This past year, we’ve posted hundreds of articles on topics ranging from social justice and current events to new music and studying the Bible. We’ve interviewed celebrities and church leaders. We’ve answered reader questions and made recommendations. We’ve posted playlists and movie reviews. But, out of everything we’ve published in 2014, there were some that were shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media, connecting with readers across the world.
Here’s a look at the 10 most read stories we published in 2014.
“You cannot sanitize grace. You can’t stuff it into a blue blazer and make it wear khakis. Grace is messy, offensive, and it sometimes misses church. To expect God to pump prefabricated plastic moral people out of a religious factory is to neuter grace and chain it inside a gated community. If God’s scandalous relationship with the 12 thugs means anything, then we should expect a variegated spectrum of righteousness and be patient—or repentant—when such sanctification doesn’t meet out expectations. God meets us in our mess and pushes holiness out the other side.”
“The most Christ-loving and helpful community might not have the appropriate framework for dealing with such clinical disorders, and many churches don’t have licensed psychologists on the staff. Pastoral staff can be ill-equipped to deal with depression and err toward a spiritual solution rather than psychological or medical treatment.”
“Some people have been turned off by the Gospel because they’ve thought that becoming a Christ-follower meant giving up having a beer with your friends after work. If this is the ‘good news’ we preach, then the true beauty of a crucified and risen King will become covered in the fog of a man-made, pharisaical ‘don’t drink’ gospel.”
Is it any wonder that the number-one justification for divorce is ‘I deserve to be happy’? If you put your faith in your spouse to make you happy, it’s only a matter of time until they let you down. Our whole mindset on happiness is deeply flawed. ‘I deserve to be happy.’ Really? I’m not sure that’s right.
“What if God does not want you to find a perfect person, but find an imperfect person who will draw you closer to Him? What if God desires you to marry a person with flaws to expose yours? What if God wants to teach you the value and life found in committing to one person forever, not the exhausting pursuit of searching your entire life to find the perfect person?”
“It’s never too late to try to write that novel, start that business, travel the world or launch that social activism campaign you’ve always dreamed about. But even if your life goals haven’t happened by the time you’ve hit 30, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be content with the life you have. Finding the balance between ambition and contentment isn’t easy, but it’s part of living with big dreams.”
“When we leave at first sign of real conflict, it shortchanges God’s best work in our midst. It sidesteps the process of repentance, forgiveness and grace. It negates the power of the Gospel to bring reconciliation where reconciliation might seem impossible.”
“If your interaction with the internet is driven by a need for approval, consider healthier ways to address this issue and choose to stop reinforcing the unhealthy ones.”
“Of course there will be plenty of times that you’re together and using technology, but healthy couples know how to put down their phones and computers and turn off the TV to spend quality time together. Healthy couples don’t check Twitter on dinner dates.”
“Saving sex for marriage is not a guarantee that you will have great sex or that sex will be easy. All it guarantees is that the person you fumble through it with will be someone who has already committed to love you forever.”