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Welcome to the JCPC Daily Reflections Blog. Reflections are daily devotionals authored by JCPC pastors, staff and members and provide insight, guidance and comfort to help you make it through each day. If you’d like to receive Reflections each day via email,  provide your email address.

Friday, February 11 2022

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;  and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,  and to walk humbly with your God?

-Micah 6:8


Y’all know by now that when I tackle scripture, the first question I’ll have us ask is, “what is the context?” That keeps us honest. We don’t go cherry-picking verses or misunderstand what God is telling us, finding proof texts for supporting our own views. This is true for quotes as well. One such quote took me on a journey last week in preparing for the sermon. I’d heard the now-popular quote, “Fail better.” It’s a favorite among entrepreneurs, tech startups, and athletes. Folks seem to assume it was meant as a positive self-affirmation to well trying, learning from mistakes and improving. The problem is that rips it out of its context.


Several good articles and papers have put the quote back into its proper context from the Irish poet who was not at all speaking about optimistic tenacity. He was actually advocating a pessimistic final state of being - wallowing in tragedy and suffering. That was when the far more encouraging quote came to mind - “I never lose. I win or I learn.” Although I didn’t know it’s source for sure, I was certain it had to be more resolute and positive. When I confirmed it was from Nelson Mandela and that it was born of a tradition of Methodism and deep faith and justice, I knew that was a proper illustration for us to be encouraged in the words of the prophet Joel and writer of Luke (who recorded the Acts of the Apostles).


The work we do to proceed carefully in studying both scripture and history is not easy and it requires patience and intentionality. We live in a cut and paste age. It’s much easier to post, share, retweet, and forward than to put in the leg work. Perhaps one of the best spiritual practices we can master is to slow down, evaluate, ponder, discuss, and become disciples who study the word and our world carefully. Walking humbly with our God demands it. I hope you’ll join us Sunday as the youth lead worship at 11:00. Their message is on the importance of reading and studying and knowing scripture. And I hope you’ll come ready to reflect on their important words.


Prayer for Today

Lord, help me slow down. Send your spirit to make me intentional in how I absorb, study, and share what I learn. Amen.

Posted by: AT 03:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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