Unattached

By Linda Tancs

The Bible urges us to be unattached to outcomes—or incomes, for that matter (1 John 2:15-17; Hebrews 13:5-6). That means we are encouraged to purge attachments we have to who we are, attachments to our belongings, attachments to our jobs, labels, titles, and roles, attachments to our judgments and attachments to old memories that keep us stuck.

What attachments can you release? Maybe you can remove your attachment to distractions like mindless TV, popular culture or sensational headlines. The result of all this attachment is sin (Galatians 5:19-21) so it’s easy to understand why it needs to go. Easy to say, not so easy to do, you say. Indeed, the story of the rich young man in Mark 10:17-22 illustrates how hard it is to let go. When he asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to sell all he had and follow Him. The man went away sad because he had many possessions. So long as there’s attachment, there’s another idol in your heart (Exodus 34:14).

 The rewards of detachment are many, giving way to the fruits of the Spirit, like love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Moreover, Jesus promised a reward both now and in eternity for giving up worldly things for His sake (Mark 10:28-31). It’s about giving up pain for gain. Who wouldn’t want that trade?

Who’s Your BFF?

By Linda Tancs

BFF (best friends forever) is a sweet sentiment, a cherished part of our digital culture. But friendships don’t last forever. After all, we all die. And, sometimes, relationships fail. That doesn’t mean we should neglect pursuing friendships in this life, but it’s comforting to remember that we do have an unfailing BFF—Jesus.

Paul recognized the value of the Lord’s fellowship when he remarked to the Philippians that he counted everything else as loss (Philippians 3:8). For each of us, Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He is our refuge, fortress and shield (Psalm 91). He promised never to leave us nor forsake us, not to abandon us physically or emotionally (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5). He gave His life for us.

What would you give for a friend like that?

 

C’mon Get Happy

By Linda Tancs

During trying times it’s hard to smile, much less be happy. But that’s especially when one needs to remember that happiness is more than just an emotion—it’s a state of mind. Choose to be happy. You reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7).

Take a cue from the Nordic countries. Apparently, they consistently place in the Top 10 of the World Happiness Report. And they’re happy to share their secret. In short, they embrace mindfulness (an awareness of the present moment), kinship and life’s simple pleasures.

Sounds a lot like Jesus’s approach toward life, doesn’t it? He mastered the art of being fully present and commanded those around him to be attentive, active and alert (Mark 13:37). In so doing, we’re more able to resist the temptation to react to circumstances that would otherwise steal our joy (Matthew 26:41). Kinship is a source of joy. In Jesus’s ministry, kinship in the sense of community, or belonging, is a central theme (especially as detailed in the Gospel of Luke). Jesus instructs his followers in Matthew 16:24 to put the needs of others above their own interests. In other words, don’t be selfish. Taking every opportunity to find kinship with others increases happiness, as Paul told the Philippians. Simply put, you can’t be both selfish and happy. And if you want to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, then be still (Psalm 46:10), don’t worry (Matthew 6:25-27) and be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5).