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This is part of a series of posts on giving, all in light of the release of my latest book. In this post, we look at three obstacles that can keep us from giving, and the effect that has on our spirit. Check out the other articles in the series to learn more.

In this post, we’re looking at what keeps us from giving. Keep in mind that I’m not thinking about money when I say “giving.” I’m thinking about giving our time, our attention, our skills, or other personal resources. Giving can be as simple as going out of…


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I read a very striking quote some time ago. It was written by Douglas Meeks. “God owns by giving.” 1Think about that for a moment. When we think about ownership, other words come to mind: possessing, taking, buying, keeping. But giving? How is that possible? In a mysterious and beautiful way, it’s possible with love. “God so loved the world that he gave . . .” And that giving made us God’s inheritance, his possession. God owns his people not by grasping them but by giving himself to them. Knowing this truth can change the way you live each day…


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In a previous post, I talked about the circular nature of giving, about how all of our gifts end up being given back to God. This needs repeating and application for us daily, since we seem bent on following what I call a transactional approach to giving.

Before I get to that, let me review the model of giving we’ve been discussing because it’s so counter-cultural. Giving is not simply an activity, something we do. Rather, it’s something God does (even something God is), and we get the joy of modeling our lives after his. I can’t stress this enough…


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Photo by Jimmy Chan from Pexels

Words to eat. That’s it. This isn’t ever going to change. It was the same at the dawn of humanity as it is in the twenty-first century. We need to eat words, or we’ll die. It’s just that simple. Most people think we need water and food. That’s true for the body, but there’s something deeper that the soul needs, something it can’t go without, something as basic to the soul as air is to the lungs: words.

The immediate questions are (1) What does that even mean? And (2) Which words?

What Does It Mean to Eat Words?

We have four options with words in our…


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Christmas is synonymous with giving. Some people estimate that the average American will spend around $800 in 2020 on Christmas gifts. That’s somewhere north of 465 billion dollars for the nation. That’s a lot of money. Where does it all go? Well, one study found that 16 billion dollars are wasted each year on unwanted gifts. So, a big chunk of it probably goes into garbage cans. The gifts, in other words, find no recipient.

Gifts function in a sort of circle. I call it the giving circle. Gifts are obtained from a source, given by a giver, and then…


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I have been working through Paul Miller’s excellent book J-Curve. It’s life-changing if you understand and then apply what he’s saying (which is really what the Apostle Paul is saying, which is really what Jesus is saying). As I read, I’ve been reminded of how anxiety, which I’ve long dealt with, can actually be a path to finding new life. Here, my aim is to explain how and offer an example. …


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I have been told that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. That’s as true for Christians as it is for anyone else. And I’ve come across some words over the years that will help you with that 90% part. These are words that have shaped my response to the hard things I’ve faced. Given the right attention, they can revolutionize your approach to suffering. Rather than running from hard things, you can run through them, knowing how your soul is benefiting in the process.

“Exile is the worst that reveals the best.” — Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson noted a striking statement from the…


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It’s a weird thing to say, I know. But it’s true — not because I’ve delved into the depths of philosophy or poured over pages spiritual self-help books. Not because I’m a stoic who just thinks we’ll be better off when we toughen up. And certainly not because this is some twisted way of “living your best life now.” Nope. I know it’s true because I watched my father die from cancer, because I struggle everyday with an anxiety disorder, and because I’m constantly assaulted by self-doubt. …


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There are a thousand things coronavirus chaos has pushed up to the surface of humanity, like old sticks caught under rocks at the bottom of a riverbed. Perhaps some of the most precious are our need for communion with each other and our longing for peace. I’ve been working on my first book of devotionals to help readers find the latter (read a sample of them HERE). But below are three meditations that I think will draw you closer to God and to others. I call them “meditations” because they need to be rehearsed, not simply read. Our souls are…


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This is more an outpouring of experience than anything else. But it may serve other writers who believe that writing full-time might be their calling. My main goal is simply to set out what limiting beliefs I encounter regularly, and perhaps why I encounter them. I call them limiting beliefs because they essentially limit me from confidently pursuing what I dream of doing one day: writing full-time.

Many writers would love to write full-time, but they’re convinced that this isn’t possible or practical. “Only a select few ever do that . . . Don’t put all your eggs in that…

Pierce Taylor Hibbs

Christian author and teacher. Theology nerd. Anxiety warrior.

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