When Jesus grows us unusually-self-aware,

we are embarrassed to see how human-wisdom-reliant we are, and how little we are Jesus-wisdom-reliant — how little we follow Jesus, and how much we follow our human-wisdom.  Little self-awareness = little embarrassment, little humility, little real graciousness — little selfless love for others, especially enemies and others most different from ourselves.  Little self-awareness = great blindness, great defensiveness, great self-righteousness, great willfulness, great agenda, great intensity, great stress.

But cheer up!  Grace is for failures/losers, not winners.  “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you.”  It’s not about our performance, but His.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, as human-wisdom-reliant as the best of em, even in the Christmas season

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Every disappointment is a love message

from Jesus to undermine your trust in your human-wisdom.  Your human-wisdom does NOT know what’s best for you, but it has you convinced it does, and so does the human-wisdom of others.  Especially experts.  Jesus knows what’s best, and will deliver the best, but you don’t believe that, so you need further retraining, further disillusionment in the trustworthiness of your human-wisdom.

Jesus knows you’ll be way happier trusting His-wisdom, His-leading, because He created you a dependent, not an INdependent.  You’re His adopted child, no longer an orphan.  You were made for Him, not for yourself.  He loves you best when he retrains you in a better way of living — dependent on His-wisdom, not your-wisdom.  And.  You’ll be way-more fruitful with seculars, trusting His-wisdom, enabling you to operate with His-power instead of your-power.

So, how do you trust Jesus-wisdom more?  CONFESS each time the Spirit makes you aware of your self-trust — your disappointment, your confidence-you-know-what’s-best.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, preachin to himself and others, that Christians might have something seculars actually want

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Having fun is very different for adultlikes and childlikes.

Adultlikes (Christians dominated by the-old-man/sinful-nature/human-wisdom), have fun in all sorts of ways — reaching goals, competing, performing, achieving, shopping, driving fast, feeling superior, noticing weaknesses in others, whatever.  All this activity is stressful.  A lifetime of stressful = disease — cancer, cardio-vascular, digestive, skin, arthritis, migraines, whatever.  And worse — a lifetime of stressful activity produces a self-absorption that undermines Christians being fruitful with seculars, because seculars are unimpressed with the difference Jesus makes in believers.  

So how do childlikes have fun?  The new man in Jesus, has fun by OBSERVING — withOUT judgment or human agenda or competing.  Taking it all in, enjoying everyone just as we are and everything just as it is.  No human agenda, but curious about Jesus’ agenda — to see what He does NEXT, in them, others, circumstances.  Stress-free living.  Ahhh.

AdultlikeDave — assessor/performer/prover/competitor.  And stressed.  

ChildlikeDave — observer/enjoyer.  And blissful. 

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, very adultlike except when freshly convicted of the sin of adultlikeness/INdependence, so he’s momentarily ChildlikeDave, and it’s been happening more and more lately as the Spirit works

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What you see with your eyes

is not real.  WHAT?  It’s an alternate reality rooted in human-wisdom.  But it SEEMS so real, on TV, in the news, as we go through our day.  It only seems real to seculars and to Christians dominated by our human-wisdom.  We do NOT see SovereignJesus behind everyone and everything.  So our lives are not up to Him, but UP TO US.  We feel the pressure to perform, strive for excellence.  We Christians are to be pitied above all humans, for we claim the Lordship of Jesus, but do not experience the benefit of Jesus in this life, because we are so dominated by our human-wisdom and deceived by the alternate reality.  Human-wisdom-dependence is a trap, a curse.  Has never delivered happiness to humans, except when things go our way, which merely strengthens our addiction to human-wisdom-dependence.

The real world is only known through Scripture, where Jesus is totally sovereign over everyone and everything.  Jesus-wisdom-dependence yields an other-worldly peace vastly superior to the circumstance-dependent peace of humans dominated by human-wisdom.  

How can we get Jesus-wisdom-dependence?   By CONFESSing our unbelief in His sovereign reign each time we are aware of it.  Self-deception is our biggest problem.  Just like the Pharisees.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, promoting a sovereignty-awareness lifestyle to Christians — especially DAVE, in hopes that Christians might actually have something seculars want

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None of my business

what others think of me.”  What a great truth this is, that someone shared with PeoplePleaserDave a few years ago.  But yesterday I realized, there’s MORE.  None of my business what DAVE thinks of me.  None of my business what DAVE  thinks of my circumstances, my health, my savings, my ministry, my performance, my decisions, my happiness.  But there’s MORE.  None of my business what Dave thinks of OTHERS, and how they are doing compared to me.  Well, if it’s not MY business, then whose business is it?  JESUS’ business.  If He is Lord of my life.  If I’m DumbSheepDave and He’s my SovereignShepherdJesus.  If He’s living His life through me. 

When I get into trouble, emotionally/spiritually, it’s ALWAYS because I’m being wise in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding, assessing everyone and everything as JudgeDave, ShepherdDave, INdependentDave.  

So BETTER than saying to myself, “MYOB, Dave,” is, “Quit minding your own business and everyone else’s, Dave.”  Prideful to assess others and self.  “Pay attention to the green grass in front of you that your SovereignShepherdJesus has led you to eat.”  And when I forget I’m DumbSheepDave and catch myself acting as ShepherdDave?  CONFESS.  Rather than trying harder to be dependent on Jesus.

