Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Lately I've been having this problem articulating. I do things that are weird sometimes, and people ask about them, and I really am drawing a blank about how to explain. This is really hard for me to grapple with, because I am rarely at a loss for words. But lately, I'm failing to explain myself.

Sometimes, the answer would take a half hour, and I'm consciously trying to avoid my terrible penchant for soapboxing. Sometimes, I've never explained "why" before, so I don't know how to organize my thoughts (further proof that being in the Bible Belt is dangerous to my faith - hardly anybody ever disagrees with me about anything that really matters). Sometimes, it's personal, or controversial, and I just don't want to get into it- I just want to keep it light. I don't want to be another embarassing mouthpiece acting like the morality police, or adding to your Jesus Checklist ("God will love me if I a, b, and c").

I'm talking about things like, why don't I eat beef much anymore? Why does trash matter? Why do I need to go far away to help people- aren't there lots of people needing help nearby? Why we use a cash budget, why I've stopped buying entirely, why I'll never own an SUV, why I want to live in a rough school district, why I don't want Christmas presents, or why I will one day adopt a child who doesn't look like me with no preconditions.

I think I found the answer. In someone else's blog. It was an article about loving your neighbor, and what that means. I think that's the real, core explanation for all of those things. I've been convinced that Jesus knows the best way to live, and that he is serious about me loving my neighbor, so I'm really trying hard to figure out a way to do that in my decisions, large and small. That's the overarching "reason why". I don't want to do things that hurt people, anywhere, even if I am so far away that I'll never see it in person. I'm not any sort of expert, and I'm not exactly sure I'm doing this right, but I'm really trying, and that's why I'm doing things that are weird.

Sojo always finds hidden treasures:

Why do you make me see
wrongdoing and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
So the law becomes slack
and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous–
therefore judgment comes forth perverted.

- Habakkuk 1:3-4

We all know I am a huge Matt Chandler fan:

I love the God of the Bible. He is weighty, glorious, powerful, terrifying, sovereign, beautiful and big. Over the last 15 years I have had to wrestle quite a bit with a good portion of God’s self-disclosure. The Truth and truths unpacked in those 66 books are thick, beautiful, difficult and life altering. The scriptures truly are “profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and the training in righteousness so that we might be competent and equipped for every good work.” The question I want to try to answer in this post is “Does it matter how we go about doing all of that teaching, reproving, correcting and training?” Absolutely it does!

There is a big difference between shepherding people to truth and wielding it over others. I have been grieved lately with people whose doctrine is correct but whose methodology in engaging others with those beautiful truths has been nothing short of wicked. Let me explain the difference between shepherding to truth and wielding truth as a blunt force tool. In 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Paul, coaching Timothy through the Ephesian Controversy, says “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.”

Read more at Matt's blog.


Clint and Kerry said...

Katie, I am totally with you on this one! We have tried explaining many of our "life choices" to our family members, and even they don't fully understand. This whole Christmas present thing has been the hardest to get across. Maybe y'all would like to meet up with us to do something on Christmas day? We are looking for something meaningful to do as a family. Anyways, I don't have any real advice except to keep trying to explain or just let your life do the talking (which I think speaks loudly) Love you!

K said...

Friend, great idea. We've been wanting to do something on Christmas day for years and always just end up defaulting to the usual plan. No more! Let's talk.