Category Archives: wisdom

Choosing a Divergent Path: Wisdom in a World Gone Mad

We are inundated with loud voices clamoring for emotional reactions. In contrast, followers of Jesus are invited to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and choose loving obedience. Let’s take time to still our hearts, listen deeply, and love wisely.

We do not live in the best or worst of times…but in the most instantaneous information moment of history. Our conflicts are not new, but much more immediate and our responses are often unreflective. We can shun vulgarity. We can choose intercession for those who disagree. And we can recognize that power itself is an addiction affecting every part of the political spectrum. 

Forgiveness often sparks revival in persons and communities. Without pretending about our real pain or excusing transgression, what if we let go of the rap sheet that we keep against ourselves and others and truly forgive? And when we bless those who frustrate us most, we are liberated, and a new future opens to us.

An antidote for our epidemic and anger: In the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, we can meet every insult with blessing, every denial of truth with love and truth, arrogance with humility, and intolerance with civil discourse. And let’s respond to emotionalism and incipient Orwellian controls with careful thought and affirmation of liberty rooted in virtue. Systemic issues of class, gender, and race must be exposed…and overcome with love, relationships, and wisdom. Protest is one step…and practical, sacrificial action for others moves our vision of shalom forward. This is more than being nice and it is not passive. Living in the opposite spirit of our age of insults and vulgarity is a courageous spiritual posture. 

Some Wisdom for the Journey

We cannot make every cause our own. We can be well-informed on issues, but each of us must focus on the particular concerns we are equipped for. What areas of the common good are we called to influence? For some it is pro-life issues (yes, we must all care about this). For others, it is education, homelessness, employment, affordable housing, personal life-change, etc. If we each find our place, our community will flourish. If you are not sure, begin with where God has you today and allow your character, competencies, and charisms to bloom where you are planted.

Pause and pray. Reflect and rejoice.
Lament and laugh. Today is a gift, tomorrow is a hope.
Bless many secretly, affirm someone openly. 
And remember Kierkegaard: “Purity of heart is to will one thing.”

Nuance, perspective, and subtlety are lost is our world of instant data, reaction over reflection, and “narratives” we refuse to abandon or adjust. The Bible informs us that we are beautiful and broken, have a divine design and destiny, and are capable of unutterable evil and supererogatory virtue. Let’s embrace reality with the confidence in the One who unites eternal truth and human reality – Jesus our Lord. 

Billy Graham: The Voice of Our Century

Billy Graham’s recent passing way at age 99 stirs up deep emotions as I consider the impact of his preaching and service. In addition to billions hearing the gospel and millions converted, thousands of leaders were trained and millions more helped with compassion outreach.

Along with John Stott, Graham is the founder of the Lausanne Movement, a global evangelical network that is dedicated to evangelization and human flourishing in the kingdom. In just over 40 years, we have seen a shift in global Christianity from “the West to the rest” to ministry now being “from everywhere to everywhere” and the majority of Christians residing in non-Western nations.

As he reflected in an interview with Diane Sawyer on his life and ministry he said, “I wish I would have done more about race.” This from a man who integrated his meetings and lost friends as he rightly rejected racism and segregation. He also regretted the lack of time with his family and proper self-care…what humility for a world leader!

Billy Graham.

A voice of my lifetime, bearing witness to grace and truth. our best tribute? Faithful service and witness in all I do. And continually growing in kindness, love and wisdom. May we begin every encounter with every person with love and respect. The Cross welcomes all and when the Holy Spirit is working, there is a new sociology.