: the Individualist "It just doesn't feel right. Everyone gives. It's so mundane,

The Trouble With Comparing Troubles

Hearing about other's troubles is inevitable. And more often than not, when I hear about them, I compare them to my own. Actually, I think it's a natural tendency: to be in competition with others. Either my problems are harder than yours or your problems are harder than mine. We certainly can't both have hard lives. So I hear about a friend who has more kids than me and whose husband is a firefighter, and I decide she has it harder than me. I deduce that my troubles are smaller than hers, not as difficult, easier. In fact, I decide that I shouldn't  be troubled by my troubles at all. They're nothing compared to hers. So I shame myself. "You ought to be grateful, you pathetic thing! You don't have it that bad! Your troubles aren't troubles at all! You're just a wimp!"  On the other hand, if a single friend complains to me about his responsibilities at work, I'm tempted to patronize him with things like, "But is your office quiet? Do yo

Why the Enneagram Numbers Didn't Listen to You

One: the Reformer "I just had to interrupt because half of what you said wasn't right. And the reason that happened to you is because you should've done it differently. Let me explain the best way." Two: the Helper "I know you didn't finish explaining the problem, but I already know what your problem is and what you could do to make it better. In fact, I'll fix it for you." Three: the Achiever "But if you get all the airtime, I won't have a chance to impress upon you what a great friend I am, how I've accomplished so much, and how you have so many reasons to be proud of me." Four: the Individualist "After you mentioned having a weekend of solitude, I just couldn't listen anymore because it brought back this memory I had two years ago when I was on this hike by myself and even though I was totally alone, I felt in the presence of something marvelous. Oh my gosh!" Five: the Observer "What did you say? Sorry, you wer