Self-Righteous

by Rich Dixon on November 17, 2014

HAPPY MONDAY!

A thoughtful article got me thinking about today’s word-of-the-week…

SELF-RIGHTEOUS

MondaySelf-righteous people are just comparing.

I never thought about it like that until Don Miller pointed out that self-righteousness is really just a way of building myself up by tearing others down. It’s not about being truly righteous, only appearing to be in a bit better class of sinner than the next guy.

That’s why self-righteous folks are so concerned with rules. Man-made rules are nearly always designed to distinguish who’s doing it better, even if the distinctions are artificial.

I started thinking about Jesus’ principles and realized they’re never like that. You can’t rank people based on how much they love. You just love, as much as possible, and there’s always more where that came from. Same for grace, hope, truth, mercy, compassion, forgiveness—you start trying to measure and compare that stuff and you start looking pretty silly.

You can’t force people to do the things that matter to Jesus—love, forgive, and all the rest—and you can’t make rules about them. Jesus reserved his harshest condemnation for the Pharisees who substituted their own burdensome rules for the freedom of following His principles.

I learning that God doesn’t care much if I love right, or forgive right, or do compassion right. He doesn’t grade on a curve—in fact, He doesn’t grade at all.

I think He celebrates when we try our best to do those things and forget about keeping score.

It’s Monday. We’re spending the next few days visiting and speaking at some Teen Challenge centers in the Phoenix/Casa Grande/Tucson areas. On Saturday, November 22nd, I’ll join a few thousand other cyclists (and a couple of teammates from Front Range Freedom Tour 2014) in El Tour de Tucson. I hope you’ll follow along on the Rich’s Ride blog.

I hope you have a great week!

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What’s The Next Chapter In Your Story?

by Rich Dixon on November 13, 2014

smileI love this picture.

It’s a lot more than just an old bald guy and his dog. For me, this picture signifies everything about the crazy journey I’ve taken since my injury.

It’s the culmination (so far) of the story of Relentless Grace. It began in a rehab unit, wandered through more than a decade of depression and loneliness, and now…this.

Yesterday I used this slide to summarize my latest workshop at Harvest Farm. I said, “Your experiences are either an excuse to feel sorry for yourself…or an opportunity to write a remarkable story.

opportunity

“My prayer for you is that you guys see your lives up to this point as the opening chapters in a book. You get to write the rest of the story. Write something remarkable!

One of the guys made a cool observation. “In a book, it’s mostly the ending you remember.”

Another guy said, “And the story wouldn’t be very interesting if the first part didn’t have some bad stuff.”

I laughed. “See? You guys have an unfair advantage. You spent the first part of your lives getting a head start on a good story. Now you’re preparing to write a great ending.

“The greater the obstacles, the sweeter the success.”

I guess that’s why I love the picture. I reminds me of the challenge and God’s promise that no struggle will ever be wasted.

For a long time I wouldn’t have believed that picture was possible.

Hope…changes what’s possible.

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