From the chair:
“If anyone teaches a different doctrine…he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing…imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
-1 Timothy 6:3-6
I’ve typically read this last verse with those that follow, teachings about worldly possessions and instructions to the rich. It does launch us into that subject, but it also sums up what has come before. There are those who “peddle” Christianity (a phrase Paul uses in 2 Corinthians 3), so-called “godliness,” thinking that it is a means to gain, but godliness with contentment is great gain. It is not beyond our reach today, in this moment, but we need to stop and address why we’ve allowed ourselves–God’s children!–to become discontent.
From the desk:
“Bad criticism is characterized either by fault-finding or by flattery. The aim of criticism is not to praise, not to compliment, not to condemn, but to inspire…Great criticism ever makes a [person] see better [her] own ideal, causes [her] simultaneously to realize [her] own possibilities, as well as imperfections. There is no comparison with others, but an awakening of a comparison in the students own breast between what he is and what he can become.”
-S.S Curry, The Province of Expression, p.276
I love to see this come together in Intro to Preaching sections. It’s a joy to hear people caring for one another with good criticism: Not flattery, not discouragement, but inspiration.
“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.