12 Rules for Life

The 12 Rules for Life from Jordan Peterson’s Book:
12 Rules for Life an Antidote to Chaos

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders straight
  2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
  3. Befriend people who want the best for you
  4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not the useless person you are today
  5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
  6. Set your house in order before you criticise the world
  7. Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient
  8. Tell the truth. Or at least don’t lie
  9. Assume the person you are listening to knows something you don’t
  10. Be precise in your speech
  11. Do not bother children while they are skateboarding
  12. Pet a cat when you encounter one in the street

Embarrassing Testimony

If you knew a story was false and you were trying to pass a false narrative along to others why would you include embarrassing testimony about the main character?

Considered “out of his mind” by his own family who come to seize him to take him home
-Mk 3:21,31

Deserted by many of his followers
-Jn 6:66

Thought to be a deceiver
-Jn 7:12

Alienates Jewish believers to the point that they want to stone him
-Jn 8:30-59

Called a “madman”
-Jn 10:20

Called a “drunkard”
-Mt 11:19

Called “demon-possessed”
-Mk 3:22, Jn 7:20, 8:48

Feet wiped with hair of a prostitute
-Lk 7:36-39

Crucified despite the fact that “anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse”
-Deut 21:23

Not believed by his own brothers
-Jn 7:5

Be ye perfect

“The command ‘Be ye perfect’ is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He said that we were ‘gods’ and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him. He will make us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creatures, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine.”

C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity

The World’s Finale

“I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Love the Sinner, but hate the sin?

The following video from desiringGod.org definitely challenged me.
https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/god-loves-the-sinner-but-hates-the-sin.

Piper, points out that there are a couple places in scripture where God does hat sinners. This isn’t something that I had thought about and it wasn’t a thought I liked.

 Psalm 5:4: “You are not a God who delights in wickedness. Evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes. You hate all evildoers.”

Psalm 11:5: “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.” 

As I wrestled with this I came to the following truths:
1) God hates sin. (Psalm 5:4, James 1:15, Romans 6:16)
2) The only thing that separates sin from sinners is Christ. (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
3) Thus, if God hates sin those without Christ have no way to separate themselves from their sin.

My immediate reaction to this was “this can’t be”. I serve a God of love (John 4:8-9), not a God of hate. How can both of these truths stand?

The Bible clearly teaches that God is loveFirst John 4:8–9 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” Mysterious but true is the fact that God can perfectly love and hate a person at the same time. This means He can love him as someone He created and can redeem, as well as hate him for his unbelief and sinful lifestyle. We, as imperfect human beings, cannot do this; thus, we must remind ourselves to “love the sinner; hate the sin.”

www.gotquestion.org

Got Questions answered my questions first: God can both love and hate perfectly. How often though, do I forget that I serve a perfect God? A God who does love, and is also just and will bring wrath to the evil in the world. Am I truly living my life based on the truth that Christ is the only thing that separates sin from all sinners? Does my life reveal that I hate sin?

As I returned to the Desiring God article, I found that he came to the same conclusion (the importance of reading on).

Sins do not suffer in hell, sinners suffer in hell. I wonder what people who say that believe about hell, because he is not punishing sin in hell, he is punishing sinners in hell. He hates—now here is the paradox—and he loves at the same time. For God so loved the world that he hates. Hate and love are simultaneous as God looks upon hateful, rebellious, corrupt, loathsome, wicked God-dishonoring sinners.

John Piper DesiringGod.org

But does this not further expose the scandal of grace? That while we were still sinners, while we deserved the wrath of God, while God hated us for the sin and unbelief in our hearts… Christ died for us.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8 ESV

Pride

“In order to overcome pride, God will punish certain men by allowing them to fall into sins of the flesh, which though actually are less grievous than pride itself, are outwardly more shameful . . . From this indeed, the gravity of pride is made manifest. For just as a wise physician, in order to cure a worse disease, allows the patient to contract one that is less dangerous, so that the sin of pride is shown to be more grievous, by the very fact that as a remedy God allows some of them to fall into other sins.”

