Worth Reading - 6/24

New York Times writer Tim Kreider coined the term, “Outrage Porn,” to describe what he sees as our insatiable search for things to be offended by. Based on hundreds of comments and letters to the editor, Kreider says that many contemporary people feed off of feeling 1) right and 2) wronged. Outrage Porn resembles actual pornography. It aims for a cheap thrill at the expense of another human being, but without any personal accountability or commitment to that human being.

Outrage Porn often escalates into the public shaming of groups and persons. Labeling, caricature and exclusion occur as offended parties rally together against a common enemy.

There are many forms of online shaming. There is passive-aggressive shaming via the non-responsive ignoring of personal emails, comments and tweets. A person gets singled out via an unflattering photo shared without permission and intended to mock. Another is left out of a group selfie that says, “You are not one of us.”

Active-aggressive shaming is more direct. The angry blog, the critical tweet, the vicious comment on Facebook, or whatever the method – people try to hurt people. Sometimes the shaming escalates into a mob, a faux-community that latches on to the negative verdict and piles on. Under the pretense of righteous indignation, the mob licks its chops as it goes about demonizing, diminishing and destroying its target.
The apostle Paul starts all of his letters with the prayer that “grace and peace” will come to the reader. But he never uses a verb. He never says, “Grace and peace be to you,” or, “Grace and peace come to you.” He assumes the verb.

Peter makes it explicit. He begins both his letters, “May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” Paul would be very happy with this verb. It’s what he means when he says thirteen times, “Grace to you and peace.” The verb behind “be multiplied” is used twelve times in the New Testament and always means “increase” — move from lesser to greater.

There are at least seven important implications in these words for our lives.

3. Ever wonder how the history of words is researched and proved for the Oxford English Dictionary? Here is a podcast on tracing to origins of the word "mullet":

4. Bethany Jenkins discusses the reality for many, when career plans don't pan out:

Almost 10 years ago, Johnathan Agrelius felt clearly that God was calling him to become a real estate developer and transform underutilized or abandoned buildings in the downtown area of his hometown. “I had a lot to learn,” he recalls, “but other people in my community—architects, city planners, historic preservationists, bankers, and investors—all got on board with my vision, and we started to work toward it together. I thought I had found my career, and I was excited.”

For the past 10 years, though, Agrelius has faced setbacks and frustrations. His career path has been anything but simple and straight. In fact, he still isn’t a real estate developer.

How do we live in the tension of having a sense of God’s calling and not seeing it come to fruition? What happens when our career plans aren’t panning out?