Personal Thoughts

Lessons of the Season (1): It’s OK to Dream

I’ve been somewhat silent on here of late – mostly down to circumstances – but I’ve still been writing here and there and I started journaling a series of personal reflections. This is the first of them – the remainder of them will come out in bits and pieces as I fine-tune and get it just right.

Douglas Kofi Adu-Boahen doesn’t dream. Ever.

I can’t say I’ve ever publicly expressed it but I’ve been kind of proud of the fact that I simply don’t let myself get excited about possibilities. chalkboard-generator-poster-lessons-of-the-season

Let’s not misunderstand – I can get excited about certainties, about things that will happen, about things that are set in stone like a holiday or a visit from a friend about 10 minutes out. But as far as the future goes, I function under a strict policy: “Let’s see what is around the corner before we get too excited.”

At this point, I guess you would expect to hear me say that I don’t know why I am that way; that I have some unexplained neurosis that kills my desire to dream – well, I am sorry to disappoint but I know exactly why I am the way that I am: it’s a defence mechanism.

To dream is to open yourself hurt. To dream is embrace the possibility that this could go pear-shaped. To dream is to face the reality that you could get it wrong – and Douglas Kofi Adu-Boahen doesn’t do getting wrong.

What is that but pride?

What is it but the belief that I am not entitled to hurt or pain or disappointment?

What is it that but – if we’re honest – me looking at the heavens and attempting to dictate terms to God Almighty?

I’m in a peculiar season – more on that later on in these reflections – but in this season, one thing the Lord has been teaching me by precept and by providence is that it is OK to dream, to wish, to sit in bed at night and think, “What if?”

Perhaps in the providence of God, He allows those moments to spur us on to seek the only One who is able to satisfy those dreams fully and perfectly. Perhaps my lack of a dream state says more than about a lack of faith than being sensible.

“Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”

Even when it comes to my dreams.

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Towards a Contemporary Reformed Witness (3): Personal Reflections Pt.3a

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My third and final personal reflection before we start dealing with some of the tools at our disposal for having a robust, contemporary reformed witness is this:

We tend towards a lobsided view of history – both in relation to the past and to the present

C.S. Lewis coined a phrase which has become a personal favourite of mine. He wrote:

Barfield never made me an Anthroposophist, but his counterattacks destroyed forever two elements in my own thought. In the first place he made short work of what I have called my “chronological snobbery,” the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited. You must find why it went out of date. Was it ever refuted (and if so by whom, where, and how conclusively) or did it merely die away as fashions do? If the latter, this tells us nothing about its truth or falsehood. From seeing this, one passes to the realization that our own age is also “a period,” and certainly has, like all periods, its own characteristic illusions. They are likeliest to lurk in those widespread assumptions which are so ingrained in the age that no one dares to attack or feels it necessary to defend them.

Those two words – “chronological snobbery” – have haunted me ever since.

There is a real sense in which, particularly among the young, there is the danger of not quite appreciating that there was indeed a fully-functional world before the one into which we were born. A failure to appreciate history and to learn from it is arrogance of the highest order and something from which we ought to repent.

That all being said…

In reformed circles, I don’t think that’s our thing to fear. We embrace the reality that the particulars of our theological system were forged in prior generations, most notably the sixteenth through to the eighteenth centuries. Of course – we’re reformed as in the Protestant Reformation. 

In itself, that should be no issue – the history of the Church, though not flawless, is the story of two thousand years of Christ’s power manifested through imperfect people who believed in and stood for Him. We still use terms and definitions forged from the past to define critical Christian doctrines, we still cite with great reverence those who went before us, expounding the Scripture and we still ask the question, “How have God’s people always understood this issue or that?”

In and of itself, that is not the problem. The problem is chronological snobbery…but of a different kind. We’ll pick up this train of thought in part 4.

 

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In Defense of Taking Notes in Sermons

I am a “note taker” and I love it.

Sermons, lectures, webinars at work – I like…no, I need to have pen and paper with me to focus.

In so much as you are delivering some form of information, I need to write it down…and nowhere more so than in church. sermon_notes

I am an avid note taker in church – most likely on paper, occasionally on my tablet if I’m short of a pen – and I refuse to apologise for that fact.

