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Tag Archives: honesty

10 New Year’s Resolutions by Geri Scazzero

New Year’s Resolutions are traditionally approached in what you will do different this year to make life better. I will go to the gym 3x/ week (or, I will find a gym!). I will get 8 hours sleep. I will take a cooking class. Here is another approach to the New Years Resolutions specifically for emotional and spiritual maturity. Instead of resolving to “do” something, how about resolving to “quit” something? I will quit being afraid of what others think I will not say “yes” when I really want to say “no” because I’m are afraid the other person will be angry, sad or disappointed. I will quit agreeing with people if I really don’t agree with them. I won’t be okay with myself only if you are okay with me. I will quit lying I will be honest with MYSELF. I will admit what I am really thinking, really feeling, and what I. Read more.

Face Your Shadow

Everyone has a shadow. Shadows are those untamed emotions and behaviors. They may be sinful; they may simply be weaknesses. Most importantly, they lie concealed just beneath the surface of our more proper selves. They may erupt in judgmental perfectionism, outbursts of anger, jealousy, resentments, lusts, greed, or murderous tendencies. At other times, they emerge through our need to rescue people, our seemingly endless need to be noticed, our inability to stop working, our isolation, or our rigidity. Our shadows are the damaged versions of who we are. They are the behaviors we use to protect ourselves from actually changing. We keep them hidden because they make us feel so vulnerable. Churches and organizations can develop a “shadow mission.” We want to reach people for Jesus Christ. That is good. The shadow of that is: “We are here to grow our numbers.” Many of us have wonderful public gifts in speaking and mobilizing people.. Read more.

Clean Pain and Dirty Pain

Examples of dirty pain are found throughout Scripture. The Israelites wander for forty years in the desert due to their unbelief. Jonah finds himself in a stormy sea as he runs from God’s will. Abraham experiences years of pain after birthing Ishmael rather than wait on God. Much of our dirty pain in leadership comes from a failure to wait and listen to wise counsel. Hasty staff hires, half-formed plans, sloppy meetings, a turbulent spirit due to a failure to set boundaries, rushed sermons – are a few examples. We don’t learn in dirty pain because we are defending, denying, and avoiding.  It is the pain of repeating the same mistakes.  I know it well. Examples of clean pain are also found throughout Scripture. Jesus struggles with the Father’s will in Gethsemane.  Paul’s pleads to remove a thorn in the flesh. Abraham climbs a mountain to obey God and sacrifice his son. Clean pain. Read more.

If Christians Could be Honest about These 10 Things (Part 2)

What would happen if Christians could be honest about: Why there is so much religious pathology in the church.  (There is quite a bit of pathology in all fields – from business to athletics to academia to construction workers.) Why so many young people leave the church. (Our spiritual formation often does not prepare them well for the doubts that come with leaving the “nest”. Yet this can be, at times, a healthy differentiation process for their development.) Why so many Christians don’t deal with their own “stuff”. (It is the same reason many non-Christians do not – it is very difficult.) Why we don’t live what we believe. (Few people in all walks of life do. This takes great integrity and awareness). Why life is still hard. (“He sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” Matt. 5:45. This will not change this side of heaven). Why there is so much hypocrisy in. Read more.

If Christians Could be Honest about These 10 Things (Part 1)

What would happen if Christians could be honest about: Why there is so much religious pathology in the church. Why so many young people leave the church. Why so many Christians don’t deal with their own “stuff”. Why we don’t live what we believe. Why life is still hard. Why there is so much hypocrisy in the church. Why betrayal eventually visits every Christian. Why racism, classism, and sexism persist in the church. Why so many people in churches are judgmental. Why the church cannot meet all our needs. A friend of mine, a literary agent, asked if I could write a book responding to questions that she had struggled with for so much of her Christian life. I’m not interested in writing a book on the answers but I did expand and edit her list. I don’t find, however, that these questions are indictments on the church. Understanding the answers, actually, is key. Read more.

I Quit – My New Year's Resolution

  Geri spent fourteen years pondering the eight I Quits. Then we spent almost two years writing the book, excavating the biblical foundations and complexity of the material. We spent quite a bit of time reflecting on our journeys with these truths, looking at how they have become so intricately interwoven with our walks with Christ. This past week (Jan. 9, 2011) we began an 8 week sermon series at New Life to expand on these truths.We see I Quit as only an introduction to something much larger and far-reaching  — on all levels (for leaders, pastors, communities,parents, singles, marriages, etc). They are essential if we are going to truly lead our churches to become life-transforming communities for Christ. The problem is so vast that there is no other way. Enjoy this recently published article from the Washington Post.   “I quit!” I told my husband. “I’m leaving our church. This no longer brings me life. It brings me death.”. Read more.