new years realism – on unsustainable willpower and sustainable goals.

I’m not much of one for New Years’ resolutions anymore.

I understand New Years. I think that humans like to have a proverbial turning of the page, albeit arbitrary. And New Years is that – arbitrary. It only marks that 365 days have passed – nothing more. I think that the reason we created hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc. is that 1. it helps us organize and 2. time is so infinite (in a certain sense) that we can’t contain it – so we contain it to the degree that we can.
And people, as moral creatures, like that. I think we like the rotation of the sun because it gives us a chance to “sleep on it” when making a decision or dealing with a frustrating situation. We like it because when we’ve run into a lot of failure in a single day, we can wake up to a new sunrise, a different (hopefully) set of events, etc.

It makes sense.

But here’s where that frustrates me – we’re good at days, we’re okay at weeks, we’re weaker with months, and we’re shit with years.

Everyone I know who works out diligently dreads January – because suddenly the gym will be full of wannabes who swear that this is the year they get in shape. Restaurants and coffee shops expect a dip in sales because of people who will be watching their weight. People do a lot of preparation because this time, it’ll finally happen – but people have unsustainable goals and create ridiculous expectations.

Somewhere along the line, people lost the idea of baby steps.

Habits start with choices, and choices happen often – but habits can’t be turned around all of a sudden. Think of it like you’re resetting a clock – if you turn the hands slowly and steadily, you can set the time. But you can’t just take it from 3:15 to 3:30 without steady movement. You have to ease it that way, taking it minute by minute, and then it’ll be good.

Here’s what I’m saying: a habit is the culmination of hundreds if not thousands of choices. Instead of going from making all bad choices (operationally, we’ll call a “bad choice” a choice that doesn’t fit your desired habit) to making all good choices, why don’t you slowly start to infect the plethora of bad choices with good ones (ones that fit your desired habit)?

For example:

Instead of trying to work out 5 days a week in January, why not make it your goal to work out 5 days a week by the end of the year? So maybe some weeks in January you work out 3 times, sometimes none. But you start to make it a habit. Then in February, at least a weekly trip to the gym is in your mind. Okay, cool – now build on that. Then, as you go more regularly because you’re thinking about it, it becomes a habit.

Here are some things to keep in mind as/if you make resolutions:

-Leave yourself room for failure, because
-you will fail. it’s in our hard-wiring to screw up. accept that. it’s okay. it’s normal.
-steadily change – don’t try to change all at once.
-make a comprehensive year-end goal, not something to do all-year that you’re going to start out of nowhere.
-make little goals that serve a bigger goal.
-Choose goals that are reachable and sustainable – base these off of things you know others do and have ways of managing.
-in that vein of thinking, gradually manage it. it’s not going to come all at once.

see a pattern here? take it easy. take it one choice at a time, one step at a time. bit by bit. that’s the only we can change.

life (cyclical)

I’ve been in love once. It (obviously) didn’t lead to marriage, though at the time I wanted it to. I’ve always heard that marriage isn’t exactly romantic – at least not in a Hollywood sense. That is, you don’t wake every day to flowers and breakfast in bed; not every day is capped with a kiss; you don’t write poems every day, etc etc. The big, romantic moves that happen while dating aren’t necessarily as regular over the course of a marriage.

It’s more consistent commitment – romance manifests itself in the form of changed oil and filled gas tanks, washed dishes, babysat kids, washed and folded laundry, support in hard times – little acts of great service over the course of a long life.

It seems to me that, as human beings, we tend to expect great big things to happen for a long time at a time, and for everything to be especially good for a while. We strive to make each and every moment absolutely incredible, and we grasp at one or two moments that were exceptional, hoping that we can make every one just like that. For me, I’ve held on to movies that I watched with a really good friend or a couple of family members – for example, to this day, Frankenstein makes me want to be with my mom, and Frozen makes me want to be with my little sister. Because the moments we shared those films (and films are just an example) are moments etched into my memory, and they’re sweet, sweet moments.

but I don’t think that’s how life works. lightning doesn’t strike twice. Things are always changing, always shifting. Here are some small examples: I love coffee, but when my throat hurts, coffee makes me sick to my stomach. I love driving with my windows down, but driving with my windows down in the dead of winter is incredibly uncomfortable. I love to read a book by the light of my lamp in the morning, but at night, it’s not the same (because I’ve been up all day.)

