August 16, 2018
I had a pretty deep conversation with a dear friend of mine very recently that got me thinking- how do we justify the thoughts and decisions that we make? What is the purpose and focus of what we do? For a parent, the answer might be whatever is going to better the family. For a CEO, the answer might be the bottom financial line. For a A-List celebrity, every decision might be what their agent says is best for their image. For a believer in Christ, my answer is really and truly supposed to be to give and show genuine love. Simple enough, but do we actually follow that? Is that the goal of every word that comes out of my mouth? To show love? Every choice that I make? To show love? Every single thought that crosses my mind? No, it really isn’t.
My ultimate goal in life (not short-term but life. Like until the day I die. Like when I drop dead people talk about this is how she lived her life.) is to wake up every single morning before everyone in my home, make a cup of delicious tea, sit in a relaxing and comfy spot (preferable a beautiful space that has a window overlooking something amazing to gaze out at), and read the word of God (via the Bible or some wonderful devotion). I can smell the chamomile and honey, see the “Victoria’s special reading the Bible” blanket, and even feel my pink/blue/green studying highlighters in my hand right now. But after this thought-provoking conversation I recently had, I began to wonder what am I really wanting to get from that? To be honest with you, a good portion of this goal is going to fuel my flesh in that I get to actually tell people that I am a mother of five who wakes up at dawn every morning to read my Bible before waking my children up in my Mary Poppin’s voice. Don’t judge me. I truly believe another reason is the mere idea of me being in a peaceful space like that. But after I get passed all that, what is the purpose? What would be my why for this goal? Well, I want to read more about God so that I can know more about Him. Why is that important to me? Because I want to become more like Christ. I want to be able to love, forgive, and operate in ways that He did. Hmmm… maybe I don’t need to reach this goal! Seriously, the truth is that once this becomes a real routine in my life, I will have no other excuse not to love every single person that comes my way- no matter who they are or where they are in life.
See God is love (If you have never opened a Bible there you go- long story short). But if we are serious about being followers of Christ, if we are serious about being in the Word of God, and if we are seriously out there bragging about who God is, then we have to get this one thing right- loving other people despite who they are, what they have done, or even if they freaking deserve it. See, that is the biggest problem I see in clients that come to me for help as a Marriage and Family Empowerment Coach, there is a huge gap in the love factor. It’s a problem with my clients, my friends, my family, and it is definitely a problem I see in myself from time to time. We are an incredibly selfish, unbelievably judgmental, and emotionally unbalanced group of forgiven and loved believers. It’s crazy…
The only thing that really counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galataions 5:6 NIV). What would it look like if we actually believed that? Could you have enough faith in Christ to love that homeless man on the street outside the grocery story even if he was going to buy a can of beer with your change? Should you have the faith to love your children enough to show them the right way rather than scream and yell each time they messed up? Do you have the faith to love your neighbor in a hard time when your own bank account is low? Would you have enough faith in Christ to love the spouse you chose despite their flaws, their nasty attitude, or even the hurtful things they have done to you? Do you have the faith it takes through love to love yourself- the child Christ died to save?
I am incredibly grateful for God leading me to that kind of awkward but definitely necessary discussion with my friend today. All God wants is for us to love the people around us- as simple and complicated as that is. We are the ones (with the enemy’s coercion) who have made a checklist of who is worthy enough for our love. We can fellowship with who we choose, we cannot decide who deserves love. I also learned that getting up with the morning birds to open a book is going to be just that (a crazy mom waking up at the crack of dawn to read a good book) if I do not express what I am learning in my life in tangible ways. Friend, if my focus could be love in those sweet quiet moments with God then I am sure they will express themselves as love in the chaotic, stressful, and even painful moments that are to come with others. If I can get filled in those moments, then I will be more equipped to love naturally, despite how I might feel. You and I are going to have to make a decision- committing to showing love through every action, thought, and word we say.
Peace, love, and strength