I have lots of people in my life who are very different from me. I have friends who are professional, starched, button-down, pressed & who have life wrapped around their little finger mostly. I have other friends who are a little more like me, less polished & borderline bohemian.
But loving well is the bridge that connects me with people regardless of our differences. And here’s the truth that needs to reside in the marrow of our bones: people don’t have to be like us to be loved by us. Indeed, Jesus loved a wide spectrum of people, including cheats, hustlers, liars, whimps & wannabes. Loving people is an internal decision & this doesn’t need to be dependent on who they are, what they do or how they behave. Let’s be committed to loving well!
Mood lighting seems to be popular – candles, track lighting, dimmer switches, etc. Supposedly, this kind of light can be soothing & soft. The main problem, however, is the vision obscurity that dim light can facilitate. And if we can’t see well, then we increase our chances to make mistakes & even hurt ourselves.
As a follower of Jesus, I want to be known as a child of the Light. This means that I want to live in light, not hidden, nor controlled by obscurity. I want to bring light & love wherever I go, expressing healing, freedom & redemption. Let’s turn the light up rather than dim the light.
It’s easy to be a spectator, watching from the sideline, making comments & suggestions. It’s an entirely different experience to participate rather than spectate. This principle rings true in all kinds of contexts:
attending church in contrast to being an active participant,
watching people struggle with problems in contrast to helping people with prayer & presence,
only reading the Bible rather than applying what the Bible says.
Let’s never forget that God put skin in the game for humanity by letting Jesus become God in the flesh. So let’s be sure that we continue to imitate Jesus in our daily living by being active conduits for God’s presence wherever we go & in whatever we do!
There are lots of things in our lives that we should affirm. It’s super great to be positive and optimistic. It’s also really helpful to say, “yes” to job promotions, good grades at school, kind offers from friends and unexpected blessings from random sources.
There are, nevertheless, several things that need to always require a “NO” reply. Here are a few ideas:
doubt: pre-decide that doubt always gets a “no” answer and faith always gets a “yes” answer
unforgiveness: meditating about hurtful words and actions done by others should get a consistent “no”
mean actions & words: give yourself “no” permission to react hatefully or with snarky words to someone else’s mean behaviors or libel
insecurity: sometimes a simple mental “no” is enough to jolt us out of that destructive thinking pattern laced with the poison of insecurity
destructive behaviors: let’s be certain that we’re consistently saying “no” to addictive patterns, an undisciplined lifestyle, debilitating relationships, poor eating habits and unproductive usage of time, to name a few suggestions
What else should we be saying “no” to in our lives? I’d love to read your thoughts & wisdom 🙂
Back in the day, I visited Prague when it was under communism and I had an interesting experience there. My friends & I popped into a grocery store in Prague and since I’d never visited a grocery store in a communist country, I was in for a surprise – no choices. I quickly realized that I totally take for granted all of the choices I have at an American grocery store (for example, I can get green beans in a variety of ways: fresh, frozen, canned, low sodium, french cut, etc).
Sometimes, I think we take for granted that we have every day. Some of these choices include:
Lately, I’ve had some struggles with worry & if you give me the line that I’m not supposed to worry, I’ll hit you ,)
With that being said, I had a nice chat with God about this & I received some great help that you might also find useful, if not today, maybe for the future. I learned that when I worry, I make an attention decision that can undermine the closeness of my walk with God (not that God moved, but rather that I’ve compromised my trust in God). When I worry, I choose to give my attention to challenges, problems & difficulties that I’m unable to resolve. When I worry, I neglect to include God in these struggles and therefore become increasingly absorbed in them, to the point of being all consumed. And clearly, being all consumed with worry is no place I want to live. So that counter-point to worry is choosing to trust God and while this can be difficult, this decision is much better than going down the worry path. But I’m also learning that trusting God is often a continuously activedecision. So let’s encourage each other to keep our eyes on Jesus and to make healthy choices to strengthen our hearts by trusting God 🙂