For the Ordinary Days

Growing up, I was always the girl that wanted summer when it was winter, and winter when it was summer. If you know me really well, you know I tend to skip ahead to the good stuff. I’m not always a patient waiter, and I have to intentionally remind myself that the process is fun too. I think we all have times when want the next thing, so we miss what God is doing now.

But what he’s doing now is good.

If I miss it, I won’t be ready for the next thing.


God is simply reminding me to enjoy these simple, slow moments of ordinary days. Enjoy watching my cat play with the blinds; enjoy making breakfast with my husband; enjoy our one-bedroom apartment; enjoy these last couple semesters as a college student. These things don’t last forever, and I want to savor them.

Maybe if you are excellent at enjoying the now, and you’re super patient, this post isn’t for you. But if you’re like me, keep reading, and we’ll grow together.

Recently God showed me that this year I just need to walk with him. The past year and a half of my life has been extremely busy; it’s probably been the busiest season of my life planning a wedding, getting married, going to South Africa on a mission trip, and my husband and I trying to finish our undergrad while working. And if that sentence felt like a lot in one breath, it was!

Although I have loved all of it, I find myself now in a very stark contrast of the past year: quiet, ordinary, and full of healthy space. I have breathed a breath of fresh air since having margin in my schedule.

But now what?

How do we spend our ordinary days in a way that honors God? How do we spend our ordinary days when we’re not waiting on some big breakthrough? God has been showing me that this “ordinary” time frame is meant for simply walking with him. No agendas, no moving mountains; just walking with him.

Here are a few things to note about walking with God in the ordinary seasons:

Ordinary does not mean boring. I think we misname “nothing on the calendar” for “boring,” when in fact, this time is a gift of God doing the hard work in our hearts to shape us into who we are called to be. All the good work is done in the “between time.”

Ask God what He wants to teach you. Look for the ways God is shaping you. Personally, this often comes when I identify a struggle of yours right now. How can you allow God into your heart to mold you

While walking with God, notice the small things. This season will be marked by the art of noticing God’s hand in it all. And I know this will teach me to take note in busier seasons of life. When we take note of that small task in our routine that looks insignificant, we actually designate purpose to it. That small thing becomes a significant thing, and we become grateful people in the process. And believe me, time stands still for a moment when you pause long enough to be thankful. Thank God for the cup of coffee to start off your day, that talk with a friend, or the job that helps pay your bills. Noticing God’s sustenance is part of the ordinary.

Follow the leader. While reading Galatians 5, I came to verse 22 and 23, where the Bible discusses the fruit of the spirit. Annotated in verse 25 was the Greek word stoicheō, which means “walk in line behind a leader.” I love this picture of walking with the Holy Spirit. It takes me back to kindergarten, following the leader to the next location, fully knowing we would get there even if I wasn’t in charge. Following the lead of the Holy Spirit is the safest trust walk, and it will produce in us the fruit of the Spirit! I want to yield all of the fruit mentioned in verses 22 and 23.

The disciples spent a lot of time walking with Jesus, and so can we. Okay, not every day was filled with a grand miracle. I think their important days were built on daily relationship with Jesus (as ours are). This daily relationship between the disciples and Jesus built a trust in him that was important for performing the big miracles. Had the disciples not spent time knowing Jesus’ character, they would not be able to trust his heart when he fed thousands and walked on rippling waters.

Walking with God is intimate, allowing him to know where I struggle, know my thoughts, and let Him in on what I love and desire. But I come away filled, noticing things He does, waiting more patiently, and loving like He does.

Whatever season of life you find yourself in, I hope you can relate to loving your ordinary days and finding God in all of them. I’m a firm believer in the best days being in front of you. But before “the best” let’s take of today. Because today is really good, don’t you think?

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I Think God is Holding out on Me

It’s never enough. We double tap, we snap, we share. And it’s never enough. Someone always has it better, someone is always happier, thinner, and every other “-er” you can think of. And we want it. We want “-er” so badly because we feel good to be noticed. We want people to like and applaud us. Applause is the sound our culture and generation loves so much.

“I want you to love me like I love me!” Our culture screams, “Self-care,” and, “You do you.”

“It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.”

But we’re hurting. All of us. Why has “self-care” generation turned into the such a self-obsessed, attention-hogging, empty, and jealous generation?

Is it ironic? No. Inevitable? Yes.

