Daily Devotions

A Return to Caring

main image

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

 

Caring is tricky business. Caring is a necessary part of living a meaningful life. Caring too much can be destructive. Caring to little can be just as destructive. If I asked most people, do you care too much or too little, I am willing to bet most would say, “I care too much.” Most would make that statement, because at our conscious level, caring too much hurts more than not caring. Yet, at a deeper level, caring too little can be as damaging, or worse.

 

Many people have been emotionally burned and as a result, have backed away from parts of life that create deep levels of caring. Initially, this appears to be productive, because pain levels become lower. But over time, it limits one’s ability to live life with the passion necessary to accomplish one’s vision and goals.

Kris Gage, in her article, “What To Do When You Don’t Care,” states that caring too little comes to feel like a lack of motivation. Caring too little often feels like fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. These are not comfortable emotions either. Gage argues, “These are all pretty much different words for lowered self-esteem, and self-esteem is almost always the root issue — first causing a lack of engagement when we know it matters, and then causing us to accept a life lacking engagement (when we know it matters) as the norm.”  In other words, there is no way to avoid painful emotions. One cannot avoid pain, it must be experienced and overcome if we are to live a meaningful life.

Today, pray for the courage to feel even the most painful emotions. Amidst the pain, seek God’s care and loving support. Trust God to bring people into your life who can assist you in overcoming your pain. Finally, remind yourself that you are a child of God and worthy of God’s attention and blessing. As our self-esteem strengthens, our ability to care returns. God is calling us to care, in God’s name. A return to caring will bring richness and depth of joy back to your life.

"Alexa, What is Wisdom?"

main image

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)

 

I am old enough to remember when the game Trivial Pursuit first came out. It was a lot of fun and a real challenge. Then, some of my friends started to memorize the cards and it ruined it for me. Now, with all our advances, we can play trivial pursuit in a more challenging and fair way, through “Alexa.” When Trivial Pursuit first came out, friends would brag about their ability to remember trivia, as if it was a clear indication of their knowledge, and worse, their wisdom. 

Alexa is a lot of fun and she can provide enormous amounts of information. Where she falls flat is offering wisdom. As amazing as “Alexa” is, she cannot think. Trivia is found in one’s memory, whether in the brain, or on a computer. It doesn’t require thought. Wisdom takes trivia and even knowledge, and forces us to think and implement that information. No matter how helpful computers and card memorizers are, they do not necessarily possess wisdom.

I am deeply concerned that our present society is filled with enormous amounts of trivia and even knowledge. It is at our fingertips and with “Alexa” at the tip of our tongue. What computers and “Alexa” cannot do is interpret this information and make ethical, moral, and wise decisions, based on all this readily available information.

The Christian Church suffers from the same anomaly. Many confuse Scripture memorization with Biblical understanding. Others confuse Holy Spirit utterances - like speaking in tongues - as religious wisdom. Still others believe that learning ancient theological treaties to be the equivalent of wisdom and understanding. Frankly, true Christian faith is hard work, and requires study, but also contemplation. It isn’t just knowing information, but internalizing it in such a way that it makes a difference in our lives and the lives of others.

Today, pray for our world and the Christian Church, that wisdom will be restored. Ask God to bless each one of us, so that we no longer confuse trivia with wisdom. Ask our Triune God to speak to us in various ways, so that we learn to hear God’s still small voice and respond with faith and wisdom. Alexa may have a lot of answers, but our Triune God leads us to “the way, the truth, and the life.”

Previous12345678910 ... 260261