Good Advice and Good News: Reflections on Romans 8:28-30

But the good news, though a puzzling paradox, turns out to be a reliable compass as we live out our Christian calling. Kent M. Keith expressed this well in his book The Paradoxical Commandments: Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World.

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be honest and frank anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.

Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

People really need help but may not thank you if you do help them.

Help people anyway.

Jesus' message to his followers and Paul's to the Church of Rome is good news, but not necessarily sensible advice. The good news is that when we live out our calling as disciples we will sacrifice, but we will be conformed to the character of Christ and experience the deepest joy possible in this life and the life to come. It takes courage to fly in the face of good advice and embrace good news instead. Thank God "The Spirit helps us in our weakness…"

I still believe what I told the church in Anthony, Kansas. I'm answering my particular calling in this particular place because I have nowhere better to be and nothing better to do. Thanks be to God!

7/17/2014 4:00:00 AM
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  • Alyce McKenzie
    About Alyce McKenzie
    Alyce M. McKenzie is the George W. and Nell Ayers Le Van Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
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