I would love to write about how I defeated comparison once and for all, as if it’s not something I battle. But we’re talking present tense here, because like most struggles, they come back again. Sometimes they’ll resurface in a different area than before. I know I face comparison in different ways than I did at 18 years old.

If I pretend comparison doesn’t exist, I ignore a huge problem in my life. I think we all struggle with this. We always hear discussion around social media, and how it’s a comparison black hole. I am uncomfortable living a life that is always looking to the next best thing, the next best upgrade, the next season of life, and the person next to me who has the next best thing.

It’s my search for “enough” that has kept me running after things that are really not designed to fulfill me.

You know what that “thing” is for you. I know what mine is. Sometimes more than one thing comes to mind.

With each area of comparison we question what God is doing, or what he’s not doing. With comparison, we mostly question what he’s not doing on our time and our agenda. We question God’s heart when we have our eye on something that looks better.

It sounds a lot like Adam and Eve when they ate from the tree. God told them not to eat from one tree. Satan tempts Eve and she starts to believe that God is holding out on her by asking her not to eat from this forbidden tree. Isn’t it funny that what looks like God holding out on us is actually just his protection?

He gives us this entire garden and to protect us from destruction, he creates boundaries. These boundaries are purposeful, but they look an awful lot like hindrances to what we love. What if we truly believed God wasn’t holding out on us? We would live with more freedom, purpose, and joy in each season.

So how do we tackle this? How do we get past the rotten comparison that our good ol’ friend Pinterest says is “the thief of joy”?

Here are some thoughts to help you navigate:

Comparison attacks the areas we care about the most. God made us the way we are for a reason–for purpose. But with those qualities come a responsibility to use them well. If we aren’t careful we can idolize these areas that we care about. Soon enough these comparison traps are our idols. For instance, we might be idolizing recognition or fame when we compare social media likes. We might be idolizing our body image we compare it.

The ladder of thankfulness helps you climb out of the rut. Being thankful is hard when you’re complaining…and complaining is hard when you’re thankful. You really can’t have them at the same time, so which choice wins?

My prayer is that you will choose thankfulness. You see, thankfulness is the key to freedom from jealousy, greed, and coveting.

I don’t want to fear lack of; I want to rest in abundance of. When we are too busy looking at what others have, we miss the gold right in front of our eyes. Eve thought she was lacking something. If we can get good at identifying the gold, that is a thankful heart, we will rest in our abundance that God has provided.

Fear implies I’m in control, but rest implies God is in control. And how good is Jesus at multiplying small amounts of things anyway (hint: very good)? We can rest in his control; we can rest in abundance.

It’s not about me. In the end, comparison focuses on “me” rather than God. If I’m going to really get this thing right, it has to be about a life after God’s heart and not a mountain of blessings.

So how can I practically process this in my own life when the comparison monster creeps its way in? Well, here are some questions I ask myself to dodge the monster’s unwelcome stay in my heart:

Where/how does comparison show up in my heart?

What does my comparison reveal that I am fearing? What do I believe God is holding back from me?  

What is God’s truth about my comparison?

Can I trust God to fulfill my desires? Be honest, and think of ways he’s been faithful in the past.

So now we’ve identified the areas. How do we change our hearts? It always begins with thankfulness.

What is the JOY of this area (what are you thankful for)?

What is the work of this area (what is God asking of me with what he’s given me)?

YOU have purpose, promises of God on your life, and you are called to do extraordinary things whether you believe it or not. God created you to live in this moment, to influence the specific set of people around you, all for his kingdom. Living with eternity in mind is our goal as we pursue his call on our lives. If you ever need a reminder of that, you can read any of these Bible passages: Philippians 4:6-13, Hebrews 10:19-39, Psalm 139, and Proverbs 4:25-27.

Here’s the challenge:

If you need to create a habit of thankfulness, draw a ladder (or imagine one if you’re not the drawing type). Add a rung on the ladder for every thing you’re thankful for. Look at the rungs and see what God is doing! Look at his faithfulness and provision over your life.

And watch yourself climb out of that pit, girlfriend.

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The Secrets We Keep

Secrets can be a great place of intimacy or they can be a place of shame that separates because of manipulation and sin.

“Secrets don’t make friends.”

We’d say this if we were jealous and wanted this supposed top-secret information. We don’t like to be on the outside; we want to be in the know. Maybe you’ve been in on a surprise for someone else. If you’ve ever learned what it feels like to ruin the privilege of a keeping this secret, you know what it feels like to be on the outside.

