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March 16, 2008


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Lu... this idea has too many similarities with other "guilt trips" for me to have an easy time buying it, at least as presented. The core concept is correct: we are forever affecting other people by our actions, and actions come from thoughts.

This happens, however, no matter what we do, and how our actions are perceived is not at all under our control. You can be as kind as you want but someone you run into will still take exception.

Besides that, let's say you're "writing with a jagged stone." What are you going to do about it? Pour more will power into it? Christians have always been long on preachment, short on how-to. Erwin is very good at presenting "how to live," but always leaves out "how do I do it?"

Maybe that's inevitable. Maybe no preacher can see enough to understand how each individual works, so the message has to be one of general "what to do." He leaves the "how to do it" to God. I don't think that's what's seen from the other side of the pulpit: there, the words come in as commands with no enabling.

If I'm writing with a jagged stone, well, I'm sorry. I've tried and tried to smooth things out, but you know what? All I did was get lost. I have no idea what a non-jagged heart looks like. I'm getting hints, as God manages to work his message into my unkind heart. Somewhere underneath layers of misapplied fixing is God's beautiful reality. I hope. Thst seems to show to some people but it's not what I consciously put there. These people just see through all the rest of the junk to what looks better. Maybe it's even real.

Anyway, keep writing your story. You've never written anything but good for me. Quit worrying so much and live. :)


Ah Larry, I SO need you in my life! I need your words of wisdom as well as your honest, humble truth detector/teller.

"This happens, however, no matter what we do, and how our actions are perceived is not at all under our control." Boy, ain't that the truth! I'm learning more and more these days to let go of what I cannot control and leave it in the hands of God -- as well as what it IS exactly that is out of my control. And it's a LOT more than I ever realized.

I always felt that if someone had a negative perception of me, that it was my fault; that I'd done something wrong. Just a belief I picked up in childhood -- that codependent thing rearing its head again. It wasn't until my counselor told me one day that 90% of a person's reaction to me is about THEIR stuff -- and only 10% is about what I did -- that I began to consider that others' bad perceptions (or feelings, attitudes, etc) were maybe not my fault. Of course, that means that 90% of MY reactions to others are about my stuff and only 10% is about them.... Not what I wanted to hear at first.

But now it makes a lot of sense; and I see the truth in it.

But I also see Erwin's point -- and I know it can come off as guilt trippy but I don't think he meant it that way; the way I live DOES matter. And I think the point he was trying to make is that we have to be aware of this, and thus do our best to live and walk as close to God as possible, so that He can shape us -- shave off those jagged edges -- and help us become all He knows we can be.

In the process of doing that, if we will just be honest, humble, transparent -- in other words, not pretending we have it all together but being willing to just be ourselves with humility and apologies for our jagged edges -- God will be apparent to others; it will be clear we are different than those without God in their lives (that is, to me, the essence of "bringing glory to God") and others, I think, will be drawn to Him.

Make sense?

RE Erwin... yeah, I think it's possible he tends to think at times that people will infer, or be guided by God in, the specifics of how to accomplish his big-picture stuff. I've never really thought about it till you mentioned it... I'll have to listen a little closer next time and see if I hear the how-to as well as the big picture.

Good stuff in you comment, man. Thanks.

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