At Christianity Today, Men of Integrity's parent ministry, we're talking a lot these days about Beautiful Orthodoxy and how it guides all that we do—including the devotions we offer you. Now I realize that for many men terms like "orthodoxy," "doctrine," and "theology" can feel rather cold, distancing, even divisive.
Such terms can be so "we versus them."
"We believe this way. They believe that way."
"We have the truth. They're way off the mark."
"We're the real Christians. They're not.”
But we're getting somewhere positive and, yes, beautiful when orthodoxy is grounded in oft-quoted verses like these:
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Orthodoxy lived out in the spirit of verses like these should be anything but cold, distancing, and divisive for believers. It should be anything but ugly. In fact, it should be beautiful.
Of course, this is not to say, our ministry won't speak truth into difficult issues. Jesus embodied both grace and truth (John 1:14, NIV). One of two didn’t drop into the shadows when the other stepped forward. Whether putting the Pharisees in their place or feeding thousands with a kid’s lunch, Jesus was always driven by both grace and truth.
This, too, is my heart desire for Men of Integrity: that we’ll convey both grace and truth in all we do.
My hope and prayer is that you’ll find Men of Integrity to be a place where God's grace and truth are revealed in fresh and even surprising ways, where you'll experience a calm space amid life's storms, where you’ll find encouragement to live by the Spirit and not the flesh, and where all those burdensome religious to-do lists fade away as you feel drawn to live each day in God's grace-filled presence.