Thursday, August 23, 2012


try the direct application of love – I dare you!
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. (Galatians 6:1-5)
his morning I’m starting with some awesome Bible words. I didn’t run across this passage by chance, but because I deliberately spend a short amount of time each morning reading scripture before I do anything else. I use The Upper Room daily devotional guide. It’s emailed directly to my phone and it’s right there, can’t miss, before I even get up.
This is how God works; my honest intention (regular prayer and Bible study) meets with God’s gracious response. The words from Galatians are exactly appropriate as a follow-up to my blog yesterday (marriage, this election, America – and the politics of shooting ourselves in the foot):
  • Live creatively.
  • Save criticism for yourself.
  • We all might need forgiveness before the day is done.
  • Share other people’s burdens.
  • Be passionate about your own calling, but don’t be impressed with yourself!
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Take responsibility for your own life.
We seldom see the complete picture…
WINSOME: We all have so much to learn from this passage! There is a great deal that I could/should do to move with more creative purpose into this “Life-charged life.” My responsibility is not to criticize others so much as it is to live faith out loud, to interact with my world as if the good news of the gospel really is true.
This same principle, applied to the sour, cynical, and manipulative world of politics (and I’m talking about church politics as well as secular politics) would recommend living out the truth of what we believe so that our most compelling argument is our winsomeness.
The word “winsome” means – quite literally – a quality that will win people over.
… until we get all the way to the other side.
The best way to win anyone over to our way of thinking is not to intimidate, or to judge their way, or to demolish their point of view, or to assassinate their character; but to, quite humbly, demonstrate the value of what we espouse in such a positive way that people are won over. Won over by proactive love.
Try it. Stow the negative attitude, and practice a month or two of winsomeness. I dare you.

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