At the root of faith is trust. Faith cannot be built without trust anymore than a water molecule can be built without hydrogen. Trust is a key element in the formation of faith. In the New Testament faith, belief and trust all come from the same root word. They are practically interchangeable.
It is a dreaded topic. It is probably not preached enough. And when it is preached I rarely leave feeling very good about the overall outlook on things. I am referring to Luke 14:25-34. If your bible has section titles it probably says something like,The Cost of Being a Disciple.
Probably most of us have heard of Jim Collins’ bestselling book from 2001, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t. It is an interesting and insightful book. If you have not read it I highly recommend it, irregardless of whether or not you work in the business field. But this is neither a plug for, nor a review of, that book. It is, as usual, a segue to some thoughts on spirituality.
It is mid-November as I write this and I am starting to feel the thrill of anticipation running through my veins even while my heart and my mind are keeping still. Christmas season is not here yet, but I am enjoying the wait…letting the energy build.
I want to say this up front. I am challenged by what follows. In fact, I don’t really like today’s post. As I contemplate it I have a lot of buts. When I look at the picture above in light of the concept below it fills me with a sense of dread. However, I am pushing through because I think that I need today’s post. I need it as bad as anyone.
The Word in the word
There are three passages in the Gospel of John that bring home a very important point:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who cam from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1,14
I was twenty seven years old when I got married. I was not exactly old, but old enough that more of my friends were married than not. And the majority of my unmarried friends followed suit within the next few years. One of the things that has been interesting to me during the last eleven years since I made a lifelong covenant with my therapist is the various ways that romantic boys struggle to become the committed men that they say they will be when they launch into marriage. I am not talking about marital infidelity, but the ability to simply mature into a hard-working, supportive, and caring husband and father who places the correct priority on his wife and children.
It is a strange and sordid tale, which is precisely why it grabs my attention. It takes place in the messy context of tragedy and redemption, which is precisely what makes it so perfect. It is one of those stories that Muslim friends point to as proof that the Jewish and Christian scripture has been corrupted. It is one of those stories that Atheist friends point to as proof that even if God did exist no one would like him. It is the curious story of Onan. His part in the divine narrative covers all of three verses. Yet spiritual pilgrims have speculated about the significance of his actions for thousands of years. This is what we know about Onan from Genesis 38:8-10:
Therapy is way more than a toolbox of intervention. Information alone cannot replace professional help. However, information can be very powerful. So, for what it’s worth to you, here is the weekly post offering a therapeutic idea, concept, or intervention that you can try out in your own life or relationships.
My Dear Friend,
I saw what’s been happening. I’ve been watching from a distance. And I am so sorry.
The blood of Jesus is one of the most powerful resources available to us. It is also the most fundamental image of the Christian message. Yet, surprisingly few Christians have a basic understanding of the purpose and power of the blood of Christ outside of having our sins covered. Here are a few principles to start with: