I want to solve all your problems — so read on.

I’d like to help you know who to marry, who to do business with, how to related to people you despise and who to elect the next President of the United States.

You will never have gotten so much from one blog post. Some of you will never come back.

Not really.

I want to focus here not on what to think, but how to think. I want to address Christians, and say that to be godly, we must learn to think and choose well, particularly in the emotional and divisive climate of this Presidential election.

So, what to do?

To be wise, first exercise self-control.

Practice a robust self-control.

Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is “self-control.”

If your follow Christ, if the spirit of God really lives in you, then you have the power to control yourselves. Self-control is the tasty fruit on the green branches of the true Christian.

Someone told me recently, that they were having trouble thinking negative thoughts at work. Then someone else said to them, “You know you are choosing that.”

Really!” They thought. “I choose what I think.

Yes, you do, and you can choose to put negative thoughts out of your head.

When your thinking gets fearful, negative, anxious, you can gently turn your attention to something positive.

Someone, a Christian, recently began to gush in front of me who they were going to vote for for President, and then why. It was awkward, not very well-thought out.

People are quite emotional about this election, and not very rational.

I didn’t agree with this gushing person, there was a lot of hate in what they said, but they had been drinking too much and they were ranting  and so I controlled myself, said a little and then shut up

James 3:17 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

“Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

All this, being pure, peace-loving, considerate, impartial  — it requires self-control. We Christians can do that. When someone says what they think in front of us about their politics, we should have the self-control to listen, and to withhold speaking too soon, to give our elves time to weigh a good response.

Let the quiet voice inside, the Holy Spirit remind you to stay calm, and loving. If you speak your opinion, speak simply, truthfully, respectfully, stick to issues. Avoid personal attacks. When you adamantly disagree, I recommend that you still exercise self-control, gentleness and respect so that you walk away able to talk with that person again.

And alway remain open — to rethinking your position.

Look again at James 3:17

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … “impartial.”

Christians, be impartial.

Wow! What does that mean, to be impartial? It means to weigh both sides, to avoid bias, to be fair, to be just, to not be prejudicial, to not be only for “your” people/

Take the current issue between the police and our black communities.

We Christians need to care and pray for both. And we need to try to understand. Why are blacks upset? Why are the police afraid?

We need to ask God to break our hearts over this issue, if we are not already grieving. What kind of thinking, training and behaviors would help change this horrible conflict? Let’s pray for protection, solutions, for understanding for both sides.

On political issues, most of us tend to get stuck in one mind-set, perhaps the same as what we grew up with. Some of us, who watch only our one, favorite news station may have become very bias. We are perhaps eating too much,  of our favorite political, one-sided ice cream.

Last week I brought home a bag of Brussels sprouts and also, a tub of vanilla bean ice cream. I ate both. Well, not together.

One of them made me gag.

I must admit, I have a bias. I prefer the ice cream. I really only love Brussel sprouts I if I put bacon on them.

So I told my wife, don’t bring home any more ice cream. What? Why?

Because my doctor told me to lower my cholesterol.

Just because I prefer something, doesn’t mean it is good for me.

I would suggest you read opinions the opposite of your own, Brussel sprout opinions, and weigh the issues as unbiasedly as possible. If your partiality is so strong that you find yourself ranting, and attacking others, and calling names, you have lost your Spirit-given self-control.

What we need right now are people who understand the differing sides of the issues, and who think of solutions that work for everyone, thus becoming the peacemakers of James 3:17.

Those of us who become overly one-sided and resort to emotional, personal attacks on others do not have the Spirit of Christ within.

Stay in control, be fair and then — very importantly — work at thinking Biblically. That takes work. Think like a Christian first — think like a Democrat, Republican or Independent second.

Do not let one other person or political party or pastor or spouse for that matter represent or control your mind.

How?

Now is the time to be reading your Bible at least as much as you are watching the news. The news might confuse you. Your Bible will clear your head.

So you might ask.

What is Biblical thinking?

That is a tough one. Many Christians limit it to thinking with Biblical morality.

That has truth to it, but I believe that true Biblical thinking is not so much about putting out a moral, legalistic formula that we then bash everyone else with. Biblical thinking is thinking like Jesus.

Jesus weighed every person and issue in front of him individually and fairly. The only group he much went after were those with a religiously legalistic platform. Jesus was always tuned into God, listening to what God was telling him rather than to the moralistic leaders on the national Jewish or Roman news.

