Now, regarding the one who started all this—the person in question who caused all this pain—I want you to know that I am not the one injured in this as much as, with a few exceptions, all of you.So I don’t want to come down too hard. What the majority of you agreed to as punishment is punishment enough. Now is the time to forgive this man and help him back on his feet. If all you do is pour on the guilt, you could very well drown him in it. My counsel now is to pour on the love. The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church. 2 Corinthians 2:5-9 (The Message)
Moments that Test our Motives
Years ago, I was in a race with several hundred other people. It was a triathlon. It started on a beach in Corpus Christi, Texas. After a half-mile swim in a very choppy ocean, we all ran to a transition area. There we quickly put on cycling shoes and rode off on a 25-mile bike ride, about half of which was directly into a stiff and steady 20-mph headwind. By the time I got off the bike, my legs were jelly and my body was exhausted.
I sat down in the transition area, thinking about the 10K run still ahead of me. Genuinely torn about what I would do, I could quit now and just lie back and relax or I could strap my running shoes on and stand up and “will” my legs to work again. It was the very kind of moment most endurance races bring: the moment of decision, whether or not to finish what I started. How we respond to those moments …
Tuesday Re-mix – Anonymity Anonymous: Recovery from our Addiction to Self-reliance
Step 1: We admit we are powerless over our addiction and that our lives have become unmanageable.
There’s an old joke about two guys out on a camping trip. They are at their campsite and they spot a bear off in the distance. They are watching it when it spots them and starts coming toward their campsite and then starts running toward their campsite! One guy grabs his gun and starts loading it and grabbing extra ammunition. The other guy grabs his tennis shoes and starts furiously lacing them up. The first guy says, “Are you crazy!? You’ll never outrun the bear!” And the second guys says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you!”
In my addiction to self-reliance, i.e., my fear of being too transparent with my friends, i.e., my secret disdain for the type of “community” and interdependence described in the Bible, there is a perspective that “enables” my addiction. It actually makes the addiction worse. It is the perspective that I don’t really have to be as perfect as God desires me to be…I just have to be better than the guys around me. It is an attitude that all but gives up on living the life God intends for me and stays content with living a life that looks pretty good when compared to lots of other people. It is the attitude that says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear…I just have to outrun the guy next to me.”
You see, no matter how badly I mess up, I can always find someone else who messed up “worse” in my opinion. And as long as I can feel like I’m doing better than most folks around me, I …