Killing Push Notifications, Hard Conversations, & Making the Case for Life
Wisdom for Your Weekend is your regular installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web. Presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from Pastor J.D., this is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”
Articles of the Week
Three Fresh Ways to Make the Case for Life, Trevin Wax. We Christians oppose abortion primarily because we want to defend the life of an unborn baby who is made in God’s image. But that line of reasoning is becoming increasingly foreign to many people in our society. Is there a way to continue making the case for life in a society that doesn’t listen to, “The Bible says…”? Wax thinks so, and uses Stephanie Gray’s recent talk at Google as a winsome example.
Turn Off Your Push Notifications. All of Them. David Pierce. Have you read Tony Reinke’s 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You yet? Reminders of this sort will continue until we have assurance that every one of our blog readers has read that fine book. Until then, expect warnings like this to remain timely. As Pierce points out, smartphones aren’t the problem. (I [Chris] would qualify, not the only problem.) What makes these little devices so pernicious is the “endless buzzing and dinging.” Don’t be a slave to your tiny pocket computer: Turn the push notifications off. All of them.
10 Wrong Responses During Hard Conversations, Chuck Lawless. Some of these are spiritual problems; others are pragmatic. All are important. Confronting others and accepting confrontation with humility isn’t something that comes naturally to any of us. Take a lesson from Lawless and keep an eye on your heart during your next tiff. (If you’re curious as to my personal pitfalls here, it’s #2, #6, and #10.)
An Open Letter to Those Debilitated by Their Sexual Sin, David Powlison. This is a perspective that a lot of people need to hear. Progressive sanctification is a messy business, and most days it feels like failure is all there is. But in the midst of failure, sin, and shame, Jesus does his best work. Give him the space to do it, and don’t despise the grace he’s already shown you.
Let’s End the Sale of Self Indulgences, Stephen McAlpine. This year we commemorate the 500th year of the Protestant Reformation. If you’re familiar with your history, you’ll remember that one of the major battles of the Reformation was over the sale of “indulgences,” which helped pay down some of your Purgatory-debt. (Think of them as 16th-century Get Out of Hell Free Cards.) We may not be selling as many indulgences these days, but as McAlpine points out, the Christian publishing industry sure does love to sell self-indulgence. It’s time we stop.
On the Lighter Side
Valley Girl Contest (1982). There was a time when people intentionally tried to talk like valley girls—so much so that they had competitions for it. While I respect Pastor J.D.’s categorical love for all things ‘80s, this may be a slice of our culture that is best kept in the vault of history. Though I do think that “Bag your face” should make a comeback.
Wisdom for Your Weekend: Your regular installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) from around the web. We gather the best and leave out the rest.