The Cost of Friendship.


Image from Quote Mirror, used with permission


I’ve learned that if someone asks you for advice and you tell them the hard truth and they fight you in response, they weren’t really asking for advice — but self-affirmation to keep doing the wrong thing. That’s asking for less love, not more. And I can’t do that to you. Love means I have to tell you everything, even if my voice trembles and my hands shake and my eyes burn with weeping. Love means I will throw my body in front of you when you’re heading towards the cliff. It will cost my comfort with you. It’s a cost I’m willing to pay.

— J.S.


Make A Decision For Your Future Self.


Photo by Don Miller, CC BY 2.0


If you’re not sure how to make a certain decision, consider how you’ll look back on what you decided. Look back on it from your future self.

If you want to take that memory with you, then brave every risk and climb every cliff — do what it takes to get there. Give your future the best hope of nostalgia.

If you know your decision will be a burden of baggage, then hold on to what you must and let go of what controls you. You have just the one story to tell, but most importantly, it’s the only story you must one day tell yourself. Make it the one you want.

— J.S.


The Amazing Art in My Latest Book


This is one of the chapter titles for my latest book, by the amazing and talented Crae Achacoso. [From followandreblog​ and her Instagram here.]

This is for my book on persevering through pain and suffering, Mad About God. The art is in the paperback version!

— J.S.


The Fear and Guilt of People-Pleasing

chimsartlife asked a question:

Hello Pastor Park, recently I’ve been looking outside of myself and seeing that I talk too much about myself. I remember you once had a podcast in which you talked about being a people pleaser. I’ve noticed that I tend to puff up the things I am capable of doing in order to impress others. But it makes me sound like I’m full of myself. I’ve tried and I’ve prayed about it. But my way of stopping is to avoid talking as much. I’m a talker. Now I just run from my normal social interactions.

Hey dear friend, I’m guilty of the very same thing, and I go through the same self-conscious twitchiness. “Am I being humble enough? Am I bragging too much? Am I being annoying right now?”

The problem is that once we’re aware of our own problems, we tend to beat ourselves up too much. Especially Christians. We are experts at flogging ourselves like it’s a spiritual experience. We’re not always so good at resting in God’s assurance of us.

I’ve learned that the solution to overcome our issues is not to run from them, but to find new ways forward for something better. If you only “run from sin,” you’ll start to second-guess yourself so much that you’ll hardly be yourself at all. Part of receiving the acceptance of Christ is knowing that he has wired you a certain way, and you can use it for good instead of worrying about going bad.

Continue reading “The Fear and Guilt of People-Pleasing”

5 Ways To Encourage Your Pastor (Because He Needs It Like Everyone Else)

On Sunday evenings after church, when you’re watching the game or taking a huge monster-nap, your pastor is beating himself up for the entire Sunday service. Every mistake in the sermon, each typo in the bulletin, the joke that bombed, that shrill comment in the announcements — he’s replaying that loop in his head while wrapped in a snuggie and chowing down on cheese puffs.

I’m not trying to pull fake pity, but we often show grace for other people in the church for the same mistakes the pastor makes, but pull back such grace for the pastor.

Maybe we can show them a little grace, too.

Certainly there are some pastors who are not qualified. But most of us are trying our hardest, praying constantly, wanting the very best for you while remaining completely loyal to God’s calling. It’s not easy.

Here are five ways you can encourage your pastor.

Continue reading “5 Ways To Encourage Your Pastor (Because He Needs It Like Everyone Else)”