Maybe you’ve heard of the “seven deadly sins.” According to the list of serious sins formalized by Pope Gregory I (c. a.d. 600), greed is #3, outranked only by lust and gluttony. You could argue that all sins are deadly (true) and that there are far more than merely seven (true). Still—that ancient listing shows a sad experience with universal human corruption. People easily fall in love with their stuff.
Or with the stuff they expect to get or wish... Read More
Are you a wealthy person? You’d probably say no. You’ve probably fantasized a thousand times about what you’d do if you had some real money. There’s always a better car, a better house, a better paycheck dangling in front of you.
But you really are wealthy, you know. Jesus Christ has made you a spiritual millionaire. Everything on this earth is fading; only what is in heaven will last. Possessing cash is like playing a temporary board game—you have a... Read More
Funny thing. The two topics that arouse the most passion in people ironically are the two topics that the church has the hardest time talking about. Isn’t that odd? ’Tis said that sex and money make the world go ’round and not just the world of non-Christians. Believers need to be wise about sex and money too.
What makes it so hard to talk about these things in church? Well, let me tell you from personal experience that it is... Read More
Timothy is a wonderful name for Christian parents to choose for a son. Besides referring to one of the heroes of the apostolic age, it has a beautiful meaning: “One who honors God.” A woman named Eunice gave that name to her son, but the faith that was so effectively passed on to him came from his grandmother. St. Paul wrote to the man who was arguably his most trusted lieutenant: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which... Read More
Children don’t think much about the future—there is only the Now. The Right Now. They need their parents to teach them about deferred gratification, that slogging through math problems now will help them get a good job in 15 years . . . that keeping an orderly bedroom will build habits of mental organization . . . that steadily saving a few dollars instead of blowing them on junk food will grow them over time.
Are you in love with... Read More
One of our crosses to bear until Jesus returns is the fractured and fragmented nature of the outward Christian church. Though the invisible network of all true believers grows quietly through the Spirit’s faithful gathering, outwardly there seems to be disunity, competition, and criticism among denominations.
Some of that is good. Public teachings that contradict the Bible should be identified so that the gospel is not diluted or poisoned. Simultaneously every denominational leader should listen humbly to the critiques that... Read More
One of the best parts of family life is the vulnerability. You can let down your guard in a safe place. You don’t have to pretend to be strong, unemotional, and together 24 hours a day. There are understanding people who will like you anyway, even when you are confused, weak, and doubting.
One of the worst parts of family life is the vulnerability. Paradoxically some of the worst hurts in life come from those who profess to love us... Read More
It sure isn't hard to criticize what you don't understand. If you don't get around much, other people's culture and behaviors can sure seem weird, if not downright disgusting. Americans traveling abroad have been known to freak out over bathroom plumbing that looks nothing like home. The thought of eating seaweed and fish eggs has made some of our fellow Yankees green.
Long-lost son Joseph, now vice-pharaoh of Egypt, explained why his father's family wouldn't have to worry about assimilation... Read More
A second-grade girl stayed after school because she adored her teacher. She would help tidy up the room and do little tasks to prolong the time together. One day the teacher was busily writing on some papers and the girl asked her what she was doing. “Oh, filling out forms for my job,” the teacher replied. “Where do you work?” the little girl asked.
It is the lot of teachers to be taken for granted. Children assume that they are... Read More