Loving something too much

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Graham Beynon is Director of Free Church training at Oak Hill College and a mate of mine. About 10 years ago Graham discovered that he could quite easily make a mint by just publishing his sermons, which is something that has served a lot of American pastors well. Graham doesn't do long series so his books are short. Without wanting to big the man up they are very helpful particularly 'Mirror Mirror - discover your true identity in Christ' and 'Emotions'. He's a kind of Free Church Vaughan Roberts.
Anyway, he's just published a biography on Isaac Watts,   which was written as he finished his Phd on Watts whilst being a church planter and director of various training initiatives.  There are a number of particularly helpful chapters in the book on 'Facing Suffering' and 'Ministry to All', but I found the chapter on 'Promoting the heart' the most useful.
Graham picks out a Watts quote that I've not been able to escape from this past week. It is in the context of him writing on the temptation to suicide but it's been very helpful indeed in thinking about what am I loving too much - wife, children, ministry. It's all too easy to idolise them.
'Love not anything in this world so much that the loss of it would throw you quite off your guard, and make you abandon yourself to wild and extravagant methods of relief. Let your affections be so subdued and kept in good order that the common calamities of life may not utterly confound, though they may surprise you. If you place your whole happiness in any of the attainments of this world, you expose yourself to this bloody temptation when you suffer the loss of those idols.' (page 76)
Posted November 6, 2013 @ 10:35 AM by Paul Levy

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