Michael Coughlin: Proper Comparisons


July 1, 2016

Michael CoughlinMy guest for this episode is Michael Coughlin. Michael is an Evangelist from Columbus, Ohio and joins me to discuss proper comparisons, namely comparing ourselves to people we don’t know.

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An Outline of the Discussion
  • We began with a small sidetrack, discussing the passion we should have for Christ and for His Word.
  • The purpose of the discussion is to help people become more refined; not to attack anyone.
  • We compare ourselves to others, whether we know it or not. We can only compare what we perceive. In a local church environment, we are more likely to see the sides of people that will give us a better idea of who they really are. When we compare ourselves to people we see online, we don't get to see those other sides of them.
  • Sometimes we hold people so high that we see them as nearly perfect, and that may lead us to rejoice if/when they stumble.
  • The reaction to Steph Curry's outburst during an NBA finals game demonstrates that people hold others to too high (or sometimes too low) of a standard, based solely on our perception of their status within the Church.
  • It's unreasonable to think that someone is perfect in their private life because they really have it together in their public persona.
  • On the flip side, we hold some people so highly it can be difficult, or even intolerable, to hear criticism leveled against them.
  • When someone you respect (be it a friend or a hero) is criticized, do you immediately jump to defend them, or do you look closer to see if the criticism is valid?
  • If (or when) you become the “hero,” or “Evangelical Rock Star,” keep your own place in mind, don't hold yourself too lofty. Be responsible for the disciples you're creating.
  • While we want to be careful about overly scrutinizing someone seen as a hero, we don't need to get to know heretics better. We can see what Joel Osteen teaches, and know that it's not scriptural.
  • We (Michael and Andy) do these things ourselves. I respect John Piper's theology in many ways, but struggle with how to handle him in my own mind because there are a lot of things he says that seem really crazy.
  • Face-to-face local interaction is necessary. Once that need is met, the online relationships with others can be much more fruitful.
  • We shouldn't judge ourselves too harshly because we're not doing something as much as someone else does, such as street evangelism. We need to be faithful to our families and our churches as well, and live lives honoring to Christ.
  • Pastors have a really difficult job. There's a lot to being a pastor that most people never see. Give pastors extra grace, they need it, rather than jumping all over them about something they said you might not think was said ‘just right'.
Scriptures Referenced
  • Revelation 2:2-7
  • Acts 2:42
  • Acts 17:11
Additional Resources

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