Tag Archives: Selfishness

Ep90 Encore: Imagine a World without Jesus



Father Len explains how the radical ideas Jesus introduced 2000 years ago and the church he established to spread those ideas have changed the world forever.

Make a financial donation here: https://www.GiveSendGo.com/WWGProductions

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “You’re talking about the single event that probably influenced civilization as we know it now. It’s created our laws and behavior. The knowledge of good and evil. It’s influenced art and literature. It’s affected every possible aspect of anyone’s life, whether they know it or not. It’s absolutely everything. If it wasn’t, what would there be? – Mel Gibson, producer/director, The Passion of the Christ
  • The Gospel of Luke describes how Jesus changed morality and remapped society around meals.
  • In Jesus’s time there were meal codes about how you eat and who you eat with. Jews ate with Jews, never with Gentiles. Jews ate as a family. Men, women, and children together. Gentiles, the Romans and the Greeks, ate with people of their own class and caste system. Rich and poor never ate together. Men and women didn’t eat together. Men ate first and then women because men were considered superior to women.
  • Jesus broke all the meal codes of his time drawing people together by a much different morality. He offered radical hospitality to everyone. He welcomed men and women, rich and poor to sit at table with him.
  • The one person who changed the world the most was not a king or an inventor. The greatest mark on history was made by a traveling preacher named Jesus who established a church community and gave it the responsibility to redraw the world according to hospitality.
  • “I am an historian. I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all of history. Is it any wonder that to this day, this Galilean is too much for our small hearts?” – HG Wells
  • Jesus broke all the rules on how to treat women. Prior to Jesus women were treated inhumanely. They were viewed as inferior to men and nothing more than property. In Jesus’s eyes, women and men are equally valuable. Jesus was friends and ministry partners with women. He treated them with dignity and respect.
  • The idea that all humans – men and women, rich and poor, rulers and peasants – are equally valuable and should be treated with dignity and respect was extremely rare before Christianity.
  • The church Jesus founded, the Catholic Church, started hospitals, universities, and food banks.
  • Jesus started an organized movement to care for the poor and the needy. Religion before Christianity, except for Judaism, wasn’t really concerned with morality or taking care of the poor.
  • The origins of science are rooted in Christian belief. All the early scientists were religious. They were inspired by their faith in Christ to do science. They all viewed science as a means of uncovering the traces of Christ’s handiwork in the universe.
  • The concepts of social justice, education, human rights, women’s rights, and freedom all fit into the idea of radical hospitality that Jesus introduced to the world.
  • Jesus has changed the personal lives of billions of people throughout the world by introducing the theology of the cross. Dying to yourself, dying to your ego, becoming a whole new person by living a life of sacrificial love.
  • Wisdom is path, not a door. The path of daily choices you make on how to live your life.
  • Wisdom is gained through daily small activities. Small choices that become the whole direction of your life.
  • The way of the cross is daily making moral choices, making small choices of virtue. Dying to your pettiness, anger, and selfishness.

We welcome your questions and comments:

Links to Podcasts from Wrestling with God Productions


Ep82 Encore: Can Freedom Destroy Our Country?



The effect of freedom depends on how you define it. Father Len reveals how God defines freedom and how other definitions can produce destructive consequences.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Freedom involves being free from something in order to be free to become something.
  • The American Revolution was about becoming free from the tyranny of a king and the injustices and oppression of a political system.
  • 70% of Americans say they are free or mostly free.
  • Two thirds of Americans define freedom as being “free to do whatever I want.”
  • Being “free to do whatever I want” is an immature definition of freedom and the least likely to lead to happiness.
  • Being “free to do whatever I want” is a form of tyranny that allows you to intrude on the life and liberty of others.
  • “The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos” by Sohrab Ahmari
  • We create laws to set the parameters for a working society.
  • To be free theologically means that we are always working on freedom. Working to become free from the tyranny of selfishness, oppression, and injustice.
  • When the people of a country define freedom as selfishness, it will always be divided and destroyed.
  • People who report the highest level of happiness tend to be religious and meditate regularly.
  • People who report the most freedom from moral constraints tend to be the least happy.
  • “Suicide, A Study in Sociology” by Emile Durkheim
  • The really hard part of becoming freer is wrestling with our own egos and recognizing when we’re being selfish.
  • “If your definition of freedom is, I get to do whatever I want, just historically, it ends terribly. If our country just believes, I’m free to just think about myself, that’s a loss of freedom. I think it destroys our country.” – Father Len
  • Christians who believe giving up liberties for the sake of others makes them less free don’t understand the freedom of the cross of Christ.
  • Support the work of Wrestling with God Productions by making a financial donation here: https://www.givesendgo.com/wwgproductions

Ep72 Imagine a World without Jesus



Father Len explains how the radical ideas Jesus introduced 2000 years ago and the church he established to spread those ideas have changed the world forever.