I appreciate it’s not for everyone but of late, it’s become popular in Bible-believing circles to decry the act of taking notes in sermons. I remember listening to an amazing series of sermons on Romans 9-11 a few years ago and the preacher constantly derided those who would take notes during his preaching – and he met with a lot of agreement from the audience.

As someone who is an avid note-taker and has no plans of quitting, here are some reasons I believe in taking notes:

1. It forces you to not just listen but process:

As someone who teaches at least once a week, I face the reality that folks will often listen to me with great eagerness…and then can’t remember what I said the next week.

Part of the problem is that we are often OK at listening but not at processing.

Listening is passive but to listen, think through and internalize and review- that’s an activity which requires effort and note-taking (with later review) helps encourage that process.

2. It aids discipleship((Indebted to Dr David Platt for years of drumming this into me via his pastoral ministry at The Church of Brooks Hills))

Preaching is a means by which we are equipped for the work of the ministry (cf Eph 4:13-16) – it is, amongst so many other things, mass discipleship in the Word.

I have been stretched and deepened by the pulpit ministry of my local church and more often than not, I find myself sharing tidbits from what I’ve learned with others who I am trying to pour into.

Try doing that from memory. A written (or typed) record is a record you can go back to, a record you can draw on time and time again as you pass off the truths passed on to you.

This next point is a little longer and more complex so follow me closely…

3. Much of the critique of taking notes in sermons hinges on opinion and not fact

The idea is often put forward that a sermon is a means of exultation in and exaltation of Jesus Christ – so far, so good – and since it is worship and not just information – again, I agree – taking notes removes the worshipful aspect from that process and reduces it down to a lecture.

“The Doctor”, Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, is cited to this effect:

“I have often discouraged the taking of notes while I am preaching. . . . The first and primary object of preaching is not only to give information. It is, as Edwards says, to produce an impression. It is the impression at the time that matters, even more than what you can remember subsequently. . . . While you are writing your notes, you may be missing something of the impact of the Spirit.”

Well, with all due respect to the Doctor, that sounds more subjective than anything. I’m pretty certain God the Holy Spirit is powerful enough to minister to someone listening to a sermon and writing down notes just as effectively as if someone were just listening.

If anything, this downplays the effectiveness of preaching and makes it contingent on the response it evokes in the hearers and what the preacher does to produce that effect, rather than in the freedom of the Spirit working to make the Word of effect in people’s lives.

It’s not been my aim in this post to say everyone must take notes in a sermon – people process differently and take in truth differently – but it is my hope that we’ll put aside bad arguments either for or against and simply let people do that which best works for them.

Reviews

Review: The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

I believe self-reflection is a lost art. When it comes to the church, I think self-reflection is not just a lost art, it is a misunderstood art.

The ability to look back, to look in, to look up – these are skills that previous generations practiced to powerful effect, yet we sadly do not make much in the way of time for them.

If anything, there is an aversion to it. We like to convey the image that we have it all together, that we have no need to learn anything, that we have it all figured out. The only way you do that, frankly, is to deny reality because no one has it all together perfectly – we just aren’t self-reflective enough to know and admit it. 

That was one of the things that made The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith such a gripping and powerful read – the book is unreservedly self-reflective.

The heart of the book revolves around the conversion and early years of the Christian life of Dr Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, a tenured English professor at Syracuse who, prior to her conversion, lived in a lesbian relationship and had no interest in the Christian faith. Her career was booming, she was happy with her partner, owned two homes and was actively engaged in activism on a number of fronts.

That being the case, many evangelicals, either consciously or unconsciously, would think she was a total write-off, someone for whom salvation was just far too out of reach…except it wasn’t.

A riveting read from start to finish, we’re introduced to a story that, if we weren’t being told by a reliable source, sounds entirely implausible. As Dr Butterfield herself describes it, it was a ‘trainwreck’ – her life went from planned and normal to unpredictable and unconventional in what could only have felt as ‘overnight’. Dr Butterfield steps into the role of master storyteller, taking us on her journey unafraid to tell us what she was thinking and feeling at crucial points while also weaving in key theological points and piercing commentary at crucial junctures.

