My youngest got into it with a school teacher during recess.
The conflict and context weren't as relevant as the opportunity to talk about something that most folks acknowledge intellectually and even spiritually while much fewer of 'em assimilate emotionally.
No one is always all right; or as I've come to learn after over three decades of pastoral psychotherapy, there are three sides to every story: his side, her side, and the truth.
I've also come to realize even church folks who say they believe in Jesus' way of doing things often contradict that claim.
They like Matthew 18 if it works for them.
Truth is too many folks will resort to whatever works to get what they want; so if the rules don't work for 'em, they'll make new rules or break old ones...or quit.
I see it a lot in the church.
You know how it goes.
Somebody doesn't get her or his way by following the rules of decency and order; so they meet in the parking lot with other dissidents or get on the gossip grapevine or start a petition or stop attending/giving or, if all else fails, quit and go to another church and, eventually, repeat the pathology after slithering into...
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this after someone loses a vote in an ecclesiastical judicatory at any level, "Well, I guess I should resign and just leave and just go to..."
And to think some churchgoers still wonder why so many of the unchurched don't want to buy what they're selling.
Let us church folks teach/show the world how to get along.
Getting back to my youngest, I told him to forget about justice.
It's like an American Indian concluded after another of the many instances of getting screwed by the white man: "Justice in America means just us."
Sure, we live in the fairest of all nations by my observation.
Nobody is jumping over fences to get out of the USA.
I've traveled around much of the world; and I read and listen a lot.
Ain't no way I want to live in another country.
Dang! Even the best hotels in Europe _____ when compared to our hourly stop and flop houses.
We may have a rookie in the big house with a loon just a heartbeat away with the wicked witch of the left coast in the next wing but I still don't see a better deal on the planet.
We're not perfect.
I told my youngest to do his best...and then forget about her/him/it.
Let me put it another way.
Bert Atwood was one of the more honest professors to cross my homiletical path.
He'd often say, "No matter how good you are or can become, you'll never be good enough not to need a Savior."
Fortunately, Jesus is perfect for that role.
Of course, He's God.
The rest of us just pray and labor to get better over time and trust Him to fill in the gap in the end.
The woman who called me about twenty times last Saturday because she wanted to kill her ex-husband comes to mind.
She confessed uncontrollable anger.
She wanted me to go to her house to heal her.
"No," I said, "you don't need me to heal you. Besides, I can't. You need Jesus, friend. Truth is you rarely worship, don't attend any adult education classes, and only call me when you need money or want something else. My son is about to come up to bat; so I'll be quick. You need intimacy with Jesus; and when you hang out with Him long enough, then your anger will dissipate and you'll start experiencing what Paul talked about in Galatians 5:22-23."
It may be some of the best counsel to ever pass through my lips.
I've been checking with peers and other people professionals and we all agree this is the worst time in our memories/experiences when it comes to self-destructive behaviors and folks just being plain old ____ed off at everybody about everything.
It's hard for folks to embrace eloquent nothingness about hope and change while the economy's in the crapper, Muslims keep freakin' out all over the place, the Cubs are playing like it's late September, and the dude who sets the tone for it all keeps saying, "We're no longer a Christian nation."
If everything's going to hell, now seems to be a really good time to turn to someone a lot more heavenly.
It's like I told my youngest: "Sometimes it's better to talk to God about some people than to try to talk to some people about God."
Yes, we're being driven to our knees.
I guess there is hope for redemptive change after all.
Blessings and Love!
I need your help!
Kathie is going to put a biker/non/biker survey on www.koppdisclosure.com.
I really need your input as I probe biker culture as metaphor and challenge
to the church.
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