Owen Strachan: “But what does it mean, precisely, for a pastor to minister in a ‘gospel-centered’ way? Here are three quick thoughts.”
We get the term narcissism from the Greek mythological figure Narcissus, who fell in love with himself, with his own image. He was a hunter and was well known for his beauty. His arch-nemesis was named, well, he was named Nemesis, and he attracted Narcissus to a pool where Narcissus saw his own reflection. Narcissus was in awe of himself and stared at his reflection until he died. In some versions of the story, he kills himself because his own image cannot quench and satisfy him.
Likewise, modern-day narcissists are on a path to their own demise. Of course, they struggle to see it because they are too busy staring at their own reflections. But here are three simple steps to self-destruction.
One of the gifts God grants in salvation is the desire to grow in the knowledge of God. For many, including myself, the days of reading books began shortly after conversion. Being saved by someone naturally leads to a desire to know them in the same way that meeting your future spouse drives you to study.
As someone who has written on environmental issues, Spence Spencer says, the central issue is not about population; it’s about consumption. Yet somehow the solution for those like Filipovic always ends up with, “If only we had less children …”
That’s not actually concern for the planet. That’s “Don’t be born, so I can have more.”
But as an older woman—no matter how much I may resent that designation—I find Paul’s instruction intimidating. Who am I to presume authority or wisdom? My “seasoned experience” is fraught with mistakes, confusion, and general winging it. Surely mentoring or teaching or whatever Paul had in mind would be best accomplished by someone—anyone—else.
Americans value equality and fairness. Our constitution states it clearly: “All men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Fairness is a self-evident principle. We know every person should be subject to the same rules, without respect to ethnic heritage, class, or creed. It’s engraved at the front of the highest court in our land: “Equal justice under the law.” That’s why civil rights organizations have fought so diligently for equal opportunity employment and to end unequal sentencing. For fairness to reign, we should all be playing by the same rules.
It’s hard to believe I published this a year ago:
Today is my last day at my current job. After today, I won’t be working there anymore.
I know. People leave jobs all the time. It’s not really that big a deal. But it kind of is. Prior to this job, the longest I’d worked anywhere was just shy of five years. I’ve been there about three months shy of nine years. My oldest child was a baby when I started there. They’ve only known me working at this ministry.
Now, I’m done. And I’ll be honest—my feelings about my last day are more mixed than I expected. Don’t get me wrong: I can’t wait to go and start my new job. I’m not second-guessing any of that. It’s just that, there’s a lot to think about as I wind down this one chapter of my life and prepare for the next.
Maybe you can relate.