Posts by Chuck Webster (Page 2)

Posts by Chuck Webster (Page 2)

Drawn scales with empty cups on chalkboard

Big sins, little sins

Sometimes we put sins into categories, probably without even thinking: “really bad sins,” “bad sins,” and “not-so-bad sins.” Sure, I’m a sinner, but none of mine are the really bad ones. I’d never commit those. Like murder. Or adultery. My sins are smaller stuff like sometimes thinking bad thoughts, losing my temper with my kids, spreading a little gossip, or being impatient and irritable. Everybody does that stuff. Sound familiar? The Christians James was writing to apparently made the same…
One house model ahead of the others, red color background

Love that neighbor

Love your neighbor. It just sort of rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? It’s such a nice thought, and pretty much everybody agrees that we ought to do it. Do we? Of course, we do, or at least we think we do. We know Jesus commanded it. We know we’re supposed to love everyone. James apparently thought it was a big deal. He wrote, “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor…
system escape concept on the wooden background

Prejudice

I took a class on the Civil Rights movement once, and I’ve often thought of something the professor told us. “We’re all prejudiced. Every single one of us.” I don’t know if you agree with him, but I think he touched on an important point. Let me reword it slightly: We’re all tempted to view people according to superficial qualities. In fact, we do it so often and so subconsciously that we might not even notice it. We put people…
Stack of clean towels on wooden table in bathroom.

Unstained

We live in the world, and it’s hard to keep it from rubbing off on us. Sometimes it’s tempting just to escape it, isn’t it? Move to the proverbial deserted island or to a rural mountain in Tibet. Some believers in church history tried that route, retreating to caves, deserts, or monasteries, but it didn’t always work well. Tempting as it might be sometimes, God never called us to retreat from the world. So here we are. We live and…
Man stressed while working on laptop

That makes me uncomfortable

Taking the Bible seriously will absolutely make you uncomfortable. Not all of it, of course. I like the parts about Jesus giving me rest and the abundant life and preparing a beautiful mansion for me. All that sounds nice. I don’t even mind the parts about being a good person, because being reasonably good isn’t that hard most of the time. But you don’t have to look far to see something considerably more difficult than that. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was right…

Real Religion

One of the scariest things about faith for me is the incredible ability most of us have to deceive ourselves. Occasionally I’ve been appalled at the behavior of someone who called himself a Christian and wondered how he could ever reconcile his behavior with his claim to follow Jesus. “What a hypocrite!”, I’ve self-righteously mumbled. Then it hits me: Where are my blind spots? What sins am I committing but ignoring, or perhaps justifying? Maybe I don’t do what he…
Worship and praise

Here we are to worship

There’s stuff to joke about, things to be flippant and casual about, to laugh at. God is not one of those things. I cringe when I hear someone refer to God as “the Man upstairs.” I’m sure most of them don’t mean anything disrespectful, but I think they’re missing something important about God. Several times in the Bible people came into God’s presence in a special, miraculous way. It scared them to death. Here’s one of those times: In the…
Top view of the hands of a programmer on his laptop

The Preacher and Porn

Not long ago I read an all-too-familiar story: another preacher got caught. He was looking at pornography on his computer, then switching to his Bible software program to work on his upcoming sermon, then back to porn . . . all in the span of a few hours. Are you shocked? Unfortunately, you’ve probably seen too many headlines to be too surprised. I don’t know this preacher, and I don’t know any of his circumstances, but I think I can…

Shouldn’t have said that

I’ve rarely regretted keeping my mouth shut, but fairly often I kick myself for saying something I shouldn’t have (and wouldn’t have if I’d stopped to think). You might be the same way. Your child irritates you, and you spit out something that bites. You get in an argument with your spouse, and before you know it you’ve thrown a dart that hurts. (In marriage, we know where all of the tender spots are . . .) Or maybe it…
Beautiful Himalayas mountains in Pakistan

God is Good

My, how things change. Have you looked at any of your old high school pictures lately? One of the unfortunate consequences of our Facebook world is the ease with which others can post constant reminders of how we used to look. Time changes things, and mostly not for the good. We get older, grayer, and sometimes, well, bigger. There’s often a corresponding decrease in efficiency as well. In other words, some things just don’t work as well as they used…
Punching a red punch bag

When we struggle

The more I read the Bible, the more I’m struck by how often it talks about endurance. The longer I live, the more I realize how badly we need it. Life is hard. If it isn’t right now, it will be soon enough. I don’t think that’s overly pessimistic; it’s confirmed almost every day as I hear about things people are facing. A friend finds out he has cancer. A Christian discovers her husband is cheating. Another faces debilitating depression,…

On Level Ground

Things aren’t always fair down here, but they ought to be. The poor don’t get the same treatment as the rich, and minorities are often pushed to the margins. We love a good David-and-Goliath story. We like to see Cinderella make it to the big dance. We love the Rudys of the world, the underdogs, the outmanned, outmatched, and overpowered. Occasionally, we like to see the little guy winning and the big guy begging for mercy. We like to see…