Things are always changing.

I remember when I graduated (and forgive me, because I have to harken myself back to this reality often) and I thought that was the start of “real life.” I was right, but I was wrong about what “real life” was. I thought that every day, I’d feel like going out with my friends; I thought that once I had time, I’d burn through my book collection; I thought that making money all the time I’d pay off all of my bills and never be anywhere close to broke.

Get real.

Life’s not that easy. Nobody told me that I’d get a job that costs me 15 hours a day, or that when I have a day off from work, I’d actually miss it because I don’t know what to do with my spare time – after all, I’m usually working! Nobody told me about the temptation to be a workaholic.
Nobody told me that after college, you have to make a whole new set of friends, and that it can be really hard. Nobody told me that life isn’t sitting in a bar or a coffee shop all of the time with the exact same people every single night (the way some sitcoms lead you to believe as a young, impressionable kid.)
Nobody told me (at that point, it wasn’t as prominent, I suppose) that everyone puts their best foot forward on social media and makes it look like they do awesome things all of the time, when in reality, most people sit at home in front of a TV and Netflix. Those moments we put on Instagram are often as good as things get, and we try to encapsulate them.

And that’s okay – I don’t want to demean any of that reality. Because here’s the reality behind the reality: life is what you make it.

And, life is seasonal.

I don’t know that I’ll always work 45-55 hours a week, but while I do, I hope to make the best of it by embracing the people around me, enjoying every second of it, learning everything I can within my trade, and spending as much time as I possibly can sleeping (ha!)

I don’t know that I’ll always live with two other guys, but while I do, I can learn from them, encourage them, and be encouraged by them, learning how to serve each other along the way.

I don’t know that I’ll always live in the same city, but I can learn to appreciate every cultural nuance I possibly can while I have the time.

I don’t know that I’ll always make the money I do right now, but I can learn everything I can to live as well as I can on as little as I can, paying off everything I’ve used in the past for which I still owe.

I don’t know that I’ll always be single, but I can enjoy the freedoms and lack of commitment that it entails, and then later if I’m married, I can revel in the joy of serving someone else for the rest of my life.

I definitely won’t always be 24, but while I am, I can enjoy a fast metabolism, good young legs, lots of energy, and the ability to hone myself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally in ways I may not be able to later.

As I write this, I find myself wanting to complain a lot – in particular, today my throat hurts, I’m tired, I’m physically uncomfortable, I’m broke, I’m waiting on Christmas presents to come in, I’m bored, I’m sort of lonely, I’m frustrated from a creative standpoint, and I don’t even know what to do with my spare time.

But I’m starting to think that each season of life is glorious in its own way. The trick, I suppose, is to see the best parts of each one and enjoy it as such.

honesty & transparency.

I used to think I had a lot to gain if I hid the truth as much as possible if it: hurt people’s feelings, made me look bad, offended someone, was silly, could be perceived as petty, etc.

So I went through a lot of life not telling the truth. I let a lot of hurt fester, I let my pride and ego get bruised, I let hard feelings go unchecked, I let miscommunication and misunderstanding rule, all because the truth was too risky.

I’d like to presently take a stab at interpreting a scripture in a new light: in John 8:31-32, Jesus says, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

What if the truth that I come to know through Jesus is that I’m just a human being that’s full of crap and that I have a tendency to hurt other people, that I have a tendency to misunderstand and to be misunderstood? It makes a lot of sense to me – as I abide in Jesus and His word, I see more and more of myself that’s not like Him, and that truth sets me free to…well, stop trying to be perfect.

Lately more than ever, I’ve come to terms with that.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that sometimes I am really petty. Sometimes I am really prideful. Sometimes I am really sensitive. Sometimes I am really cruel to people. Sometimes I am dishonest.

Does that make it okay? No. Good Lord – I still really, really want to be like Jesus.

But I think that truth makes me drop my defenses.

Honestly, I’m so jaded on not telling the truth anymore.