Therein lies the strength of this book – Dr Butterfield isn’t afraid to get self-reflective as a reformed evangelical about some of the issues and attitudes that hamper us in being effective witnesses in Christ. That alone makes the book worth the cost of buying.

I wouldn’t endorse everything about the book – for example, the subtle advocacy for exclusive psalmody at points – but this was a highly edifying read and I would gladly commend it to Christians seeking an ‘insider perspective’ on how to proclaim the Gospel, not just to the homosexual community, but into the chaos of our present culture more broadly.

My advice: go read it, think through it and then repent.

I know I did.

 

 

Towards a Contemporary Reformed Witness

Towards a Contemporary Reformed Witness (2): Personal Reflections Pt. 2

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Picking up from where we left off in the opening part of this series, I want to take a second thread of personal reflection as we begin thinking through how we can have a robustly reformed witness in our contemporary culture.

(2) Sometimes we are not willing to listen to and look at the world around us

Now at this point, I have to begin in the negative. What I do not mean is that we go and ask the world what they want to hear. Paul is clear in 2 Corinthians 4:

But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.1

The unbelieving world around us are blind to the Gospel, unable to grasp spiritual things and in regards to spiritual things, we don’t get our cue from them (cf 1 Cor 2:14.)

I also do not mean that we borrow the sinful methodologies of the culture to reach it. So sorry…something such as this doesn’t pass muster:

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We don’t borrow from secular culture to reach secular culture!2

That all being said…there is a kind of aloofness to the world around us which we seem to think is a mark of godliness and holiness which is actually unhelpful in light of our call to be in this world while being decidedly not of this world.

As I said in part one, I believe that believers with a worldview steeped in the truth of Scripture as expressed in the reformed faith have a wealth of answers to offer to this day and age – however a failure to communicate to the age in which we live stems massively from being unaware of the issues which directly affect this culture.

Cornelius Van Til, the famed reformed thinker and apologist, is reputed to have said that the Bible is the Word of God in all that it addresses and it addresses everything. Politics, the arts, science, history, philosophy – Biblical principles apply to everything!3

Oftentimes we communicate in such a way as to suggest that these areas simply do not not matter – that because unbelievers think about a subject, it must inherently be beneath us to think through from a Biblical worldview.

If we are going to communicate faithfully to this age, we have to communicate with an understanding of the issues which are on the minds and hearts of the culture in which we find ourselves. We see this in the apostolic witness where Paul, in Acts 17 (an oft-cited passage for contextualization which we’ll look at in our next post together), isn’t afraid to quote from the thinkers of the day, while proclaiming the powerfully antithetical message of the Gospel in response to the major beliefs of the day.

Paul does not yield an inch of ground to the culture and yet he was conversant enough in the major worldview issues of the day that he could speak right to those issues in a pointed way.

If we are going to make any kind of powerful impact today, we must be willing to listen in on the cultural conversation of the day and to take a look at that which is shaping that conversation in order to pull down the right strongholds with the Gospel message (cf. 2 Cor 10:3-5)

  1. 2 Cor 4:3-4 []
  2. more on that in a later post in the series []
  3. Not in the same measure and to the same amount of detail to be sure []
Towards a Contemporary Reformed Witness

Towards a Contemporary Reformed Witness (1): Personal Reflections Pt. 1

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I love reformed theology.
I love the doctrines of grace.
I love our body of truth.
I love our fathers who witnessed in life (and in many cases, in death) to the truths I hold so dear.

But I have to confess to being a little disillusioned at times when it comes to being in the reformed family.

You see, the reformed family is pretty awesome but we’re not without our issues. I’ve waxed lyrical about my issues with some in the family already but in this series of posts, I want to move past that and think about how it is that we can effectively communicate the great and glorious truth of the reformed faith in our modern context.

I want us to think about how we can effectively communicate the truth of God’s Word in contemporary culture without watering down what we believe and without wavering on why we believe it.

