I’ve been reading a book called, “Authentic Faith” by Gary Thomas. In it, he uses a term called “Defiant Beauty,” and the following is a direct quote, “In a world where people live self-centered lives, where ugly things happen, where sin seems to spread unchecked, where daily assaults take their toll, we can point to the defiant beauty of a selfless life, seeking first the kingdom of God, putting others first, and even sacrificing ourselves in the process, if need be-all to proclaim a transcendent truth that is greater than ourselves.” Right before he says this, he writes, “Beauty in the midst of chaos or ugliness is stunning. It’s onstage, and it seizes your attention.”
Within those few words is a truth that lies at the heart of what I’ve often sensed is the biggest hindrance to “Christianity” today, and with, sad to say, too many of us who call ourselves, “Christians.” Could it be that the reason “Christianity” and “Christians” are failing is because we’re failing to be the ” defiant beauty” in the midst of all the ugliness around us?
We live in a world of “ungrace” where practically everyone and everything is in direct opposition to what “grace” is, and what it’s about. We look down on and despise the concepts of “grace, forgiveness and mercy” when Jesus shows us that these are our most powerful weapons.
Jesus calls us to love, and when we do that as He has called us to, then we show the “defiant beauty” that characterized and defined His life here on earth and turned the lives of all those He touched upside down.
Something every parent should give their kids.
GIVE YOUR CHILDREN THESE FOUR THINGS
Give your children these four things: (1) Instruction. “Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children” (Dt 4:9 NIV). It is not the responsibility of the government or the school system to instill character and convictions in your child; it’s your job! And God will hold you accountable for it. (2) Correction. “Discipline your children while there is hope” (Pr 19:18 NLT). Children who know how far they can go are relieved of a great burden. Knowing your authority will stand gives them security. When they learn that no really means NO, they’ll be able to say it to others, and to their own impulses. (3) Blessing. “Joseph said to his father, ‘They are my sons’…And he (Jacob) said, ‘Bring them….and I will bless them.” Old Testament parents laid hands on their children because they believed the blessing of God was transferrable. If nobody did this for you then start a new tradition, for with God’s blessing comes peace, long life, and prosperity (See Dt 28). That’s why the enemy has attacked you so often; he’s trying to break the link through which the blessing of God comes. Don’t let him. (4) Example. A great preacher once looked into the crib of his infant son, and prayed: “Lord, if ever You made a man, make me one now. Let my life, my example and my prayers mold him into someoneYou can use. And, Lord, let me die twenty-four hours before I say or do anything that would cause him to stumble.”