THE PECULIAR IDOL OF PERSONAL OPINION

With the rise of the Internet and social media, we have seen the growth of a number of negative trends and factors in society, one of which is the glorification of personal opinion. This article makes the cogent point that our opinions about things have become new idols for us. Here is a takeaway for me: “It’s possible that never in the history of the world have human beings felt more entitled to their own feelings and opinions…. Social media has filled in the gap between fool and expert, and it is filling the world with foolishness disguised as expertise.” From Your Mom has a Blog…….

Dallas Willard Answers the Question: What is Joy?

What is Joy?

Joy is a positive outlook of hopefulness based upon a pervasive, overall sense of well-being. Joy, like love, has a “feeling” component that is pleasant. Yet joy, like love, is not a feeling. Joy maintains a positive posture in life that assumes that good will be supported and eventually triumph over any apparent obstacle. Therefore, joy is fully compatible with the experiences of pain, disappointment, or sorrow, because joyfulness always takes a wider view of circumstances and works with hope to expect good to prevail. Joy enables patience, faithfulness to commitments, and the all-important ability to defer instant gratification. Joy gives one the ability to say no, or perhaps a very firm “not yet,” to the immediacy of desire. Both responses are evidence of joy’s ability to overcome the tyranny of the urgent, since one is joyful with the present state of affairs, whatever that may be. The bearing of joy on the good life should be obvious. It is indispensable to steady contentment and perseverance in any task. Joy liberates from the demand or temptation of immediate satisfaction, which resists waiting for what is good or best. Accordingly, joy is the best platform from which to make any sound investment.

From The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God’s Kingdom on Earth. Copyright © 2014 by Dallas Willard amd Gary Black Jr. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Kingdom Living with Dallas Willard

Where there is a will, there is a way

In the spiritual life it is actually true that “where there is a will there is a way.” This is true because God is involved and makes his help available to those who seek it. On the other hand, where there is no will (firm intentions based on clear vision) there is no way. People who do not intend to be inwardly transformed, so that obedience to Christ “comes naturally,” will not be transformed. God will not pick us up and throw us into transformed kingdom living, into “holiness,” against our will.

From Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks. Copyright © 2016 by Willard Family Trust. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Thoughts on Christian Living from Dallas Willard

The Path of Liberation Through the Disciplines

Experimental [practical], prayerful implementation of solitude, silence, fasting—and other appropriate practices, such as service, fellowship, worship, and study (there is no such thing as a complete list of spiritual disciplines)—will certainly liberate us into the riches of Kingdom living. They are the key to the keys. We do not have to live under the thumb of our circumstances. For most, it is a considerable test of faith to take control of how they spend their time. But that is up to us. And putting time-tested, biblical disciplines for the spiritual life into sensible practice will soon lead us into an abundance of the life that is eternal in quality and power.

From The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship. Copyright © 2006 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Become Who You Already Are

Here is a takeaway for me from this article: “Our identity in Christ is one of those critical truths that, if grasped early in our Christian life, will avert all kinds of problems and issues later on. In Christ, we get to know the God of the gospel, Father, Son, and Spirit.” From Desiring God…………….

more wisdom from dallas willard

Benefits of Practicing Solitude

Solitude well practiced will break the power of busyness, haste, isolation, and loneliness. You will see that the world is not on your shoulders after all. You will find yourself, and God will find you in new ways. Joy and peace will begin to bubble up within you and arrive from things and events around you. Praise and prayer will come to you and from within you. With practice, the “soul anchor” established in solitude will remain solid when you return to your ordinary life with others.

From The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship. Copyright © 2006 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.