All in Lessons

Becoming Political

On January 1, 1802 the newly elected president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson responded to a letter he received from representatives of the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut (1). This Christian coalition reached out to the new commander-in-chief with hopes of extending good will and prayers. They wrote also for the sake of religious liberty. As formerly under a monarchy the idea of civil freedoms was still a bit uncomfortable—like a new pair of shoes; shiny, beautiful, but unworn, rigid, and unfamiliar.

Seven Ways to Avoid Forgiveness

Forgiveness is hard. Just ask my kids. As my wife and I are daily teaching them to reconcile with mom and dad and each other—for hitting, biting, lying, failing to obey, not showing love, etc—we have learned some words are harder to say than others. We’ve realized, “Please forgive me for ___________ (fill in sin here)” … are the most difficult. Saying I’m sorry or he started it seem to come more naturally. They’ll use a thousand different words before they’ll use forgiveness language. I think like all of us my children realize there’s something weighty about forgiveness. Something is taking place when we request forgiveness which we can be avoided when we seek other means of responding to sin and conflict.

Weak

Many years ago I was preaching on a Sunday morning. As I prepared earlier that week I sensed an acute impulse to personally apply the sermon's main point. I remember feeling remorseful. I remember being anxious. God was inviting me into confession. And he was clear, this was not just for my personal formation during study time, he led me to write this confession of sin in my manuscript. And so on Sunday morning I confessed sin publicly before my church.