None of my business what Jesus is up to, in my life, or others’ lives.  I’ll find out soon enough.  Hard for a dumb sheep to try and be his own shepherd.  DumbSheepDave is never intense, never stressed — never fearful, frustrated, discouraged, or bored.  Dave is never DumbSheepDave, except when freshly convicted of the sin of INdependence.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, utterly unqualified to direct his own life

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The Thanksgiving holiday is very-dangerous

for followers of Jesus, seems to me, because thanking Him for the easily-thankable, obviously-thankable, reinforces control addiction, and surprisingly leads us into an INdependency that encourages God-bless-my-agenda kinda praying by believers, confident-we-know-what’s-best, confident we know how to direct the CreatorSustainer of the Universe.

Thanking Jesus for the harrrd is commanded in Scripture.  Thanking Him for the easy, is also commanded, but way-more dangerous in my experience.  When I ONLY thank Him for the obviously-thankable — when things go my way, when my human wisdom APPROVES of the outcome, CHEERS the outcome, I’m being lured into a destructive INdependency/control-addiction — an attempt to control my circumstances based on my confidence-I-know-what’s-best.  INdependency, not Jesus-dependency. 

Impossible to have an agenda unless I’m confident-I-know-what’s-best.  Pride, not humility.  I find we Christians are unhappiest when confident-we-know-what’s-thankable-and-what’s-not, and ONLY thank Him for the easily-thankable — things going our way.  It’s sooo tempting to thank Jesus when things go our way.  I find it’s a subtle trap.  Instead, in all circumstances — easy and harrrd, it helps me to thank Him for His genius plan, admitting my childlikeness/cluelessness-I-know-best.

I’m not at-all opposed to the Thanksgiving holiday, just pointing out what seems to me the danger of human wisdom’s influence on us.– Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, promoting Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, that believers — especially DAVE, might have the other-worldly humility and other-worldly love compelling to seculars  To receive my Tuesday posts, email me, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com

Is self-love good or bad?

Two kinds of self-love: conditional and UNconditional.  Conditional-self-love is unhealthy, rooted in pride, self-absorption — I love myself when I perform up to expectations, or better, when I exceed expectations.  But UNconditional-self-love is Jesus-like.  Jesus loves us kids of His UNconditionally.  Humble/Jesus-like Christians love themselves UNconditionally, and others UNconditionally.  Prideful Christians love themselves conditionally, and others conditionally.  Hard on self, hard on others.  Secretly.  Because niceness is considered a virtue in the Church.  We’ve learned to appear nice, gracious, while keeping our true thoughts to ourselves.  Seculars are not impressed by us prideful Christians.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, encouraging Christians in Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, that Christians — especially DAVE, might be awakened by the Spirit to ooze with Jesus-humility and Jesus-love

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Who am I?

Am I the old man, with a self-absorbed nature, a strong proving addiction, A.K.A. JudgeDave, assessor, critic, of everyone and everything, A.K.A. AdultlikeDave, full of human wisdom, confident-he-knows-what’s-best, A.K.A. CompetitiveDave, needing to feel superior to everyone, secretly rejoicing in the failures of others, especially other sports teams, living with stress 24/7, circumstance-dependent for joy and peace, functioning as an atheist?

Or am I the new man in Jesus, others-absorbed, contented, peaceful regardless of circumstances, enjoyer of everyone just as we are and everything just as it is, clueless-he-knows-what’s-best, trusting Jesus knows best and will sovereignly deliver what’s best for Dave, who lives stress-free, curious and expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in Dave, others, circumstances, A.K.A. ChildlikeDave?

I can tell you this — when I’m ChildlikeDave I’m by far the happiest, feel the most authentic, feel like my truest self.  THIS is who I am.  OBSERVING, without judgment or agenda.   No hurry.  No intensity.  Ahhh.  Rather then feeling pressure to make things happen as hyper-conscientous AdultlikeDave — living with an underlying, suppressed fear of a humiliating mistake. 

This is the message of the Bible:

Stand still and watch My deliverance, ChildlikeDave.  Don’t be AdultlikeDave and try to live, do My work, by human wisdom, human power.

So I’m paying closer attention these days to my feelings.  If I’m feeling ANY pressure, to do, be different, be better, be efficient, hurry because I’m behind or might be, I’m realizing like never before that I’ve unconsciously slipped into AdultlikeDave, the old man, and I’ve presently lost the benefit of childlike Jesus-dependency.   Whadda I do?  CONFESS.  Ahhh.

I cannot even comprehend how a Christian who doesn’t really believe in the total sovereignty of Jesus, can even WANT to be a clueless dependent on Jesus.  Seems to me it would be overwhelmingly scary to turn loose of the wheel, leave the driving to Jesus.  I find most of us Presbyterians are pseudo-believers in Jesus’ sovereignty.  We claim to believe, but live as though we don’t.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, constantly needing fresh conviction of the sin of INdependence, so he might momentarily be ChildlikeDave, with something to offer seculars around him 

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