This summer my oldest started Kindergarten. My best friend moved to Japan. We dealt with a loss in the family. I’ve had friends in relational and financial crisis. So much is going on in the lives of so many people I love, and I can’t truly be involved in it. I’m not there to help my daughter navigate classroom rules for the first time. I’m not in Japan to share a margarita with my best friend when the military loses her entire shipment of household goods. We live far away from family. I have my own, God-given top priority of my husband and my kids that means I can’t drop everything to help my mom friends who need support - and too often, I am the one who needs the support, anyway.
John Owen, the English church leader who worked at the University of Oxford once asked this provocative question in his book “The Mortification of Sin”: “Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be killing sin or it will be killing you.”
A beautiful guitar locked in its case may resemble many church members. How? A guitar is designed with the intention to be played upon by another so that the music of the instrument can be heard by all. It was never meant to stay in the case! Author Paul David Tripp seizes upon this idea and develops it in his book Instruments in the Redeemers Hands. What is the book about? What were some of its weaknesses? Did any sections grip and grow my own understanding of being a person in need of change helping people in need of change? Read on and consider reading this book if you want to help the ones you love change in areas where they get spiritually stuck.
As Americans, most of our life is consciously and unconsciously built around trying to avoid discomfort of any kind. But we cannot forget that wrapped up in the promise of blessing and comfort from Christ, we are also promised that we will share in His suffering while on this earth. Suffering is unavoidable. When we inoculate ourselves to any discomfort, any irritation, any self-sacrifice, then, when we are struck with promised suffering, it bowls us over.