The Internet, Books, SMS, Journal Articles, Twitter, Responses, Facebook, Memos, Position Papers, Blogs, Advertisements, Proposals, and old-fashioned letters (unlike some, I still think they’re valuable) – we are a writing society now. The contract has replaced the handshake, IM the phone call, and the written has become queen or king.
But, the writing hasn’t gotten better.
In fact, it’s worse.
I’m working on a writing project that centers on character issues and I picked up this book by the Arbinger Institute, Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box. It’s a nice little “fictional” story (160 pages) that details how people can be “in the box” and treat each other poorly, as objects rather than as people.
The story focuses on a middle-level manager who gets hired into a new firm that takes character issues, relational ability, and organizational unity very seriously. The book’s thesis is that most issues in the workplace are “people problems” and those problems are often caused by our self-deception about who we are and who others are to us. If you see it in a bookstore, peek at page 151 for the essence of the book… then buy it.
Everyone has faith, whether it’s in God, their belief there isn’t a God (that takes a LOT of faith to say!), in government, or in their own savvy and snarky ways, people make “faith” statements every day as to what gets their passion and attention.
If you every get a chance, read about Christian martyrs, challenging accounts of deep commitment and faith. Fox’s Book of Martyrs is the classic text, but if you have teens, Jesus Freaks by DC Talk is better. The lives of these great ones seem very different from what we modern and postmodern Christians choose to focus on. Some who died did so for theological “rightness,” sometimes at the hands of other folks called Christians. I have difficulty translating that to today’s “hot topic” discussions in theological circles.
It all seems quite foreign to how we American Christians think, talk, and write as we consider who God is, what he expects of us, and how the Church should be in the world. What is the “vocation” of our lives to which we give our all, our total focus? This week, I came across a verse in the Old Testament of the Bible, Psalm 27:4 that has been a challenge to me. The author, David, King of Judah, had been reflecting on his confidence (faith) in who God is (see vv. 1-3). Then, he wrote: read more…