Archive for November, 2007

C.S. Lewis on Pain

November 29, 2007

A moving speech in the movie Shadowlands. C.S. Lewis, who is played by Anthony Hopkins, shares this 2-minute version of why God allows pain.

Oh, That’s Common Sense (Then Why Doesn’t Everyone Remember to Do It)

November 25, 2007

Thoughts from my last day at Mayo Clinic

By BRYAN DAVIDSON
Published: September 6, 2007

Do I Try to Find Common Ground?

Shortly after our conversations with our newfound friends at the Starbucks next to Mayo, I began reading in I Corinthians 9. I was sitting in the waiting room for my last appointment with the Internist before heading back to Atlanta.

“When I am with those who are oppressed, I share their oppression so that I might bring them to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ. I do all this to spread the Good News, and in doing so I enjoy its blessings (vs. 22-23).”

I want to dig into this on a much deeper level and understanding later today. But for now, I am fascinated with the simplicity and practicality of it. For one, it just makes sense. Do I share in people’s oppression? I want to see what the meaning of that word is here, but in a general sense it means to feel dominated, coerced or subjugated by something or somebody. To be oppressed is to be subjected to a harsh or cruel form of domination or to have worry, stress, or trouble because of somebody. It also means to hold something in check or put an end to it (Encarta World English Dictionary). For me it’s sickness. For others it’s a boss or a government.

The fact is many if not most people are oppressed by something, and Paul is saying we should share their oppression. To share means much more than just finding commonality. It can also mean to take equal responsibility for it, but I’m not sure (yet) if that is what Paul means here. The message is we must be responsible to share with others whatever they are going through for one overarching purpose: “so that I might bring them to Christ.” It doesn’t say, “so that they might be led to Christ” and it doesn’t say “so that someone might bring them to Christ.” It says “so that I might bring them to Christ.” It also doesn’t say “will”—it says “might” which means that doesn’t mean you must bring them to Christ, taking off the wrong kind of pressure. There’s a balance to this like everything else in the Christian walk.

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