I believe that’s what Adam and Eve felt–they had the most intimate secret to keep. But their mistake is not where it ends for us.

You know the story: Adam and Eve sinned because they ate the one fruit God instructed them not to (what we can’t have always looks the best, huh?). They notice they’re naked and they are shameful, so they hide. It’s our first instinct to keep secrets from God. We don’t want him to see our mistakes, and we certainly don’t want him to know our sin. We feel more comfortable to run, hide, and bury our sin. These secrets we keep from God separate us. They pit our ugly sin against a holy, perfect God. And why would we want that exposed? So we cover. We hide. We keep it a secret.

And isn’t it just like God to come closer to us even in our sin? I mean, he’s been doing this since Eden. If that wasn’t enough, he sent Jesus to reel us in closer even after Israel rejected God. Here we are today still struggling with this urgency to not let God see us and love us through imperfection; we can’t seem to fathom it.

God is so good at bridging the gap that he took our ugly secrets and turned them into intimacy with him–the secret place with him. This is my favorite secret with God because it’s one I don’t feel a heavy weight over. It’s a secret that brings freedom. You’ll notice that in Genesis 3:21 when Adam and Eve are trying to hide under their own clothes, God comes to give them new covering. God just wants to have the secret place with us–it’s the space we share with him that connects us to him.

Now I know that I have tried to keep secrets from God, and I’d assume you have too. And I know how it hurts to feel that distance between our guilt and His holiness. It makes it seem irreparable. Yet he still restores that secret place with us. He sent Jesus to physically be this closeness, and his Holy Spirit to be close to us now, even after Jesus isn’t physically with us in 2018. This is his restoration of the secret place we traded for the secret sins we kept.

And can you believe that all this time he still had that grand plan for us? It started before we could use language of any kind. He formed us in the secret place. Psalm 139:15-16 reminds us that absolutely nothing was hidden from God when he made us in secret; He planned out our days long before we knew of them. We were fully exposed before him while he was creating us and shaping us. We were exposed at our worst, yet fully known and fully loved for it.

And when I am imperfect, my tendency is to hate my sin and run from God. I don’t want him to see my mess. I am good at concealing. After all, we don’t normally invite people over to a messy house, or post pictures of our weakest moments. We don’t know what it is to be loved in our mess because we are trained to correct it. Yet God loves anyway. It’s unfathomable, and it is my best secret to share with you. He has corrected our shameful secrets and restored them with the secret place with him. And he’s multifaceted enough to share this space with every individual on this planet, because he shared it with you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

I would challenge you to reevaluate whether you share secrets with God or keep them from God. I promise that God wants to be close to you, and he wants you to be free and restored.

Lean in to the secret place.

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With Me

Have you found yourself in a position of a hard season or situation and you didn’t acknowledge God was with you? Or maybe you’re like me, and you didn’t realize it was enough. And I know it’s enough, because, “But I will be with you” is God’s answer to a lot of people in the Bible. This was his answer to the Israelites crossing the Jordan River. I can only imagine Joshua’s reaction to, “Do not fear…for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave your or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Like you and I, his reaction was probably anxiety and uncertainty; he didn’t know the other side of the story like you and I do now. And so many times, we find ourselves in this sheepish position of struggling to trust God and his protection over our lives.

 

There are a lot of Bible references in the Old and New Testament that conclude with, “But I will be with you,” and, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” Why does God say this so many times? Why do we feel the need to hear it?


Maybe it’s because God knows we don’t like to do life alone. Maybe he knows that we don’t like to do hard things alone. Maybe he knows that sometimes what he calls us to terrifies us, but to know that he’s with us is enough. His answer to fear is himself. But do we see that He is enough? Do we see that even if life is chaotic, the very presence of God with us is the best thing?


Maybe you’re like the disciples who had Jesus with them in the boat and still chose fear of the waves instead of trusting Jesus. I know I have had those same days. In Matthew 4:38, Jesus was quite literally with the disciples. When the waves were rocking the boat and Jesus was found sleeping, they said, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Oh, how I have found myself knowing Jesus was with me, yet questioning his protection and promises based on what I can see with my eyes.

Has it been enough just to walk with God through my hard days? I want it to be. God’s answer is always himself. When the Israelites were struggling, he said he would be with Joshua as he and the Israelites walked through the Jordan River (Joshua 1-3). When years later, we were still struggling, he sent Jesus. If that wasn’t enough, Jesus’ name means “God with us.”