And secondly, Jesus preached that the greatest Biblical, moral commandment is love. This election year, following Christ, we need to keep our love on.

If Jesus is your Lord, then remember that Jesus taught you that your political goal, your primary Biblical morality, is to love your neighbor as yourself. Listen, political Christians, no one adequately leads you except Jesus. Maintain a limited, parsed support for your preferred candidates and their worldly views. Put your main trust in Christ, and measure your candidates and their opinions with his yard stick of love.

Hebrews 12:1 Fix your eyes on Jesus. 

What else, what else is wise?

To be very wise in 2016, stay positive. There is a lot of fear and a lot of negative in our country today. This is causing lots of hateful, uncontrolled, fearful responses to others.

But Christians, “God did not give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and love and self control.” Do not be driven by fear and by its sibling, negative thinking. Control your mind. You can!

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such thing.”

Think about what is good in others, even those you disagree with, and what is good in our country. There is a lot of good, and a lot of freedom and protected rights in our country.

So now we come to the part where I tell you who I am going to vote for President.

I am going to vote for … whoever is most like Joseph.

Joseph?

Joseph is my favorite political leader in the Bible.

His brothers sold him into slavery, but he learned through this difficulty to rely on God. I love to follow leaders who have been humbled by God, who have been trained by  brokenness, who have been pruined by difficulty in such a way that they have given up their selfish motives and live primarily to serve others.

Joseph learned how to forgive, and how to rescue others, and how to think outside the box of his Hebrew roots.

Joseph, once in he came into power, a Hebrew, stored away grain for all the Egyptians, and the Bible says, “all the world came to Egypt.”

Joseph was a servant, a lover, and he even gave food to the very brothers who had previously betrayed him. Joseph was a unifier. He brought people together.

We need more leaders like this in American today, leaders who will bring people together, black and white, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian, to feed us all the bread of forgiveness and the tasty, sweet dessert of togetherness.

Measure political candidates by Joseph.

Actually  I haven’t decided my vote for sure. I’m leaning one way, but I’m still hoping for a Joseph or an Esther to run onto the political stage. I would really like another option.

Lastly, to think like a Christian, let love rule you.

I want to repeat this, like a million times. Christians, let love rule! Measure every thought you have this election with the ruler of love. By their fruits you will know them said Jesus. The most delicious, tasty, godly Christian fruit is love.

Jesus taught us to love our neighbor. God is interested in the salvation of everyone. There is nothing xenophobic in Jesus. To vote like a Christian, is to vote for loving solutions for everyone.

Verily, verily I say unto you, you must even love those who vote the opposite as you. Perhaps they are balancing out your biases!

Last weekend I saw the musical Sense and Sensibility at the Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. It was outstanding. Funny! Witty! Entertaining.

At intermission I went to the bathroom. There were two old codgers talking there.

One said, “I couldn’t hear 10% of it.”

The other said, “Don’t worry it’s just a dumb chick flick.”

Why did they go? Their wives made them.

But it was more than a play for girls. One of the lines of the play stuck me as profoundly noble. Elinor, deeply hurt by a lover who betrayed her said, “I wish him (the betrayer). immeasurable happiness.”

That is so magnanimous. That is filled with such love.I took that line home with me and prayed for some folks who have deeply hurt me.

I prayed, “God, I ask you to give them, immeasurable happiness.”

As your think about your hurtful world, let love and forgiveness rule you.

1 John 4:7

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 

Okay, let’s wrap it up, and put a red bow on it. Or is it a blue bow? Or another color?

I have tried to remind you of several simple wisdoms relevant to the times.

Christians, In 2016 please control yourselves. Be impartial. Think Biblically. Think like Jesus. Delight in what is positive.

And love, love love, love both the political Brussel sprouts you don’t like,  and your favorite political ice cream.

But not too much.

When the bike flipped, I was in mid-air for some time, which did no damage to me, but when I hit the ground – that’s when I lost some skin.

I inspected myself recently but could find not dermabrasions, cuts, scabs or scars from my boyhood bike accident years ago on that rocky, dirt road.

I healed up nicely, which we do — often. We heal. This is part of life, this is one of the commonplaces of life and at the same time one of the miracles of life. Life is injury, disease, damage and it is often dramatic self-healing.

I attempted to think about this recently from God’s perspective. When he designed the creation, living things, God apparently designed in healing knowing that he had allowed the possibility of harm.

I don’t think this is all a post-fall thing either. I think that healing power is a part of God’s intrinsic nature and that he is by definition restorative and redemptive, the great Physician, and always was.

