This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.
3 Lessons I learned from Burnout by Aaron Coalson
An old, familiar voice echoes in my head. It preaches to drive harder, faster, longer. “Produce more, and you’ll make it,” it says. And once I do, rest escapes me; it’s time for more. I was constantly driven to meet my own unrealistically high expectations. Good wasn’t enough, everything I touched had to be gold. “It has to be perfect, my heart cried” That’s what I had built my career on. When I became a pastor, I brought this incessant drive with me.
- Here is another excellent resource on burnout that came out this week – Infographic: The Common (Yet Neglected) Problem of Burnout.
In Praise of Forbearance by Marilyn McEntyre
I don’t much like the people I “put up” with, though, I piously tell myself, I’d like to like them. When I’m in the company of people whose views strike me as narrow, obnoxious, ill-informed, or dangerous, I struggle to hang onto some notion of neighbourly love that can quell my impatience and hasty judgments. Aware of how often I face that struggle, and how commonly political and social antagonisms divide churches full of people more or less like me—people with general goodwill and an assortment of strong opinions—I found James Calvin Davis’s reflections on forbearance deeply refreshing. They offer exactly the reminders we need of what life in beloved community requires.
- If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy my article on another neglected virtue “Why Humility Is Doubly Important in Marriage.”
Why Memorize the Psalms by Benjamin Kandt
So the value of memorization is meditation. Musing on the words that have been stored up in the heart. There is nothing more important for spiritual formation than being prayerfully saturated with Scripture.
- This post reminder me of a blog I wrote when my boys were young (hence the movie reference) “Lightning McQueen, Doc Hudson, and Psalm 119:11.”
In Defense (Somewhat) of Self-Help by Samuel James
When I was in Bible college, few things received scorn as unanimously and frequently as the self-help genre. The corner of your local bookstore dominated by big, bright covers and names like Oprah and Tony Robbins was, almost all of us young, restless, Reformed pre-seminarians agreed, poison. We understood that the self-help genre was a gospel-less, Jesus-less, church-less, and worst of all, theology-less morass of pop psychotherapy and New Agey gobbledygook. The enormous sales numbers of such books was an implicit challenge to my generation of Christian leaders: Whatever the cost, get these books out of your church members’ homes, and get them reading the Bible instead.
- The premise behind this post reminded me a bit of this article “Suffering, Self-Reliance, and Self-Esteem.”
Doubt Your Own Anger by Ed Welch
Anger is not receiving its due attention. Often, sexual sin captures our attention; anger less so. But when the apostle Paul lists sins, he especially identifies out-of-control desires that express themselves in sensuality and anger, with idolatry as a common thread between the two.
- If you enjoyed this article, you might benefit from following it with this one “Learning Relational Wisdom in Conflict Using James 3:17-18.”
What I’m Reading
A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace by Ed Welch. Look closely at any day and we can usually find anger in both our actions and attitudes. Things spill or go missing, we get stuck in traffic, and the people we live and work with often make life even harder. We want to stay calm, but what do you do when you feel your blood pressure rise yet again? Anger is so common yet it also destroys. It leaves its mark on us it s not healthy which is one reason we hear so much about finding peace. And it leaves its mark on others.
The wounds we inflict on others when we are angry the loss of intimacy, trust, security, and enjoyment in our closest relationships give us compelling reasons to look closely at our anger and think carefully about how to grow in patience and peace. If you have just gotten irritated for the umpteenth time today, you might wonder if change is possible. Can anyone grow in patience and peace? Yes. But you need a plan. Biblical counselor and psychologist Ed Welch invites readers to take a 50-day journey that unpacks anger and encourages readers to become more skillful at responding with patience to life s difficulties. Along the way, readers will be introduced to Jesus, the Prince of Peace the only one who can empower his people to grow in patience, peace, and wholeness.
Tweets of the Week
“Sometimes, the Church is slow to discern the difference between a gifted speaker and a gifted teacher. The speaker makes fans, the teacher makes disciples.” –@jenniferwilkin, Women of the Word
— Ashley Dickens (@AshleyPDickens) January 7, 2018
Your primary sounding board for processing pain should be safe friends, not timeline. Safe friends can help you heal but your timeline will watch you crash.
— BJ Thompson (@bj116) January 3, 2018
One of my biggest pastoral lessons of 2017:
Being a pastor means being a priest, but not at the expense of being a prophet.
Being a pastor means being a prophet, but not at the expense of being a priest.
This tension is very difficult to manage.
— Rich Villodas (@richvillodas) January 1, 2018
The more honest we are in prayer, the less bored we'll be with it.
— John McGowan (@JohnGMcGowan) December 29, 2017
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.