Archive for the ‘superficiality’ Category

What does Jackson like to do on Saturdays? Tell me about his strengths and weaknesses. Who is his favorite author? What ticks him off? Would you be able to answer any of these questions?

Hosea 6:6 in The Message puts it in part like this: “…I want you to know God, not go to more prayer meetings.” Is your relationship with God personal enough that you could describe Him to someone who only hears about God from a fan, after a referee’s poor call at an athletic event?

In a movie I watched recently, the words Jesus and Christ were used in two sentences as adjectives to describe a person’s irritation with something. Really?

In connecting with another, there are significant issues we must deal with. Will we be truthful or hide? Will we let fear of being known limit what we share about ourselves?

WHAT THIS MEANS: Are you willing to get real with God and deal with the cost involved to really know Him? Or are you ready to talk about your weaknesses and faults with  another? Can they ask you any question? Are you willing to honestly answer it?

We’ve all been part of  conversations  that never go anywhere, don’t resolve differences, often leave us frustrated, angry or confused. Many topics discussed are easily forgotten.

But a few conversations, statements made or questions asked remain in our thinking in a way that distracts us from thinking about anything else. We simply can’t get it out of our mind. Frances Chan made one of those recently-“As you get older, don’t buy more stuff for yourself, go out with a bang.” I will process that one for a while.

Another conversation I had contained this challenging question “Would you like sugar with that?” Guess how long I stayed up thinking about that one?

Jesus had some almost scary one liners. Check out some in Matthew 8-9. “Follow me and let the dead bury their own dead.” “You of little faith, why are you afraid?” “Do you believe I am able to do this?” How about “Why do you call me Lord and not do what I say?”

WHAT THIS MEANS: Examine your conversations this week. Do they provoke a deeper thinking in anyone? Get together with a few others and discuss how you were or were not challenged in some of your conversations. Why would you fear having one or two significant conversations with someone?

“Be careful little lips what you say” is an old time phrase used in a song sung to little kids a while back. In one sense, this is a powerful warning to set a guard on what we say. Psalm 141:3 speaks directly to this. And what we say is so powerful, it could be compared to being an arsonist. Look at James 3:3-6 for even more about how what we say can be highly destructive.

Yes, we need to exercise some caution when speaking. However, when you are involved in a conversation over a beer with Christian buds or with the top pagans in the city and you know you are about to introduce something into the conversation that probably will result in some unpleasant or confused reactions, what do you do? If God whispered in your heart and told you to say it because it is right, would that make a difference?

Jesus cared deeply about what was right and spoke truth into conversations even though He knew it would make people angry or confused but it was necessary. Jesus seemed to risk his reputation everywhere He went. Sometimes it was intentional and others it was the result of who He was.

One such instance in Matthew 12:46-50 is one of those. Think about just hearing this without the background you and I have with the Bible in our homes and apartments. Jesus stretched the understanding of everyone who heard Him or heard about this. Think about the implications of being connected to Jesus in this way. Believing the stuff Jesus said is one thing, but doing what He said is the indicator that you or I are Jesus’ brother or sister. Would He be able to speak to you or me as one of His brothers or sisters?