My Grandson got a Medal

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It’s funny how a minor thing can trigger a memory so stay with me on this.

My four-year-old grandson played T-ball this summer and I went to a couple of games to see how he was doing.

Frankly, watching four-year-olds running around bases trying to keep their pants on is a bit of a hoot, but I digress.

I went to his last “game” and at the end of the game which was the end of the season each kid gets a medal-a rather nice one I might add.

It’s good size and has a sizable ribbon to hang it around the child’s neck. In my grandson’s case it came down to his belly button. He is a little guy.

So our bite size ball player and I, his grandma and his dad are leaving the park. I’m a little surprised about the medal and say to my son, ” I guess they all get a medal for not pooping their pants and showing up every week.”

My son laughed and then told me he asked my grandson who was the best player on the team. My grandson replied that he was!

Now I appreciate his enthusiasm and willingness to learn but he was a far cry from the best player on the team. My son had a reality talk with him and pointed out his skill set was being developed and he had to practice, something a four-year-old gets for about 10 minutes and it’s heh look, let’s chase a butterfly.

Fortunately our little guy was more interested in the bag of gummy bears and the bag of potato chips than he was in a medal but the whole experience drew me back to one of the first books I read when I was studying biblical counseling.

The book was The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love and Self-Image by Jay E. Adams.

The book was written in the mid-eighties but is now no less valid today perhaps even more so given that the movement has had another 30 years to thoroughly permeate psychology and the church.

There is not a whole lot that can be done about secular psychology but when there is this huge emphasis on positive self-esteem in the church it means that many have migrated from a God-centered theology to a man-at-the-center of all things theology and that has consequences, especially in parenting.

It’s one thing to have your little one know that they are created in the image of God and it’s quite another to use that to promote an unhealthy self-esteem that undermines the fact that the image of God within them Is deeply flawed.

The man-centered theology of self-esteem, self-love and self-image produces pride the mother of all idols (and a child-centered home I might add).

A God-centered theology ought to produce humility and an understanding that we are deeply flawed sinners in great need of a Savior to esteem highly, while we have a realistic appraisal of ourselves.

I think my grandson’s response to the gummy bears and chips was appropriate for a four-year-old and let’s save the medal for when his team wins the Little League World Series when he’s thirteen or so.

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Conscious Uncoupling?

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At first glance I thought conscious uncoupling was a railroad term where by rail workers had a plan to uncouple train cars.

Shall we consciously uncouple?

Shall we consciously uncouple?

But no, that bit of psychobabble is a nice sounding couple of terms for getting a divorce. This I discovered from reading a blog article written by Jessica Grose in Slate Magazine. 

Conscious uncoupling are the terms Gwyneth Paltrow used to describe her split from husband Chris Martin.

Paltrow and Martin made their announcement of a conscious uncoupling and released an essay by two psychobabbler’s to explain what the unusual terms meant. Here’s a summary from Ms. Grose’s blog:

The gist of the essay—by Habib Sadeghi and Sherry Sami, doctors who integrate Eastern and Western medicine—is that the institution of marriage hasn’t evolved along with our longer life spans. Divorce doesn’t mean your relationship wasn’t successful, they say. It just means that this particular relationship has come to its conclusion; you may have two or three of these successful relationships in a lifetime. Instead of a typical, rancorous, regular-person separation, you just need to have a “conscious uncoupling.” You need to be spiritually “present” and recognize that partners in intimate relationships are our “teachers.” You need to “cultivate” your “feminine energy” to salve any wounds.

Frankly, I don’t know where to start with that baloney. So, to help me out a little I googled Dr. Habib Sadeghi and found his “be hive of healing” website.

The good doctor (and his cohort Dr. Sherry Sami) appear to be big deals in the health industry and appear to represent some sort of cutting edge combination of western and eastern healing practices. The eastern part seems to be the spiritual part. For those of you who don’t know what that means think “new agey spirituality.”

Dr. Sadeghi seems to be a rather popular fellow and his website boasts that he has achieved “miraculous” results with his methods. He has been employed at more than one well-known university. I can see why Paltrow and Martin engaged in this sort of name-dropping. It certainly gives the appearance of “following doctor’s orders” or perhaps that should be “following the high priest’s orders?”

Ms. Paltrow is an idol to many. The fact this story is a big deal in the news cycle is proof that many people really do seem care what goes on in the personal relationships of the Hollywood elite. The fact that Paltrow and Martin are fans of new agey gurus is an idolatry of another sort. The fact their spiritual advisers (advertised freely) are welcomed on campus is interesting given that on most campuses traditional Christianity is not.

Perosnally, I could care less what the Hollywood elite does or who they follow spiritually. I would not expect non-Christians to make Christian decisions. What does bug me though is the number of people who look up to Ms. Paltrow as some source of cutting edge truth and in turn would look up to her gurus who use nice language to disguise the tragedy of divorce and a further undermining of marriage.

There is nothing new under-the-sun, just a repackaging of old ideas that are given medical sounding labels. The apostle Paul warned the Colossian Christians of finding value in any such system:

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8 ESV)

I’m really not all the familiar with Slate Magazine nor the author of the blog, Jessica Grose. But I do agree with Ms. Grose’s comment that as an aspirational idol women can do better than Gwyneth Paltrow. Yes indeed.

 

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