As we read from 2nd Corinthians 4-10, we cover quite a bit of ground in Paul’s ministry with the Corinthians. Best notes of Chapter 4, “Paul of course does not deliberately seek suffering. It comes as he lives as a Christian and results in the life of Jesus being seen in him.” (p. 36) That’s an important distinction. As disciples of Christ we don’t need to look for trouble, but our walk with Jesus will inevitably result in hard situations requiring our courage to continue living in Jesus in their midst.
What trouble has encountered you as a disciple of Jesus?
This week we read Part 3, “Managing Your Fears,” Chapter 17, “Negativity II: Why It’s Not All Your Fault” of the T+P+A Big Read 2019, The Lifelong Activist. Rettig shares a couple reasons why we may have a hard time with the previous exercise of naming our strengths – one particularly relevant in our time:
The capitalist system often promotes a very narrow, and very dysfunctional, view of success—namely, that if you’ve got a lot of money, you’re a success, and if you don’t, you’re a failure. It doesn’t matter how much of non-monetary value you’ve achieved, or what ethical lapses, if any, you committed to make your fortune.
As an activist, you see the evil behind that definition. However, it’s one thing to get a point intellectually, and another to embrace it on an emotional level. Many people who understand the limitations of the capitalist model of success nevertheless feel like failures because they don’t live up to it. They can’t escape their earlier conditioning or the ongoing pressure to conform.
How do or will you escape your conditioning to move beyond a capitalist view of success in your life?
For the rest of August, we return to the Ignatian prayer practice of the Examen. This infographic is my favorite quick rundown of how to pray it: https://bustedhalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/examen-large.jpg
How do you meet God in your experience of the Examen?
C’mon over to People of the Books, our online book club in which we discuss these books and whatever else is on your mind or heart!
Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.
- Best, Ernest. Second Corinthians. Interpretation: A Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1987.
- Busted Halo. The Daily Examen in 6 Simple Steps. Infographic; JPG, June 2012. https://bustedhalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/examen-large.jpg.
- Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
- Rettig, Hillary. “Negativity II: Why It’s Not All Your Fault” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006. http://lifelongactivist.com/part-iii-managing-your-fears/17-negativity-ii-why-its-not-all-your-fault/
- Sanders, E. P. Paul: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.