I’m so tired of the idea that later in life, the truth is going to come out, and I have to deal with it then. Sometimes that’s really silly, petty stuff, sometimes that’s really serious stuff. Here are some examples…

the other day, someone fixed a problem at work that I didn’t think would ever be fixed. We had a tube full of water that wouldn’t drain unless you messed with it and moved it around. People had tried a bunch of different solutions and nothing worked. I swore we’d deal with it forever. One of my co-workers was saying how happy she was that it was fixed, and asked why I wasn’t thrilled about it like she was. “Because it hurts my ego,” I said. “I thought we’d never fix it, and I was proven wrong.” She laughed and gave me a classic “Oh my gosh.

Petty? Yes. But true.

This one hurt a little more…

The other day, I was trying to get with a friend to hang out. I texted her and asked her what she wanted to do. I suggested we do something “like a proper date” – dinner, bookstore, coffee after. Apparently I was focused on the “like” and she was focused on the “date” – she texted me back, saying how she wasn’t ready to date and she didn’t see our friendship like that. I was simultaneously shocked and offended. I was shocked because I didn’t ask her on a date, I was offended because she thought I would actually ask her out over a text (something I think is pretty shitty.) We argued. We both got our feelings hurt. We were both pretty mad because I thought she was calling me a shitty person via her actions and I thought it was shitty of her to think I was shitty enough to ask a girl out over a text.

And – to be honest – I’m not still fully over that altercation, but I’m really glad that we were both a lot more open up front, since we can get through this now and have full healing later.

Honesty is the best policy – not because it bypasses pain, but because it confronts pain. It causes us to get to the root of our actions, intentions, and perceptions in a hurry. It causes us to come face to face with our humanity, and, in the context of living with Jesus, repent of our sin sooner than later.

I think honesty empowers, honesty births confidence, and honesty solidifies trust.

I’m still trying to get in the habit of it, but I encourage you to try it sometime. Be really honest. Be open. Admit that sometimes you’re full of crap, and see if it’s not helpful to you.

a lesson in humanity: on the famous, the broken, the well-endowed, and the simple

One day, about two months ago, I was working, and a gentleman walked in. My co-worker and I greeted and treated him as we would any other customer – with a hello, a how-are-you, and with an answer to any and every question he tossed our way. He was a nice guy if a quiet guy – he didn’t say a whole lot, but he respected us and we respected him. I made him an Americano in an 8oz cup as he perused our shop, looking at all of the retail offerings we had. As soon as I handed him his drink, he said, “let me go ahead and order another one.” My co-worker, who had done the payment portion of the transaction, had gone to the back to wash some dishes, so I was left to do the payment this time around. As he handed me his debit card, I noticed the name at the bottom:

David S Bazan.

I froze for just a second. For those of you who don’t know (because he’s not terribly famous, I suppose) Dave Bazan was the lead singer in a band called Pedro the Lion, and now has a solo project. I said, “Um, so I just realized this, but you’re Dave Bazan.” As we got to talking, he told me he had played a house show on 2nd street the night before. I was freaking out because I’d only recently heard of Dave Bazan via a podcast I listen to.

It struck me as funny the way I responded to him – I had gone from treating him as a nice, normal customer, to suddenly acting nervous and starstruck around him. Suddenly I was saying a bunch of stupid stuff, trying to compensate for the fact that I wasn’t all that familiar with him and his work, but I was as of late. Mr. Bazan was really nice – he tipped us generously and went about his way.

Fast forward a few more weeks and the same thing happens with a bloke named Will Regan. Will Regan, if you don’t know, sings in a band called United Pursuit and has written a few well-known songs, the most notable of which is called Break Every Chain. But instead of geeking out directly, I processed it through my co-worker. I said, “I should talk to him, but what do I say?” Again, I found myself in the conundrum that I’m not especially familiar with his work, but I knew his name, and for some reason, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that he’s sort of a big deal in the Christian music (worship) industry. I talked to him and said a similar thing…”I couldn’t help but notice that your card says you’re Will Regan…you’re the Will Regan!” He laughed shyly and said, “yes I am.” Suddenly I was stupid again, even though five minutes ago, I felt like I had the upper hand in conversation because I was talking to him about different types of coffees and different brewing methods, etc. I told him it was nice to meet him and that I wished him the best for his show (he and the band were on their way to Indianapolis to play a show.)