When God made life, he allowed for harm and death, for clearly the fossil record shows that harm, sickness and death preceded humans. Let’s not deny what is right in front of us. Organisms lived and died before human kind came on the scene. You have to put your head in the chronological sand not to see that. The science on this is solid. Consider the Cambrian explosion, and its demise. The fall brought spiritual death to the world; physical death preceded it.

And when God made us, and gave the risky gift of free will, he knew,  (because he always knows)  that harm and death — social, physical, spiritual, psychological harm and death  — would be part of the lives he made and so he designed in a healing power, built it into living things, and I imagine took significant delight in it. He must have said even in the beginning, “It is good that I have made creatures that can heal.”

Christian theologians have focused a lot on the negative consequences of the fall. But redemption, restoration and self-healing were built into nature before the fall and remained after the fall. God left us the power to heal. Healing is an intrinsic part of living.

It is one of the great miracles of creation that living creatures self-heal. Yes, we get sick, yes we are harmed, yes we suffer, yes we die, but before we do, we heal many times.

Think about this. God is by nature, healing. Made in his image, you are by nature very resilent. You can go through brutal things, physical, emotional, psychological harm, and recover. God has built into you a remarkable power to recover.

Take heart! Revel in this — by the grace of God, you have power to recover from many harms.

I know.

I have.

You too!

 

God is a fabulous interior designer.

His color palate beauties the red dragonfly, decorates the yellow lantana, covers the blue sky and decks out your lovely freckled, tanish cheeks.

His scale is grand, yet intimate — the sun, a perfectly fine-tuned distance for life to thrive; the stars  beyond our grasp yet in our sight; your fingers, just the right length to hold in mine.

God sets the gold standard for art.

His rhythms are found in a billion blades of green grass, a billion blue waves on the shore, a thousand glowing, self-organizing sand dunes, the even measure of your ever-present breath.

His transitions — take sea, shore, sand and rocky cliff —  the sky! Your toes, you ankles, your knees and curving, lovely hips.

He is the master of the focal point — bright white moon, gold sun on clouds, tip of sugar pine, your gorgeous green eyes.

His balance is perfect, whorl of red rose, the even length of your tapered, tanned legs, the sparkling river, the white rapids, the black round-rocked shore.

He is great at line and form — the jut of your cute nose, the majestic summit of Everest, the rolling velds of South Africa, an Okapi’s hind legs.

Everyday we step out into an art circle tour.

Reality is the Louvre — times a billion.

We live and move and have our being within the ambit of his every morphing craft, his living, breathing, changing oeuvre.

I see it; I’m grateful.

The other day someone told me, “I feel like I have tried so hard to do everything right, but I still haven’t gotten what I want — or what I so badly need.”

Bingo! Yeah, I have sometimes felt that way too.

Then the person said, “Why not just give up, quit trying to be right, and just do what other people are doing?”

Yeah, I have felt that weary-of-doing-the-right thing too. And I have felt that might-as-well-just give-up-now, good-egg pouting, righteous-fruit-despairing type thing.

What to do?

First, I’d say keep the big picture in mind, the long-journey in mind, keep the game plan right smack dab in front of you. Being good, doing right, living according to your values will take time to show off it’s value and yield its reward.

But that reward, when it comes, maybe months or even years down the road will be sweet and tasty — and worth the wait.

Hang on; doing the right thing pays off — over time. Good things take time.

It took so long for me as a credentialed teacher to really become a good teacher — years of practice, failure, tying again, showing up for class with a knot in my stomach, until one day — I led that great discussion on that great novel and made that great homework assignment and knew, I had really taught them well.

Hang on! It took years for my wife and I to develop a truly good relationship, lots of fights, hurts, make-ups,  forgiving and being forgiven, getting counseling, until we got it, mostly, kind of  — peace, love, power to do the right thing for each other, self-control, deep emotional connection.

Good things are seldom gotten easily. The good is always hard won, and yet the good-good is so very good when earned by a long moral march in the right direction. And when you get there, to something good you have long longed for, you will be glad you didn’t cheat your way there, or bribe your way there,  or immoralize your way there so that you are left with an uneasy heart or regretful mind, or nothing that is really good at all. We are capable of ruining what is good by how we get it.

Yeah, that is the reality to face on this issue. Doing the wrong things to get the right thing doesn’t work. It doesn’t get you the right things. Right begets right. Wrong leads to wrong.

