“Why do we all struggle with envy? Because self-righteousness tends to makes us feel more entitled than blessed, so we are more demanding than grateful.”
Biblical counseling is helping fellow sinners in this fallen world to live coram Deo.
“To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God…
“To live all of life coram Deo is to live a life of integrity…Integrity is found where men and women live their lives in a pattern of consistency. It is a pattern that functions the same basic way in church and out of church. It is a life that is open before God. It is a life in which all that is done is done as to the Lord. It is a life lived by principle, not expediency; by humility before God, not defiance. It is a life lived under the tutelage of conscience that is held captive by the Word of God.” (R.C. Sproul, What Does coram Deo Mean?)
We take that broad, overarching theme for our lives and get specific with the nitty gritty of life’s circumstances in light of spiritual realities using the tools God Himself gives – His Word, His Spirit, His People.
I hung on every word Paul Tripp spoke at the parenting conference our church hosted last month. I was convicted and encouraged and humbled and equipped. An overarching theme I’ve sought to apply is purposefully but naturally incorporating God and His involvement in the world and with us personally into conversations throughout the day. Another challenge has been to not think I get to take my parenting hat off and on as it’s convenient for me. When Dr. Tripp called us out on wanting to be done for the day (“It’s 10pm! I’m off duty!”) he was talkin’ to me! Especially with a newborn who invades “my” schedule ’round the clock, it is easy to get possessive of my time and attention. But Dr. Tripp reminds us -
Parenting is all about living by the principle of prepared spontaneity. You don’t really know what’s going to happen next. You don’t really know when you’ll have enforce a command, intervene in an argument, confront a wrong, holdout for a better way, remind someone of a truth, call for forgiveness, lead someone to confession, point to Jesus, restore peace, hold someone accountable, explain a wisdom principle, give a hug of love, laugh in the face of adversity, help someone complete a task, mediate an argument, stop with someone and pray, assist someone to see their heart, or talk once again about what it means to live together in a community of love.
What you do know is that Scripture gives you the wisdom that you need and your always-present Messiah gives you the grace that you need to be ready to respond to the moments of opportunity he will give you. Along with this, you and I must remember that our Lord loves our children more than we ever could and his commitment to their growth and change is more faithful and persevering than ours could ever be. Because of this, in his grace and love, he will manufacture moments that expose the needy hearts of our children to us. He will faithfully employ the little moments of everyday life to expose to us and our children their need of rescuing and forgiving grace. And he will not do this only at the moments which you feel are appropriate and when you feel most prepared.
Read the rest here: Parenting: It’s Never an Interruption and consider those interruptions as opportunities to redeem for the Kingdom’s sake!
P.S. Providentially, I had the same concepts on my mind exactly a year ago! (Prioritizing Your Priorities) I am obviously a work in progress!
In light of Jason’s post Saturday (which I found hilarious), here’s another model for small groups, from the Biblical Counseling Coalition Grace & Truth blog, trying to accomplish the opposite of what Jason’s tongue-in-cheek video portrays.
The blogger’s church actually revolves around small groups and is purposeful in counseling, shepherding, mentoring, and one-anothering through them. From what I’ve seen and experienced, our church’s small groups (and our ABF) are good at keeping that focus as well. It’s so much easier and more comfortable to be in a non-invasive never-get-deep environment, but ease and comfort never produced much worth having! Ya gotta be challenged if you wanna grow.
Last week I had the pleasure of stumbling across a blog called The Cripplegate, whose contributing team includes many guys Jason went to seminary with or whom I otherwise knew through TMS & GCC connections, all of whom were (and apparently still are) critical thinkers and eloquent writers who love the Lord and treasure His Word. Nate Busenitz’ post on the proper understanding of Philippians 4:13 last week was something I wanted to write about at some point, but seeing as there is nothing I could add to it, let me just direct you there. Browse around the site while you’re at it. Good stuff.