Monthly Archives: November 2014
It sneaks in quietly through an unlocked back door. A tiny little thought, a tinge of resentment and a pinch of disgust. He seems to be more successful than I. He is better than me at something, I don’t like him for this fact. I need to be number one. I need to be the one that people talk about. I need to be the one that people are the most impressed with. I need to restore my preeminence, but I need to do it in subtle ways or I might be unmasked and shamed. What’s the plan? At first nearly imperceptible boasts about myself followed by subtle, soft & gentle lies about my competitor. Slowly I build myself up and tear him down. I am the champion again. This is the devil’s wisdom that destroys our world. God’s wisdom pursues peace and rejoices in the successes of others with a pure heart. God preserve me from this devilish darkness and give me that pure heart.
James 3:14 & 16 – But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up this truth with boasting and lying…For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
Romantic love is good for warm fuzzes and box office sales, but it’s lousy for human flourishing.
The stories are all variations of the same thing. In about 2 hours time, a boy meets a girl, he is strong and handsome, she is beautiful, there is chemistry and connection. As the movie unfolds, there is a series of incredible circumstances that catapult the couple together, they become intimate, and romantic love triumphs once again. Over and over again we are visually educated that love is little more than a connection, a feeling oriented superficial gush that leads to bodies intwined in passionate embrace. This electric feeling is what results in happily ever after. In our deep hearts we know better and so does Maleficent.
“True loves kiss” goes badly for her. The handsome boy in a ploy to gain kingship uses romance to steal her wings and shatter her heart. Maleficent’s deep sorrow turns to hatred. She becomes violent, selfish, evil. She is ready with her revenge when the king finally has a daughter. Eternal sleep will befall the child when she turns 16, a sleep that only “true loves kiss” can awaken. Maleficent is delighted with her sinister plot. The child will never awake because “true loves kiss” is only a fantasy. The child is spirited away to a secluded forest cottage in hopes that the curse won’t find her there when she turns 16. Maleficent regularly visit the cottage to make miserable the lives of the 3 fairies who have been tasked to care for the child. However, slowly over the course of 16 years, Maleficent begins to develop an affection for the child. She begins to care for her in quiet ways, to protect and provide for her, so much so, that she tries to revoke the curse on the eve of the girls 16 birthday, but to no avail. Sadly, the curse falls upon her and she is laid to rest in the kings palace. In desperation, Maleficent takes a handsome young man to the palace, maybe “true loves kiss” is real? The boy kisses the sleeping beauty but nothing happens. Finally, Maleficent emerges from the shadows, tears falling freely, she repents of her wickedness and makes a promise to the girl. Even though this girl will never awake, will never fill Maleficent’s heart with joy again, Maleficent determines to care for her, she will make sure that no harm comes to her as she lies in repose. Gently Maleficent seals her covenant promise with a kiss. The girl awakes!
The heart of true love is not an electric feeling, or great sex, or good chemistry. It is a promise kept, a commitment to care for someone no matter what. Feelings are important, but they are fickle, they come and go, they change and fluctuate. They should never define what we believe about true love. Falling in and out of love is tiresome business that results in way too much pain and suffering. Romantic feeling oriented love is over rated. I am with Maleficent on this one, covenant love is the better path.
Discipline — I do bad things, my father punishes me so I learn not to do bad things.
Discipline — My father puts me through challenging circumstances to make me a better person.
It’s the latter discipline that the author of Hebrews is talking about.
It is hard to view unjust persecution as some sort of “discipline” coming from the loving hand of the Father.
vs 3 — It’s not that bad, compare yourself to the sufferings of Jesus and find relief.
vs 7 — This difficulty is evidence that God is your father, he is busy at work making you better. The refinement process is painful, but it means someone (God) is refining you
vs 10 — The more we suffer, the more we share in Christ’s holiness, that’s actually a really really good thing. To be more like Christ is the goal & suffering for his sake fast tracks us to that goal.
vs 11 — Try to look beyond the pain, after the season of “training” is over there will be a greater depth of peace and righteousness