top3 for May 12, 2023

Before you head off into your weekend, here are three things that I’ve read and been thinking about this week. Hope they are as helpful and challenging to you as they were for me. Have a great weekend!


“We hear the cries from our strife-torn streets, “Give peace a chance!” and “Can’t we all just get along?” But you cannot give peace a chance if that is all you give a chance. You have to do the things that make peace possible and actual. When you listen to people talk about peace, you soon realize, in most cases, that they are unwilling to deal with the conditions of society and soul that make strife inevitable. They want to keep them and still have peace, but it is peace on their terms, which is impossible.”                                          

Renewing the Christian Mind by Dallas Willard

Tolerance is a stance that creates space for others. Tolerance has a sense of finality, for me at least, that there is no expectation of change. We simply agree to co-exist in a manner that does not cause strife. I think that comes up way short of a loving healthy relationship.

Patience seems to be a better word and a more helpful stance. For patience acknowledges the present reality without giving up on the future possibilities.

For instance, we don’t simply tolerate a toddler’s tantrum. We are, however, patient with the toddler knowing that maturity will be coming at some point and the current way of dealing with disappointments will be left behind.

That is why tolerance is not listed as a fruit of the spirit. Patience, however, is one of the big ones!

I believe that is the heart of what Willard is getting at in the above quote. Tolerance, simply co-existing without strife, does not bring peace. But patience…Romans 2:4 says it is God’s kindness (patience in some translations) that leads to repentance.

Give patience a chance!


What is discipline? A discipline is an activity within our power—something we can do—that brings us to a point where we can do what we at present cannot do by direct effort.

  The Great Omission by Dallas Willard

For many of us, control is something we seek and find comfort in. For the follower of Christ, the control in our life is the God-inspired activities given for our growing in love with God and neighbor. Disciplines are not then ways God keeps control over us, but the path in which God gives us some control and opportunities for growth. Every time I feel guilt about not reading my bible or praying “enough” (I grow less and less sure that I really know what enough is!), it is helpful to be reminded that I am not disappointing God as much as I am squandering opportunities.


We have put humility in the wrong place. It is meant to be placed over ambition, not over knowledge.

GK Chesterton


I’m gonna leave this one for you to chew on as I am. Maybe come back next week with more thoughts.