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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

A Day at a Time: Categories

By Scott Harrup
Oct. 13, 2013

Raymond Brock taught the introductory psychology course I took at Evangel University (Springfield, Mo.) in 1984. He called attention to both the prevalence of mental illness as part of the human experience and its unfortunate stigma within church circles.

“Your brain is an organ of your body, just like your heart or liver,” Brock told our class. “If you feel free to ask for prayer for heart disease, why shouldn’t you feel comfortable asking someone to pray for a mental illness.”

This week’s interview by Pentecostal Evangel News Editor John W. Kennedy with Amy Simpson reminds us the church should be the very best environment in which to receive comfort for any of life’s maladies, including the pain of mental illness.

As I considered Simpson’s remarks, and remembered Brock’s, I wondered how many other areas of life I’m tempted to push into artificial categories. Am I more apt to pray in faith for one type of need while writing off another as something someone will just have to live with?

Even more disconcerting, and harder to acknowledge, is my tendency to place spiritual need on a graduated scale. It is far too easy to look at someone else and identify areas where they really should let God change them, followed by superficial self-examination and a quick prayer for God to polish any remaining “rough spots” in my soul.

Yes, the Bible calls for followers of Christ to grow and mature in their relationship with God. If we are living a biblical model of Christianity, we should be able to see progress in our lives, and should be able to evaluate another person’s level of maturity without being judgmental.

But it is the Holy Spirit in us purifying, strengthening and teaching us who makes our growth possible. When Christ-followers commit themselves to walk in the Spirit and proclaim the gospel without reservation, artificial categories disappear. We all are in need. Some of us have been blessed to meet the One who makes us whole. We must point others to Him.

Scott Harrup
Managing Editor



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