We serve a detailed God who never contradicts himself, and always delivers what he promises. As you can see, the common theme in these passages is that the miraculous always occurs after God says he will go with us. He always shows himself in those moments. He made the waters stand up so his people could cross the Jordan, he spoke “Peace” to the waters and they stood still, and he sent Jesus to literally save us and be with us. He prepares us with a promise, he comforts us in our fear by going with us, and then he solidifies our faith when he performs the miracle.

My challenge to you is to not allow your fear to outweigh God’s presence. And trust me, I have lived many days of knowing this with my mind but not living it with my heart. But God’s nearness will always be enough. It will always be the answer to my struggle, my fear, and my doubt.

And when we walk and talk with God through our uncertainty, fear, and hardship, we walk differently. We walk boldly, confident that the Lord will carry us through to the other side.

Like the disciples, you can be honest with Jesus. If you need an honest way to pray, feel free to write this final prayer down. And when we question Jesus about whether he is truly walking with us, maybe we can re-read this post together to remember.


God, I am scared, I am in pain, I am uncertain. But I know you are with me. And I know you are enough. I choose to trust you as I wait in the middle of a promise and a miracle. In the meantime, I thank you for walking with me in my mundane, chaotic, and joyful moments. 

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Enough is Enough

We’ve all heard a stern, “Enough is enough!” Often it’s said with a punishment tone. Or maybe you’ve whispered this to yourself because your schedule is too tightly packed, and if you have one more demand from someone else you might break. God disrupted this fist-to-the-ground, eyes-wide-open mentality recently. He gently spoke through John 4 alongside Jennie Allen’s Nothing to Prove. He revealed that when He is enough, it is always enough. There’s nothing left to go searching for; I have all I need in Him. Enough is truly enough with God. Yes, I’ve known this, but it doesn’t always make its way in my heart and the way I live my days.

 

Aren’t we all so tired of being empty? When will we learn that these things don’t keep us full? I want this full life of resting in Him and feeling that these demands are much less weighted when I let God carry them for me while I walk with Him. It is time to run to Jesus for this living, sustaining water—the kind that never makes me thirsty again (John 4:13). I’ve lived my days passing Jesus up for my own version of enough. In this way I feel such a connection with the Samaritan woman in John 4; she didn’t even recognize Jesus as the Messiah and he was right in front of her! He had to plainly tell her who he is in verse 26. Like you and I, she didn’t recognize “enough” when it was directly in her reach. Thank goodness for Jesus’ grace to gently show us what we’re missing so we can live a full life.

 

What I love most about Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman is that Jesus came close to her when she was living a life of sin and looking for earthly “water” as her source of sustenance. She didn’t have it all together. And how graceful of God to give us His Word packed with imperfect people like you and I that can look to the stories when Jesus came close despite the mess.

 

I don’t know about you, but my “enough” has been chasing deadlines, keeping up with people I’ve never met on social media, and running errands on my days off. I know I’ve tried to be enough and be put together. And when I chase my own version of “enough”, everything leaves me empty. Maybe your enough is different. Maybe you try to be a “perfect” mom or wife, maybe you feel the pressure of finances, the pressure of “one mistake away from… (fill in the blank)”, or the pressure of opinions. The result is the same: empty.

 

Enough is enough with our own chase after what we thought was a fulfilled life. His enough is always enough. He is enough. I choose this life of living out of abundance and not scarcity. It seems like rest always leaves room for more anyway.

 

Going Deeper:

 

What are you chasing that you think will fulfill you?

 

What changes can you make today to rest in God’s “enough”?

 

What is God telling you to put down so you can fill your bucket with His living water?

 

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The Freedom of Enough

I’ve lived my life believing that making mistakes meant I wasn’t good enough, and I was too scared to try something I knew I wasn’t good at. And forget working at something to actually get better; that meant I would have to endure the self-talk of “not ____ enough”. Needless to say, boredom from slow progress struck, and I would return to what I’m good at. At the Outcry tour in Fresno, Christine Caine spoke about shame; she shared that it was the first repercussion of sin (when Adam and Eve hid from God in Genesis 3). And when she countered “shame on you” with “shame off you”, I realized that the only one (almost) who had shamed me was myself.

 

What even is a perfectionist? When I was young, people defined it for me. They would say I was a perfectionist because I was too distraught about my mistakes. And it sounded pretty. It sounded perfect–like something I wanted to be. It sounded like I wouldn’t have such a hard time if I just didn’t mess up. And that’s what started the hamster wheel of achieving.

