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The gospel frees us from: Perfectionism (Philippians 3:4b-14)

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How many perfectionists does it take to change a lightbulb? Well, only one – but it will take them a very long time. First of all, they’ll notice the lightbulb needs changed. They’ll build it up as a big deal – there is this task to be done that must be done as well as possible.
Maybe they’ll look around for the most efficient type of bulb to replace this one. Then they’ll look around for the best price. Then they’ll buy the new bulb, and go ahead and change it. Whilst they’re up there, they’ll give the light a good dusting, and get the lampshade as straight as they can. Then they’ll evaluate it all. They’ll ponder whether they’ve bought the best bulb that they could have, and also wonder what others think about their bulb-changing performance.

Spiritual Defence (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Ephesians 6:10 tells us to ‘be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.’ That is, stop trusting in your own strength to live life. Depend on God to defend against the violent death throes of an already defeated devil. The rest of the passage tells us how. Following God’s instruction in Ephesians 6:10-20 is not going to mean that no tragedy, moral dilemma, sickness or injustice will ever affect your life again. Putting on this armour won’t stop you taking the hits – but it will mean that the devil won’t knock you down.

Post-truth (John 18:33-40; John 8:31-37; John 14:6)

‘Post-truth’ is defined in the dictionary like this: ‘Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ It played out in politics in 2016 like this: Politicians would make a factual claim. Journalists, statisticians and others would check the facts, find them to be wrong, and point this out. But it wouldn’t matter. Because as long as politicians were appealing to people’s strong feelings about something, nobody would care when the fact was shown to be wrong.

Mindfulness (Various Passages)

Last year, certain buzzwords started getting used more and more frequently in people’s conversations, on TV and in the press and social media. ‘Brexit.’ ‘Post-truth.’ ‘Mindfulness.’ In a couple of weeks, I’ll preach about a Christian response to the idea of ‘post-truth.’ This morning, as we look at responding to key ideas in our generation, we’re going to look at the concept of ‘mindfulness’ with our Bibles open.