Links for the Weekend (2022-08-12)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

Don’t (Always) Be Efficient

Efficiency is wonderful for jobs, but efficiency is terrible for relationships.

Who wants an efficient friendship? Or marriage? Who would want to visit an efficient park, or art museum? Who prefers drive-through fast food to a slow evening meal where the conversation lasts longer than the courses? It’s great to be efficient, but it’s not always great. Sometimes it’s better to be inefficient and let time slip away while we immerse ourselves in something (or someone) that isn’t a task to accomplish or a to-do box to tick.

How Job Teaches Us to Grieve With Hope

Marissa Bonduran writes about the choices we have when faced with sorrow and looks to the book of Job for guidance.

When Job said that the Lord gives and takes away, he acknowledged that all we experience has passed through the loving and purposeful hands of a trustworthy God. Throughout the rest of the book, Job continues to wrestle with what happened to him and what he knows is true about God. This is not an easy truth to grasp, but Job was willing to press into the Lord in search of the truth. As readers we watch his friends struggle with their own understanding of who God is. As we read the story of Job, there is much we can learn about how God works in our lives (Rom. 8:28).

How Connectivity Made Us Miserable

I appreciate Samuel James’s keen thinking about culture, technology, and faith. In this article he writes about Netflix, the iPod, and Facebook and the change they all underwent in the late 2000s. He argues that these changes have been working against our happiness since then.

Simply put, the idea that maximum access to the Internet, the utilization of all our culture and all our spaces to bring us closer to the ambient Web, has made our art less enjoyable, our relationships less accessible, and our experiences less meaningful. Americans today pay more money to get less out of their tools and less out of their art. Connectivity is making us miserable.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article written by Charissa Rychcik called Loving My Neighbor, Not Assuming the Worst. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out!

Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Loving My Neighbor, Not Assuming the Worst

When our neighbor parked at the edge of his driveway at our previous home, it made it challenging for us to pull into and out of our driveway. This used to drive me crazy! 

One day when we were coming home from camping with a lot of supplies, this neighbor was parked not only on the edge of his driveway but partly onto the street. This made it impossible for us to pull into our driveway. I demanded that my husband, Phil, address this with the neighbor. I went inside to begin unpacking and heard the neighbor approach Phil. The neighbor apologized for how he was parked and said he was waiting for AAA because his battery had died. Oops! Boy, did I immediately feel small for jumping to conclusions and assuming my neighbor was purposely making things hard for me. He was facing a stressful situation. Rather than extend him grace, I assumed negative intentions.

Recently, when I again jumped to conclusions and assumed negative intentions about someone, a wise person shared counsel from the Bible with me. A civil war in Israel nearly broke out because people almost acted without knowing all the facts. God prohibited altars from being built in Deuteronomy 12:1-14 unless he commanded them. Furthermore, God commanded in Deuteronomy 13:12-16 that the city’s inhabitants must be destroyed if altars or idols were built. In Joshua 22:1–34, the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh (the eastern tribes) built an altar to honor God and remind the generations to come they were still Israelites. The western tribes became concerned hearing the eastern tribes created an altar. They began preparing to destroy the eastern land because they assumed the eastern tribes were disobeying God’s commands. Fortunately, the western leadership took time to investigate why the eastern tribes built the altar before any violence ensued and realized their intentions were for good. The eastern tribes were not sinning or purposely disobeying God; in fact, the altar was to promote the worship of God. Rather than begin a war, the tribes praised God together. “And the report was good in the eyes of the people of Israel. And the people of Israel blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them to destroy the land where the people of Reuben and the people of Gad were settled” (Joshua 22:33). 

In our sinful nature, we see people’s flaws and make assumptions without knowing the whole story. Fortunately, our loving God sees us through Christ’s sacrifice and has promoted us to be heirs of his kingdom despite our sin (Titus 3:7). Additionally, because God is love (1 John 4:7), he teaches us to love others and live in harmony. Therefore, we can prevent conflict by taking time to investigate the whole story, assuming positive intentions, extending grace, and finding opportunities to worship God with others.

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Links for the Weekend (2022-08-05)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

New Resolve After 55 Years in My Wheelchair

This article was written by Joni Eareckson Tada, who has been a quadriplegic since 1967. She reflects on the Americans with Disabilities Act and writes about the ways she works to help people with disabilities not just have access but belong.

Aging with quadriplegia may be filled with extra challenges, but it doesn’t demoralize me. With God’s help, I hold everything lightly. I try not to grasp at my fragile life, nor coddle it or minimize my activities at Joni and Friends just because I’m getting older, growing weaker, and dealing with more pain. Rather, I find great comfort and joy in dying to self and living every day to serve the Lord Jesus and others around the world whose disabilities are far more profound than mine.

How Do Hearts Grow?

Pierce Taylor Hibbs proposes this answer to his question: “Maybe our hearts mature as they focus more on giving and less on getting.” He uses the rest of his article to explain.

Heart-growth is a matter of giving. It’s a posture of the soul, to offer with both hands and not expect or demand anything in return. If you want to know if your heart is growing, if you’re not just waking up each morning and being the same old yesterday-self, then consider how you’re giving your time, energy, and resources to others. Hearts wax with giving, and they wane in selfishness. Thank God he gives us grace so that we can give it again. 

This Is My Body Given for You

While the exact saying “This is my body, given for you” only appears in the Bible at the institution of the Lord’s Supper, Mitch East shows that the entire story of the Bible can be told using similar words.

This re-telling of the Bible puts the lie to an article of secular faith, which is: “My body is my own.” Nothing could be further from the truth. God gave me my body at my conception through the mutual gift my father and mother made to each other. The God-man gave us His body two thousand years ago and re-presents His body to the church each Sunday around the Lord’s Table. Christ gives the Church, His body, to me in the form of brothers and sisters unified by the Holy Spirit.

Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here.