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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Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

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