This has happened on other occasions (though not necessarily in as embarrassing ways.) Over my tenure at my job, I’ve interacted with the band Building 429, Steve Zahn (who lives in Lexington,) most of the members of Emarosa (I didn’t recognize them at the time because I wasn’t as interested in their music,) the mayor, the photographer for UK football, and a few really well-known Instagram personalities/photographers/bloggers.

In a certain sense, I have a good CV going in terms of the people I’ve met, and I think it’s interesting to see how, over time, my response has become more and more mellow.

At first, a famous person was a big deal. Maybe that’s small-town syndrome – when you live in a town of 10,000 people like I did, it’s easy to think that there are a lot of nobodies, so anyone with any sort of name value has a lot of shock value as well. When I was 17 years old, I was nerding out over the fact that Brando, the big guitar player from little-known (aside from to me) band The Sound. The Fury, would talk to me at their shows. I felt so special. And then Garrett said hi. And then Chris said hi.

And then I went to Ichthus Music Festival in Wilmore and has Chris from my then-favorite band, as cities burn, sign my shoe. my friend took me to meet The Showdown. And I nerded out every time.

But eventually, I’ve come to realize that people are people. I’ve come to realize that Dave and Will probably would have preferred to have left there without an awkward transaction of “Um…you’re so-and-so!” Because at the core, people are just people (and if anyone thinks they’re more, then the problem is with them, not with you for not acknowledging it!) And even if someone is famous (or should I say well-known?) they still have a personality – they still have flaws, they still have interests, things that make them tick, things they get excited about, and things they get angry about. It’s pretty reductive to think that famous people are only as much as their source of fame.

It’s for that reason that I’m coming to disdain the human idea of fame. I think that fame has the potential to strip people of their humanity, because it seems to me that people weren’t meant to bear the burden of fame. Fame is simply, at its core, idolatry. And humans aren’t capable of bearing that weight. Nobody is. Fame dehumanizes. Fame deteriorates. Fame degrades. Fame erodes. Fame damages.

Is that to say that we aren’t to acknowledge when people are well-known? I’d say no…instead, I’d say that if you know someone or encounter someone who is well-known, the goal should to be to get to know them as a human. If I ever meet, say, Matty from the 1975, I hope I ask him what his favorite beer is instead of the best show he’s ever played. I hope I can ask him about his family instead of his writing process.

I hate to always brag on my job, but I think that’s been a really good avenue for this experience. People are just people…no matter where they’ve been or what they’ve been through, no matter if they’re a homebody or a world traveler, a well-known author or a humble bookworm, a skilled musician or tone-deaf, a politician or a citizen.

And yet, somehow, it’s as C.S Lewis says – you’ve never met a mere mortal. As much as human fame means nothing, the image-stamp of God does. People have dignity and worth because God endows it, since we carry His image.

Human – what a simple, yet amazing thing to be…

lies i believe.

let’s rewind just under a month to the goals I set for myself during my 24th year of life. They were: leadership, honesty, eliminating unhealthy habits, taking risks, reducing entertainment, thoroughness, and leaving work at work.

This is going to be a bit of an update, because I have a lot of honesty (a lot of which pertains to leadership) to share here.

I’ve come face to face with another ugly reality (seems to be a theme in my blogs) that I’m really mercurial in my disposition. My mood can change at the drop of a hat. A small part of me is concerned that I have some chemical imbalances, but a big part of me thinks that I need to just address some negative self-schema I’ve constructed – but to do so with the Gospel.

Here are some of the things I’ve realized I believe about myself:
I’m insignificant
I’m annoying
I’m not good at anything
I’m a burden, not a blessing
to ask for help meant I’m weak & burdensome
nobody respects me, and if they do – it’s because they’re obligated to
if I accept the fact that I’m loved, respected, and/or even liked, it implies pride

What’s funny is that I seem to hold myself to a different standard than I do others. I want to do things to bless others and show them that I love and appreciate them, and I expect them to receive it with grace and to feel blessed, loved, and appreciated. And yet if people do something to bless me, or show their appreciation to me, I reject it as superficial, bribery, or insincerity.

I refuse to believe that I’m a blessing.

And I’m afraid to admit that because I hate the idea that people think I’m being weak and asking for compliments. I’m afraid to admit I’m weak.

But you know – I really am weak.

I refuse to believe that I’m a leader.

