Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Good Things to Read Today

I love to read blogs from women who are much wiser and far more well read than I am.

These two snippets of goodness were much needed and much appreciated today.

First, an excerpt from Larry Crabb's Shattered Dreams via Practical Theology for Women (my absolute favorite blog).

"When blessings come, we should of course enjoy them. It’s good when children squeal with delight on Christmas morning; it’s sad when they can’t. Celebrate the good things of life. Enjoy the juicy steak, the unexpected bonus, the beautiful granddaughter.

Happy people, though they’re right to be happy, face a subtle danger. They tend to spiritually gloat, to publicly express gratitude and praise for the good things they enjoy while privately thinking that blessings are their due. They can easily slip into a concern for the less fortunate that carries with it a mood of judgment: If they were more like me, they would be given the blessings I have. We don’t easily recognize that mood within ourselves.

Unhappy folks face their own unique temptation. Publicly they tell the more fortunate how glad they are for all who are so blessed; privately they wish that the happy person’s path would hit a ditch.

Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. No command is more difficult to obey. Beneath the surface, we lament another’s joy (that’s the sin of jealousy) and feel good when a much blessed friend has reason to cry (that’s the sin of smugness a close cousin of jealousy).

Happy people do not love well. Joyful people do. That’s why happiness, the pleasant feelings that pleasant circumstances generate, must be taken away in order to be replaced by joy.

Happy people rarely look for joy. They’re quite content with what they have. The foundation of their life consists of the blessings they enjoy. Although they may genuinely care about those less fortunate and do great things to help, their central concern is to keep what they have. They haven’t been freed to pursue a greater dream. That’s why they cannot love well. In His severe mercy, God takes away the good to create an appetite for the better, and then, eventually, He satisfies the new appetite, liberating them to love."

Second, some helpful words on worry via the Girl Talk Blog:

"God does not sprinkle grace over every path my fear takes. He does not rush in with support and encouragement for every doomsday scenario I can imagine.

No, instead He warns me to stay off those paths: “Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil” (Ps. 37:8).

There is no grace for our imagination. That’s why our fearful imaginings produce bad fruit: anxiety, lack of joy, futile attempts to control.

There is no grace for our imagination. But God does promise sufficient, abundant grace for every
real moment of our lives. That’s why the Proverbs 31 woman can “laugh at the future in contrast with being worried or fearful about it” (ESV Study Bible note on Pr. 31:25)"

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