Thomas Aquinas

Three Gideon Bibles

I stopped at an estate sale this afternoon. It was a nice house in a subdivision right next to a golf course, so naturally I expected to see some higher end furniture. Most of the house already pretty empty, they were caring out some of the last furniture pieces as I came in. There wasn’t much left, except for the smaller household items in the garage.

As I was looking through some of the tools and odds and ends, I noticed a shelf with thirty to forty books on it. I always find someones collection of books to be telling. It is one thing to have a book on a particular topic, but usually if there are several similar books it must have been important to someone. Reading through the titles there were quite a few books about divorce and the spines revealed that they had been well read. On a shelf just below were three more books. Three Gideon Bibles. Three new Gideon Bibles. You know when you open a book for the first time and it gives some resistance, the pages all still straight, the binding still strong?

I couldn’t help but think about this person who was seeking for truth and guidance at a hard time in life. While searching through the wisdom of the world they had three copies of all the truth this world has ever needed right there on their bookshelf. I couldn’t help but think that if the world could have just a little bit more of that truth, maybe there would be less of a need for those divorce books. Maybe there would be a little less hardship, a little more love. But the question I could’t hep but ask was not about this person that I know nothing of. I couldn’t help but ask that if I believe that the truth in those three books can change hearts and give hope am I doing all that I can to share it with a world who is starving for the truth?


The world is starving, and they hoard the bread of life.

Charles Spurgeon


As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.

John 20:21

A Testament of Devotion

Thomas R. Kelly packs much truth into the few pages of this book. I have included a few quotes:

A practicing Christian must above all be one who practices the perpetual return of the soul into the inner sanctuary, who brings the world into its Light and rejudges it, who brings the Light into the world with all its turmoil and its fitfulness and recreates it (after the pattern seen on the Mount). To the reverent exploration of this practice we now address ourselves.

Holy Obedience

Religion as a dull habit is not that for which Christ lived and died.

Yet as Moses knew, no man can look on God and live-live as his old self. Death comes, blessed death, death of one’s alienating will. And one know what Paul meant when he wrote, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20).

But one know ever after that the Eternal Lover of the world, the Hound of Heaven, is utterly, utterly real, and that life must henceforth be forever determined by that Real.

There, beyond, in Him is the true Center, and we are reduced, as it were, to nothing, for He is all.

And he only is near to God who is exceedingly humble.

For humility and holiness are twins in the astonishing birth of obedience in the heart of men. So God draws unworthy us, in loving tenderness, up into fellowship with His glorious self.

The Eternal Now and Social Concern

Religion is not our concern; it is God’s concern. The sooner we stop thinking we are the energetic operators of religion and discover that God is at work, as the Aggressor, the Invader, the Initiator, so much the sooner do we discover that our task is to all men to be still and know, listen, harken in quiet invitation to the subtle prompting s of the Divine.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” but too many well-intentioned people are so preoccupied with the clatter of effort to do something for God that they don’t hear Him asking that He might do something through them.

But the Loving Presence does not burden us equally with all things, by considerately puts upon each of us just a few central tasks, as emphatic responsibilities, For each of us these special undertakings are our share in the joyous burdens of love.

The Simplification of Life

Complexity of our program cannot be blamed upon complexity of our environment, much as we should like to think so. Nor will simplification of life follow simplification of environment.

Our real problem, in failing to center down, is not a lack of time; it is, I fear, in too many of us, lack of joyful, enthusiastic delight in Him, lack of deep, deep-drawing love directed toward Him at every hour of the day and night.

Disciple/Discipline

The word “disciple” comes from the Latin word discipulus meaning “student”.

The word “discipline” is from the Latin word disciplina meaning “instruction and training”. It’s derived from the root word discere — “to learn.”

It is much easier to focus on others. To go and make “disciples”. What would be different if as students of Christ it was our mission to make other students. The typical definition is to be a follower of Christ, but as Kyle Idleman spells out in “Not A Fan” we should not take that lightly.