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Showing posts from February, 2021

A Country Founded on Equality

Imagine a country founded on equality. We shall call it Harkland. Imagine that Harkland believed that equality was the supreme good under which all other virtues were secondary. However, the people of this country weren't entirely sure what equality meant. Did it mean sameness? Treating everyone as if they were one? Did it mean ensuring that everyone got the same thing? They weren't sure. So the people of Harkland decided it must mean that everyone ought to be given equal opportunity to achieve what they wished regardless of the "appropriateness" or "sensibility" or "goodness" of their desires. So long as nobody's achievements took away from another's achievements anything was allowed. The citizens in Harkland protected their right of originality with a fervor that bordered on paranoia. Entire careers were built on the defense of originality, experimentation without repercussions, and the proving that individuals or business were operating

Values as Pets

Everyone has a pet value. We feed it and fiercely protect it against other pet values, which often bark or sniff or growl. We take it around on a leash and hope others will admire it or pet it or appreciate it. And we believe that in a pet show, our value would win the others. There's the pet Goodness also known as glory. This pet demands that everything be done with excellence. No half-baked attempts. No sub-par achievements. Everything must be good or else prove they're progressing towards goodness. This pet usually barks at mistakes or anything that doesn't look perfect.  There's the pet Peace also known as inner equilibrium or contentment. This sort doesn't let circumstances or emotions disturb them. Nothing gets to them or moves them. This pet will run and hide from obligation or confrontations. Then there's Foresight also known as trust or loyalty. This pet maps out the daily route and considers every conceivable possibility. Their certainty and loyalty re

"I Can and I Will!"

I was rewatching the British Baking Show Season 3's final episode when Nadiya Hussain wins. She is holding her bouquet and cake-stand trophy, and in between tears she says, "I'm never ever going to put boundaries on myself ever again. I'm never going to say, I can't do it. I'm never going to say maybe. I'm never gonna say I don't think I can. I can and I will." Nadiya now has her own Netflix show called Nadiya Bakes.  I imagine winning the bake-off gave her lots of confidence. That prize in her hands, the judges' decision, and a host of spectators were witnesses to it. She won! I wonder. If I had someone declare I had won a writing contest, would I be more willing to put myself out there. If I won Mother-of-the-Year (hahahaha!), would I be a more confident mother? What if I won the Trophy of Selflessness, could I then love with no strings attached, give without running dry, listen without judging, care without worrying about myself? Could my lo

Answering the Lies II

You posted watchmen at every gate, determined to mark the enemy before he marked you. Those cinematic sins wouldn't get past your gates, not while your watchmen stoically stood by keeping out drug addiction and adultery, bigotry and sexism, wastefulness and homelessness. But the Devil is no amateur adversary. He brought no battering rams or siege towers. No, he knew your blind spots, and subterfuge was his game. With only the subtlest of suggestions, he means to collapse the whole city. But you are not without a helper. So to the one berating herself on her weak show of faith, who feels the strain of demanding more and more from herself. To the one who knows that serving Christ should bring her joy but feels nothing but drudgery. Who wants to enjoy a hobby or dessert or TV show, but who can't sit down for fear that she's acting selfishly. "You should be doing better," the lies say. "You should do more." Answer with truth. You are a sheep. You are not Jes

Silver Plating Our Motives

I know of no other sure-fire way of silver plating our motives than to attach the golden rule to them. You see, if I can show that what I want to do is for others and not myself, then certainly no one can find fault with me. In fact, I think we do all manner of mental gymnastics to convince ourselves that we're acting for other's good; therefore, we can proceed as passion desires. Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, God knows what is under that silver plating and is not fooled by our tomfoolery. He sees through us when we serve in the hopes of being repaid, quite literally doing to others in the hopes that others will return the favor. He's not taken in when we say we don't want to hurt our witness when in fact we're really managing our self image. He knows when we project ourselves onto others, believing them to be just like us and thus failing to actually see them or understand their pains. And God knows exactly what we're up to when we sacrifice ourselves f