Make a financial donation here: https://www.GiveSendGo.com/WWGProductions

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “You’re talking about the single event that probably influenced civilization as we know it now. It’s created our laws and behavior. The knowledge of good and evil. It’s influenced art and literature. It’s affected every possible aspect of anyone’s life, whether they know it or not. It’s absolutely everything. If it wasn’t, what would there be? – Mel Gibson, producer/director, The Passion of the Christ
  • The Gospel of Luke describes how Jesus changed morality and remapped society around meals.
  • In Jesus’s time there were meal codes about how you eat and who you eat with. Jews ate with Jews, never with Gentiles. Jews ate as a family. Men, women, and children together. Gentiles, the Romans and the Greeks, ate with people of their own class and caste system. Rich and poor never ate together. Men and women didn’t eat together. Men ate first and then women because men were considered superior to women.
  • Jesus broke all the meal codes of his time drawing people together by a much different morality. He offered radical hospitality to everyone. He welcomed men and women, rich and poor to sit at table with him.
  • The one person who changed the world the most was not a king or an inventor. The greatest mark on history was made by a traveling preacher named Jesus who established a church community and gave it the responsibility to redraw the world according to hospitality.
  • “I am an historian. I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all of history. Is it any wonder that to this day, this Galilean is too much for our small hearts?” – HG Wells
  • Jesus broke all the rules on how to treat women. Prior to Jesus women were treated inhumanely. They were viewed as inferior to men and nothing more than property. In Jesus’s eyes, women and men are equally valuable. Jesus was friends and ministry partners with women. He treated them with dignity and respect.
  • The idea that all humans – men and women, rich and poor, rulers and peasants – are equally valuable and should be treated with dignity and respect was extremely rare before Christianity.
  • The church Jesus founded, the Catholic Church, started hospitals, universities, and food banks.
  • Jesus started an organized movement to care for the poor and the needy. Religion before Christianity, except for Judaism, wasn’t really concerned with morality or taking care of the poor.
  • The origins of science are rooted in Christian belief. All the early scientists were religious. They were inspired by their faith in Christ to do science. They all viewed science as a means of uncovering the traces of Christ’s handiwork in the universe.
  • The concepts of social justice, education, human rights, women’s rights, and freedom all fit into the idea of radical hospitality that Jesus introduced to the world.
  • Jesus has changed the personal lives of billions of people throughout the world by introducing the theology of the cross. Dying to yourself, dying to your ego, becoming a whole new person by living a life of sacrificial love.
  • Wisdom is path, not a door. The path of daily choices you make on how to live your life.
  • Wisdom is gained through daily small activities. Small choices that become the whole direction of your life.
  • The way of the cross is daily making moral choices, making small choices of virtue. Dying to your pettiness, anger, and selfishness.

We welcome your questions and comments:

Links to Podcasts from Wrestling with God Productions


Ep69 Becoming Truly Free



Father Len explains what it takes to become truly free and how the common American understanding of freedom leads to selfishness and narcissism.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Freedom involves being free from something in order to be free to become something.
  • The American Revolution was about becoming free from the tyranny of a king and the injustices and oppression of a political system.
  • 70% of Americans say they are free or mostly free.
  • Two thirds of Americans define freedom as being “free to do whatever I want.”
  • Being “free to do whatever I want” is an immature definition of freedom and the least likely to lead to happiness.
  • Being “free to do whatever I want” is a form of tyranny that allows you to intrude on the life and liberty of others.
  • “The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos” by Sohrab Ahmari
  • We create laws to set the parameters for a working society.
  • To be free theologically means that we are always working on freedom. Working to become more free from the tyranny of selfishness, oppression, and injustice.
  • When the people of a country define freedom as selfishness, it will always be divided and destroyed.
  • People who report the highest level of happiness tend to be religious and meditate regularly.
  • People who report the most freedom from moral constraints tend to be the least happy.
  • “Suicide, A Study in Sociology” by Emile Durkheim
  • The really hard part of becoming more free is wrestling with our own egos and recognizing when we’re being selfish.
  • Christians who believe giving up liberties for the sake of others makes them less free don’t understand the freedom of the cross of Christ.

Ep39 Commitment and Happiness



Father Len explains the relationship between commitment and happiness.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len shares the story of NFL football player Bo Eason and what he learned about commitment from fellow Pro Jerry Rice.
  • “There’s No Plan B for You’re A-Game” by Bo Eason
  • Commitment breeds commitment. Indifference breeds indifference.
  • There are two types of commitment: “even if” and “as long as.” Even if commitment never wavers even when there is trouble, hardship, sickness, sacrifice, and suffering. As long as commitment is always conditional on finding something easier and more pleasurable to do than keeping the commitment, like watching a favorite television show or going to a party.
  • Father Len shares a favorite “even if” commitment story from the Book of Ruth in the Bible.
  • Commitment leads simultaneously to suffering and happiness. Uncommitted people don’t suffer much pain, but surprisingly, it’s the committed people who are willing to suffer that end up happier.
  • TED Talk: “The Surprising Science of Happiness” by Dan Gilbert
  • Irish explains how commitment saved his marriage.
  • Father Len embarrassingly explains how watching the Oprah Winfrey show helped him understand why couples who live together before marriage have double the divorce rate of those who don’t.
  • “If you chase two rabbits… You will not catch either one.” – Russian proverb
  • People who are low on commitment are also low on control over their egos.
  • Bible symbolism: the number seven shows up frequently and is code for complete commitment.
  • Happiness and suffering go together.