Loftier Motives

adorable-bench-blurred-background-1767434.jpg

As I’ve written in other posts, I feel like the greatest battle in the human heart is to deny oneself so that one can love others. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how this mindset must be embraced in every relationship and with consistency. When I interact with other people, it is natural for me to think about what I want from them and how I can obtain my wants. Usually, I am seeking admiration, affection, and approval.

I’ll give you an example. I’m with my friends. I am engaging in banter with them so that they admire my cleverness. But perhaps endless banter isn’t what my friends need in that moment, and if it’s at the expense of one of my friends, that’s even worse. Maybe someone in the group needs me to follow up with her about what’s going on in her life, but I’m going on about some joke that may not even be that funny because I crave admiration, so I never do.

What if we viewed every interaction with other people as an opportunity to care for them rather than get something from them? What if we humbled ourselves and put others first? As much as the righteous part of me loves that, part of me finds it repulsive. After all, I have needs, and I want them met. I have things I want to accomplish. I am entitled to love and admiration from everyone in my social circle, aren’t I?

I’m not saying that you should let people walk all over you or be in one-sided relationships. That’s unhealthy. I’m calling for new motives. Loftier motives. How much more exciting and fulfilling would my life be if I awoke every morning with the intention to give more than I get? Even writing it now, it feels painful, but sometimes pain is helpful. The Art of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller is currently on my to-read-list. I will keep you guys posted on what I learn from it. I am hoping it will teach me how to do the work of active humility not just when other people notice but with consistency.

Progressive Victory: Personal Revelations Now Supersede God’s Word

aerial-belief-bible-1437872.jpg

According to a study conducted by a trendy new nonprofit organization known as DUMB (Developing Unclear Morality Biblically), 9 out of 10 Christians now recognize that their personal revelations and convictions supersede God’s authority. The ideology of the organization, which is awe-inspiring in its ethics and justice, is based on a simple, yet enlightened idea.

DUMB founder Dwight Dunlap explained it this way, “I’ve realized that God can tell people that they can live their lives a certain way even though the Bible indicates the opposite on multiple occasions in strong language, so long as confirmation is received through a viable means, like inner peace.”

Progressive Christian Annalise Elliott shared how DUMB has helped her become better at discerning God’s will for her life. “I felt God told me in a dream that it is okay to get drunk every weekend while I’m in college. Because I wouldn’t want to do anything that contradicts God’s will, I did some deep searching inside myself and found good vibes confirming the dream, and so I knew I had literally heard from the voice of God. It gave me chills, honestly. It was such a spiritual experience.”

When asked by a conservative pastor about the relevancy of reading the Bible to determine a code of conduct for one’s life, Dwight said, “I really like reading the part in the Bible where it says God is love. Because true love means that you can act however you want around other people as long as it makes you happy. But outside of that, I don’t really read the Bible. It’s too restrictive. I like to think of the Bible as more of a create-your-own-adventure story. It gives you limitless possibilities, but you are not bound by any one truth.”