The Reformation was both a historically-rooted and culturally/socially-relevant movement and I believe we can do the same. That’s my heart in this series – to use a phrase that will feature heavily in this extended conversation: a fixed and flexible reformed witness.1

Before we get through the heavy theological and historical lifting required to effectively handle this discussion, I want to begin with a few personal reflections as to why I would take up this series. Why do I think it is so important for us to have a contemporary reformed witness that is both fixed in what it believes and teaches and flexible in areas as well? Three thoughts:

(1) Sometimes we confuse what is fixed and what we can be flexible on

For a theology forged in the fires of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, reformed theology is incredibly relevant to the day in which we live.

However, speak to most folks who have had a cursory brush with reformed people in the past and you’d get the perception that reformed theology is anything but!

To an extent, that cannot be helped. We value the apostolicity2 of the faith we confess – we can trace these truths back to the Apostles and their teaching in the Scripture. We value the catholicity of the faith we confess – that the church is universal in its scope and not restricted by geographical boundaries. We even value the historicity of the faith – this faith is the faith of our fathers, not just ourselves. Faithful men passed these things on to other faithful men who were able to teach others also and we are very standing on the shoulders of giants when it comes to the faith.3

That all being said, there is a danger in our circles which I fear we either don’t believe to be a danger or (even worse) we think to be a badge of honour. The danger is that often we confuse those elements of our reformed conviction that are fixed and those things which, if we are honest, are a little flexible such that in the final analysis, we are simply unintelligible. (More on that to come.)

If we are to maintain a witness to the reformed faith that communicates intelligibly and intelligently to today’s world, we have to do justice to the reality that while the core truths of our faith should never change, our presentation and communication of these things must change to be understood by the people we seek to reach.

In reference to the use of spiritual gifts, Paul laid out a principle we would do well to bear in mind:

There are doubtless many different kinds of languages in the world, and all have meaning. Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me.4

What is the key principle Paul teaches us in 1 Cor 14? Communicating in such a way as the things we say have meaning to those who hear us. That’s a principle we cannot afford to ignore or dismiss as reformed people in the 21st century.

I’ll pick up with a second personal reflection in the second part of this series.

  1. And this will be quite a extended conversation – don’t expect this to be done in two or three parts []
  2. I pretty much invented a word here…I think. []
  3. cf. 2 Timothy 2:2 []
  4. 1 Cor 14:10-11 []
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Five Things I Want to Teach My Son

Should the Lord be pleased and I have a son (tentatively named Kofi Jr – has to be born on a Friday though but we can dream!), here are five life lessons I want to impart him – lessons I’ve learned the hard way but lessons I’m glad to have learned (and in most cases, am still learning!): father-and-son

  1. Learn to love the Word of God. It wasn’t until I was 17 that I came to truly appreciate the Word of God and all it could. It’s not in vain that Jesus prayed to the Father, Sanctify them by Your truth, Your Word is truth1 Love the Word, order your life around the Word, be prepared to get rid of people and circumstances that will tempt you away from the Word (and they will come thick and fast!) – do everything to be in the best position to receive the implanted word, which is able to save your soul.2
  2. Learn to embrace your weaknesses. Now understand me – I’m not talking about flaws of character – work on those through the Word in the power of the Spirit. I’m talking about those things which are not sinful but seem to cripple you. The culture around you will tell you to be ashamed of your weaknesses and to be on a constant hamster-wheel of self-improvement but, listen to me –  you are strongest when you are weakest. Never feel the urge to change who you are merely because someone says so – if it hinders your Gospel witness or impairs Gospel work, fix it. Otherwise, adopt the apostle’s approach: So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.3
  3. Be vulnerable. I’ve never liked being vulnerable – after all, who in their wrong mind wants to be open to even the possibility of being hurt by another person? Vulnerability, by its very nature, means people will hurt you – sometimes profoundly so. Yet still be open to people – there aren’t that many people who are open with people and the world suffers for it. For the good of others, be willing to spend and be spent, even if it’s for little reward now. I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.4
  4. Watch how you treat women. There is a crisis of manhood in our culture – a fact so well-documented I’m sure I don’t need to devote an excess of time to defining how far-reaching it is. I hate to say it but sometimes that crisis puts on Sunday best and comes to church on a Sunday morning (or afternoon, if your church is like mine), Reject this culture’s treatment of women as game to be hunted or empty-headed ditzes worthy only of manipulation and mistreatment or equipment to be used for your own means. They are image-bearers of God – just like you are – and if they are believing, then they are heirs of the grace of life – just like you are. They’re your sisters in the Lord – even after you marry one, that’s still true. Don’t play with their hearts, don’t treat them as objects, don’t assume they’re inferiors – treat them with every ounce of dignity you can muster.
  5. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Seriously. There will be enough people in your life to do that on your behalf – of that, I can give you full assurance. Enjoy the laughter, engage in recreation, find time to do things which are…well, not that serious. Fun, in its proper place, is not a sin and be prepared to remind some folks around you of that. Be light-hearted when the moment allows. Learn to lighten up and laugh. A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.((Prov 17:22))