And I hate that because I know that in that, I’m not living anywhere near my potential.

but you know – I’ve been a leader longer than I know and in more ways than I understand. At every job I’ve worked, I’ve taken on leadership. In church, I led worship, I led life groups, I taught children’s ministry, I preached, I was on the council – and I would tell you I wasn’t a leader, because in the name of humility I refused to believe I was a leader. But I am. I am a leader. I don’t know why or at what point it happened, I can’t place a finger on it. But it happened, and that character has formed in me now.

I refuse to let go of how people think of me.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

This is me pulling my hair out wondering why the heck I don’t believe that. I know it’s true.

For some reason, I see it as risky not to think that people think of me, though. I guess it’s this idea that I thrive off of feedback, and if I’m being lazy, rude, inconsiderate, mean, hurtful, or anything less than a Christ-like person, I want to know that. And to not heed people’s thoughts of me is to risk getting into a set hurtful habits. But isn’t that what community is for? I could either live hyper-sensitively in a state of perpetual stress while I worry about what people think of me, or I could live relaxed, trusting people to call me out when I’m wrong?

I guess you could say I’m frustrated – because somewhere along the line I began to adhere to a path which says, “unhealthy humility is better than unhealthy pride.” But where unhealthy pride can hurt others, unhealthy humility wears me down and erodes me the way water erodes a rock – slow and sure.

But here’s where I am with this now: I’m going to choose to believe different things now.
I will, to the best of my ability, and by the grace of God, believe I’m a blessing, not a burden.
I’m going to believe I have things to offer – friendship, wisdom, humor, etc.
I’m going to believe that community is trustworthy.
I’m going to believe that I’m significant.
I’m going to believe that people actually like me.


Well, let’s start here: I’m not much of a humanist. In fact, I’m often times overly pessimistic and negative towards the human race…

…but Jesus wasn’t.

The reality is that Jesus loved (and continues to love) me at the deepest possible level – He knows every flaw, every tendency, every reason there is to dislike me as a human, to stop loving me – and yet He persists.
The reason I can believe good things about myself is not because I’m good, but because Jesus’ love is good, and He declares me righteous, and He deposited in me the Holy Spirit to change and transform me. And realistically, the term “deposit” implies that value is instilled in something – that is, my bank account has no value if I don’t deposit in it – likewise, I have no value but for the value that Jesus gives me.

And blessed be the name of the Lord – that value is infinitely more than I’ll ever know in this life.

i don’t respond well. [i’m still being redeemed.]

a chilling reality has hit me of late.

I don’t necessarily want to indict the whole church of Jesus Christ, so I’ll just say that it’s what I’ve been conditioned to do: I think I live in self-defense.

And to be fair, it’s completely normal to do so. From an evolutionary standpoint, it’s natural to live in a way that preserves your life as much as possible. But the unfortunate truth is that I find this to be the case spiritually as well.

It’s just becoming hauntingly ostensible to me that I have a tendency to respond to circumstances and people in a way that is best for me, and often times, that’s the complete opposite of how Jesus would respond to someone.

For example, a homeless guy stops me on the street, asking if I can spare him any money or give him any food (or, in a lot of cases, they have a sign and they’re standing next to traffic.)
My thought process goes to what he’ll do with that money: he may buy drugs, he might be trying to get beer, he might buy cigarettes. What if he does something like that? Am I then enabling someone’s lifestyle? God forbid I do that.

But who am I really helping there? Even in the worst case scenario, let me follow this to its logical conclusion: let’s say I loan the guy money. He wastes it on drugs. Am I for drug use? No. But it’s not my money anymore. At the end of the day, God still pays my bills and I have food on my plate and a roof over my head. I’m provided for. He gets his drugs, but his using them doesn’t affect me, and unless he’s daft enough to tell me they’re for drugs, then I don’t know. But after I give him money, nothing’s on me. If he lied to me and he gets drugs, the lie is his problem and the drugs are his problem. Right? I’m not going to go to hell for aiding and abetting this guy for buying drugs – I didn’t know what I was doing.

I guess this one keeps popping up for me because nowadays I encounter more homeless people than I ever have before. And I know that it’s vulnerability to give – it’s risky. Who knows what they’re doing with that money? Maybe he’s NOT getting drugs – maybe he actually wants food.

