- Pharisees did hold themselves to very high moral standards.
- This man probably did not extort money from other people.
- He probably was just in his dealings with others.
- He probably was faithful to his wife.
- He probably did fast twice a week.
- He probably did return his pledge card on time <grin> and
- He probably did tithe a full ten percent of his income.
But I'm re-thinking that this year.
What I'm fasting from this Lent is discouragement. That means cutting back on what is so often the source of discouragement, which is a tendency to gorge on, or dwell on, bad news.
(Let me be clear: that does not mean giving up news or otherwise burying my head in the sand: it means staying informed while finding ways not to get pulled into a downward spiral of feelings of numbness and helplessness; it means giving up unproductive feelings like hopelessness and resignation and taking on visible behaviors like giving encouragement and taking action.)
It means making visible -- here, on my blog, and even on Facebook -- the good.
Because the problem is -- to paraphrase the community organizer Rich Harwood -- a lot of times we see "good news stories…