Interesting fact about me. As a youth pastor for nearly 40 years I have never read the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Never. I knew the moment I saw it that it was bunk. I have long been a believer in dating. I write all about that over on Brave Dating. I wasn’t even tempted to read it to get to know the argument for it. I knew then that it was stupid and a set up for disappointment.
This does not mean that I am gleeful to have this book come full circle and the author admit he was wrong. It does mean that I am the smartest youth pastor ever. Maybe?
Josh Harris, the author, has recently given a TedX Talk about what he has learned from this culture shaper he was in the center of. It is worth watching all of it.
And you are having anxiety over the mistakes the lie you’ve been telling yourself has led you to?!
So evolving personally always involves the death of something. As Josh Harris pointed out, “Think about what evolution requires…There is a lot of death that takes place. Natural selection is a traumatic thing. We talk about the survival of the fittest but think about all that were not the fittest, that did not survive. There is death involved. And why should we think that personal evolution should be any different? It is never this painless clean process. There is a type of death involved. It involves dying to old ways of thinking. It involves dying to old habits, maybe old relationships that is keeping us from growing.”
Wowsers. How many of you are at that point right now? You are in the midst of the death of something? Something or some relationship that was holding you back? Something that was allowing that lie you’ve been accepting to lead your life?
You need to have this death to happen and give up trying to resurrect it. You need to have this ending.
Now you are growing. We don’t think of death as a step to growth yet it very much is.
Holy tension is also involved. “Holy tension” is the discomfort of being stuck in between but knowing that if you can make a brave vulnerable decision something holy is going to happen. You are in this now. Lean into it. Trust the growth process. Trust how God created caterpillers to become butterflies that you are worth more than a caterpillar so God is doing the greater work through you. You will fly!
There is a lot of trust in that paragraph. Trust is a vulnerable word you may not like. Trust the Promiser anyway.
What needs to die for you?
Josh Harris closed his TedX Talk about being strong enough to be wrong with this:
“The great news about learning how to admit you got something wrong is that you don’t have to be so afraid of being wrong. Which means you can move towards people who see the world differently than you and not be so terrified that they might change your mind. It means that you can dream and dare and risk and live.”
These are brave words. That come from being strong enough to admit that you are wrong. This is not clinging with every inch of your being to that lie you’ve been telling yourself. This is putting that lie to death, changing the relationships that need to be changed, and bravely dreaming and daring and risking and living. It all starts with a death.
What needs to die for you?
My favorite missionary Sarah Witt used this meme in a FB post of hers. It captures me. I want to close this hard truth with this attitude:
(Photo credit: http://agraveinterest.blogspot.com/2011/05/serene-and-evergreen-cemeteries.html)