In career, taking short cuts will lead to incompetence, and forcing your way to the top will leave a sad trail of bodies behind you.

In relationships, doing wrong to get to right often leads leads to a poor fit —  that we don’t see until too late — to a poor match and to the painful reality that it didn’t work and we are right back where we started, ten years later, but now brutally damaged.

Hang on. Doing right, being good — it pays off. Good isn’t a panacea. We must not treat it as such. We don’t get everything we want in life no matter how we live. And being good is not some nifty tool, we use to manipulate others or God to give us what we want.

Good is good, and good is and has it own reward. Good produces good; it produces good people, people in charge of themselves, able to exercise control, able to love, and able to do so much good for others.

Doing the right thing isn’t a shield against all pain or disappointment or loss, but it is the proven, safe route up the great eight thousand meter mountain of life to the gorgeous view from the top.

 

 

Someone told me last week that because of a decision I made, I would have immediate grief. I didn’t. Maybe they did, but it didn’t much involve them.

They said I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I slept fine. I had made an excellent decision and it had good results.

Sometimes we need to hear something about ourselves, sometimes we need to disagree with what we are told about our selves.

Someone told me recently that they didn’t feel good about how they looked. They look fine. I told them so. Then they agreed. We had a good talk about accepting our wonderful but imperfect bodies.

Sometimes we need to not listen to ourselves. We are wrong. We need to listen to someone else.

Life is constant process of discernment.

But how do we know what is right? When do we trust our own thoughts, when others? Experience, gut, context, speaker, time, education, mental health, intent, sincerity, history — so many factors weigh in.

One thing comes to mind to help. Are the remarks shaming, judgmental, condemning? Then they are very often not to be trusted.

Do the words or thoughts point to solutions, to wise processes, to helpful insights, to understanding, to a positive future. Then often they are good.

Discern; learn.

I looked out the window at Starbucks and saw them go past, running, one after the other. The big one was first, then the little one. They were laughing as they went along — to nowhere.

The little one had her arms around her waist — which is not efficient or conducive to either staying upright or going fast — but of course she wasn’t thinking about that. Winding around the patio tables and chairs the girls did a circle and then did one again.

Same hair color, same skin color, about a year apart, apparently they were sisters at play. Then mom appeared in my window — looking just like a grownup them — and hovered at the edge of the circuit, protectively, watching over them carefully. No one elses was on the patio. Mom allowed it.

Adults are about going places, acting according to protocol, getting things done. They go Starbucks to get coffee; they sit in the chairs provided; they go to the gym to run. Adults are about doing expected things at expected times in socially acceptable ways — acceptably. They control their impulses, they follow script. Mostly the rest of are glad about this.

Little children — they often do things because they want to when they want to because they feel like it at the moment. They run, on the Starbucks’ patio, and their watchful adults are there with them, teaching them the rules of living — be respectful, be appropriate, be safe, stay calm mostly, like us, unless nobody is around.

We have something to relearn from the children — when our own moms aren’t hovering at the edge of our minds — so that we don’t become too predictable, too restrained, too safe, too appropriate, too uptight, too unfun?

Pleasure, spontaneity, a good time, a wry remark, an impulsive dance or kiss or laugh   — this may be enjoyed in the most ordinary places, with just a little lack of restraint.

Perhaps, maybe, possibly — the next time you just feel like it — run!

Sometimes I write modern soliloquies. A soliloquy is simply a monologue, often found within a drama, that gets at a deep issue in the speaker. It is a heart, alone, but speaking outloud, as it wrestles with an idea, a decision or a need to act.  Shakespeare is the master of this art form. 

The soliloquy below is my  attempt at inspiring myself and all of us to speak — out of our unique person — what is inside of us, to speak with freedom, to speak ideolectically, to improvise, to extemporize, to neologize, to invent words to match our thoughts. I have given this soliloquy a light, jazz-inspired, fun, breezy, slangish feel. To help with this I added some nonsensical syllables, vocables, borrowed from popular songs or just made up. 

Hope you enjoy it and that it inspires you to be you. 

You can find more of my soliloquies at http://www.modernsoliloquies.com 

 

Do-Ba-De-Do!

Speak up more, not less, using your own ideo-vocalized mess.

Soliloquy — in front of yourself and everyone else-a-melse.

Monologue, dog!

You and I can flip-flop nonstop lolly pop but that gets trite fast and then we just so need to speak our favor-ite verbo-bite.

