Axioms, Part 2: Spirituality Axioms
Here is my second collection of life axioms that relate more directly to spirituality or spiritual formation. As you can see, I stole most of these from people who are much wiser than me. Here is most everything I know about spirituality:
1. There is no growth without change, no change without loss, and no loss without pain.
2. “We don't become more spiritual by becoming less human.” (Eugene Peterson)
3. It is more important to change what people care about then to change what people believe. (Erwin McManus)
4. A person is only as sick as their secrets. Everyone needs at least one or two people with whom they can be transparent.
5. The chief object of education is not to learn things but to unlearn things. (GK Chesterton)
6. “Learning is not the consequence of teaching; learning is the consequence of thinking.” (Brian McLaren)
7. Don’t be ashamed about going to a therapist.
8. “Hope is throwing your heart into the future and saying ‘wait for me there’” (Erwin McManus)
9. There is almost always another question to ask that will get you closer to the central issue. Wise people know to ask the next question. And the next.
10. Comparison kills contentment and relationships.
11. A woodcutter never wasted time by sharpening his/her ax.
12. You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them. (Malcolm Forbes)
13. "Love is always patient and kind. Infatuation is always in a hurry and demanding." advice from Mabel Boggs Sweet to her son Leonard
14. “Worry while you pray; the rest of the time, be grateful and hope.” (Miroslav Volf)
15. Love people; use things. Never, ever reverse this order.
16. The opposite of love is not hate; it is fear.
17. Discipleship is less about knowing the right things and much more about learning to love the right things.
18. “Immature souls are willing to let God do with them whatever He wants--as long as it’s something great and desirable.” (John Ortberg)
19. “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” (C.S. Lewis)
20. “Peace is joy at rest. Joy is peace on its feet.” (Anne Lamott)
21. “When we speak of our virtues we are competitors, when we confess our sins we become brothers.” (Karl Barth)
22. “In every encounter I have with another person, I ask God, ‘why did you put this person in my path? What is it you want me to do or say here?’” (Mike Perkison)
23. “Where 2 or 3 are gathered together, there is Beelzebub in the midst of them too.” (Len Sweet)
24. “One of my mottoes in life is that people are often against something worth being against but in the process find themselves for some things that aren’t worth being for.” (Brian McLaren)
25. We call terrorists “monsters.” But the scarier thing to consider is that they are actually just people.
26. “The automatic things you do are what keep you from doing the better, important things you should be doing” (Bill Murray)
27. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose." (Steve Jobs)
Axioms that relate directly to Pastors:
1. If you are not intentional about your own spiritual formation, it will be sacrificed on the altar of busyness; burnout occurs NOT when a person is doing too much but when a pastor is doing more ministry than their spiritual life can support.
2. Beware of the myth of the “Great Pastoral Leader.” The largest professional group with the disease of narcissism is pastors (followed by medical doctors).
3. Spend an hour a day, one day per quarter, and a week a year in silence and solitude; the best place to do this is at a Roman Catholic monastery or retreat center.
4. Most church people say they want to reach out beyond their walls to those on the outside. Very few are willing to be made uncomfortable in order to do this.
5. God is not likely to do a great work through you until God does a great work in you.
6. When our minds + hearts + hands are aligned for kingdom purposes, we become unstoppable. When we emphasize one above the others, we misfire.
7. A great worship encounter with God is never so much about doing everything right as it is about clearing the distractions from worship.