Random Religious Ramblings
For many, this won’t be your cup of tea, but these are some of the things I’ve been thinking about as of late.
Narcissism vs. Altruism
As awesome and helpful, not to mention powerful, as social media is, it can also be problematic. Personally, it has often encouraged narcissism in me. Granted, I’ve never humblebragged, because quite frankly, I don’t have much to humble brag about, but status updates by their nature are often, “Hey! Look what I’m doing! Read how funny I am and what a witty take I have on this recent news story! See where I’m ‘checking in’?! Look at how cute my kids/pets are!” And yes, I will share this blog post on Facebook and Twitter because I think it’s worth my follower’s time.
And as my kids grow up in a world increasingly engaged in and reliant on social media, I wonder what kind of virtues that will encourage in them. What I hope my wife and I, and the support group we surround our kids with will instill in them is altruism. My hope is that they wouldn’t find their value in how great they think they are, but in how great they are to others.
The great thing about social media is that it gives a voice to people with great ideas who might otherwise not have an avenue to share. The flip side is that it gives a platform to people who probably shouldn’t have an audience to propagate their hate and/or stupidity. I hope my kids will fall into the former, not the latter.
Speaking of hate and stupidity, it always puzzles me when Christians declare natural disasters as a sign of God’s judgement. Are earthquakes, floods, etc…a sign of God’s judgement? Maybe. But that’s for Him to decide. Unless your name is Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, or Samson, I’m pretty sure God didn’t appoint you as a Judge. What He did appoint us to do was to go and bear fruit (John 15:16) and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you (Matt 28:19-20).
And how did Jesus make disciples? Yes, He did often say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near,” but He made disciples by calling forth destiny in people, not calling down judgement. He loved His disciples; He didn’t scare them into obedience.
How to Pray
Lately, I’ve been learning what it means to be a son of God, mostly by observing my daughter.
For example, I took my daughter to Baskin Robbins a few weeks back. Unable to see what’s going on, she shouts to me to pick her up. When I do, she no longer sees things from her perspective; she sees what I see. This is the picture I now get when I sing songs or pray about being in God’s arms – He picks me up to see His perspective.
The other day, my daughter asks me for chocolate. We had to take her to the emergency room a few weeks back for dermatitis/cellulitis and getting her to take antibiotics proved difficult. So we did what any parents who want to save their sanity would do: bribe ’em. As a result, my daughter knew that we had chocolate in the house. CURSES! That’s daddy’s stash! Anywho, this was our exchange:
D1: Daddy, can I have chocolate
Me: Why should I give you chocolate?
D1: Because you love me.
Not only did she get her chocolate but she now knew the secret to getting chocolate from me every. single. time. If you could see me now, you’d see that I’m shaking my head as I type this.
But this exchange taught me something profound about prayer: to approach God as a child, not a beggar. If I really believed He was a dad that loved me, the words I say to Him would be completely different.
Enough with my ramblings. How’ve you been? I hope to be able to visit some blogs that I’ve dearly missed and catch up here shortly.