 

Achieving has shown up in sports, in music, in writing, in my relationships, and in my marriage.

 

Achieving creeps into my heart when I choose the wrong words with the wrong tone. It creeps in when “it’s just taking me too long to get this right.” It creeps in when I have to answer a fifth person that I am still not graduating from college this year. It’s when I realize I’m not okay with my flaws.

 

I know I am not the only one who has thought these ugly lies. And dare I say that I know I am not the only one who has let these thoughts define me. They do not show the truth of God behind them, and they hang on shameful thinking.

 

Brené Brown speaks about perfectionism in her book, Daring Greatly:

 

“Perfectionism is not self-improvement. Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval. Most perfectionists grew up being praised for achievement and performance (grades, manners, rule following, people pleasing, sports, appearance). Somewhere along the way, they adopted this dangerous and debilitating belief system: ‘I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it. Please. Perform. Perfect.’ Healthy striving is self-focused: How can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused: What will they think? Perfectionism is a hustle” (Brown, 129).

 

I’m disgusted with perfection, yet I run back. When will I stop running back? How do I stop running back? As I asked myself this question, God interrupted me and answered, “Run to me.” Can I be honest? I kept myself from writing about this because I haven’t mastered this progress of mine. How ironic, right? When God first started speaking to me about this, I didn’t want to pretend to have overcome this and preach about how you can fix it too. So I wont. I won’t tell you how to overcome it; I will tell you about the journey of progress God is taking me on, and I’ll invite you too. Progress is another way to say, “this stuff doesn’t happen overnight”. This is my daily progress of telling the enemy he can not have a bite of my perfectionism sandwich. It does not ruin my identity, because my identity is not found in being perfect. It is being found in being created by God.

 

So here is progress: there are no strings attached–just grace from God and a little grace toward myself too.

 

  1. God names us for his purpose. I love that Peter’s name means “rock”, yet his lack of faith made him unstable when he was walking on water. Jesus calls us by His identity, not ours. If we live allowing Christ to define us, we don’t have to compensate failures for our next successes. We can just rest in His perfection. With this new identity we can be free of our own impossible standards, and God receives the credit for it.
  2. He has given us freedom but we have to walk in it. In the Old Testament, there was the law. This was the closest they could get to God: to obey it, and sacrifice a clean animal when they messed up. But then Jesus came. He erased this because he was that perfect sacrifice we needed to live in freedom. I have been marching up ladders of perfection for too long without remembering and living in the grace and freedom of Jesus. This compensating for failures is no longer our responsibility as believers. I am so thankful for the cross.
  3. I can be excellent, but it won’t be perfect. Philippians 3:12 reminds us to take hold of living a life to please God; we can do this because Jesus has taken hold of us! As believers, our goal in this life is eternal thinking, but our source is Jesus, not our flesh.
  4. God has a way of reminding us where our source comes from. John 4 is one of my favorite passages. Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. She maintains her lifestyle by replenishing her own needs, yet Jesus tells her that he has living water to offer her that will never leave her empty. I know I run back to my standards; I think that my idea of “perfect” will satisfy. But the truth is, it leaves me empty and I have to keep up with my own race. This is not what God intends. It’s not who he’s created us to be.
  5. Know God’s voice, not man’s. 1 Samuel 3:1-21 (for more context read 1 Samuel 1 and 2), Samuel is staying with Eli. He lies down and hears his name, but repeatedly runs to Eli. It was in fact God’s voice speaking to Samuel. God has very important things to speak to us, and if you’re like me, you’ve allowed people’s voices and outside opinions to be louder than God’s voice. I want to be marked by listening to the voice of God.
  6. God stands alone. And he created us to need him. The enemy will lie to us and say, “If that is less than perfect, it doesn’t need to be displayed.” I am starting to realize this as his weak plea to sabotage my calling of sharing my words. And I know I’m not alone. Perfection might halt your next steps too. We see it plastered all over social media and commercial ads, tempting us to attain its photo-finish. It puts “me” in the place of God who stands alone. All too often, we have lived as if we stand alone.

 

This sticky progress is changing my life. It is never perfected, and I am starting to think that God loves this silly irony–me trying to perfectly outsmart perfectionism and live more grace-filled. It is the journey I’m inviting you on too. This journey is a lot of mess-ups, a lot of “no filters”, and if we’re honest, this journey is rarely pictured. But the grace is so much sweeter, and it’s the kind of sweet that tastes bitter at first. If you let Him, He will expose you to His perfection and you’ll find it’s an overflowing “enough” that you couldn’t make on your own.

