Devos and Studies

Our Problem with Rest

I met a young couple from New Zealand in the Hong Kong airport years ago. We were waiting for our next flight and got to talking. I asked them about their experience in my home country, the USA.

They had worked in the US for a few years and shared a simple observation about Americans and rest. Generally, they realized we don't seem to know how to take time to rest, even when we're sick.

Think about it. Immense amounts of sick leave and vacation time go unused each year by Americans. When we do take vacations, they're often expensive and so activity-filled, we need a rest after our vacation! This carries over to our faith.

Listen and Learn

Not everything in the Bible is to be taken literally. And yet, what's written in the Bible is not just figurative or symbolic. Discernment, spiritual discernment, is needed for a true understanding.

Events in the Bible are real, but they can also be figurative. The stories recorded in the Bible aren't random events, they're selected by God for a purpose.

They are intended to teach us something by example or by way of illustration. Just as in life, where we can learn from the success or mistakes we make, we can learn from the successes, wisdom, and failures of others.

Don't Be Stubborn

Have you ever watched a child's body language when they don't want to do something? They turn away in some way. They're defiant and often stubborn in their defiance.

As we get older, not really more mature, we learn to do this in more subtle ways. It's called passive-aggressive behavior.

This reaction—whether external or internal—can be destructive, especially when we get defiant and stubborn with God.

A Son Not a Servant

The Christian faith is not a set of abstract beliefs. A confession of faith is more than words and thoughts written out or spoken.

Genuine Christian faith is anchored in Jesus. Not only what is believed in Him as the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, but in relationship with Him.

Genuine Christianity is centered on the person of Jesus Christ, not a set of doctrines to be practiced or beliefs to hold. The book of Hebrews makes this very clear.

Our Touchpoint

An important part of counseling at any level, for whatever the need may be, is trust. Often, what builds trust is when we know a person identifies with our situation and knows what we're going through.

Peer counseling in self-help groups, even with Christian fellowship, can be reassuring because of shared experiences in life.

In matters of faith, we also need to have similar assurances. This is an important reason for Jesus, God's Son, becoming human to live among us.