“I Can’t Give You Character” (#573)

A son comes home after sliding into the less-than-stellar influence of his friends and as his dad was trying to help him understand what maturity would invite him to embrace wound up saying, "Son, I can give you mercy, but I can't give you character. What a statement and Brad and Wayne parse that out as an expression God might feel as well. When we who claim to believe in a loving Father use his mercy and graciousness as an excuse for our dishonesty, lack of integrity, or selfishness we discredit the very love we tout. If Father's love doesn't eventually lead us out of selfishness to embrace a different way of living, the world and other Christians are right to ignore our message. Personal expedience must give way to a growing depth of character if we're going to touch the world and the principalities and powers with the reality of the God we claim to follow.

Podcast Notes:
Whose Afraid of the Big, Bad Shack, by Wayne
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  1. Wow. The person’s letter on millenials sitting at the big boy table doesn’t reflect my experience. I can remember including two millenials on a church committee and watching how Boomers and above could not reasonably answer their earnest questions about doctrine and church practice. They mostly got shocked looks and answers that seemed to intimate “this is what we do” versus really fleshing out the reasons for what we believed and why. So, some millennials attempt to take part and learn, but can have their questions dismissed. That’s not the way to engage them and probably contributes to those who choose not to participate. Why would they if this is the best we have to offer? Wayne, your comment resonates and sums it up well about those who have voice and don’t really get the gospel and are just hunkered down. What about that type of mentality would encourage anyone new to the Church to participate and get involved? Here you come with faith and hope and you’re greeted by battle-weary (usually the wrong battles), folks who basically just want you to shut up and adapt.

  2. When I was 20, I began to attend several 12-step groups in the area and was exposed to an environment of ‘sharing is caring.’ So no matter what I said, right, wrong, or indifferent, it was accepted. It enabled me to grow spiritually , and eventually I ‘got it’, meaning, what I shared was to be helpful to someone else, not a platform for my wisdom. What guided that thinking was the principle of anonymity. If I happened to share something profound that was worthy of Bartlett’s quotations, Bartlett wasn’t going to suddenly come beating down my door to publish it. And it was refreshing and humbling at the same time.

    Many in the world have made a lucrative career simply based on turning what they say and do into an art form. That wasn’t going to happen for me. But I’ve seen many of those same people asked to expand on what they originally came up with, with a response of more of the same, or scuttle the ship altogether. What you said Wayne about corporatization, becomes more about the bottom line and getting there at any and all costs, versus is the art meaningful, helpful, true to the artist, etc…

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