 

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 

-1 Corinthians 12:10

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Less Yes

On a chilly morning recently, I was scrambling out the door. This was yet another day I decided to race the clock as I swiped my makeup on, made breakfast, and packed my lunch for work. I said my goodbyes and walked slowly so my cereal wouldn’t slip off my coffee (yes, I was trying to balance this with one hand). I successfully made it to the car when my cereal slid off the top of the car. Milk splattered on the ground and on my window. And now I have this graceful, funny story to tell.

But I also have another thing to share: I try to balance too much. I mean really, I do. And I know I’m not alone. This coming year, I know that I will hear of lots of resolutions: more exercise, more saving, more healthy eating. But I want less.

Less worrying. Less time that’s consumed. Less juggling.

I know this is the way God meant for it to be. He meant for us to be filled with more of him, and not wasting our breath filling up on the things we chase after.

Luke 10:38 describes Jesus with Mary and Martha. Mary was the one who welcomed Jesus in, but Martha let the busyness distract her from sitting with Jesus. She had so much to do that she wanted Mary to step away from Jesus to help her finish the to-do list.

Martha was distracted by good things; she was trying to prepare for hosting Jesus. But Mary chose the better option. It was the option contrary to our flesh. She listened to her spirit and chose stillness.

I know that’s how I am sometimes. I am so distracted by “good” that I forget what’s better. And that is to sit and listen to Jesus.

We have to choose. I’ve been bad at choosing; sometimes I’ve let my schedule choose for me.

But in 2018, come along with me to choose Jesus—less yes to everything else.

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Easy Love

“I’ll love if I’m in the mood.”

“I’ll love if they agree with me.”

“I’ll love if I gain from it.”

“I’ll love to get what I want.”

“I’ll love as soon as I get the last word in.”

 

This is what easy love looks like. Love is really thrown around, mostly masked with bitterness (ironic, huh?). I’ve seen these words displayed almost everyday in actions in public, on the news, and on social media. And the sad thing is this type of tainted love is covered in pride. I’m guilty of it; we all are now more than ever.

 

Maybe love isn’t as easy as we thought. Maybe Jesus was right; maybe we don’t have to agree to love one another. Maybe I really can love my enemies and pray for the ones who curse me (Matthew 5:43-44). Maybe my Facebook status feed of rants are wrong; maybe love takes wisdom to swallow our selfish nature and do uncomfortable, God-glorifying things.

 

And maybe—just maybe—the Church has poorly exemplified what it means to speak with both truth and love. You know, the kind that’s both decisive and unwavering, yet filled with grace. May the Church be the one who tells the world that disagreement does not mean hate. May we not only tell them, but also show them.

 

I’m starting to see the consequences of a society that’s used to having everything catered to “me” at the speed of light. Enough is never enough, and it’s turned us into a greedy, ever-growing monster. It’s making us selfish and ungrateful; it’s making us angry and hateful. We are disrespectful, scared, and unable to compromise. We have forgotten how to live with difference…not just tolerate it by harboring anger, but loving the differences and the people.

 

I have several challenges for you if you want a genuine love. This love is not easy, but it is pure freedom. So here they are:

 

  1. When you turn on the news, pray for the people you see.
  2. Respect authority. If it is your boss, if it is your teacher, if it is our President, each need prayer. And the best part is we don’t always have to be in agreement to show respect. And thank Jesus for giving us grace on the cross so we can show it to those that are harder to love and respect (Romans 13:1).
  3. Love even if you don’t feel like it (1 Corinthians 13, Matthew 5:46-47).
  4. Don’t add gas to the fire of arguments—YES, social media does count (Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 26:21).
  5. Speak with truth of the Word and love of God—neither all grace nor harsh condemnation (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
  6. Live life not by the flesh, but by the Spirit (Romans 8:5-11). Oh, it is so unlike the human nature, but there is freedom on the other side.
  7. Listen first (James 1:19, Ephesians 4:26).
  8. Be filled by Jesus daily (Luke 6:45).

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not saying this is easy; in fact, it’s brutally harder day-by-day. But living for God is not easy. In a world that runs to violence to obtain freedom, let’s show them the right way. Let’s show them that love does not crumble, but it restores. May we not leave the world confused, but with their questions answered by God’s love.

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