Apothegms and Observations XXXI

  1. Truth is not a construct used to gain power and inflict oppression, but rather it is freedom. To believe that truth is oppression is itself a profound oppression.
  2. If a man can bring the world around him closer to Joy, I will listen to his opinion. If a man can bring his children closer to Joy, I will trust his opinion. But if a man can bring his wife closer to Joy, I will seek his opinion.
  3. It is right to focus on loving family not because it is comfortable and easy, but because it is the hardest test of yourself.
  4. The suffering that comes with being a shepherd is not easily soothed.
  5. The man who loves Scripture will evangelize.
  6. Postmodernism is always complaining of the “incoherence” of other ideologies, all the while maintaining the deepest incoherencies of them all. But I suppose this is to be expected, as it is an incoherent philosophy.
  7. The similarity in cognitive ability of primates and humans raises real questions of our spirituality.
  8. I do not say many things with complete and unwavering conviction, but I say this. A materialist can only be a nihilist. When his philosophy (inevitably) does not become nihilist, it is because he is choosing to ignore his materialism.
  9. A man is better judged by his actions than his reactions.
  10. It is unbearably painful to witness the shame of a failed artist.
  11. Never justify cowardice.
  12. The one who loves the Truth will be cautious in declaring that he has found it.
  13. The wise Josh Van Swol said, “An argument from a slippery slope is, actually, a fallacy.”
  14. Everyone is a burden; everyone is a joy.
  15. Nothing destroys a joyous fellowship faster than pride.
  16. If I do not have humility, then I have not even begun.
  17. Bitterness, sloth, jealousy, hatred, and pride are ever in my soul, waiting to be let out.
  18. If your delight in life consists of finding art or people for which you can say, “This is me!” then what you desire is a clique.
  19. Art that is merely relatable does not challenge you, does not move you past yourself, does not change you, and does not bring you deeper or higher.
  20. The beauty that I want to desire to seek is precisely the beauty that is not like me. I want us to be different, so that we can be ourselves, as we were created to be. To demand you to be relatable is not to love you, but instead to carve you into the image of me.
  21. A person is to be honored, but not worshiped.
  22. If you like people only because they are relatable, then you do not like Jesus.
  23. The only place we will feel full and permanent belonging is heaven.
  24. Bitterness leads to death, and is not to be taken lightly.
  25. The relatable in life does much good in easing loneliness and allowing us to laugh at ourselves.
  26. To only love what is relatable is to only love yourself.
  27. The relatable in life can hold much mirth and laughter.
  28. What is relatable? What is relatable is pride and foolish anger. Dirty lust. Being downcast to the point of physical pain manifested as a headache. Anxiety that is not funny. Bad communication that hurts the ones I love. A sluggard who hates the couch but wallows in it. These things are relatable, but filled with sin or sorrow. Spilling coffee on yourself right before an important meeting is also relatable, and filled with joy. Just because something is relatable does not mean it should be celebrated.
  29. The relatable reminds us that we are not alone.
  30. Flubs that break us out of our seriousness are great blessings, for they are filled with hearty laughter.
  31. We can learn how to better love others by thinking. But we cannot learn how to love others by thinking.
  32. To borrow a thought from Gilbert, the healthy person does not often think about health.

2 thoughts on “Apothegms and Observations XXXI

    1. A very excellent question! I mean something like a combination of rejoicing in the law of the Lord, delighting in his words, enjoying all aspects of his Creation, and being at peace with his decrees. Peace in difficulty and delight in goodness. Joy is a fruit. Specifically, a fruit of the Spirit. So, helping a person foster Joy is helping that person commune more deeply with the Spirit.

      We will be agents of sanctification no matter what we do, but we can either make things easier or make things harder. To bring someone closer to Joy means actively encouraging them towards growing in grace, instead of being the reason they need to have grace. Providing a place of safety and refuge from grievances, rather than being a grievance from which they need refuge. This is extraordinarily hard to do with anyone in life, but how much harder with your children, and even harder with your wife? It requires wisdom, humility, knowledge, strength, courage, steadfastness, and–Joy.

      Liked by 2 people

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