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Saginaw, Michigan, United States
A sinner who may come before God because of Christ

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

There are some days when stoicism looks good to me. Our age seems to be more wrapped up in how we 'feel' than about what is right or wrong.

Back in the late 60's there was a saying that pretty much reflected the sentiment of the times: "If it feels good, do it". Today that sentiment seems to have evolved to: "If it feels good it is good and no one should tell me otherwise". 'Feeling' has become the primary means of assessing the world. It is almost, it seems for many, a worldview, an ideology. It is the demise of objectivity and the rise of subjectivity both personally and publically.

This is manifesting itself in law. For example, simply expressing an opinion can now lead to losing a job if what is stated 'offends' another person, often regardless of the validity of that statement. The measure is fast becoming not real damage but percieved damage to the individual.

All over the media it is all about 'feelings'. All over the workplace it is about 'feelings'. The world is becoming saturated with 'feelings'. Even the Church, which is based on law and grace has embraced the "feeling" culture of our times.

And I am tired about worrying about 'feelings' - mine and someone elses. I am tired of reading that the cause of all problems is someone's 'poor self-esteem' when Scripture tells us in James 4 that it is the "passions at war within" us. Focusing on 'feelings' allows us to make up our rules as we move along.

The problem with this is that there are rules - both physical and Spiritual. Physical rules tell me that I cannot walk through a wall without doing some damage regardless about how I 'feel' about going through that wall. Spiritual rules tell me that there is a penalty to pay for disobedience to God.

We don't want to believe that subjectively, but reality has this way of negating false beliefs with true knowledge.

As Christians, we need to guard ourselves form embracing the current fads in thinking and finding ourselves more like the world than like Christ. Our rules are not made up as we stumble along. Our 'rules' are spoken to us from God to Scripture to our eyes and ears. We have a Lord. It is Him whom we need to obey, and not the whims of the moment.

Christian Stoicism is following Christ even when we are 'feeling' like otherwise. It is glorifying God above our 'self', not living for our 'self'. It is finding joy in something other than your 'feeling'.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

There Are Days

As a Christian perhaps one of the toughest things we do (or in this case don't do) is to get too wrapped up in this world.

We are reminded in John 18:3 that our home, our Kingdom, is not of this world, and are warned in Romans 12:2 not to conform to this world. Simply put, as the adopted children of God this world is not our home and, in fact, it will one day end and there will be a new Earth (Revelation 21:1).

Yet, we are existing now in this time and place and there are days when it seems to be spinning in a maddening fashion. From global issues such as climate change to personal issues like who took the garbage out last to the animals fighting and struggling to instinctively survive, this world is not a place at peace. It is a place of beauty, but not a place of peace.

So on those days when a "there are days" moment occurs, when this world just seems so overwhelming, it is time to go to God in Word and prayer and put your mind on Him and remember His "things above" (Colossians 3:2). Worship Him and this world fades away.

For His Glory,