Vulnerability

COULD WE REVISIT those words Paul wrote? “I have not achieved it . . . forgetting the past . . . looking forward to what lies ahead.” Paul’s openness is best described with one word: vulnerability. “I have not achieved/reached it” is a concept Paul mentions no less than three times in Philippians 3:10–14. Read these words again; see if you can find each of the three:

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Finding Fulfillment

FULFILLMENT MUST BE ONE OF life’s choicest gifts. It is a major building block toward authentic happiness. No doubt, Solomon had it in mind when he wrote these timeless words: If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored. It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them. PROVERBS 13:18–19

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Blowing It

IT HAPPENS TO ALL OF US. Teachers as well as students. Cops as well as criminals. Parents as well as kids. The diligent as well as the lazy. Not even presidents are immune. Or corporation heads who earn six-figure salaries. What am I talking about? Making mistakes, that’s what. Doing the wrong thing, usually with the best of motives. And it happens with remarkable regularity. Let’s face it, success is overrated.

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Is It Can’t or Won’t?

DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU are the recipient of limitless ability . . . incredible strength? Just read a few familiar lines out of the Book, slowly for a change: “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness'” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

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A Cycle of Sin

THE BIRTH of a newborn is a momentary event, taking place in a matter of hours, but at that moment, life has only just begun. Growth and maturity occur steadily and gradually as a child develops from infancy to young adulthood.

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Reflecting God

ABRAM LIED to Pharaoh to save his own skin, telling him that Sarai was his sister. In doing so, he put her in jeopardy. But where he failed to protect his wife, the Lord overwhelmingly succeeded in doing so.

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Rationalizations

Even though I have known people like this, still, I cannot fathom Saul’s perspective. How can anyone be so clueless?

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Stop and Surrender

So much for Paul. How about you? Fast forward to the twenty-first century. Are you afflicted and burdened excessively? Do you feel as if you’re under such intense pressure these days that you, too, are close to despair?

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Positive Separations

Let’s be painfully candid here. I’ve had my own share of arguments, and you’ve had yours. I’ve had some that were never reconciled. Thankfully, most ended in a renewed friendship.

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It’s Not About You!

I need to underscore a foundational fact: God’s goal is not to make sure you’re happy. No matter how hard it is for you to believe this, it’s time to do so. Life is not about your being comfortable and happy and successful and pain free.

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