Ultimately, kid – it’s not in you to do any of this. You’ll fail, you’ll grow weary, you’ll sin – but remember:

If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.5

The Gospel will provide sweet balm for your cuts, scrapes and wounds – rest in it. I suppose that’s the most important thing I can leave you.

  1. John 17:17 []
  2. James 1:21 []
  3. 2 Cor 12:10 []
  4. 2 Cor 12:10 []
  5. 1 John 1:8-10 []
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Father Hunger

I did have a blog post planned today called “An Ineligible Bachelor?” – that’ll now be posted on Tuesday afternoon. 

However, yesterday I listened to a sermon series I hadn’t heard since 2013 from Doug Wilson, minister of Christ Church in Moscow, ID called “Father Hunger” and just had to share it.

Even if you’re not a father (like yours truly), this series may go some way in correcting some of the wrong views of fatherhood that exist in our minds as men. I pray it is as much of a blessing for you as it was for me.

 

Personal Thoughts

Christians Are Annoying (2)

Continuing from the first part of this series, here are two additional things I find annoying about Christians at times:

We’re not all in

I’ve always believed that being a Christian is the kind of thing that is definitional for a person.

In the words of D.A. Carson, being a Christian is a master status – it defines all of life for us.

It’s surprising, then, that at times, we Christians are so quick to find reasons to justify half-hearted commitment1 to the cause of Christ.

One of the men who put me on to this reality was the German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Say what you will about his general theological commitments, Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship demonstrates the reality that (in his own words), “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.”

Something is fundamentally wrong when we can’t listen to and live that without throwing out a whole load of provisos and excuses.

Now I’m not arguing for disconnecting from the world and not engaging in life in general. As Art Azurdia so provocatively puts it, I believe in a ‘worldly Christianity’.2

I am arguing for a worldly Christianity – a sold-out, fully-committed, vibrant faith living in the midst of a world that is in desperate need.

Living by half-measures is not how we act as salt and light. It is however annoying.

We love fighting the wrong battles

There are legitimate reasons to fight. A few of them if you think long and hard about it.

I will go to the mat with anyone over penal substitutionary atonement. I will get in the ring over the Trinity. I will say some pointed and harsh things over the inspiration and authority of Scripture.

I am not, however, going to fight over (say) my eschatological views. I am not going to get into spirited debate with you prefer hymns only in a worship service and I am open to theologically-correct contemporary songs as well. I’m not going to argue with you because you think drinking is a sin and I think moderation is a valid, Biblical position (especially since I only recently came to that view)

This isn’t a plea for lowest-common-denominator Christianity where we boil everything down and don’t talk about touchy areas.

But let us face a fact we hate to admit – not everything is a category one issue which needs to be pushed at every given opportunity. We can actually…

giphy

Knowledge is knowing how to win a war, wisdom is knowing whether you should even start a war in the first place.

How many hours of usefulness could be reclaimed if folks decided to do something profitable with their time instead of fighting wars of attrition that profit no-one.

Unlike the epic Frozen GIF above…that’s annoying!

  1. which is, ultimately, no commitment []
  2. Google his messages on his themes from John 17 for his full explanation []
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Christians Are Annoying (1)

I have long believed in and cherished the great ideal of brutal honesty.

As the saying goes, “Hard words make soft hearts and soft words make hard hearts”, and while I appreciate there is some pushback to that sentiment, it’s true on occasion.