But what good does it do me to keep it to myself? Am I so much better off because now I can get dinner at Chipotle instead of him getting a bite to eat? Will I sleep that much better at night thinking, “at least I didn’t enable someone getting drugs today!”

I just can’t help but think that sometimes the way we’re trained to respond is the complete wrong way.

More examples.

Let’s talk about Ferguson a little bit. Not the actual shooting itself, let’s talk about the aftermath.

There seem to be two big sides to the argument: the people arguing that officer Wilson was a racist, this was profiling, there’s massive injustice to the African American community and that white privilege is prominent; and on the flip side are those arguing that officer Wilson was just doing his job and defending himself, that people should respect the police, and we should assume the best about people – concluding that officer Wilson wasn’t a racist.

Who wins?

Nobody. And nobody will.

Let’s talk about homosexuality a little bit – the hot-button issue of the culture at-large.

The LGBT advocates say that people should be allowed to love whoever they want, and as long as they’re not hurting anyone, how can their lifestyle be wrong? They talk about the struggles facing the LGBT community and how they’re marginalized and rejected. They talk about how God understands their situations, they claim God made them that way, and they say that if God were really loving, He wouldn’t consider their sexual orientation a sin.
The other camp (largely this seems to be evangelical Christians) rejects homosexuality completely. They say that it doesn’t matter whether or not it hurts anyone – it’s God’s law, so it’s wrong to oppose it. They talk about how people need to submit their sexuality to God, how it’s one thing if you really struggle with homosexuality but a whole other issue if you just accept it for what it is and fit God to your opinion and agenda. They say that God doesn’t make people gay (And they regurgitate age-old sayings like “it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!”) and that God IS loving, but He doesn’t stand for their lifestyle.

Who wins?

Again, nobody wins.

And here’s where I get transparent: I tend to fall in the latter part of both arguments. I’ve found myself thinking that people are overblowing Ferguson. I’ve found myself forming weak opinions (that aren’t informed by any experience) that the oppression facing blacks isn’t as bad as they make it out to be. But how do I know?
I find myself thinking (and I unapologetically believe) that homosexuality is a sin. I hope that people struggle with it and don’t just accept it, the way that I (hopefully) struggle with pornography and lust and every type of sexual sin, fighting it tooth and nail, because realistically it’s all sexual sin.

But my problem is this: I always view things as an argument, and I always try to win.

I always serve myself in these situations.

A lot of issues seem to have a clear dividing line, and we end up choosing a side.

But you know who never seemed to choose a side?


When I think of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery – He didn’t side with the Pharisees and call the woman out on her sin, but He didn’t side with the woman either. He subtly said, “you’re ALL sinners, every one of you.” But that’s why He came.

See, as much as I try to self-preserve, Jesus never self-preserved. He couldn’t afford to. If Jesus were trying to win every battle He faced, He would have thrown His righteousness and His innocence in the faces of His accusers and He would have gone back to the right hand of the Father unscathed.

But Jesus always had a way of bringing a third, left-field perspective into every issue. It’s one that somehow treats both parties with a great deal of dignity, love, and respect. Jesus was a lot more gracious to both Pharisees as well as sinners than any of us are nowadays.

I want to learn how to see through bullshit the way Jesus did (‘crap’ doesn’t cut it here.) I want to be able to perceive people’s intentions and their motivations the way Jesus did. I want to start with myself – I want to locate and call out my reasons for trying to preserve myself and not take any risks. I want to know why I want to be right about the issues of race or sexual orientations. I want to uproot that. I want to know why it is that I get so pissed off when my roommate uses my body wash and doesn’t buy his own. I want to know why I get upset when people see God provide for them through the generosity of others when I have to work for the things I have.

See, I think this is another disadvantage facing Christians as Americans in a capitalist society – we are taught to believe that what you want, you earn; what you earn, you deserve; and what you deserve, you get. We want formulas. We want a set system that seems just to us, and we want to get ours and we want everyone else to get theirs.
But I’m convinced that the way God’s economy is set up is so foreign to that. God uses each other to meet the other’s needs.

I just want to learn how I can die to trying to be right all of the time – I want to learn to die to my human-formed concept of justice and learn what it’s like to live under Jesus’ concept of justice.

I want to change, but I don’t want to “progress,” I want to be more like Jesus.