Eugene Cho

resolutions for the heart

2012. Can you believe it?

We’re upon another new year and as such, it’s that time of the year where many are formulating their new year’s resolutions. During this time, I normally have a list of a few mental resolutions including one that involves my expanding waistline but that’s not the point of this post.

Instead, there’s 3 things I’m going to strive for in the upcoming year. I wish they were easy easier to accomplish or easy to measure like losing 10 pounds, running 3 days per week, drinking more water, etc.

Rather, the 3 goals I have for my life  in the upcoming year deal with some more painful and difficult issues.

Namely: my heart…

They are what I call ‘resolutions for the heart.’ So, here they are in all its depravity – exposed:

Hate Less. Love More. 

So simple but so hard. I’m learning how it’s amazing how our views, judgments, and biases inform us in such a way that it has the dark capacity to nearly influence how we see a person, circumstance, and situation.

When you dislike someone, it doesn’t matter what “good” they do or intend…we’ll find a way to be critical. We’ll find the ugly. Ugly finds ugly.

How do I know this?

I look in the mirror and I see my personal depravity.

So, while we want to focus on the ‘ugly’ of others, the bigger issue is our own personal ugly which – when undealt with – will always find the ugly in others. You see…ugly find ugly.

Yup: Hate Less. Love More.

Bless. Bless. Bless.

One way I can hate less and love more is to really examine the way I engage with others – especially those with whom I have issue. In the name of being “friendly”, I find it certainly easy to appear friendly or generous but beyond appearance, the big gut-check question I want to have the courage to ask myself is this:

Do I really want ______ to be blessed?

And by “to be  blessed”, I mean…

Do I really want to see _____ prosper in the Lord?

It’s not just merely a desire to bless others but I’ve come to learn that in wanting to truly bless and love others, it’s one of the manners by which God liberates us to experience the freedom we have in His grace.

Stop throwing stones.

In the upcoming year, I want to learn to stop throwing stones – not literally (of course) but  metaphorically (and in my heart & mind). In our day and age, it’s become much easier (and accepted) to “Throw stones first. Ask questions later.”

Respect and civility seem to be a growing issue – not just in the public forum of politics but in our broader society – especially as it pertains to our engagement with whom we have disagreements. And without relationship, we can make judgments and borderline condemnations:

  • If you don’t support homosexuality, you’re anti-gay.
  • If you support gay rights, you’re anti-marriage.
  • If you don’t support women in leadership, you’re anti-women.
  • If you support women in leadership, you’re anti-Scriptures.
  • If you don’t support the war in _________, you’re anti-American.
  • If you do work in international development, you’re anti-domestic care.
  • If you do work in local development, you anti-global.
  • If you don’t support Eugene, you’re anti-Eugene.

I want to go on the record and declare that I’m anti your anti-________.  Thus, I’ve neutralized your anti-ness. And I’m brilliant.

Seriously. We often live as people who are defined by what we are against and not necessarily, what we are for.

Can we agree? It’s hard to love your enemies when you can’t even hear what they’re saying… So, listen first. And don’t throw stones.

How about you?

What are your resolutions? Your spiritual pursuits?

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8 Responses

  1. corwinleedraven says:

    Very challenging heart thoughts. May we all come to the point when stones are not an option.

  2. James Moon says:

    It won’t bother anyone unless it’s true. One way of hating less and loving more is to become real. Projecting to others that one is really loving especially when in subtle ways you take shots at easy targets is just a cheap way to feel good about oneself or to gain cheap sympathy.

    This phoniness also comes out in those who decide to engage in justice and political issues, where the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Perhaps, they only engage with the expected reward to be liked or popular. However, conscious ignorance in order to support obvious evils means its time to grow a back bone and shows the heart deep down is not sincere.

    Even a homosexual liberal like Glenn Greenwald, outlines how Obama’s ‘progressive’ supporters are phonies. But the correlations can be made towards those who consider themselves as “CHRIST FOLLOWERS.”

    Progressives easily point out trivial flaws of a Rick Perry or Bachmann, so that they “can feel good about themselves for supporting Obama: his right-wing opponent is a warmonger, a servant to Wall Street, a neocon, a devotee of harsh and racist criminal justice policies, etc. etc.”

    “Progressives like to think of themselves as the faction that stands for peace, opposes wars, believes in due process and civil liberties, distrusts the military-industrial complex, supports candidates who are devoted to individual rights, transparency and economic equality. All of these facts — like the history laid out by Stoller in that essay — negate that desired self-perception.”

    http://www.salon.com/2011/12/31/progressives_and_the_ron_paul_fallacies/

  3. Melody says:

    A needed word. Preach it.

  4. Dennis Lyons says:

    It’s amazing how our truths FIT our perceptions!!! What is ones’ truth is not particularly The Truth!
    Just saying, only God knows the motives of thr heart!!!

  5. Flowera says:

    my intentions are three-fold:
    to feel more of my feelings,
    to drink more tea + coffee,
    to see more movies.

    happy new year.

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One Day’s Wages

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There's no such thing as a self-made person. Someone believed, encouraged, and invested in you. Be grateful and be that someone for others.

Taking a break from the sabbatical...to partner in ministry in Denver at Cherry Hills Church and at the CRU staff conference. It was such a gift to be able to encourage a handful of folks one-to-one, a small group of Asian-American leaders from EPIC, and the larger group of 5000 staff during one of the sessions.

I've been personally blessed, challenged, encouraged, exhorted, and convicted by so many who have poured into my life - friends, acquaintances, and even strangers - and I hope to do that for others as I seek to be faithful to Christ.

Thank you, Lord.
#cru17 Nothing grows by itself. If something matters to us, may we be intentional about growing it.

Invest. Pray. Plant. Water. Nurture. Repeat. God sees and knows us. In fact, God knows everything about us.

Not just the good we try so hard to project but even the mess we often seek to hide.

Let this soak in: Not only are we fully known but in Christ, we are fully pursued and loved.

This is grace.
Amazing grace. Hairstyles change. Sideburn fads come and go but may our commitment to love, honor, respect, and be on mission together for Christ never waver.

Thank you, Minhee. I love you so much even if you made fun of my hairstyle and sideburns. I missed you, Seattle. Grateful for a time to pray, rest, retreat, read, reflect, and sabbath. I've spent the last 12 days in the woods alone. Competely alone. It's been both haunting and refreshing. Haunting because of loneliness. Refreshing because through the silence, I am reminded - again - that I'm not alone. Emmanuel.

Also, bought myself a cheap kayak and loving the solitude time in nature. Also, the kayak is paying instant dividends in my bass fishing game. #sabbathrest #bassfishing #catchandrelease

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