Monday, November 29, 2010

What Jon Acuff's Dad Said

Some of you read Jon Acuff's hysterical, satirical commentary on the church and Christianity at his blog, Stuff Christians Like. It turns out his dad used to pastor a church in Hudson, MA where we used to live back in the 80's. Anyway, Jon just put up a really nice, and useful bit of father-to-son advice...

Last week, I asked my dad, a pastor in North Carolina, about something I read in Proverbs 1. Here are what two verses I read said:
8 "Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9 They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck."

After reading that, I thought I’d ask my dad
what he would consider his “instruction.” I was curious what he and my mother would say. Here’s an excerpt of his response, which I think probably applies to a lot of us:

Jon, that’s a great question. My primary prayer is for your private, interior life to keep growing so that it can support your growing public life. The other half of my prayer is great thankfulness for you and the opportunities that God is giving you.

So, my immediate thoughts:
Read Scripture deeply (not for material but for life, like what you are doing with Proverbs, guarding and sustaining the good habits that you have had.)
Pray deeply – e.g. Prov 3:1-6. Turn what you are learning into prayers.
Read devotional authors deeply – find out from people you respect who they read (that would be a great list to develop down the road).
Share deeply with someone – a friend or counselor

Without missing the fun, sustain a healthy paranoia about your heart and your temptations. I think it is possible to have a healthy paranoia without living fearfully or cautiously. A healthy paranoia not only keeps us alert and honest, but hungry to keep learning. Success dulls our eagerness to learn.


  1. Funny you should share this tonight. Jonathan and I just now were talking about what a fatalistic attitude we can fall into. I especially - why bother. who cares. I'm so "done" fighting "the good fight". Can't someone else pick up a sword? So, this is a good word for me tonight in my funk. Aren't I so selfish? Pouting is pride. dull in my eagerness to learn...I need to know more of your healthy paranoia.

  2. So good! Gonna add these nuggets to my bag of treasure :)