Light bulb moment: Why my enemies hate me so much

Last week a video emerged from 2015 (the internet is forever — remember that, kids, the next time you Instagram a photo of yourself in a state and location you might regret later) of former Vice President Joe Biden commenting on his relationship with former Vice President Dick Cheney.  He called him a “decent man.”  “I actually like Dick Cheney, for real,” he said.  “I get on with him.”  Cheney, of course, has borne the brunt of the wrath of the opposition (and a fair portion of his own base) for the war in Iraq that his boss perpetrated.

I don’t care what you think about Biden, Cheney, Iraq, or any other particular element of this conversation.  I share this story merely to tell you about the light bulb that went off in my head upon reading some of the vitriol spewed forth against Mr. Biden from some of the people who, until five minutes ago, may have been looking at his 2020 presidential candidacy with an eye toward supporting it.

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Biscuits

In the latest installment of This Week on Facebook, I present a meme: “Just imagine how great life would be if biscuits and gravy made you skinny.”

       Well, sure.  But why stop there?  Let’s wish that video games increased our intelligence, or alcohol improved our driving, or pornography strengthened our marriages.  The only difference is, I’ve heard people actually argue the last three.  Not even kidding.

Here’s the report from planet earth, though: Good choices are frequently painful choices, and indulgent choices are rarely good choices.  I am no stoic, but I must decry the rampant hedonism in our culture that has been sold to us as a tonic for what ails us.

Medicine tastes bad.  Exercise hurts.  Work wears you out.  And yes, tragically, healthy food is less appetizing than fattening, artery-clogging food.  Frankly, we should be highly suspicious when someone tries to tell us different.

But we do have a tendency to believe “information” that supports our indulgences.  Most of my brethren who have tried to get around the clear teaching of Matthew 19:6 and Matthew 19:9, for instance, have a divorce and remarriage situation very close to home.  The truth does not always hurt, granted; however, it doesn’t become less truthful when it does hurt.

God’s word is truth (John 17:17).  Our current understanding of it may or may not be truth.  We owe it to ourselves to be honest — painfully honest.  If it means giving up a tasty morsel or two, so be it.

 

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Who is my brother?

One of my Facebook “friends” (actually a complete stranger to me — social media makes for odd relationships) posted the following last week: “Don’t you dare tell me who I can call my brothers and sisters in Christ!  That is way above your pay grade!”

I was tempted to respond, “Is it above yours?”

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Map

My good friend Brad Sullivan showed me the road to the preacher getaway to which I have made extensive reference recently in this space.  But I needed to leave the event early, so I drove home alone.  And I got lost.  As in, I didn’t know which road to get on, what direction to go, or even where to find a decent WiFi signal so my phone could educate me properly.

I needed a map. 

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The truth we know

Enough, already.

Enough judging a man in his 50s for an isolated incident, or even several of them, that may or may not have happened when he was a teenager.

Enough judging a woman for daring to have a smile on her face at some point in time when the most important thing in her life is her allegations of being assaulted.

Enough giving credence to everyone who supports our own preconceived values and principles.  Enough dismissing and/or excoriating everyone who opposes them.

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Steam

As I left the house this morning, I saw a strange thing.  I saw steam rising up from the roof of two houses across the street from me.  Nowhere else.  Now, I remember enough about high school chemistry to know steam is water in gaseous form; it is normal on hot afternoons after a rain for steam to come up from the asphalt as the heat of the surface essentially boils the water that hits it.  But this was morning time — warm, but not unbearably hot.  And it was just the two houses, as far as I could tell.  (I’m virtually certain the houses were not on fire, in case you were wondering.  The thought did cross my mind, though.)

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Nerds

It is said that the word “nerd” originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the cool kids who somehow managed to find their way to and into MIT characterized the uncool kids as knurds.  Knurd, you will note, is drunk spelled backward.  Therefore it was trendy to be drunk, whereas it was the sign of ultimate and irreversible squaredom to study, achieve, graduate with honors, and get a job.

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Like

"Like," for most English-speaking humans, means like.  I say that to clarify for those who may not be acquainted with the nuances of social media.  When you “like” your wife’s cooking, it may simply mean that you don’t want to eat Cheerios for dinner tomorrow night.  When you “like” your child’s latest painting, it may say speak more to your relationship with the child than it does the child’s artistic talent.  But usually, like means like.  And that’s especially true if, as with social media, you provide no context.

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