Sometimes hard words need to be said in order to evoke change. For more information, please consult the Letter to the Galatians as an argument in favour of that principle.

This blog post is going to be one of those “hard words” – I am going to say something that you potentially may find upsetting, annoying (that would be ironic!) or rather arrogant. It’s not my aim to be but nonetheless, I apologise in advance if that is the case.

Why, then, do I think some Christians are annoying? Five distinct areas highlight this reality to me:

We are generally immature at times

To put it bluntly, sone growing-up is needed. ASAP.

There is a flippancy among Christians at times that I find totally disheartening – especially in younger Christians.

Kill-joy! That’s probably the choice of heckle I’d hear if I was having this conversation with folks in person but that’s not what I’m saying.

More than most, I enjoy my laughter (probably more than I should) and I love a good joke…but not everything is funny. If everything is a source of humour, then nothing is a source of humour – it’s just a morass of silliness.

But humour is not the only problem.

No there’s also a general issue with doing things on your own. Our instant-information age has made it such that we really think that there is an app or a guy or a guy with an app to do everything for us.

That’s annoying. 

We love cliques and elitism

Now I have to confess I am passionate about this one because I used to be that guy.

I’m something of a theological outcast for various reasons I won’t get into. (I’m a general outcast when it comes to life too but I made peace with that a long time ago.)

One of the beauties of not fitting in anywhere and people treating you as weird no matter what the context or setting is that you begin to realise that Christians love cliques, categories and a good dash of feeling like part of some elite group.

I’m a Calvinist – and I’ll be frank in saying that few theological sub-cultures have as many ‘sets’ (in the gang sense of the term) as Calvinist. I’ve seen Presbyterian go after Presbyterian because they weren’t ‘confessional’ enough, I’ve seen Reformed guys turn on Baptists because they have no sacraments1 and Lord help you should you be a dispensational-leaning Calvinist among covenantal brothers.

It more resembles this scene than Christian brothers with differences:

Simpsons_angry_mob

Now I don’t want to say that this is solely the problem of Calvinists…because it’s not solely the problem of Calvinists.2 But we have to confess that at times we genuinely think we are better than people because we have better theology – we might not say it but our actions do.

That’s elitism – the subtle belief that one group possesses an innate advantage over another group on the basis of shared knowledge, values and/or experiences. Sorry, Christians, we don’t do elitism in our circles.

Even if your theology is better than most people around you, build bridges and don’t build walls for Heaven’s sake3 – don’t allow your theology to puff you up lest God feel pleased to stick a pin in you for your soul’s sake.

Cliques and elitist thinking in God’s Church – that’s annoying.

We are really insensitive

Yes, yes we are. Christians have the capability to some of the coldest, uncaring, unapproachable people in any given situation.

Now, c’mon, Kofi, that’s an overstatement, ain’t it? 

Nope – there are some moments where I simply have to ask myself, “Is there actually a functioning brain in there as you talk right now?”

In many ways, this problem of insensitivity is the fruit of my first major gripe –  because we’re immature, we’re not sensitive to the reality that for some people, there is such a thing as a sore spot!

There are certain brothers in my life that though I love them dearly, I am resolved I will never tell certain things for the simple reasons their comments demonstrate a general inability to be considerate and in the interest of practicing what I preach, I restrain

I often half-joke that some brothers will hear about me getting married, should that ever happen, the week before. The reason why (which I never disclose) is that any earlier I will be dealing with a load of foolish jokes over something I take kinda seriously.

Ultimately, sensitivity is something you develop by getting to know people and knowing where they struggle.

My pastors are amazing at this. Pastor Tom and I talk a lot and while there is a lot of good-natured ribbing I undergo from PT, I can bank on the reality that there are certain issues he will be as sensitive in dealing with. In fact, I know there are certain subjects we joke about and some that are so raw I wouldn’t naturally touch them if he didn’t fulfil his pastoral ministry and ask for the good of my own soul.

But that is rare – because we Christians are not as sensitive to the pains and struggles of others and it is annoying.

To be continued…

  1. Again, I could go in on that…but I like being in the land of the living and somewhat happy []
  2. I grew up Pentecostal – we’re worse at being cliquish! []
  3. and I mean that in the literal sense []