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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It appears I brought a little Seattle to the NYC. Drizzle fest. 24 hour gathering with a small group of leaders from around the country. Learning. Listening. Asking hard questions. Head exploding. Heart trying to have hope. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

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