Bebop, hiphop, tipitity-top, slop-a-pop.

Ski-ba-bop-ba-bop-voc; do that thang nonstop.

Be-cause …

We have been flattened by the road-grade blade of the prepaid lexicographers.

We have been run over by the top-botched, pop-a-voc.

We have suffered weak-a-squeak.

We have sold out for safety and we have shut up way too much because we thought we were stuck-a-muck with duck and cluck.

Nope! Fess; you’ve got that vocable mess!

Unperson; you’ll worsen, but word-dive and jivity jive and you’ll revive.

See!

Be inventy.

Sync with your blink.

Que with your you and do-ba-de-do!

He jostled and flowed within a large crowd. Among them, he was ramped up and impassioned — yes — and even more he was sonant, syllabic and bold-voiced  about the divine excitement. Urgency was on him and he began to speak to the crowd about the ultimate intention, to bring all living things that will into unity with each another.

The crowd grew. He spoke from within it; they moved as one and he advocated the gorgeous, healing, superb vision of unification. They ran after him. He spoke from the heart of a beautiful future where all living things will be respected and loved — he was absolutely sure this would happen. He said that the desire  was that all living things become one.

The separatists were present, and as he concluded his impassioned appeal, they basked naked around him, proud and unashamed in their idealized, politicalized,  spiritual exclusivity — and they smugly opposed what he said.  The pressing crowd, the critical religious elite, him alone and yet among them, there was a kind of dream-like vision stupor present — around Jesus.

I woke this morning to the news that Britian has withdrawn from the European Union and to the continuing news that America is strongly divided on the issue of immigration. A group of Brits, and Americans, want the “strangers” out. There is a growing, angry voice in our nation and our world advocating a new nationalism and a renewed political and social isolationism. This arises from a growing fear of the other, and with it comes the ubiquitous readvocacy of separation on the basis of nationality, belief, race and religion.

In my understanding of God, and Jesus, this trend is not Biblical, and it’s not Christian; it is political and it is worldly. God told Abraham, “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” From the beginning, God has had an inclusive vision. Paul unabashedly taught the church in Ephesians 1, that God’s will is “to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”

Jesus was so open to including people outside his racial and religious circle that he was vehemently criticized, and yet he remained firm that his vision was to gather everyone he could at the banquet, to bring everyone under his wing, to save everyone he could. As a results, and getting this as they did, the early church was multi-ethnic and meta-national to the max because they followed Christ’s command to take the gospel to all nations. The early church overcame their own Jewish exclusivity and took the gospel world-wide. Thank God! In this way, they included us.

So why is there a strong, angry, anti-immigrant voice in America today? It is becuase the modern middle-class is shrinking, and it is fearful of losing its place, and it is mad. Things have changed, people have traveled, there are terrorists among us, we are afraid. We live in a not-brave new world, we live in the era of the  the stanger. To many the world seems and is more dangerous.

I somewhat understand this, but what  I don’t understand is how  Christians, God’s own people, those who have been included by God, lose our vision for what God is all about and join in separatist thinking. God is about salvation, God is about compassion — God is love. God is all about — he always has been — healing and saving anyone who would let him, and this isn’t limited to a particular class, to a certain race, to people of one religion or one nation. God cares for the alien, the stranger, the refugee, the citizen — all. Read the Bible. It says this.

If the people of the world come to our doorstep, if we mingle with the crowd, isn’t this an opportunity to love people who were once far off? Isn’t this an opportunity to fulfill the Great Comission? Have we forgotten Christ’s goal, his purpose and his passion to save, not condemn, the world? Yes, we need to be wise, yes we need to be careful, yes we need to protect the innocent, but yes too, we need to love all people as God does.

Our Chritianity needs to supersede our nationalism. Our mission needs to go beyond our politics and our love needs to quiet our anger and our fears. The Christian calling is to move among the crowd, to connect with people from all backgrounds and to join God’s gorgeous, excited passion to unite all things possible in Christ.  Our Christain dream, our Christian vision — it is for unification, not separation.

We Americans have a penchant for authenticity, but in reality most of us (me too!) copy, mimic and ape each other constantly. We are  surrounded by each other’s appeals for the authentic (“Get real!”), but we keep selecting the same  cliches, smart phone emojis, Frappuccino drinks, cool Blazers from H&M, semi-serious “Oh my God’s” and binge-watched TV shows as each other.

We tend to fall in line.

