Peace is not absence of war, of strife, or of anger; it is calm trust in God and knowing Jesus, our peace.
Obedience is not the absence of sin; it is working for the Glory of God.
Patience is not the absence of hurry; it is the acceptance of God’s timing.
Joy is not absence of concern; it is assuredness in God’s truth.
Righteousness is not me being better than you; it is God being best all the time.
Love is not the absence of hate; it is the art and insistence of putting others first.
Salvation is not the absence of Hell; it is the excitement of Heaven.
Forgiveness is not the absence of blame; it is freedom from the past.
Divine rewards are not a pending “let’s see” transaction; they are God’s promise.
Grace is not the absence of judgment; it is the action of sacrificial love.
Judgment is not the opposite of mercy; it is the proper complement of mercy.
Mercy is not turning a blind eye; it is seeing things God’s way.
Thankfulness is not a debt; it is the joy of recognizing God’s gifts.
Freedom is not the selfish exercise of my rights; it is my recognition of God’s will and my responsibilities—to Him and to humanity.
Rebellion is not only Satan’s example; it is our failure to accept God’s love and assert God’s freedom.
Truth is not just the absence of a lie; it is the presence of the person Jesus.
Eternity is not just the absence of time; it is the quality and substance of the life of God.
Science does not replace God; it reveals God.
Doubt does not have to be the absence of faith; it may be the discipline of curiosity.
Hope is not a gamble on the future; it is our awareness of the reality of God.
Faith is not a blind idea; it is our living experience with God.
Church is not for being fed; it is for feeding each other.
The Gospel is not just the Good News of Jesus Christ; it reveals the perpetual light of the Spirit, truth of Christ, and love of God.
The Incarnation is not just the birth of a Savior and Emanuel-God-now-with-us; it celebrates humanity’s reunion with the Kingdom of God.
The Crucifixion is not just a horrible settlement for sin; it is the glorious, gracious, selfless, and complete obedience of Jesus Christ; it is Jesus’s human nature surrendering to God’s divine nature.
The Resurrection is not just the defining evidence of the love and power of God; it is our release from sin, the end of death, and the promise of life everlasting.
God’s glory is not merely God’s pride; it is His love He shares with us and the freedom He affords for our own response to the gift of His son Jesus, our savior.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) first dashed off this column as punctuated verse, but alas—as his wife Pam, the retired English teacher, pointed out—Walters is not a poet. Walters is however sensitive to and observant of positive vs. incomplete, simplistic, secular, and/or negative doctrinal proclamations (and somewhat panicked by the latter). Humans tend to rebel against God rather than seeking to replace our nature with His.