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Category: Discipleship

Dear Lord, help me not to be a jerk today!

This week, while preparing to teach in a new state, at a new school, for a new school year, I taped a poignant prayer to my computer monitor.

It wasn’t the masterful, insightful words of a Francis of Assisi, or Teresa of Avila, or even an average pastor on an average Sunday morning. It did not ask God to glorify himself through me, or to make me a better man, better teacher, or better Christian.

It was far more basic and less spiritual:

“Dear Lord, help me not to be a jerk today.”

That’s all. I wish it were something more profound, but the truth is – sometimes I can be a jerk.

There are a number of reasons my jerk nature erupts. Sometimes it’s because I just disagree with someone about something. Or I’m ticked off about the way something went. Or – here’s a big one – some authority over me (say, my employer, or my local government) implements a policy that I hate. read more

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Love or shame: What’s behind your use of the phrase “love like Jesus”?

There’s a new mantra appearing across social media, admonishing Christ-followers to “love like Jesus.” But something’s been bothering me about the way this phrase is used, and I’ve been trying to figure it out. I think I’ve finally put my finger on it.

gunbibleHere’s what it is: I agree 100% that we should love like Jesus. Period. End of story. Triple exclamation point. But people are saying “love like Jesus” not to encourage one another toward true godliness, but to shame anyone who disagrees with them. They say it about everything from abortion to LGBT issues to the politics of poverty. And when they say it, they seem to mean, “Agree with my position on this issue, because I am sure Jesus would share it.” Therefore, if I disagree with their position, the implication is that I do not “love like Jesus” on that issue. So those who agree with them are “loving like Jesus” and those who don’t are just “haters” – leaving no room for dialog or dissent. read more

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The disciple who played second fiddle

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This post is adapted from my book, Losers Like Us – Redefining Discipleship After Epic Failure. Download the eBook now for only $2.99! For details, see my book page.

Question for ya: Name the three disciples in Jesus’ “inner circle.”

Answer: It’s got to be Peter, James, and John. They were close to Jesus at key moments when the others weren’t – for example, on the Mount of Transfiguration and in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Now, think fast! Who was Peter’s brother?

Did you have to think for a minute? It’s Andrew – the disciple who lived in Peter’s shadow. All of his life, he played second fiddle to his famous brother. read more

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