Frustration: Holy Longing

frustrationThis is the sixth post in a series on frustration. View them all here.

This is where we end—holy longing. We started in selfishness with fashionable fists and childish foot stomping. We know that it’s not wise to just say “don’t be frustrated” because sometimes frustration is good. Jesus was frustrated. But even in our selfish forms of frustration merely saying “don’t do that” isn’t very helpful. What is going on beneath the stomping of our feet? A “don’t do that” also assumes we have the power ourselves to actually stop. We don’t. Continue reading

Frustration: Fashionable Fists and Punk in Publix

frustrationThis is the third post in a series on frustration. View them all here.

Frustration comes in many colors, as mentioned in the introduction. The last post I talked about why we should be frustrated. Problem is, as people who are imperfect, we are simultaneously frustrated too much and not frustrated enough. We are frustrated too much with empty forms of frustration and not enough with the real thing. Empty frustration is not deep frustration. It takes its façade, but only to hide pride and self-righteousness behind it. These next two posts I’ll be looking at empty forms of frustration, outward and inward. Continue reading

Frustration: Why We Should Be Frustrated

frustrationThis is the second post in a series on frustration. View them all here.

Frustration isn’t always bad. I feel like this needs to be said, especially if you dwell in Christian circles for any length of time. Sometimes the “niceness” of Christian organizations (be they churches or anything else) cut off any of this kind of talk. Even as this post is published on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there is something inside us all that knows part of this world are broken. Continue reading

Frustration: a journey from childish foot stomping to holy longing

frustrationThis is the first post in a series on frustration. View them all here.

If anyone has even halfway known me for any amount of time, they would know that I struggle with frustration. I want everything and I want it yesterday. This surfaces much in my ministry life, as it often feels like hard work to feel content. I know others who deal with the same thing, especially church planters. I believe it’s a combination of the personality of one attracted to church planting and the slow nature of the work. Frustration is even in the description people use of the young, restless and reformed movement (if you want to call it that). Restless. Anxious. Unsettled. These are all versions of frustration. Continue reading

Empty and Holy Longings

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“The whole life of a good Christian is a holy longing.” —Augustine

We are filled with so many loves, so many wants, so many desires for things and people and ideas, how can we know what we should attach ourselves to? It’s hard to figure out what we want and what we really want. How do we discern between empty longings and holy longings? What do we do with these desires?

We all have longings, it’s really more a matter of what kind they are and our level of attachment to them. If it’s an empty longing, we should want our level of attachment to be low or even nonexistent. If it’s a holy longing, we should want to be more attached than not. And of course there are gradients of good and bad and there are right orderings of our desires.

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