We live in a critical culture. This week, I have read articles criticizing: 1. a movement to send Christmas gifts to poor children, 2. a famous pastor moving his family (including several adopted children) to Asia to share the love of Christ, and 3. several charities that hold to Biblical convictions while serving the poor and marginalized. Much of the criticism of believers comes from within the church. In our house, we often say: be for everything that is good. Giving is good. Living out the Great Commission is good. Holding to Biblical convictions is good. Opposing what is good in the name of what we deem better is both judgmental and counterproductive. How can we be for what is good? We can trust the Spirit of God is leading our brothers and sisters to do what is right. We can stop thinking we have figured out the best way for everyone to do everything. The Bible includes many stories of giving and ministry that are not "sustainable". Jesus Himself fed and healed people who ultimately walked away from Him. Program evaluation is good, but it is not the Gospel. In fact, God continues to invest extravagantly in people who do not check off all the best practice boxes. I know, because He continues to invest in me. I challenge you this week: let what is good be good. We don't always know the best way. And we have a God who works everything (including imperfect efforts) together for the good of those who love Him.
Some of the best advice I heard about moving is to focus on what is good about where you are. This is solid counsel, and applicable to both temporal and geographic contentment. The pandemic provides endless opportunities for discontent, particularly comparison to how things used to be. But perspective is powerful. I could think about snow, which reminds me that Summer is by far my least favorite season (especially in pregnancy), we don’t have a yard/lawn/parks, and the kids have been stuck inside for months (and now can’t go three minutes without fighting). We can’t bake Christmas cookies because we made the difficult but correct decision not to have an oven in our 90 degree kitchen. Our kids miss soccer, gym class, running, and having friends. And if my thoughts go in that direction, my jaw tenses up and frustration mounts. Or I could think about how we have everything we need and so many things we want. A huge fan blowing. Christmas music streaming on internet better than we oft