Beware the echo chamber

Beware the echo chamber

The devil has custom-engineered one just for you. He entices you both through your prejudices and your compassions to join in a self-reinforcing conversation with people who agree with you and flatter you into thinking that you are on the side of the angels and that those who oppose you—or who simply have a different opinion from yours—are of the devil and are somehow less intelligent, less well-informed than you are.

We all have our pet issues. All of us.

When you find yourself giving your heart to those who agree with you on your pet issues, but who do not acknowledge the reality and authority of the God who created you (and them!), you have been subverted by the devil’s echo chamber and you are in a very dangerous place.

We are all wounded. And we have a choice: We can allow God to heal our wounds (and renew our minds), or we can choose the echo chamber, which offers shallow sympathy and rationalizes and makes increasingly permanent our particular flavor of victimhood.

“Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.”

Proverbs 4:23

Beware the voice that speaks through your wounding.

Embrace the voice that speaks to your healing.

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Why are you downcast, O my soul?

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.”

PSA 42:5 ESV

What I’m feeling at the moment is temporary.

I need to learn to acknowledge the feeling, own it, then question it.

I am not my feelings.

I will not allow my feelings to define me.

And certainly not own me.

Rather than seek some poorly defined “closure,” I will challenge my feelings with the truth as I already know it.

Mindfulness in the waiting

I wait quietly before God,
    for my victory comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will never be shaken.

Psalm 62:1-2

Whether…

…the conflict is a pitched battle on the outside or fears and turmoil inside the mind—the battle is the Lord’s. Only he can still the storms and bring peace.

And he surely will.

If I am mindful of his continuous presence.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8

Going (again) to the beginning

"Recruitment (3)" by Nicholas A. Tonelli on Flickr

Just now my mind came back to these verses:

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” —Colossians 2:6-7

I am troubled by something in this season, and struggling to gain a foothold over it (or in it!).

And I’ve been led by the Lord, in the last few days, to a resource that was shared with me in 1974, when I was literally weeks old in the Lord.

I am discovering—again—that I never stop needing what was given to me in the beginning.

 

Photograph: “Recruitment (3)” by Nicholas A. Tonelli on Flickr

Giving liberty to someone who disagrees with you is a biblical virtue

No matter how kindly you word it, when you appoint yourself the arbiter of another person’s religious obligations, you have put yourself in a dangerous and unacceptable place.

Even more so when you enlist the full resources of government to enforce conformity with your cause.

Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

Romans 14:1-4 (NLT)

What the real problem is

The problem isn’t your boss or the company you work for, or the economy, or the political party you despise, or the next-door-neighbor, or the driver that just cut you off. The problem is much more powerful. Much more pervasive. And there are weapons available to you that will defeat that problem:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. —Ephesians 6:10-12

Perception or Promise: Which do you Trust?

“We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” —Numbers 13:33

“I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you.” —Joshua 2:9

Is your self-image accurate? Is what you assume people think about you true?

Are you prepared to waste 40 years of opportunity because you trusted your perceptions rather than God’s promise?