Call me crazy 🙂
Dallas Willard is a deceased, intriguing theologian who wrote many thoughtful things. And one thing he talks about a lot is actually becoming, in your very being, like Christ.
We will do what we are. So we will need to become the kind of people who routinely and easily walk in the goodness and power of Jesus our Master. (here)
And I’ve realized that just the opposite can happen to a person, too. As I watch the number of atrocities growing in Ukraine, and knowing that these things are simply a reflection of who the president is as a person, I realized that he has become a man who is living out who he is inside. He is doing “routinely and easily” what he actually is inside.
People call on him for peace and talks. And he uses this time to do more evil. …
And this is true for all people involved in these events. What is coming out of your heart? It shows what is in your heart already.
May God have mercy on our souls. May this be clear to us all: Freedom is not a savior, democracy is not a savior. Our hearts hold us captive in sin, and only Jesus Christ can save us.
I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that don’t please you. I have lived my life for myself. I am sorry and I repent. I ask you to forgive me. I believe that you died on the cross for me, to save me. You did what I could not do for myself. I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life, I give it to you. Help me to live every day in a way that pleases you. I love you, Lord, and I thank you that I will spend all eternity with you.
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Dallas Willard, in The Divine Conspiracy, sets forth two main objectives of discipleship to Christ, and I will mention the first one here. It’s a worthy and instructive goal for godly parents.
The first objective is to bring apprentices to the point where they dearly love and constantly delight in that “heavenly Father” made real to earth in Jesus and are quite certain that there is no “catch,” no limit, to the goodness of his intentions or to his power to carry them out.
How can I, as a parent, so present God to my children that they are lead by Him into “dearly loving” and “constantly delighting” in Him? That they are steadfastly sure of His good intentions toward them and of His power that is fulfilling those good intentions?
What a divine goal for parenting! And how impossible without the teaching and leading of the Heavenly Father Himself! My first question becomes: How can I do this for myself, first, that this is my heart towards God? (I guess I need to keep reading!)
When the mind is filled with this great and beautiful God, the “natural” response . . . will be to do “everything I [Jesus] have told you to do.”
How can I lead my sweet babies into such a love for and vision of God? This is one of my most pressing questions as a Christian parent.
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I don’t have a cavelier attitude about childrearing, but I do leave myself very open to growth, change, and a little bit of experimentation in my parenting. I find that the more I learn theology, particularly how God deals with us as His children, the braver I become in adjusting my parenting style.
Lately I’ve been reading Dallas Willard’s tomb The Divine Conspiracy. Any serious believer should read this (qualifier: don’t take that adjective “serious” too seriously. It’s a book that is not for the faint-of-heart is basically all I mean by that. It’s long, it’s deep, it’s life changing. Basically, I’m saying it’s not an easy book to read. It requires stamina.)
Chapter 7 is named “The Community of Prayerful Love,” and that means the church. He goes through mainly Matthew chapter 7, how we are to put off condemnation and the anger, contempt, shame, and blame that usually accompanies that. And we are not to cast our “pearls” (something like our good advice) before a person who is not ready to receive it.
And we are to deal with each other the way God arranged for us to communicate with Him—by simply asking. Even relentless asking, as Jesus illustrated in Luke 11 &18.
You know, my kids are PERFECT at this. They are naturally relentless askers.
Willard says this is how the Kingdom works. So I’m trying it with my kids. Not commanding or demanding, but asking. Sometimes several times.
Amazing how often it works very well! It’s such a pleasant way of dealing with each other.
Hmmm . . .
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