My son is learning different animal sounds, and his favorite sound to make is “moo.” We discovered that our Google Home will make animal noises on command, and he loves to hear its sounds. A few weeks back, we asked our Google Home to make a number of different animal sounds, and it’s response to one that it couldn’t find struck me. “I can’t help you with that right now. But I am always learning.”
Unsurprisingly, if you Google “follow your heart,” you’ll find numerous articles extolling the virtues of the popular mantra. But is that actually sound advice?
At random, I chose this article at Huffington Post by a professional counselor that lists 10 reasons to follow your heart.
Each point sounds encouraging at best and trivial at worst. But what if we look past the surface and carry these ideas to their logical conclusion or try to apply them universally?
From hearing from you, I can tell that some of you are about to quit. Some of you are wondering whether to quit your jobs. Some of you are wondering whether to quit ministries you have within your local church. Some of you are wondering whether to quit other aspects of your life that I don’t even know about. You’re discouraged and you’re ready to give up. Should you?
I hate to admit this, but pastors are prone to manipulation. Sometimes we are unknowingly manipulated by our own church members. Sometimes we are the perpetrators of manipulation. Neither scenario is acceptable nor biblical, and both are avoidable.
In an attempt to please the Lord and his bride, we often try too hard to make our people happy which is an unreasonable expectation for any pastor. Although there is no way we can altogether control being impressed or intimidated by people, we can avoid being manipulated in these five ways.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra:
Ray is “the most ‘Jesusy’ guy I’ve ever known,” said Midwestern Seminary director of content strategy and TGC blogger Jared Wilson. “He always wants the best for you, wants you to succeed, wants you to feel great about God’s work and working in your life. . . . He has a way of pushing you to do more for God without leveraging guilt or moralistic pleading. I never left a meeting with him without feeling like I could walk on water.”
A favorite from the archives:
There are certain statements that are trigger warnings for me—at least, when I see them made by a Christian writer, speaker or pastor. References to 1 Corinthians’ famous “everything is permissible” statements (but only because I almost always see them used in the exact opposite way Paul meant them). Nearly any time someone says Jesus doesn’t judge, so we shouldn’t either (again, because, it’s used in almost the opposite way it’s meant in Scripture). And when someone calls the Bible something like a “different kind of center,” or a people group’s collective and growing understanding of God, or some other such thing… oh boy.
When those kinds of statements come up, I usually know where the author or speaker is going, and it’s always to a bad place. Why? Because they’ve lost their footing, having abandoned the foundation of the Bible’s authority: its nature as “God-breathed,” or inspired.