Good Habits

Last week we confronted the uncomfortable reality that we are often not fine in this life. This week we start to explore a solution. How can we keep the hard emotions that so often bring us down at bay before they have a chance to do their dirty work? We learn the secret from something Paul wrote when he was in some pretty dark times himself. Check this out with me.

Good Habits

I am a man of habits. It’s just part of my personality. I operate best in conditions that are customary and repetitive. Maybe you’re the same, maybe you’re different, but that’s simply my personality type. And when it comes to personality types, there’s no one type that’s particularly right or particularly wrong. At least…that’s what I keep telling myself. No, each personality type comes with advantages and disadvantages. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. For me, when something is a habit, I’m dependable. Now, I’m sometimes forgetful, but once something is locked into a habit, you can count on my doing it. On the other hand, I can be boring; especially if you have the kind of personality that prefers a bit more variety.

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 7:1-2

“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

“You can’t judge me!” Ever heard that line before? It’s usually thrown down as a challenge when someone has done something wrong, he knows it, but he doesn’t want to feel guilty about having done when he is around another person he knows agrees it was not the right thing to do. And in our hyper-tolerant society these are some of the only words of Jesus that receive a glowing, unconditional acceptance. But what do they actually mean? Maybe not what you think they do.

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Morning Musing: Proverbs 24:29

“Don’t say, ‘I’ll do to him what he did to me; I’ll repay the man for what he has done.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

I have three young boys. They’re all boys. Our household is generally in a constant state of noisy chaos. And they are brothers through and through. If you have boys you know what that means. While they will get each other’s backs, they fight like cats and dogs much of the time. But more than that, they’re kids. Their brains run on kid logic. That can be enormously frustrating as parents sometimes, but it is to be expected. They’re kids. What is disturbing is when adults operate on kid logic. 

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Samuel 16:10-11

“But the king said, ‘What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, “Curse David,” who then shall say, “Why have you done so?”’ And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, ‘Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to.’” (CSB – Read the chapter)‬‬

How do you respond when you’ve been cursed? Let’s broaden that out: How do you respond to a perceived insult? Do you immediately seek to respond in kind? Do you nurse a grudge that eventually becomes a sullen hatred? Do you begin plotting how you will get your revenge at some point in the future? Being insulted is tough. It’s even tougher when the person insulting you is someone over whom you have some measure of authority. That’s what David experienced. What would you do? Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 19:7

“Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.”  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

The emotions and politics of this chapter are complex. It is filled with grace and also tension. David is rebuilding his kingship after Absalom had done much damage to it in his rebellion. We’d like to think this was a nice, neat little endeavor since that’s how so many of our stories today are written, but it was not. Whereas so many of our stories stop with the victory, this gives us a glimpse of what comes after the victory has been won. 

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