What is authenticity? It is psychological and social congruency — a robust personal consistency — between what is inside us and what comes out of us. Authentic people are what they profess to be. They are true to themselves, and they are open, real and honest with others. They buy, say, offer and proffer what they truly value.

Lately I’m wanting more and more authenticity — from myself and others. To get that, I’ve been talking to myself, admitting to myself what is true about me, and others, especially being open to admitting my fears, fumblings, successes and regresses so that I can admit them to others.

I like coffee, cars, cats, books, fixing things, staff teams, history, literature, cold cereal and all manner of high-quality verbage. I am afraid of diseases, extremists and old age. I love my job as a pastor. I am so glad I have a resourcer-wife and two lovely daughters. I worry that they will not always be safe. I adore God. I also love myself — sometimes too much. I love to talk to people and make new friends. I love being alone.

To grow in desired authenticity, I’ve also been talking to others without editing as much as I used to. Instead I am trying to tap into what is really going on when I am with them, what I am feeling, what they are feeling, what we are intuiting, what we are apprehending. I am aiming at nothing less than the freedom to say what is semi-true and quasi-tolerable at any given moment, but in ways that are modest, gentle and even loving. Being authentic is no excuse for being cruel, or rude.

Saturday I encougaged a friend to go to counseling. I recently had a conflict with someone who is judgmental. It ended well.  I was patient with a person with memory loss, and I was patient with myself when I locked my keys in my office.

I can be deep; I am capable of crass superficiality. Today I bought a new casual-style blazer at H&M. I too am a member of the fast-fashion herd. At some level, I too am a copycat. Sometimes I buy clothes so that I won’t have to go around naked; sometimes I buy them so that I just might — to some other materialistic person like me — look cool, acceptable, maybe, kind of, like I (perhaps) used to?

The new blazer will look good with my blue and white checked shirt, (the one I used lighter fluid on today to get the gum out out the pocket), my Guess jeans that I bought because I couldn’t fit in my favorite Ring of Fire pair, and my black wingtips that I just had to have last Christmas because my other semi-dressy black shoe had a hole in the sole and someone might see that when I crossed my legs at an event.

I am trying, to live out me, with a modicum of honesty mixed with a preferred style. I drive a high-performance sports car because I really, really, really honestly and truly love to go very fast surrounded by eleven Bose speakers cranked up to full volume, the air conditioner blasting my face off, the mirrors vibrating to the bass, the exhaust growling at the cars I am blowing past and the curbs flying by like party streamers. I’m a resolute car sinner.

I also follow God as hard as I can, reveling in the nonpareil salvation God has offered me in the inimitable Christ and telling everybody I can that God absolutely adores them. At my core I an exhilarated by my everyday experience of God’s super-fast empowerment, his luxurious love, his bright streaming grace and his cranked up favor! God is so cool to me!

What do I recommend to you, you pop culture fanatics, you want-a-be coolios, you flawed authentics, you semi-valid truthers, you fellow hopeful reality-mongers — all you my godly and quasi-godly lovelies?

Be you; no less.

Unperson; you’ll worsen.

Sync, with God — and yourself.

Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself?

Ecc. 7:16

What? The Bible instructs us not to be too righteous!

One commentator gives this explanation:

“Do not be simplistically righteous with the expectation of immediate reward, neither be naively wise, why cause yourself to be astonished that God did not honor your righteous living with immediate blessing?”

That’s a pretty good shot at it. I would add, don’t fool yourself and think that you are righteous when you’re really not, and thereby destroy your humanity with a false coat of painted-on perfection.

And, I’d add on the New Testament view too, that we are made righteous in Christ, and yet, in ourselves, yeah, still not prefect in everyday thought and behavior.

I’ve got some flaws; you too; let’s admit them.

I was upset this week with one of my daughters when I should have just kept my cool. She did nothing wrong. I was just impatient. I am not in danger of being overly righteous in the sense of being super good.

Actually, to be honest, I don’t always even always want to be good. I have no desire to be on somebody’s pedestal or my own. I’ll fall off fast. I don’t much like people who think they are above everyone else or myself when I act that way.

That’s probably wrong of me, not to want to be too righteous, or perfect,  perhaps it’s a rationalization for wrong stuff, but I do want to be better than I have been  — a lot, mostly, kind of — and I am very comfortable with being human, which of course I am, which means not perfect.

I guess I’ve gotten to more okay with me not perfect, because I know that I am trying to be right and that when I’m not,  I am loved and forgiven by God and my family.

I’m good with human.

Hope you are too.