top3 for March 11, 2022

Fridays are a break from the Lent devotionals in order to share my top three things that I’ve read or thought about this week. You need not look too closely to see a theme in my reading and thinking for the week…:)

Have a great weekend!


Love that needs peace to grow in is not biblical love.

A Theology of Love by Mildred Bangs Wynkoop

This is one of my favorite books. MBW (Mildred Banks Wynkoop) reminds us that love is valid and good in all seasons and circumstances. I would dare say that love is perhaps more powerful in the season of conflict, disagreement, hurt, and rejection than any other season. Jesus said that anyone can love someone who loves you. Love of an enemy however takes a movement of the Spirit. What if we began to embrace the difficult seasons of life as prime real estate for deepening love in our lives? That, to me, seems what Jesus is getting at by precept and practice.


Stress and burnout are relational rather than quantitative, and are due primarily to getting caught in a responsible position for others and their problems.

Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman

This is a great reminder that only Christ can carry burdens without burning out or stressing out. We are absolutely called to share burdens but within the boundary of partnering not owning the problems. I always assumed that the amount of tasks created burnout but Friedman suggests that it is not the amount tasks but the weight of the responsibility we feel.

Feeling stressed out? You may want to assess the areas of your life that you feel a weight of responsibility. If you are carrying a responsibility for others instead of with them…. you may need to have a heart to heart. Second to that, if you are carrying your own responsibility without have someone to share it with you…asking for help may be the place to start.


But let us carefully distinguish between those things wherein Christ is our pattern, and those which were peculiar to his office. His extraordinary office justified him in using that severity of language, when speaking of wicked princes, and corrupt teachers, to which we have no call; and by which we should only bring scandal on religion, and ruin on ourselves, while we irritated rather than convinced or reformed those, whom we so indecently rebuked.

John Wesley. Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament.

John Wesley, no stranger to conflict(s), gives a good word for how to treat one another in disagreements. While most of the time we say to imitate Jesus, Wesley makes the point that Jesus has some authority that is unavailable to us followers. We must be careful therefore to not irritate others for that does not lead to reform. He also warns us to not bring scandal through the severity of our language toward others we disagree with.  Just because Jesus turned over tables and took a whip out to money-changers in the Temple doesn’t mean we are called to do the same.