Thursday, November 14, 2013

Two Great Articles I Read Yesterday

Here are two articles I read yesterday that both have ties to resisting gossip:

Don't Tell Me Your Kid's Sins by Megan Hill at the Gospel Coalition
Christian parents might feel above this kind of crass oversharing, but, often, we are not. From blogs to Bible studies—wherever parents gather—stories of children's misbehavior flow freely. It's not unusual for a mother to walk in to a gathering of Christian women, sullen child in tow, and proceed to tell everyone about her young child's last hour of disobedience. Frequently, the women of the group will listen, roll their eyes, and groan in sympathy. Most parents have been in a similar situation, and perhaps we have told some of the stories ourselves.
Parents announce their children's sins for a variety of reasons. Being a parent is a lonely job, and we can wrongly use our children's sinful antics to build camaraderie with other parents. We can also be personally frustrated by our children's actions and leverage the telling of their sins to justify our own impatience and anger. And, particularly online, we sometimes tell our children's sins as a way to establish our family's authentic credentials as "real" and "broken" people.
None of these is a good reason to forget that our children are also our biblical neighbors. I may have authority over my children, but I don't own them or their stories. My children are neither my possessions nor extensions of myself. They are image-bearing individuals with souls that will last forever. And one of my first obligations to my children is to treat them with kindness and dignity as my neighbors. I am obligated to look out for their interests (Phil. 2:4), and I must treat my children as I desire to be treated (Matt. 7:12). Even when it comes to their sin.
This seems like it could easily fall into bearing bad news behind our kids backs out of a bad heart (i.e. parental gossip).  Read the whole thing.
Why We Click Stupid Links by Tony Reinke at Desiring God.
By “stupid links,” I mean hyperlinks on the Web that do nothing but tap our kneejerk curiosity. They do little for us because they have little to offer. We click, we read, we watch, and often we feel dumber for it.
Such clamorous links litter the Internet, offering up celebrity gossip, bizarre crime stories, violent videos, and sexual images — each link asking for little more than a click (such a petty request).
Reinke invokes Augustine (whose birthday was yesterday) for a little soul-searching on what Augustine called "vain curiosities."
There’s a vain curiosity attracted to vanity and emptiness, and there’s a sanctified curiosity drawn in all things toward God’s beauty. This possibility is presented to us in every hyperlink.
And so Augustine emerges from history to ask us three reflective questions about our browsing history:
Am I seeking out hyperlinks that offer me a promising pathway to see more of God’s beauty?
Or, are my hyperlink habits unregulated, prompted by some inner whim, and terminating on nothing more than my vain curiosity?
Or, most tragic of all, are the hyperlinks I click on really just a series of pint-size, pothole cisterns out of which I hope to slurp up a little gratification for my empty soul?
Read the whole thing.